In these turbulent times, we want you to know that the Authors Guild is here to help however we can. While everyone’s health and safety are the chief concerns, we are also acutely aware of the ways that social distancing and economic uncertainty are bringing a cascade of effects on authors.
With so many book events getting canceled, those of you with new and forthcoming titles are rethinking how to launch and market your books. And all of us are impacted by current events in different ways. Whether you have lost work opportunities, are adjusting to working from home, or are juggling childcare options due to closed schools, it’s likely that your writing and income are impacted in some way.
Here are a few ways we want to help:
Member Conference Call: AG Update on Book Releases and COVID-19
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 1:00 PM ET
Contact us for information to join the call with Mary Rasenberger and Doug Preston, who will discuss what we have learned from publishers and others in the industry, and how the Guild can help market members’ books with spring publication dates and allow members to share information and ideas.
Limited space is available. Please note: If you are unable to join the call, we will offer a recording.
Using Zoom for Virtual Book Tours
Some of you have expressed interest in using the video platform Zoom to create virtual book talks and other videos, so we recently created a webinar, How to Use Zoom. Zoom is software for teleconferencing and webinars, and it can be used to record or broadcast live virtual book events. Stay tuned for additional videos on using Facebook Live and Instagram TV. We encourage members to discuss their ideas and ask questions in the Community.
Discussions with Industry
We have been busy talking with publishers, book sellers, and others in the industry to determine how we can best support authors now. The publishers we have spoken with so far report that things are fluid, but, as of now, they do not plan to postpone most of the books set for spring publication. The fall and summer are already crowded, and postponing books will create more competition during those months. They might, however, postpone some of their big books on a case-by-case basis.
Several publishers have issued statements that they will allow schools, libraries, and authors to stream readings of their books with certain limitations. Reading even your own book online requires permission from the publisher, as it is an exercise of the public performance right, which you will have granted to a traditional publisher. It is a great way to reach audiences today, especially children, but first check to see if your publisher has issued a general statement granting permission and familiarize yourself with the restrictions, or contact the publisher for permission. We expect that they will be generous in allowing you to read your books online through streaming platforms, but do check first.
Resources and Information
Below is a roundup of information and resources that you might find useful when creating your own digital content to promote your work and connect with readers.
In the News: Book Events Going Virtual
Canadian children's writers & illustrators are sharing readings of their books online
Platforms to Submit or Host a Book Event
A Mighty Blaze
Quarantine Book Club
David Nicholls on Twitter: Virtual Book Launches
Everywhere Book Fest (Virtual Kids' Lit Festival)
The Authors Guild Guide to Self-Publishing (members-only; includes advice for digital marketing)
A Book Launch Plan for First-Time Authors Without an Online Presence
COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources
Top 100 Literary Blogs
Stay tuned for additional updates and webinars. And please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions.