Hachette Book Group launched an indie home delivery initiative to provide extra margin to “any independent bookstore that offers local delivery of books to homes or businesses within their community done directly by a store staff member or other contracted local delivery service.” Between March 16 and May 15, bookstores will receive an additional discount of 5 percent off MSRP on any delivered HBG title once receipt of the credit request form is received with no minimum order to be eligible for the rebate.
Abrams postponed the release of Jeff Kinney‘s ROWLEY JEFFERSON’S AWESOME FRIENDLY ADVENTURE, from April 7 to August 4. Kinney writes in the release, “We don’t take this decision lightly, as we know it will disappoint many fans. But we’ve decided changing the release date will give us a better chance to have the book reach its readership in the way we had intended. We hope that kids and their caregivers will create special memories during this time together and that everyone will come out of this experience smarter, stronger, and ready for the promises of tomorrow.”
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will hold the April 7 release for Veronica Roth‘s THE CHOSEN ONES but will convene “regional virtual events” in place of the 20-city tours. They’ll recommend purchases through the stores that were going to host her, and Roth is signing finished book and/or bookplates for virtual attendees. Similarly they are planning virtual events in place of the big tour scheduled for Shaun King‘s MAKE CHANGE: How to Fight Injustice, Dismantle Systemic Oppression and Own Our Future.
Overdrive announced a collection of over 80,000 titles for library lending on a reduced cost-per-circulation basis. They say prices are 25 to 30 percent off, with over 13,000 titles under $1.
Barnes & Noble ceo James Daunt tells the NYT in an article on the fast-moving impact on booksellers and authors, “We’ll suffer disruption along with everybody else. It’s going to be hugely challenging for retailers, perhaps slightly less for us than most. Most of our events will be canceled, if not all. This is a really tough time for every retailer, and unquestionably we will suffer.”
Books and Books owner and former ABA president Mitchell Kaplan notes, “The irony of all this is that what makes bookstores so potent, our ability to be community gathering places, has become our biggest liability.”
Separately, Barnes & Noble Education formally withdrew their financial guidance for the fiscal year: “Given the economic uncertainty associated with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including the continued closures of educational institutions nationwide, we are limited in our ability to accurately predict what the negative financial impact to BNED will be in fiscal 2020.”
We have a separate piece on the layoffs at Powell’s Books and McNally Jackson. Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI — one of the first indies to announce closing to visitors — reports having received over 700 web orders over the weekend in support of the store. It may get too unwieldy soon, but we have built an open spreadsheet of stores that have closed but are still processing orders and often delivering locally as well: . publun.ch/storesAnd there is a form to report store suspensions, so everyone can keep track of who needs support: . publun.ch/storeReports
Work from Home
The big UK publishers are moving to more formal work from home policies, as are some of publishing’s corporate parents. Bertelsmann‘s executive board decided that worldwide, effective immediately, “All employees whose duties meet the necessary requirements must work from home from now on.” That therefore includes Penguin Random House divisions around the world.
In the UK itself, Pan Macmillan is sending employees home as of Thursday, Harper UK has moved from alternating staff to WFH as of Tuesday, and PRH UK has done so as well, in line with Bertelsmann’s worldwide policy. Faber has also closed its office.
Among the growing list of event cancellations, add the Edgar Awards ceremony (April 30) and the accompanying symposium; the PEN World Voices Festival (May 4); the IPA’s International Publishers Congress in Lillehammer, Norway (May 28).
The Canada Reads televised competition, scheduled to air from March 16 to 19, was postponed.