Talk of the Town: 5 Things that Happened in the Publishing Industry in March 2020

March 2020 has been an incredibly testing month as countries around the world continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic and people settle into their homes to transition to a “new normal.”

That’s why Anthem Press has curated 5 note-worthy articles that contribute to a holistic understanding of the current state and future trajectory of the publishing industry. Whether data, news or commentary, we aim to keep you informed.

1. A surge in manuscript submissions from authors working in self-isolation.

Despite the global shutdowns on nonessential businesses, The Guardian reports that editors of publishing houses are busier than ever. Why? Authors are using stay-at-home orders to generate productivity. But literary experts caution writers from using pandemics/contagion as subject matter for their stories.

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2. A rapid increase in physical book sales, but it might not be sustainable.

According to BBC News, in the UK, people are stockpiling novels, particularly fiction, children’s books, puzzle books, handicrafts, and true crime. But as nonessential businesses shut down operations, there’s inevitable harm coming to booksellers who rely on consistent sales.

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3. Canada loosens copyright restrictions to open “Read Aloud Canadian Books.”

Publishing Perspectives observes that as schools shut down across Canada, educators and librarians have been reinventing ways to make resources available in a home-learning environment. Partnering with Canada’s primary English-language copyright revenue, Access Copyright, educators can record videos of themselves reading aloud classroom material for students.

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4. The coronavirus pandemic will change the book industry forever.

The Los Angeles Times delivers a daunting commentary on the book industry’s future. Like many nonessential consumer sectors, independent bookstores are taking hard hits, with stores closing their physical locations as well as mass layoffs on the horizon. The only booksellers that may come out of the pandemic unscathed are ones that turn to ebooks and audiobooks, like

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5. #Bookstagram: a global movement of social media-savvy book reviewers are influencing publishing houses from the bottom-up.

Bookstagrams are book blogs in Instagram form, where readers curate and review booklists for an online community with a shared love of reading. But The Independent also observes that bookstagrams are influencing book marketing experts, as companies look toward trendy social media accounts to design commercial book covers.

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