Coronavirus coverage

Coronavirus coverage

All of The Bookseller's coronavirus coverage in one place.

Live Stories
News
Blogs


Live stories:

Publishers' free homeschooling resources for parents
Comprehensive list of free homeschooling resources from publishers and literacy charities. For the full article please click here.​

Publishers postpone major titles until pandemic is over
Latest updates of postponed publications and new publication dates. For the full list please click here.

Books available to order from April, May & June
Titles previewed in The Bookseller that are still due to be published in April, May and June. For the full list please click here.


News:

Library Campaign calls for government action over post-lockdown 'danger' to service 24/06/2020
The Library Campaign has called for the government to do more to secure the facilities' future after the Covid-19 crisis. For the full article please click here.

Libraries to reopen on 4th July as lockdown eases 2/06/2020
Libraries in England will be able to reopen from 4th July as the country's lockdown measures continue to ease, Boris Johnson has announced. For the full article please click here.

HarperCollins brings back all furloughed staff 22/06/2020
HarperCollins UK has brought back all the staff it placed on furlough at the start of lockdown and will pay all their salaries itself rather than claiming it back from the government, the company has announced. For the full article please click here.

Creative Access reports 40% of community 'running out of money' in wake of coronavirus 19/06/2020
A survey of the Creative Access community, investigating the impact of coronavirus on under-represented communities within the creative industries, has revealed 80% are prioritising finding a new job or freelance work, with almost 40% saying they have run out of money already or are about to do so. For the full article please click here.

Scottish bookshops to reopen on 29th June 18/06/2020
Scottish bookshops will be able to reopen from 29th June as lockdown eases, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. For the full article please click here.

Germany extends events ban, but FBF unaffected 18/06/2020
Germany has extended the ban on large public events from an initial date of the end of August to October 31st. For the full article please click here.

Publishing revenues to plunge and thousands of jobs at risk, report says 17/06/2020
Publishing, including books, newspapers and magazines, could see a £7bn fall in revenue and 51,000 jobs axed due to Covid-19's effect on bookshop closures and print sales, a report claims. For the full article please click here.

Booksellers begin to reopen with caution and excitement 15/06/2020
Booksellers across the country are welcoming the public back into their shops for the first time since the lockdown began with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. For the full article please click here.

Publishers start to plan for staffers' return to the office 10/06/2020 
Publishers are currently exploring what a return to work will look like, with HarperCollins this week allowing staff to come into the office "for essential reasons" and Hachette and Simon & Schuster confirming a provisional return come September. For the full article please click here.

Irish customers welcome reopened bookstores 10/06/2020
Customers have "welcomed" the opening of bookstores in Ireland this week, The Bookseller has heard. For the full article please click here.

Printers relieved over Covid-19 bounceback but warn of autumn challenge 9/06/2020
UK printing firms say the impact of Covid-19 on their business has not been as large as first feared but they have warned of further challenges as publishers gear up for a big autumn. For the full article please click here.

Majority of Waterstones stores in England to reopen on 15th June 8/06/2020
Waterstones will open the vast majority of its stores in England on 15th June, with shops in Scotland and Wales to reopen once their devolved governments announce dates. For the full article please click here.

PRH becomes latest trade publisher to pull out of Frankfurt 8/06/2020
Penguin Random House has joined the other big trade publishers in pulling out of the Frankfurt Book Fair's physical event this year. For the full article please click here.

HarperCollins scoops Sunday Times reporters' coronavirus investigation 5/06/2020
HarperCollins has scooped the inside story of how the UK handled coronavirus by Sunday Times insight editor Jonathan Calvert and deputy editor George Arbuthnott. For the full article please click here.

Publishers throw support behind booksellers ahead of reopenings 5/06/2020
Publishers have said they are committed to supporting booksellers as they prepare to physically reopen on 15th June, recognising the "vital role" they play and that the next few months are likely to be "hugely challenging". For the full article please click here.

Most authors' incomes taking a hit, SoA's second poll suggests 4/06/2020 
The proportion of authors reporting a drop in income since the coronavirus pandemic began has increased, with almost 60% now seeing a decline in their income following the outbreak according to the Society of Author's latest poll, up by over a third from a month ago. For the full article please click here.

Ingram sees 'huge swing' to print on demand during coronavirus 3/06/2020
The coronavirus pandemic has seen a “huge swing” towards print on demand (p.o.d.), Ingram's senior vice-president David Taylor has said. For the full article please click here.

Hachette joins Frankfurt Book Fair exodus 3/06/2020
Hachette UK will not be exhibiting at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the firm has announced. For the full article please click here.

