Tag: The Big 5

The Pandemic May Turn Publishing on Its Head

The world has been rocked by the coronavirus, and people are being forced to stay indoors to prevent the spread. Businesses have been forced to shut down, and Amazon has put priority items on top of their delivery lists. Books have taken a back seat on Amazon until the end of April, and The Strand and Barnes and Noble along with hundreds of other bookstores across the country have closed until further notice, but what does that mean for book publishers?

Image via SimonOwens

Right now the e-book and digital audiobook companies are doing well in keeping readers reading. However, some brick and mortar stores are trying to switch to online, due to only a handful of book distributors remaining open for now. Unfortunately, the online orders are barely scratching the surface of what bookstores do on a typical day. So, if the remaining distributors are shut down, then the bookstores that are running strictly on online orders are going to be in trouble. The Strand had to lay off 188 workers, though they hope they can rehire them once they reopen.


As for the publishing houses, it’s hard for them to promote and produce new books when author tours are being canceled and book printings are on hold. Layoffs could be coming next, and then what? The Big Five; Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Macmillian already backed out of BookExpo and Bookcon. The event has been pushed back to the end of July, but right now their main publishers are not attending. So many books that were in the works are now put on hold, and nobody really knows what will happen when this over.

One thing we can count on is authors having plenty of time to write, so by the time this pandemic comes to a close, there will not be enough literary agents for all the manuscripts that will be overflowing their desks and emails. So, if you’re a writer you should be writing as much as you can right now! Work on your craft and continue to buy books from distributors for as long as they’re open.

Keep reading. Keep writing. Stay Home.

Featured Image via The Writing Cooperative

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