Update on Big Book hardcover printing delays
due to supply chain disruptions

Dear A.A. friends,

As we have been updating everyone throughout these unprecedented times of Covid-19, supply chain disruptions throughout the worldwide paper, printing and trucking industries continue to unfavorably impact the manufacture and distribution of A.A.W.S. literature and other items.

Since 2020 we have implemented many measures in efforts to reduce potential backorders — for example, ordering paper and scheduling reprints with our printers of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, more than six months in advance of projected need.

The good news: Demand for the Big Book during the fourth quarter of 2021 was stronger than anyone expected, as many people returned to in-person meetings, and a high volume of orders — many enjoying the 10% discount of our Holiday Big Book Special Offer— included the English hardcover edition (Item B-1).

The not-good news: We are currently out of stock of the English hardcover Big Book (Item B-1) and unable to reprint expeditiously. This is due to a serious supply-chain matter beyond our control regarding a disruption in the necessary paper delivery during the holidays at our printing plant.

Taking action
We are in communication daily with our printer, and I personally have reached out to their leadership to emphasize how important this book is in carrying A.A.’s message to our Fellowship and beyond.
Special Offer discounts will be honored
Note: Our current “Trio of Special Offers” will be honored for all orders of backordered items placed by January 15, 2022. Items will be shipped when available.

The expected in-stock date for copies of the Big Book, unabridged hardcover (B-1), to be available for order from our warehouses is currently mid-February.

Many formats of the Big Book are available on the A.A.W.S. webstore
As you know, the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, English edition may be accessed in many formats. The following English-language formats are currently in stock and available for ordering:

  • Big Book unabridged (with stories) softcover (B-30)
  • Big Book pocket-sized softcover (B-35)
  • Big Book unabridged, large print softcover (B-16)
  • Big Book abridged, large print softcover (B-24)
  • Big Book CD set, abridged (M-81a)

Note: A few other formats of the Big Book, as well as other A.A.W.S. book titles, are currently on backorder and in the reprint process at printers and manufacturers.

What we are doing to actively address current and potential intermittent backorders
Our teams across many departments in the office have been working to address these challenges, placing orders for paper and binding supplies, and scheduling press time well in advance for reprints to help reduce backorders caused by these disruptions.

Projected out-of-stock periods
It is likely, however, that we will be experiencing intermittent disruptions for the foreseeable future. We will keep everyone informed.

Webstore and Member Services
Our Member Services and A.A.W.S. webstore teams have implemented measures to insure the following:

1) Those seeking to purchase items will receive all discounts earned on items that they select – including those items on backorder.

2) Individuals ordering can “add to cart” and place orders for these items as they normally would. The items will ship when they are back in stock.

3) Purchasers will receive emails informing them of any backorders.                   

4) The product detail pages of the webstore will state when an item is “out of stock,” provide an estimated “back in stock” date, and display related items available for purchase now (the same content in different formats, for example).

5) A notice on the detail pages for out-of-stock items will reiterate that purchasers seeking to order our literature may check with their local Intergroups and Central Offices, which may have the items in stock.

As always, we encourage ordering the Big Book and all of our items of literature from local groups, Intergroups and Central Offices, as they play a vital role in funding local Twelfth Step activities.

Working together, we are committed to A.A.’s time-honored tradition of collaboration and resilience within the Fellowship as we carry the message via our literature.
With all best A.A. wishes,

David R.,
Publishing Director
A.A. World Services, Inc.

Malini Singh
Director of Operations
Member Services