John Degen, Chair of the International Authors Forum, participated in an online discussion along with Hugo Setzer, President of the International Publishers Association and Fabian Paagman, Co-President of the European and International Booksellers Federation, on the challenges for authors, publishers, and booksellers. Porter Anderson, Editor in Chief of Publishing Perspectives moderated the discussion.
John Degen described the challenges faced by authors whose books were ready for launch and have been put off or even cancelled due to Covid-19. He discussed how online launches might compare to in-person events and how shorter form literary submissions have seen a spike but that there will be untold effects for works created over years.
Hugo Setzer discussed how delayed book releases have led to falling revenues. In addition, cancelled industry events have removed face-to-face interactions which play a major role in traditional publishing, and with major book fairs around the world cancelled there are limited opportunities for members of the publishing industry.
Fabian Paagman pointed out the immediate impact booksellers saw when lockdown first came into force in different countries. Various lockdowns have affected booksellers in distinct ways and he expressed concerns that consumers’ behaviour and shifts to online retailers might last longer term.