In light of the coronavirus outbreak and the government's advice regarding social distancing, many publications are being postponed until the new year, to prevent authors missing out on crucial face-to-face promotion.
Bookshops have also taken a major hit during the pandemic. Whilst many started to move online, taking orders via social media and email, the suspension of Hive and Gardners meant many had to stop orders and deliveries all together. Again, this had a knock on effect with publishers, who saw futher reason to postpone the publication of their major titles.
Transworld was one of the first publishers to make the change, delaying the publication of Ruth Jones' Us Three relatively early on Friday 13th March, the tour, organised by Fane was cancelled along with all of fane's other events. Since, all major publishers have been slowly making changes to their publication schedules, moving major titles where possible. Where publication is going ahead, publishers and authors have been getting as creative as possible to launch events on social media.
Imbolo Imbie's How Beautiful We Were has been moved from July to March 2021. The Publisher has also moved The Heights by Parker Bilial (Black Thorn imprint) from June to September.
The publication of We Are All Birds of Uganda (Merky Books) by Hafsa Zayyan has been moved from 23rd July to January 2021. Zayyan was the first Merky Books New Writers' prize winner.
Egmont has moved most of its major titles to the end of the summer. Notably Jenny McLachlan's Return to Roar, now scheduled to come out 6th August (originally 11th June) and Jack Meggitt-Phillips' The Beast and the Bethany, now coming out 1st October (originally scheduled for 3rd September). Notably, Holly Jackson's Good Girl, Bad Blood, sequel to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, has not been moved and will be published as scheduled on 30th April.
Europa Editions has postponed the publication of The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldsein. The book was originally scheduled to be released on 9th June, but has been rescheduled for 1st September. Eva Ferri, publisher of Europa Editions UK, said:"We are confident that September is now the most sensible choice. We want readers to fully experience the joy of this release – in bookshops, with their trusted booksellers, when this sad madness will be behind all of us." Release dates for the export market will also be moved to coincide with the new release date.
Everything With Words
Small independent publisher Everthing With Words has postponed the publicaton of Richard Lambert's debut novel The Wolf Road. The title was due to be release on April 15th, but will now hit the shelves on 28th October 2020.
Faber and Faber
The publisher confirmed that its children's publishing scheduled had been imacted by the pandemic. Changes include: Natasha Farrant's Voyage of the Sparrowhawk (was June 2020, now September 2020); Francesca Simon's Two Terrible Vikings (was July 2020, now February 2021); James Catchpole's What Happened to You? (Was August 2020, now April 2021); Kieran Larwood's Uki and the Swamp Spirit (was September 2020, now July 2020 in ebook only) and Alex Bell's The Ocean Squid Explorer's Club (was November 2002, now August 2020 in ebook only).
Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson has also been rescheduled. Originally pushed for July, it will now come out in January 2021. According to the publisher, the title will be a lead debut next year.
Fourth Estate, has notably postponed Loud Black Girls, edited by the authors of Slay in Your Lane Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke, Loud Black Girls was scheduled for publication on the 14th July. Fourth Estate has pushed the date back until 1st October. The pubsliher has also delayed Kirstin Innes' Scabby Queen. The title was originally meant to be coming out on 30th April, but has been postponed until 23rd July, pending a review as the situation develops.
Headline Review has delayed the paperback publication of Victoria Hislop's Those Who Are Loved. The paperback publication of Victoria Hislop’s sixth novel, Those Who Are Loved, has been postponed from 30th April to 20th August "to avoid jeopardising publication plans during the unprecedented current situation". Read the full story here.
Josie Lloyd's The Cancer Ladies Running Club was orignally scheduled for June 2020, but has been delayed by almost one year until 13th May 2021. HQ's lead summer debut, The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby, will now be published in October 2020 (formerly July 2020).
Hodder & Stoughton
Sceptre have postponed the publication of David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue. Originally scheduled for the 2nd June, fans will now have to wait until 14th July 2020. A "global publishing event" for Mitchell's first major novel in six years is still promised.
