The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) created a Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund to support professional authors. The fund will distribute grants of $1,500 to “writers that have seen contracted or projected income evaporate due to the current public health crisis.” RBC joined the two organizations in funding the initial pool of $150,000.
Rakuten Kobo has formed a joint venture with Australia’s largest online bookseller, Booktopia, to sell ebooks, digitial audiobooks, and ereading devices.
In the UK, distributor Bertram’s has joined Gardner’s in temporarily suspending all operations, and the company is furloughing its staff, after saying just days ago it would remain open. Ceo Raj Patel said in a statement, “While I had put in place measures to safeguard the spread of coronavirus across the seven different locations in which we operate including contactless deliveries with our logistics partners, the risk is proving too great.”
In other distribution news, president of Diamond Comic Distributors parent company Geppi Family Enterprises, Stan Heidmann wrote to vendors, “The unfortunate truth is that we are no longer receiving consistent payments from our customers. This requires that at this time, we hold payments to vendors previously scheduled to release this week. This is a difficult decision and not one we make lightly.”