First Book says its Covid-19 Action Response has shipped 1.3 million books and distributed digital access codes for more than 2 million children, all donated by publishers and related organizations. CEO Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder of First Book. “These books are so meaningful. They super-charge learning for kids in need, who are particularly vulnerable right now—when schools closed, these kids lost a place that was not only providing education, but so many different forms of critical support…. Not a day goes by that we aren’t grateful to our publishers.”
Coffee House Press will commission original, short, digital works from writers and booksellers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The Coffee House Writers Project, is accepting donations to help pay contributors. They write on the website, “We want to put money in these writers’ hands as quickly as possible, and we are committed to writing checks at the time of commission.”
In the UK, Arts Council England donated £400,000 to the SoA Authors’ Emergency Fund. The fund has been set up to support writers affected by COVID-19.
In Canada, the Access Copyright Foundation donated $100,000 donation to expand the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund.
Among those still in need, San Francisco’s City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the $300,000 needed to stay open. The store has been closed to the public since March 16, and is not taking online orders because they want to their staff to remain at home. Elaine Katzenberger, publisher and ceo of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, wrote on the fundraising page, “With no way to generate income, our cash reserves are quickly dwindling, with bills coming due and with a primary commitment to our staff, who we sent home with full pay and healthcare, and who we hope to keep as healthy and financially secure as possible.” In the first day of fundraising, the store raised almost $125,000.