I don't want to make light of a global pandemic that's seen such an enormous loss of life, but I do want to talk for a minute about the impact on authors--particularly indie and small press authors. You would think that with many people being nearly confined to their house in 2020 that book sales would increase--but many authors I know saw a drastic loss in revenue.
Shocking, right? Particularly as I spent a lot of money on books during the pandemic and am still surrounded by the ones I haven't yet gotten around to reading. But I digress. It actually makes sense if you think about it. People were out of work, out of money, and watching gas and food prices rise while dealing with health issues and the anxiety that naturally accompanies a global pandemic. Budgeting for books might not have seemed like a priority.
But the issue goes even deeper. For many indie authors, we make the most money at book release parties, book festivals, and book signings. While I've had a few masked and socially distanced book signings since 2020, they weren't well-attended. I used to have 1-2 book signings a month versus the 1-2 I might have in a year. Book release events and festivals have been canceled for 2020, 2021, and even into 2022. It's not like we can file unemployment for the missing income, so most of us just double-down posting to social media in hopes of spreading the word about our books online.
This seems like a whole lot of complaining, right? Actually, what I really want to say is that I'm so thankful for my readers. Even though sales were down due to event cancellations and global chaos, I've connected with so many readers on Facebook and Instagram. I've had the honor of being interviewed for several podcasts. I've even had a book club feature Left on Main as their January selection.
It's been a rough couple of years, and
we're not done yet. Many of us are truly feeling crisis fatigue or experiencing ongoing anxiety about the safety of ourselves or our families. I hope you stay safe. I hope you do your part to protect your neighbors. And I hope you fall into a good book--whether it's mine or someone else's.
Psst ... and when you do find that good book, don't forget to say "thanks" to an author by leaving a nice review on Amazon and Goodreads.
The world is crazy, but I'm still over here working. You can follow me on Medium, read my novels or poetry collections, and be sure that I'll have new work coming out to you as soon as I'm able.