Hi Janet -
I'm curious about the impact of COVID-19 on publishing. We all know brick and mortar bookstores - especially our independent friends - are at risk of losing business* as the country hunkers down for the foreseeable future.
But what about the industry behind the scenes?
As a debut writer who's been on sub to editors for about a month now (seconds in publishing years, decades in Fretting Writer years), I'm curious to know what if anything this means for those of us who have our work out in the world on editors' desks and computers and Kindles. Business as usual? Extended wait times? Too early to tell?
Any insights are appreciated.
Stay well and get some sunshine.
- A Fretting On-Sub Woodland Creature
*Support your local bookstores.
Too soon to tell.
It's really hard to focus and concentrate, but that's usual when your routine is in tatters. I can't imagine how the parents of school kids are coping given NYC shut the schools for a month with less than 24 hours notice.
While almost everyone I know is working from home, it's too soon to say what that will mean for acquisitions, or signing new clients or any of the normal daily stuff.
My big concern isn't the short term of what will happen this week or next. It's the long term economic impact. While a company like Random House won't suffer too much, there are a lot of smaller fry in the industry.
Smaller presses, even flourishing small presses, can be hard hit when people lose their jobs and cut back on spending.
Or when people are afraid of losing their jobs and so they cut back on spending.
Or people running small businesses stay open but see a 90% drop in customers and thus income.
And that's what we're looking at here with massive closures like all Broadways shows. Not the actors or musicians, protected in their unions, but the bars and eateries in the area. Hotel housekeeping workers. Hot dog vendors. Taxi drivers already hard hit by the medallion crisis. Dog walkers, day care workers.
We're a week into this and the uncertainty is really hard to deal with.
I'm proceeding as normal. Following up on client submissions, sending work out.
Absent information on new protocols, there's no other way to conduct business.
I'm reading incoming queries, and requested fulls.
In other words, your normal torment continues until further notice but Christmas is not yet cancelled.