This week, we chatted with Michael Woodson, the editorial and marketing manager of Blue Manatee Literacy Project (BMLP) in Cinicinnati, OH.
Now, more than ever seems like the perfect time for the publishing industry. People have more free time to read and write, and while bookstores might be closed for now, you can still order books online and directly into your preferred electronic reading devices.
At first glance, publishing seems to perfectly fitting for working-from-home. Industries such as the movies, television, and music have been shut down and suspended until further notice; but writers, editors, and everyone who makes a book happen have been able to continue doing their jobs without risk of contagion. So, the question is: is the book publishing flourishing?
The answer to that is: not really. But if people have more time to read, and therefore should be spending more money on books, then why is COVID-19 also affecting the publishing industry?
It comes down to four main elements: events (or lack thereof), bookstores (or lack thereof), press (or lack thereof), and readers (or, you guessed it, lack thereof).
If you have been following the news, you know that just about every event on earth was canceled, and the publishing industry was not spared. Some of the most important industry events like Book Expo and the London book fair were canceled because of coronavirus regulations. These events are not only an opportunity for book lovers around the globe to gather and talk about books and spend money on them, these are also the events were a lot of business deals happen. Around 25,000 publishers, authors, and agents from all over the world attend to these events; and in them, a lot of foreign rights sales and other deals happen (which brings in a lot of money for publishing houses). But it’s not only these huge events that have taken their toll. Regional book fairs, bookstore events, author signings, book launches, book tours, and many others disappeared into thin air, and with them taking all the revenue that they bring.
The closing of bookstores has also greatly affected the industry. While electronic books and audiobooks are still available, many readers still prefer a physical reading experience, which is hard to obtain when there are no bookstores open and shipping has been more complicated than ever. And because bookstores are closed it is also hard for people to just wander into a bookstore and stumble into one or a couple of books that they’re interested in and eventually buy. According to the Association of American Publishers, bookstore sales were down 33 percent, and overall book sales in March were down 8.7 percent compared to the previous month. Ouch.
Letting people know about books has also been particularly hard in the last few months. With just about every news platform being overtaken by COVID-19 updates, getting press coverage for new books has been nearly impossible. Pub dates come and go and people barely notice. Many authors have taken to social media and other online publications to promote their books, but the weight of the lack of press from other mediums can still be felt by everyone in the industry.
And finally, the fact that we’re all stuck at home doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all reading now. Responsibilities didn’t vanish in the wake of the pandemic. Many people still have full-time jobs and even emergency shifts, and what otherwise might’ve been some free time is now being taken over by other activities such as taking care of other family members, helping kids with online school, etc. And if all that stress-baking didn’t make it obvious, a lot of anxiety has emerged from this crisis, which can make it really hard to concentrate on reading.
While the publishing industry is adapting as well as they can to this pandemic, the future remains uncertain.
Feature image via the detroit news
With world wide closures of everything, due to COVID-19 television and movie sets shut down, halting projects in process like Matt Reeves, The Batman, staring Robert Pattinson. My dream come true! This picture of Rob in isolation honestly speaks to my spirit.
image via GQ
It was announced that the shutdown of UK production sets have been lifted. While the U.S.’ are still closed, there is no telling when they can resume filming state side but other countries are moving forward slowly.
image via Geekologie
This isn’t happing immediately however, many new heath procedures and safety precautions have to be put in place to keep the crew, the actors, everyone on set safe. What are these new procedures and precautions? No word on that yet either but as long as the world is slowly getting back on it’s feet, I can’t really complain.
When news first came out that Robert Pattinson would be playing Batman, The Batman, I was almost too excited. I, personally didn’t enjoy Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the character, that whole era of the DCEU was a bit bleak, excluding Wonder Woman. I can’t wait to see Pattinson’s interpretation of Bruce Wayne. Honestly, the entire DCEU needs a soft reboot. I just pray this superhero movie doesn’t fall into production limbo like The New Mutants.
featured image via comic beat
The smash hit broadway play, Hamilton, is going to begin streaming on Disney Plus on July 3! The play was slated to hit theaters in Fall of 2021, but due to the state of the nation they have moved the release date to this summer. However, there are still plans for the play to hit theaters, but that date is unknown, and in the meantime Disney, put out $75 million dollars to stream it.
Image via TheaterinChicago
The play will feature the original cast, which was filmed by director Thomas Kail. According to playwright and composter, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kail has given everyone at home the best seat in the house with the way he captured the live performance on camera. Miranda, also stated how excited he is for everyone to see it. This play will definitely bring joy to lots of households during the quarantine.
Image via Variety
Since it hit the broadway stage back in 2016, Hamilton has been a big sold out hit. It’s been hard to get a ticket to this show, not only because of it being sold out, but due to the starting price of tickets ranging from $450-$600. Now, people will be able to stream it for just $6.99 a month, which is a great ray of sunshine during this pandemic. It’s been a dream for some time to see this play, and now it will have a more than reasonable price to sit front row.
Another one of Miranda’s plays, In the Heights, was slated to be released in theaters in July, of this year but it’s been pushed to June 2021. We may have to wait until next year to see that one, but at least we have Hamilton to look forward to.
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Featured Image via Looper
Andy Serkis, the Gollum actor, creates Hobbitathon: a 12 hour live reading of The Hobbit for Coronavirus charity relief. This story of goodness and hope has us all saying "precious."