Back in 2008 (going back in the Way-Back machine) and we had that first recession, things looked pretty bleak for authors. Book buyers were deciding that buying basic groceries was probably a better decision than buying books. All of those brick and mortar stores that we loved to hang out in were starting to close. Publishers started looking at e-books and there was a thought that the print book would be gone. As a result, many publishers started cutting back on the number of new authors they were signing. For new authors, it was just plain tough.
But they fought through. It became apparent that e-books were not going to drive the print books out. Publishers, although still not signing as many new authors were starting to pick up again. And authors now tried to find new avenues to being successful. They got creative. They still had to rely on all of those traditional outlets for getting their books out there. They may not have had the large book stores, but they started pushing those smaller independent book sellers.
And then Covid-19 hit. If authors thought 2008 was bad, this totally sucked. Look at the impact this tiny little virus had:
- Conferences were cancelled. And this is where authors hyped up all of their books.
- Book stores closed. And this is where authors were trying to get those book sales out.
- Book stores and other locations closed or shifted to curbside or delivery. This meant that the people who used to go INTO a store were now now browsing the books on the shelves any more
- Social media was now flooded. In the past authors could try this, but now those posts were lost among all of the other posts as people attempted to get together.
- Editors were now working from home. And this slowed the process of getting books through all of the individuals needed to get the books to the shelves.
- The number of people self-publishing increased. This now flooded the digital market which meant finding a book or author was even more difficult.