Businesses Dealing with the Coronavirus Crisis

During these challenging days we, the world, are faced with unparalleled circumstances. In the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, across the country and worldwide, bookshops are closing or reducing their hours, books are being pulled from the schedules, author events have been canceled, and publishers have sent staff home. Libraries across the world are closed until further notice. We have seen nothing like it, and the implications will be both sudden and far-reaching. However, we will get through these tragic times as long as we keep the faith. We must do our best, not just for ourselves but for those around us, and in particular for those who are in direct danger, whose businesses will suffer, whose jobs are at risk, or whose mental health will decline. This is a crisis, and we must meet it head-on. No one will be untouched. This most fragile but hugely important part of the ecosystem is now in danger. As a Publisher, we face our own crisis too, with Amazon’s decision to pull back on printed book sales is a disaster for all, but in particular for small and medium-sized presses like ours. Authors who will have seen their books postponed or simply fall off the radar will also be uniquely vulnerable. However, there is good news. The better news is that books are resilient; they do not wane physically, and they last, whether on shelves, in warehouses or in people’s hands. Digital will also now grow in importance. This is an opportunity to read, to read more widely than before, and reset. Many of us live a helter-skelter existence, and this period of isolation may provide perspective. We move from lifestyles built on convenience to ones rebuilt around the bare necessities. This too shall pass. Again, keep the faith.

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