Cancelled tours and delayed releases have thrown the book industry into disarray – but authors, publishers and shops are finding innovative new ways to keep people reading, says Georgina Lawton
On the same page: authors are pulling together and readers are supporting their local bookshops ( Getty )
In the times when a quick online scroll can result in a boomerang of emotions, a simple book offers respite. Pick up a tome and we can tune out of today’s sinister reality and allow ourselves to be transported someplace, any place, else. And yet the publishing industry, much like other creative fields, is in trouble. It cannot escape the coronavirus pandemic unscathed and its bookworms are being impacted.
Writers have undoubtedly been hit hard, their publication dates moved and promotional events all cancelled until further notice. Trevor Wood, whose debut crime novel The Man on the Street was published in March, saw his book launch cancelled mere hours before it was due to begin. “I also had 15 events planned in 24 days and didn’t do any of them. Everything collapsed like dominos,” he says.
Katie McCabe’s first book, More Than a Muse, was also released in March and, although she enjoyed a launch party, social distancing began a few days later. “The week after publication is a pretty crucial time for promoting a book, but it went by in an anxious blur,” she explains. “Now I feel I’m not doing enough.”