Lockdown Slump? How Covid-19 Hit the Industry...
There are some authors out there who could hide away in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere and produce gold standard writing and then there are writers like me...
Has it been difficult for you?
Of course it has! It's been difficult for everyone. Alas, I am one of those people who thrives being around others. I just don't like being stuck in a place like a caged animal. I am unashamedly, one of those people who will sit in a coffee shop and listen in to people's snippets of conversation. My books are full of life and I am a big advocate of the premise that if you want to write social dialogue and interaction, then the best place to find it is out there (points at the street) and definitely not in here (points at head). I am not alone of course. There are a lot of writers who have struggled with the process of this new age of social distancing we now live in. Even those of us who can and have sat at a keyboard and typed for hours on end have felt the hard end in one way or another. Editors have not been getting back to us, publishers have furloughed staff leaving authors in the dark on publishing dates, and publicists have not been their usual enigmatic, press pushing selves.
30% LESS Books
Amongst all of this, the hardest hit has been the books themselves. New releases will wait, press conferences can be rescheduled, but right now there is a store near you where the books are sat alone in the dark. Book shops have been slowly slumping for a number of years. As much as many of us will state that we prefer the feel of a real book, digital copies are slowly killing the independent bookseller and hitting the big ones like a schoolboy bully! Amazon, known to be one of if not the biggest online booksellers, announced that 30% fewer books were sold from March 2020 and yet, the uptake of their digital publishing service saw an extra 10,000 books launched! For many debuting authors, COVID 19 was heralded as a silver-lined cloud. Yes, the usual peak times of book releases had been scuppered for the year BUT with nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, people would be purchasing more books to escape the solitude of lockdown. LIES!
I Need a Hero...
Words cannot describe the surge of relief I felt after hearing from my editor this Friday. The email was a simple check-in. She just wanted to make sure I was still writing and that I was still expecting to send my first proof in September. Oh, what joy (and I say without any sarcasm)! She explained that the market had been hit hard, fewer shops open meant fewer orders, and printer closures meant that less orders were being fulfilled. There was a note of concern in her voice all the same. You see, we need readers. We need people who are going to slap on their hero pants and make sure that these places don't die quietly in the shadows.
So, if you are one of those people who claim to support the world of literature, WE the authors of the world need you to step up to the mark. Sure, you like your Stephen King, your Tolkien, and your Clare but are you really willing to JUST READ those from now until ever-after?
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