COVID-19 ruined everything for everyone in 2020, and authors who want to learn how to self publish and those who planned for this year’s conference season are hit the hardest.
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing reporters on-site talk about ongoing book fairs and conferences, but times have changed. Everyone is limited to a home setup, including would-be authors who are trying to learn how to self publish. With events being canceled one by one, the creative industry is showing its vulnerability in these extraordinary times. The book world is one of the many niches that will eventually give in if the pandemic doesn’t end soon.
Event cancellations are becoming more and more common (and inevitable). Multiple reports reveal that even the most renowned publishers are pulling out of major book fairs. Some of the most highly anticipated events that have been rescheduled or cancelled this year include the National Book Circle Critics’ Awards and the Bologna Book Fair. All authors see these days are emails from conference organizers informing them of the cancellations and rescheduling.
In the US, the impact is felt across multiple platforms and industries that are related to the book world in one way or another. For example, a considerable number of Amazon employees are on a work-from-home setup. This has a significant impact on book deliveries and deliveries since Amazon is an authority in this industry. It means that the reduced workforce may affect authors, too. The reality is that the more people and companies stay indoors, the more bookstores and authors who intend to learn how to self publish will suffer.
Even though many of China’s bookstores are reopening as this article is published, there’s no denying the negative impact of COVID-19 to the industry in that part of the world. American bookstores are doing enough to hold the front, but for how long?
It certainly has been a tough week for authors and bookstores alike. The absence of book fairs and conferences affects the marketing aspect of publishing. Also, book sales are reliant upon exposure to the reading public, but that, too, is limited because everyone is afraid to go out because of the fear of getting infected. It’s a punch to the gut for everyone who makes a living out of writing or selling books in the traditional sense. And we’re not merely talking about authors and publishers.
The impact of the pandemic is more significant than most people realize. Even the opportunities for self-publishing and selling books online are affected, too. While it’s true that over half of bookworms find themselves settling for e-books and online purchases, that doesn’t translate as a positive development to the book industry. The reason is that bookstores are and will always be the symbol of this industry – the traditional brick and mortar setup never goes out of style. People won’t abandon the concept of visiting a physical store to search for and buy the books they fancy.