Waterstones will emerge from crisis despite shopper caution, Daunt tells IPG 3/06/2020 
Shoppers will be cautious about returning to the high street but Waterstones will emerge from the coronavirus crisis and eventually have a wider range of shops, the firm's c.e.o. James Daunt has said. For the full article please click here.

Bloomsbury won't attend physical Frankfurt Book Fair 3/06/2020
Bloomsbury is the latest publisher to confirm it will not be at the physical book fair at Frankfurt in October. For the full article please click here.

'Crunch point' is yet to come, say indie publishers 3/06/2020
Two indie publishers have shared their concerns about the coming autumn, and emphasised the importance of flexible plans moving forward. For the full article please click here.

Publishing Covid-19 innovations must continue, says Smart 2/06/2020
Readers will expect publishing's innovations during the pandemic to continue after the current crisis has passed, DK publishing m.d. Rebecca Smart has said. For the full article please click here.

Bloomsbury has transformed 'surprisingly well' despite severity of pandemic hit, says Newton 2/06/2020
Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton has said the beginnining of the pandemic had a severely negative impact on Bloomsbury's sales, but that overall the company had "transformed surprisingly well". For the full article please click here.

Blackwell's to close five university branches following Covid-19 crisis 2/06/2020
Blackwell's is closing five of its university campus branches to "protect the future health" of its business following the coronavirus crisis. For the full article please click here.

Simon & Schuster and Macmillan US also pull out of Frankfurt 1/06/2020
Simon & Schuster and Macmillan US have followed HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan in announcing they will not attend this year's Frankfurt Book Fair. For the full article please click here.

Welsh market faces long road ahead after Covid-19—but publishers remain optimistic 29/05/2020
With the ongoing effects of the coronavirus, the Welsh book trade is facing its toughest challenge in decades, but publishers throughout the country are being buoyed by support from the devolved government and a renewed sense of community spirit. For the full article please click here.

HarperCollins and Pan Mac won't attend Frankfurt's physical book fair 29/05/2020
HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan have said they won't attend Frankfurt Book Fair's physical event, scheduled to take place in October, while other UK publishers and agents say they are uncertain about whether to go. For the full article please click here.

Booksellers ask for help on returns and promotions ahead of reopening 29/05/2020
Publishers need to be flexible on returns and direct readers away from Amazon to help indies get back to business when they start reopening next month, booksellers say. For the full article please click here.

Furlough must be 'flexible and part-time', says BA 29/05/2020
The Booksellers Association has said the government's furloughing scheme must be flexible to "protect businesses". For the full article please click here.

Creative Industries Federation calls for extra funds for those worst hit by Covid-19 29/05/2020
The Creative Industries Federation has joined with UKHospitality and the Association of Leading Vistor Attractions to call for the government to extend support for businesses that will be the last to return to full operation in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.​ For the full article please click here.

Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 to go ahead 27/05/2020
After weeks of speculation the Supervisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair decided yesterday (Wednesday 27th May) that the fair will take place as scheduled from 14th–18th October. For the full article please click here.

Lockdown is 'opportunity for systemic change', says Jhalak Prize founder 27/05/2020
Sunny Singh, the co-founder of the Jhalak Prize, has said lockdown caused by the pandemic is an opportunity to reassess equality in the industry — although it could also have adverse consequences for writers of colour. For the full article please click here.

BA calls for trade support as bookshops gear up for 15th June reopening 26/05/2020
The Booksellers Association has called for publishers to support the sector in getting back to business after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday (25th May) that stores could reopen from 15th June. For the full article please click here.

UK employers to pay 25% of furloughed wages 26/05/2020
Employers will have to pay 25% of furloughed staff wages from August as the Treasury starts to reduce state provision, it has been reported. For the full article please click here.

Booksellers concerned over opening date delay as Amazon ramps up 22/05/2020
Booksellers are becoming increasingly concerned that the UK government still hasn't given them a definitive opening date, as Amazon's business starts to return to normal. For the full article please click here.

'Bun fight' for autumn as publishers move new titles 22/05/2020
Publishers are preparing for a “total bun fight” for shelf space and media attention owing to a number of key spring/summer 2020 books shifting into the autumn. For the full article please click here.

German booksellers share experiences of reopening shops 22/05/2020 
When German booksellers exited lockdown last month, shops reopened to a new reality far different to the relaxed atmosphere before Covid-19. For the full article please click here.

Trade 'baffled' by exclusion from Cultural Renewal Taskforce 21/05/2020
The government has announced a Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help the creative sector bounce back from the coronavirus crisis—but book trade leaders have said they are "baffled" that no current representative of the industry has been appointed. For the full article please click here.

