I'm really excited to share this interview I did for The Coil Magazine about publishing during the pandemic. It's with a group of writers I love (Shifra Malka, Stephani Nur Colby, Satish Prabasi, Hosho McCreesh, Matt Fitzpatrick), who yes, full-disclosure, I'm working with on their book promotion efforts. Please do check it out, share the piece far and wide, let me know if you have any questions or comments and most definitely give me a shout if you want to help support the promotion of these authors and their book in any fashion. Also, please enjoy some excerpt below.
TANZER: At the risk of not sounding empathetic or concerned about the sad, horrible state of world, what is it like to strategize around a book release in the current climate?
PRABASI: The upheaval and utter social dislocation caused by the coronavirus has affected everything, including planning for a book release. On a practical level, the print publication date for my book has been postponed and will be rescheduled when possible. At the same time, plans to release an ebook are proceeding. I had planned for a launch event and some “in conversation”-type events which will not be possible as envisioned. I am not the most tech-savvy person, so moving everything online is daunting, yet it also gives me hope that not everything will be canceled. The defining thing about this period is the uncertainty, and this of course makes planning of any kind for the “after” scenario, quite difficult.
McCREESH: I’m fortunate in that I am, once again, doing my own thing here. If the project were coming out via another press, I would be terrified that they’d lose their shirt in this climate. But because it’s my shirt to lose, I am far less stressed. I sell a few books via my website and, frankly, don’t know how much “success” I could actually handle logistically … so doing my own thing in my humble and exacting way works for me.
COLBY: Despite the difficulties of the times — or perhaps even more because of them — people still want to read, so providing excerpts in literary and other magazines and guest-blogging seem logical pursuits. Also, participating in podcasts and radio interviews.
FITZPATRICK: Not to capitalize on the horrible times in which we find ourselves, but actually this is an exciting time to be releasing a book. Where there are no sports on TV, and everyone is tired of watching the “virus channel” 24/7, entertainment avenues like novels are finding new life. A couple of weeks ago before the final “shutdown,” I was in my local bookstore meeting with the owner in order to schedule a launch/signing date for Matriarch Game (which has unfortunately been postponed due to another delay in releasing the book). However, I noticed during the 30 minutes of meeting with the owner, the register was ringing. He said that he was having his best March sales season in years. People have been coming in and buying two and three books at a time, where normally a good amount of the people who came into the shop would peruse a few books and walk out with nothing. Again, not to seek to profit amidst this pandemic, but for an author, there might be opportunities that were not present even six months ago.
MALKA: If I believed that this book had possible relevance for people three weeks ago, I am certain that it can offer positive energy and compassionate direction to us now as we experience frightful events unfolding fast and furiously. Dare to Matter speaks to our impulse to stay tucked into our beds, balled up in a fetal, scared, powerless position, waiting for this night to end. And yet … we have a life to build and live. Because more than our circumstances, which at present feel so constricted, it is our inner reality that shapes who we are and holds our great power and hope. Perhaps now more than ever, each of us is confronted with choices in how we will matter to ourselves, and to others. Working around this chaos, we have made a few decisions: While the book itself will not launch on its originally scheduled May 4, the audiobook will proceed close to schedule … with a virtual launch on May 13. And while our original host, Baltimore’s Ivy Bookstore, is closed for now, they’re virtually hosting the launch (all their programming is now virtual).
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