General Service Conference Delegates
Intergroup and Central Offices
International General Services Offices
Date: February 15, 2023
Warm greetings – we hope that this letter finds you well. We are writing today to inform you of an upcoming price increase affecting our English, Spanish, and French books, booklets, and pamphlets. The new prices will go into effect on April 3, 2023, and generally reflect a 20% increase on books and a 30% increase on pamphlets (with rounding and some minor adjustments).
Some of you have indicated that you anticipated the need for an increase. For historical reference, the last price increases were made in 2014 (18.75%) and 2009 (33.3%). The decision to raise prices in 2023 resulted from prudent fiscal planning with the goal of longer-range stability. Alcoholics Anonymous is not immune from the changes that are impacting all businesses, and one of the greatest to us has been a notable drop in the margins associated with the sale of our literature. To be specific, prior to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, the costs associated with the production, material, warehousing, and shipping of literature, collectively known as the cost of goods sold, hovered between 31-34% of sales. These same costs have fluctuated from 42-56% of sales in the last two years, resulting in a revenue loss that is greater than $1.2 million each year. We do not expect this change in the cost of goods sold to resolve in our favor, and the impact is great when considering that the General Service Office is supported through both voluntary contributions and this revenue associated with the sale of literature. We continue to monitor and trim expenses where possible, being mindful of the immense significance of each ‘nickel in the basket’ sent to the General Service Board.
Because we appreciate that there may be high demand in ordering leading up to the increase, we will be taking steps to ensure that purchasing not be monopolized by large buyers during the transition. We will maintain the reduced shipping charges schedule that was adopted in 2022 and the mixed-title quantity discount schedule that was adopted at the close of 2022. The new pricelist, which can be found here will be reflected on the online store as the increase goes into effect. We anticipate issuing a revised and updated literature catalog in digital and print versions in the coming months.
With gratitude as we await spring,
AAWS Board Chair
General Manager of the General Service Office