Book Expo officials are moving to get in front of community concerns about COVID-19, following the London Book Fair’s reluctant cancellation of their show. (Both shows are part of Reed Exhibitions.) Event director Jenny Martin writes in a statement, “The effect of the COVID-19 virus on the publishing business and our people is significant and difficult to navigate. Many industry events outside of the United States, have had to make difficult decisions about proceeding with their events. We understand the impact that has on the publishing industry and we want to be proactive and transparent about BookExpo.”
For now: “BookExpo & BookCon will proceed as planned May 27-31. We do not anticipate any changes or delays to our event. Our mission is to serve our customers as best we can, and we plan to provide a place for you to conduct business in these difficult times…. We will continue to be take necessary precautions to facilitate an environment for the entire community to unite, make meaningful new connections, and discover new titles.”
Meanwhile, withdrawals from other conferences continue. Norton pulled out of AWP, posting on Twitter, “Norton has made the decision that we will not be attending the #AWP20 conference in San Antonio. We look forward to seeing everyone next year.” Elsewhere, a Macmillan spokesperson told PL the publisher has decided to withdraw from Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, another Reed show scheduled to start March 12. There organizers are offering to refund tickets to attendees, after local officials started advising against gatherings of more than 10 people.