In struggling times, artists and lovers of art always seem to pleasantly surprise.
Things are getting cancelled in person, but people are still continuing to keep publishing alive. From business’ creative ways to keep people employed, to virtual book fairs, readers, authors, and publisher’s alike are coming up with creative ways to continue the spread of books. What can you do to help? Participate!
Looking For The Silver Lining
Last week I was urging people to look for the silver lining. A lot can happen in a week.
Sadly, I am seeing many people in the arts industry who have had their jobs disappear, launches canceled, speaking gigs (that pay the rent) postponed or stopped. Then I saw booksellers struggling and the layoffs of staff have begun.
Some great booksellers are keeping their staff on full pay and giving them vacation time. Others are coming up with innovative ways to stay relevant in the community. A friend who does a regular storytime in a children’s bookshop is now doing an online version for the store. (They also have a mobile EFTPOS machine so they can go out to cars with your phone in order.) Other bookshops have started a delivery service.
Now is the time to get creative to weather the Covid 19 storm.
Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and others are relaxing their licenses so teachers can use their books and crafts in videos for children who are unable to go to school. Authors who have their own licenses for this may be able to offer something similar.
Amazon is priority shipping– anything not a priority for Covid 19 is getting delayed. Unfortunately, books are not seen as a priority. However, that doesn’t apply to KDP print and ebooks. (silver lining)
In The Craft Section,
In The Marketing Section,
In this time of uncertainty with the news constantly changing around us it can be tempting to lock ourselves away and go back to comfort food, books, etc etc. If you know anyone contemplating plans to write that picture book, ‘because it’s easy to write a kids book’ send them over to read Melinda Szymanik’s blog- The picture book gospel.
Now is the time to be kind and to think outside of the box, to get the word out about books and reading. Write reviews, talk on social media about favourite books, share your process, invent words games, social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Writers are already ahead of the rest of the world in these skills. It’s time to show them off.
About Maureen Crisp
Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.