Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: Get Creative During Covid19

by Maureen Crisp •  April 1, 2020  •   Follow

Published in News  •  No comments

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

Pic: Flickr- Creative Commons – Bill Smith- Girl Scout cookies 

 

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. 
 
With the canceling of so many festivals, some kid’s authors got together to hold an online book festival for kids. Check out how they are doing it and share the idea around.
 
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. 
 
Librarians overseas, are arguing that now is the time to relax the fair use rules on copyright. This is tricky as authors should still be paid for their work. It is their livelihood.
 
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 middle of all this Macmillan ended its library embargo. Everyone told them you don’t mess with librarians, but they had to find out the hard way.
 
Kristine Rusch talks about Black Swan events and how the world and business change forever at these times. This is an interesting read and something to ponder on as we look at our author business. Dean and Kris are also offering big discounts on all their courses for authors who are stuck inside. 
 
Nate Hoffelder is noting that most of the Book Fairs are talking postponement. He has a blog post on what to take if you are planning to go to a fair as soon as everything gets back to the new normal.
 
Orna Ross of the Alliance of Independent Authors has a very useful article on how Indie Publishing might be able to weather the Covid 19 storm.

In The Craft Section,

4 tips for creating Villains– Sacha Black – Bookmark


Ways to add depth to settings- Jordan Dane- Bookmark


Taking the first step towards writing- Shanna Swendson- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,



Packaging your book– Keywords, metadata, and selling points- Nicolas Erik- Bookmark!


Increasing discoverability– Facebook Goodreads Twitter- Ingram blog


Change your author blog into a website– Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark
 

To Finish

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.
 
Maureen
@craicer

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.