Lately, since this whole pandemic erupted and shook us to our core and changed our lives possibly forever, I’ve heard a lot of authors debating on social media whether or not they should postpone their book launches scheduled through summer. I know firsthand of several who did postpone their book launches. And many of my clients have been asking me the same thing. Should we hold off on publishing right now until all this settles and life gets back to “normal?”
Well, the first part to my answer is this. Life will NEVER get back to “normal.” At least, not the normal we have known for the past several years. Our world has been changed forever, and while some things may go back to the way they were, I truly believe many things have been altered fundamentally and eternally. So, waiting for the dust to settle and things to go back to the way they were is futile. It will either take longer than we think, or, as I said, I do believe even when they lift quarantine fully, nothing is just going to magically go back to the “good old days.”
So, if that’s the case, why would we wait on pins and needles and worry about the future when we have no idea what our future holds or what it will look like? You absolutely should adapt, adjust, and keep moving forward. As I told a client yesterday, keep one eye on the future and one eye on what’s going on currently in the world.
Another thing to consider is that, if you think about it logically, why would you even need to hold off on your book launch? Yes. The economy is in the shitter right now. And it may never fully recover, or at least, not for a very long time. But the upside for authors is that I can’t think of one good reason anything happening right now means people are going to stop buying books. Now, obviously, bookstore sales have been impacted, but then, online orders and ebooks have, I suspect, more than compensated as have all other business that have pivoted and shifted to an online model.
Even when times are at their worst, people will still read books. Books are not expensive. Especially nowadays when you can download an ebook for free or just a couple dollars. And aside from being economically sound, think about it this way. Books provide an escape for readers from the harsh realities of the present world climate. During the Great Depression, people did not stop reading. I’d venture to guess they may have even read more than normal. Same as what’s happening in today’s climate.
Obviously, I’m no statistician or historian, so I have no facts to back up my theory about the Great Depression, but it makes sense, right? As long as books have been around (for centuries), there have been readers who will devour as many as they can, especially when they need to escape the terrible, ugly mess of modern society. And it goes both ways, as long as there will be readers who want those books, there will be a demand for things to read.
Why do you think I wanted my Second Act in life to focus on helping authors? Aside from my altruistic motives, honestly, it’s an industry that I believe will never die. It will change. It will shift. Books will always evolve into the next cool way to read. Hell, maybe one day, we’ll be able to directly upload books into our brains. Sounds crazy but ask anyone 100 years ago if we’d ever be able to LISTEN to books in our cars, they’d have called you a lunatic. I’m being silly. But you see my point, don’t you?
In my opinion, there is no rational reason to not push forward and publish your books right now. There always has been and always will be a demand for them, even if the format or the price changes drastically once again. People love to learn by reading. They love to escape from their crappy lives into some magical world created by the author. So, when there is a demand, you should always have ready supplies.
Therefore, it is my humble opinion (and I’m not alone in this – other industry pros are singing the same tune) that there is no just cause for postponing your book launch. We can never predict what will happen in the world or in our society that might distract potential customers and readers temporarily, but everything has a season and a time and a purpose under heaven (turn, turn, turn). So maybe sales slow down if something takes over social media temporarily like the horrific things happening in the black community right now. Yes, it would be a bit harder to be heard and seen this week (as the systematic disrespect and devaluation of any human based on skin color should have our attention right now), but people are not going to completely stop buying books forever. That situation will eventually resolve (hopefully the world finally opens its eyes and real change takes place, but I digress). And people will move on with life until the next big, world-changing event happens.
There has been no scientific study done or any empirical data released (to my knowledge) that proves the book industry is dying or dead. That will just never happen. We live and work in a world that is evergreen, folks. It will ebb, and it will flow, but books are here to stay!
So, if you are having any doubts about whether to move forward with your planned book launch or to hold off and “wait it out,” perhaps this blog post will be of some help to you.
I have something for you that will help with those book launches you have planned and are now going to proceed with (right?)!
We just released our latest free resource called, “The Book Launch Checklist.” And we want to give you this full-color, 40 page ebook for FREE!
It walks authors through every step of the book launching process from “THE END” to “SOLD!” If you would like to get your free copy of The Book Launch Checklist, visit the Home Page on our website and after entering your email, you’ll get instant access to download it!