HarperCollins owner News Corp donates £100k to charities for coronavirus effort 20/05/2020
As part of its annual Giving scheme, HarperCollins parent firm News Corp has donated £100,000 to four UK and Irish charities focused on supporting communities struggling during the coronavirus crisis. For the full article please click here.

Bookselling chains hope to reopen in June 15/5/2020
Book chains Waterstones and Blackwell’s are planning for a “cautious” reopening from 1st June, as they wait to learn whether the government will allow bookshops to be part of a first wave of so-called “non-essential” retailers permitted to begin trading again from the beginning of next month. For the full article please click here.

W H Smith April revenue plunges 85%, online book sales surge 400% 14/5/2020
W H Smith has revealed group revenues fell 85% in April compared to last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with Travel sales plunging 91% and High Street revenue down 74%. For the full article please click here.

People reading more books during lockdown, Nielsen says 14/5/2020
Two-fifths of UK adults are reading more since lockdown started, with many people changing their reading habits but not necessarily buying more books, according to research from Nielsen Book. For the full article please click here.

Coronavirus lockdown reignites colouring book craze, publishers say 13/5/2020
With many anxious adults stuck at home, there has been a surge of interest in the publications for those seeking relaxation. For the full article please click here.

PA and BA call for more detail on extended furlough scheme 12/05/2020
The Publishers Association and Booksellers Association have welcomed the extension of the government’s job retention scheme until the end of October and the prospect of increased flexibility enabling employers to bring furloughed employees back part-time from August onwards. For the full article please click here.

Booksellers divided over June reopening 12/5/2020
​Booksellers are divided on whether they will reopen from 1st June if permitted by the government, with just a third of booksellers currently keen to reopen, according to a survey by The Bookseller. For the full article please click here.​

S&S sales rise in first quarter 11/05/2020
Simon & Schuster's worldwide revenues rose to $170m in the three months to the end of March, up from $164m in the same quarter in 2019, parent company ViacomCBS has reported. For the full article please click here.

HarperCollins sales down 2% in third quarter 11/05/2020
lobal revenues at HarperCollins fell 2% year on year for the three months ending 31st March while parent firm News Corp reported an 8% decline over the same period. For the full article please click here.

Irish market takes 30% Covid-19 hit 11/05/2020
Ireland’s print sales have seen a 29% decline in value over the period the country has been in lockdown compared to the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen BookScan data. For the full article please click here.

Editors predict feel-good reads will trump ‘pandemic lit’—for now 11/05/2020
As the world adjusts to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many editors and agents are forecasting readers will be seeking solace in “uplifting” and “escapist” fiction, from soaring romances to gripping thrillers, in a bid for distraction in a post-Covid-19 world. For the full article please click here.

BA calls for clarity on bookshops as Johnson announces June reopenings 11/05/2020
The Booksellers Association (BA) has called for clarity over when bookshops will be allowed to reopen following Boris Johnson's announcement  that some stores could open again from 1st June. For the full article please click here.

Small presses fear being 'wiped out' by autumn 7/05/2020
A significant proportion of the UK and Ireland's smallest independent presses say their businesses are at risk as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, having seen sales plunge and cash quickly run out. For the full article please click here.

BA 'concerned' by postponement of business rates revaluation 7/05/2020
The Booksellers Assocation has said it is concerned by the government's decision to postpone its planned business rates revaluation. For the full article please click here.

Irish bookshops to reopen in June as lockdown eases 7/05/2020
Bookshops in Ireland are set to reopen in June as part of an easing of lockdown measures introduced following the Covid-19 outbreak. For the full article please click here.

The Bookseller to highlight books impacted by Covid 19 5/05/2020
The Bookseller will begin this week to republish its May and June previews showcasing titles that have been rescheduled, as a result of the lockdown, as well as those that are still being published during those months. For the full article please click here.

BA conference postponed to November 4/03/2020
The Booksellers Association annual conference and Gardners Trade Show have been postponed until November owing to the coronavirus pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Bertrams confirms its future is under strategic review 3/05/2020
The future of the Bertrams wholesaling business is at risk following the sale of its online bookshop Wordery and the temporary closure of its book supply business as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.  For the full article please click here.

Coronavirus will change trade long-term, publishers say 1/05/2020
The Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way publishing professionals work, from online selling to seizing the advantages of remote working and breaking out of London, industry leaders have predicted. For the full article please click here.

Hachette UK down 5.5% in first quarter 1/05/2020
Hachette UK's revenue fell 5.5% in the first quarter of 2020, parent company Lagardère has reported in its latest financial results. For the full article please click here.

