Tips for Authors on Coronavirus and Book Publishing: Books still are selling, despite delays

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Front Edge Publishing team John Hile, Susan Stitt and Dmitri Barvinok at Ingram Indie Days 2019.
From left: Our Publisher John Hile, Marketing Director Susan Stitt, Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok.

‘COVID-19 has forced every part of the book industry to make adjustments’

Care to read the entire March 20, 2020, Publishers Weekly magazine article? Most of PW’s content is behind a firewall, but PW has posted this news report for all readers.

That’s the headline in this week’s issue of Publishers Weekly magazine. PW journalists, most of whom are working from home, focused their two-page report on a list of book festivals that have been cancelled and bookstores that are closing for at least a number of weeks.

At Front Edge Publishing, we’ve had many inquiries from both authors—and our regular readers—about whether our books still are shipping.

The one-word answer is: Yes!

Tell people: Keep reading!

March 2020 Tips for Authors on publishing in a time of Coronavirus:

CONSIDER eBOOKS! Because of our flexible publishing software, our books are produced in all eBook formats, including the industry’s most popular format: Kindle. Our eBooks can be bought and rapidly delivered, even if you prefer to use a different kind of reader. (Our Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok describes the various eBook formats in this earlier column.)

BOOKS STILL ARE SHIPPING! Over the past week, we have found a wide array of delivery messages on Amazon—as Amazon struggles to cope with an overwhelming wave of orders nationwide. Those delivery messages on our books have ranged from “free 2-day delivery”—to messages that say, “Order now and we’ll notify you when it ships.” On March 22, we ordered one of our books and Amazon guaranteed delivery in 4 days. The message is: Whatever message you get, on any given day, tell folks to keep ordering books. Amazon still is shipping.

WANT TO AVOID AMAZON? Our Front Edge Publishing Bookstore sends your order directly to our printing plants for fulfillment, bypassing Amazon. Millions of Americans still shop at Barnes & Noble’s website, as well. Our books are carried on all of the major online bookstores, so feel free to shop around if Amazon looks slow to you. (I wrote about my tour of the vast Lightning Source facility in Tennessee, where some of our books are produced, in this blog post last year.)

GROUP ORDERING CONTINUES: As always, our authors can contact me, Susan Stitt, to discuss group orders.

The COVID-19 Status of Amazon

Amazon has decided “for the short term” to prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into their fulfillment centers so they can quickly receive, restock and ship those products to customers. Products already on their way to their fulfillment centers will be accepted for delivery. Customers can continue to buy any in-stock products, and Amazon will continue to deliver them.

To deal with the sudden demand for home-delivered products, Amazon also has opened 100,000 new full- and part-time positions across the U.S. in their fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand. To reward all of their hourly employees, Amazon has increased wages an additional $2 per hour worked through April. This pay increase through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.

While Amazon will continue taking orders and shipping items, customers ordering items they don’t need immediately have the opportunity to help others by choosing No-Rush Shipping when this shipping option is available. Selecting the No-Rush option enables Amazon to consolidate orders and make fewer stops in neighborhoods throughout the week, and most importantly, serve customers with the most critical needs first.

If you would like to stay on top of Amazon’s news yourself, you can subscribe to their blog at https://blog.aboutamazon.com.

Looking for an eReader for eBooks?

E-versions of books are delivered and downloaded immediately, allowing the reader to curl up with a new read in just a matter of minutes.

If you have a senior citizen in your world who is no longer able to get to the library or bookstore for their usual supply of reading materials, purchasing an eReader for them is the perfect solution for getting them reading material quickly and inexpensively. In this article by David Beren for Lifewire magazine, eReaders are evaluated and  ranked the best eReaders for Seniors in 2020. Many local libraries offer free reading materials that can be uploaded directly to eReaders without having to leave the safety and security of one’s home.

Curious about Group Orders of Our Books?

As always, Susan is available to accept and place quantity orders for Read the Spirit and Front Edge Publishing books. Please let her know if she can help replenish your author stock. Susan’s email is [email protected].

During this unusual time, we hope all of our authors and customers know that we continue with our founding promise to continue to provide great media which builds healthy communities.

 

 

About Susan Stitt

Susan Stitt is marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. Over the years, she has guided many authors through the challenging process of launching books and developing strategies that will grow readership. She also has worked widely with nonprofits. Now, she shares her expertise twice each month on our Front Edge Publishing website.