Raynor Winn's follow up to The Salt Path, titled The Wild Silence, will now be published on the 3rd September (originally published 30th April). Winn said on Twitter that she needed to consider her husbands health before continuing with her book tour. Winn assured readers that they were "working hard" to reschedule events. Read the full story here.
Mari Hannah's Without a Trace was originally scheduled to come out in June, however the title has been pushed back until January 7th 2021, one of the longest postponements to date.
Sara Barnard confirmed on Twitter that the publication of Destination Anywhere, which was supposed to come out in June, has been moved to "early" 2021. The exact date for publiaction is unconfirmed.
Pan Macmillan Children's
The publisher has had to move a number of upcoming titles, including Love is For Losers by Wibke Brueggemann, which is now being published in 2021.
Jean Yves-Ferri's Asterix Vol. 38 "The Chieftain's Daughter" was orignally scheduled to be published by Papercutz on 14th May, but has been pushed back until 14th July. Asterix has be re-translated for a North American audience for the first time, with Vol. 38 to be the stand-alone edition of the newest book.
Sophie Mackintosh's Blue Ticket (Hamish Hamilton) will be now be published on Thursday 27th August (originally 7th May). The publisher decided to move the publication because of the significant impact on launch events. Times journalist Patrick Freyne OK, Let's Do Your Stupid Idea (Penguin Ireland) has been postponed until 17th September. Original publication was scheduled for 14th May. OK, Let's Do Your Stupid Idea is a collection on personal essays which explore family dynamics, models of masculinity, male friendships, losing friends, caring for another human being, music and childlessness.
PRH Children's have postponed publication of Jeff Kinney's Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure until August 4th. Kinney said: "We don't take this decision lightly, as we know it will disappoint many fans. But we've decided changing the release date will give us a better chance to support its launch and have the book reach its readership in the way we had intended."
Profile has moved the majority of its new titles out of May, with many now scheduled to be published in the new year. Including Peter Hart's At Close Range and John von Sothen's Paris Match. Whilst many of April's releases remain in place, only one publiaction, B M Caroll's Who We Were is still scheduled to be published in May.
Simon & Schuster
Sophy Henn's Pizazz was originally scheduled for 11th June, S&S have announced that publication of the middle-grade series is now postponed until 6th August.
"Many" of Titan's publications are being postponed. Noteably, the publication of James Brogden Bone Harvest has been pushed back until November 17th.
Tramp Press has decided to postpone publication of Doireann Ní Ghríofa's A Ghost in the Throat until August 27th. This date is still subject to change as events unfold. Pre-orders are still possible, and will be honoured at the later date of the 27th August.
Tramp Press said: "We're very grateful for the patience and support shown to us and to our authors during this difficult time, and very encouraged by the solidarity and ingenuity in the literature sector."
Publication of Ruth Jones' second novel Us Three has been moved from 14th May to 3rd September to avoid jeopardising promotional plans for the book following the coronavirus outbreak. Transworld was clear that Jones' book tour, originally scheduled for 10th–19th May in collaboration with FANE, has not been cancelled. The tour will be rescheduled to coincide with the new publication date.
Viking has moved the publication date of Frances Cha's If I Had Your Face from 23rd April to 23rd July 2020. The book is a debut novel for Korean-American novelist Frances Cha, set in beauty salons, plastic surgery clinics and drinking dens of Seoul.
As for Elaine Feeney's As You Were (Harvill Secker), the debut was originally scheduled to come out in April. Publication is now set for 20th August to coincide with the Irish release date. Vintage have also postponed Charlotte McConaghy's The last Migration, originally scheduled for August, the title will now be published on 7th January 2021.
Another big move for Vinatge, as Roddy Doyle's novel Love is postponed until October. It was originally scheduled for release in May. Fall, The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston has also been moved from July 2020 to 4th February 2021.
The paperback release of Margaret Atwood's The Testaments has been postponed. Originally scheduled for release ion 30th June, fans will now have to wait until the 1st September 2020.