Amazon first-quarter sales surge as Bezos pledges $4bn coronavirus spend 1/05/2020
Amazon saw a 27% surge in sales during the first quarter of 2020, but profits at the online retailer — which has vowed to spend all the next quarter's projecting operating profits on tackling the coronavirus crisis — actually fell 30% year on year. For the full article please click here.

PRH donates audiobooks to prison and hospital radio during lockdown 1/05/2020
Penguin Random House is donating audiobooks to hospital and prison radio stations to offer comfort and escape during the pandemic. For the full article please click here.

International publishers flock to new Facebook community 1/05/2020
International publishing consultant Emma House (pictured) has co-founded a Facebook community, Publishers Without Borders, to help publishers globally during the pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Reading Tax scrapped seven months early 30/04/2020
VAT on digital publications will be scrapped today (Friday 1st May) after Chancellor fast-tracked the plan, saying it would help readers and publishers during the coronavirus pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Bertelsmann reports first quarter decline of 2.7% as Covid-19 hits business 30/04/2020. 
Penguin Random House owner Bertelsmann has reported a first quarter revenue decline of 2.7% in what it said was a “satisfactory” performance given the challenge of Covid-19. For the full article please click here.

Analysts split over coronavirus impact on book trade future 30/04/2020
A report by finance firm PwC predicts the coronavirus will not have a long-term impact on the book trade, but Enders Analysis has warned of the "damaging" effects of prolonged lockdown on sales, authors and indies. For the full article please click here.

Some French bookshops to re-open in May, as indie turnover slumps 94% 30/04/2020
Many French bookshops and all other so-called non-essential retailers will be able to re-open on 11th May, nearly two months after they had to close as part of the national lockdown on 17th March. For the full article please click here.

BA calls on government to support sector with retail space 'furloughing' 29/04/2020
The Booksellers Association has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for a series of measures to support booksellers during the Covid-19 crisis, including allowing retail spaces to be "furloughed" and help to keep the supply chain open. For the full article please click here.

Imagine 'life beyond corona', Geller urges publishers 29/04/2020
Jonny Geller has advised publishers to see lockdown as a time of change and "experiment". For the full article please click here.

Bloody Scotland International Crime Festival cancelled 29/04/2020
This year's Bloody Scotland International Crime Festival has been cancelled, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the full article please click here.

DHA launches virtual open day 28/04/2020
David Higham Associates (DHA) has announced this year's open day will take place online, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Government brings in new loans to help pandemic-struck small businesses 27/04/2020
The chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new micro-loan scheme for small businesses, to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus lockdown with both the Booksellers Association and the Independent Publishers Guild welcoming the step. For the full article please click here.

Virtual author events continue to roll in 27/04/2020
In the weeks since coronavirus took over and everyone went into lockdown, The Bookseller's events site BookGig has seen an influx of virtual event listings. For the full article please click here.

Weldon and Shelley join call for government action on creative industries 27/04/2020
PRH c.e.o. Tom Weldon and Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley are among more than 400 leading names from the creative industries warning that half the UK's creative businesses could be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Supply chain frustrations challenge publishers to become more self-reliant 27/04/2020
Amazon’s reluctance to prioritise books has been pushing more independent publishers to consider how they can be less reliant on third-party routes to market by pursuing their own click-to-buy supplies.  For the full article please click here.

BA criticises Amazon for 'ill-judged' hardship fund donation 24/04/2020 
The Booksellers Association (BA) has branded Amazon's £250,000 donation to a booksellers hardship fund an “ill-judged attempt to mitigate a decades-long campaign to undermine the bookselling sector”.  For the full article please click here.

Pearson down 5% in first quarter amid Covid-19 disruption 24/04/2020
Pearson has reported it will pay its final dividend for 2019 to investors and is not furloughing any staff, despite a 5% fall in global revenues for the first quarter as a result of Covid-19. For the full article please click here.

PA issues demands to government on Covid-19 crisis 24/04/2020
The Publishers Association says it is pushing for publishing to be included in the business rates holiday, and for there to be part-time furloughing, among a number of demands for government to help the industry deal with the “unprecedented challenge” of the coronavirus pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Booker International Prize postponed over coronavirus 20/04/2020
The awarding of the £50,000 International Booker Prize is being postponed from May until later in the summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the full article please click here.

Amazon revealed as £250k donor to bookseller coronavirus fund 23/04/2020
Amazon has been revealed as the mystery donor which pledged £250,000 to a fundraising drive to help booksellers impacted by the coronavirus crisis. For the full article please click here.

