Letter: are we all in this together?

It goes without saying that the closure of many bookshops throughout the world for an indefinite period will impact negatively on their sales and prospects for their staff and future viability. In addition income and cash flow for publishers and authors will be hit drastically.

There is one mitigating factor. The sales of e-books and downloadable audio will likely be enhanced as people are turning to reading to counter the boredom of self-isolation and are able to buy easily from home.

The damage to publishers’ (and hence authors’) cash flow could be reduced materially by the action of e-tailers reducing their payment terms on digital products by thirty days with immediate effect. This would be administratively simple, affordable, and of immense practical help to the world of books.

Richard Charkin

Founder and sole employee, Mensch Publishing