Friday, April 3, 2020

Should Authors Not Publish Books During The Pandemic?

                         The "uncertainty loop" haunting our climate models - Vox

Should authors cease from publishing their books amidst the crisis posed by the COVID19 pandemic?

This is not a moral question, but one of practicality.

To be clear, yes, America is experiencing the early stages of amazing pain, from a financial standpoint, a psychological one, and a life-death perspective. However, book publishing goes on. In many cases, books offer solace to people living in isolation and fear. They nurture our soul, inspire and guide us, or offer a wonderful escape from the emerging ugly realities of life.

So, certainly, from an ethical standpoint, no question: full steam ahead. In times of war, recession, or terrorism, books have always continued to be published and these times, as trying and unique as they are, should allow and encourage the continued free flow of the written arts.

But, just because an author has the means and inclination to publish a book and market it, should he or she? Is it is a winning proposition?

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Why are you publishing your book? 

  • Do you want to serve your ego?
  • Are you looking to help people -- to educate, enlighten, entertain or inspire others?
  • Are you purely focused on book sales?
  • Is the book a lead-in to get people to your web site to build up traffic and a network of followers?
  • Is the book being used -- along with PR -- to serve as lead generation to a funnel that sells courses, other books, content, consulting packages, or other materials and services?

So once you know your goals and are in touch with why you wrote the book in the first place, you can easily answer the question regarding whether now is the right time to publish your book.

Obviously if the book has a relevant message to today's mindset -- something involving health, wellness, parenting, technology, finances -- or something completely entertaining and escapist -- you should run to publish. The other stuff --everything else -- well, the answer is it depends.

It depends on what you planned to do to promote your book. Will you rely on social media or traditional media and other such tools -- or did you plan to speak in person and do a road tour? Obviously bookstore appearances, travel, or in-person events are out of the question for the next few months. And once we approach anything normal, a time where we can go back to holding public events, every single author, movie company, musician, sport and theater will be vying at once for the same consumer who will have less money in his or her pocket to do anything.

I don't support the idea of postponing a book -- not unless you plan to put it off for a year. Otherwise, until we find a reliable cure, a strong vaccine, or some creative way to avoid the virus without completely upending  our world, we will be in some version of living in the shadow of the great virus economy. 

Sure, many bookstores are closed. But many sell books by mail online, or print on demand, or e-books. While theaters are shut, studios can't produce new shows or movies, and musicians are not touring, authors have a better-than-ever chance of getting attention from the media and consumers. Books are affordable, integral parts of our lives.  I say publish now, publish tomorrow, and publish again next week. It is both moral and a smart business decision to do so.


How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?

Advice to Authors From A Book Promoter of 30 Years

How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook

What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?

The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors

What Should You Do to Market Your Book?

Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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