Improved profits for Quarto, as it warns of costs of Covid-19 23/04/2020
Quarto has pointed to improved profits and reduced debt, as it warns of increased costs and lower orders as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. For the full article please click here.

Mystery donor pledges £250k to booksellers via trade crowdfunder 22/04/2020
A trade crowdfunder to help booksellers struggling during the Covid-19 crisis has helped raise around £380,000 after a mystery donor pledged an “astonishing” £250,000. For the full article please click here.

Indie publishers face 'existential crisis' after coronavirus lockdown but remain hopeful 2/04/2020
Indie publishers face an “existential crisis” during the pandemic lockdown, but remain hopeful they can make it to the other side. For the full article please click here.

Bookseller survey: book trade staffers tell of anxiety over coronavirus outbreak 26/03/2020
Anxiety about health and finances, stress at juggling childcare and uncertainty for the future are frequent reactions among book trade staffers to working through the current coronavirus crisis, according to the nearly 150 respondents to The Bookseller's survey. For the full article please click here.

LBF LATEST: fair cancelled as Big Five pull out 2/03/2020
The London Book Fair has been cancelled owing to the coronavirus outbreak following a wave of cancellations from major publishers and agencies. For the full article please click here.


Blogs:

What now for authors? On writing, coping and facing the future
Sanjana Varghese had been working as a freelance journalist in London for around a year when the coronavirus pandemic hit. For the full article please click here.

Après nous, le déluge
Last week, more than 140 French independent publishers wrote an open letter claiming that under French publishing’s happy facade, lies a real story of “overproduction”, which floods bookstores, drowns out quality books, shortens the shelf life of books, and thus unfairly weighs on small presses. For the full article please click here.​

Lockdown diary: the literary editor
I was in Paris when Covid-19 became a reality. It was the weekend of 21st February and I was there for a quick family reunion: my older brother was in the French capital on a work trip, my parents had taken a train from our hometown of Turin, Italy, and I had joined them from London on the Eurostar. For the full article please click here.​

Marketing to kids in difficult times 
Many months ago, when we all sat in our meeting rooms, sipping coffee and bouncing campaign ideas around, I don’t think any one of us marketing folk could have predicted just how much our plans would be forced to change. For the full article please click here.​

Lockdown diaries: the trade publisher
Lockdown is not something that is at all suited to my personality – I miss my friends, I miss my life and perhaps most importantly - I miss Bancone. For the full article please click here.​

Mental health matters
We are living through an unprecedented time in global history. For the full article please click here.​

It's time to face the data
April 2020 found the publishing industry entering a period of unexpected change as bookshops closed and the focus turned to digital sales. The COVID-19 lockdown has forced writers to re-evaluate the future in this difficult time. For the full article please click here.​

2020 (re)vision
With much of the book business still wrestling with the short-term impact of the coronavirus crisis, it may feel too soon to imagine what happens next. For the full article please click here.

Welcome to the coronaverse
What will ‘the world after corona’ look like? When is ‘the world after corona’?  For the full article please click here.

A world without bookshops
Could the coronavirus crisis and the UK lockdown be offering the publishing industry a glimpse into a world without bookshops?  For the full article please click here.

Publishing in a pandemic by Stephen Lotinga Chief executive officer of the Publishers Association 24/04/2020
Our society faces an unprecedented challenge from coronavirus and publishing is no exception to that. For the full article please click here.

Love, Hope and Business by Philip Jones Editor at The Bookseller 17/04/2020
Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, there are three stages to a pandemic. The up curve, the downwards one and the bit in between. For the full article please click here.

Houston, we have a problem: how bookshops might prepare for reopening by Mark Thornton Bookshop mentor at Unwin Charitable Trust 16/04/2020
Fifty years ago this week, the world watched the unfolding drama of Apollo 13, the space mission hit by an explosion en route to the Moon. For the full article please click here

Freelancing in a time of corona by Catherine Taylor 6/04/2020
I woke early this morning in the coronatime in which we all now exist - the brief respite of sleep ruined yet again by the inevitable jolt of reality. For the full article please click here

Online Opportunities By Carolyn Jess-Cooke 3/04/2020
The Covid-19 pandemic will change life as we know it. It will change how we work, shop, eat and travel. It will change what we read, radically altering how we interpret not just dystopian tropes but also relationships. It will change how we communicate and socialise. For the full article please click here

Beyond the tent by Molly Flatt Comment Editor at The Bookseller 3/04/2020
A couple of weeks ago, John Howkins wrote a piece for us on the value of invisible work. Ever since, as news of one cancelled literary festival after another has hit my inbox, it's been resonating hard. For the full article please click here