Pan Macmillan has said it is “forensically reviewing” its publication programme to decide on possible title moves following the closure of major high street chains during the coronavirus crisis.
After Waterstones bowed to pressure and announced store closures over the weekend, the publisher said it would be looking at its schedule and adapting promotional campaigns accordingly.
Pan Mac's forthcoming books include Secret Barrister follow-up Fake Law, due for release on 30th April. But the Covid-19 pandemic has already led to publishers pushing back release dates of a string of high-profile books like David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue (Sceptre) and Us Three by Ruth Jones (Transworld).
In an update released earlier this week, Pan Mac said its remote working was going well and books were “coming into our warehouse from our printers, and going out to our customers, as normal”.
The publisher said it had received its first orders from China in sometime as the country's health situation turned around, although other global markets were experiencing unprecedented disruption and sales are increasingly challenged. “We are preparing for the situation to get worse before it gets better as supply, demand and organisation are put under pressure.”
However, in the UK, sales of the firm's titles had been holding up well. There had been slowdown in railway station and airport orders but supermarket sales were “strong”, it said.
M.d. Anthony Forbes Watson said: “The situation is obviously dire and will inevitably worsen considerably before it improves, and we don’t know when that improvement will come. Our team is demonstrating a typically positive approach and professionalism, and has adapted seamlessly to working remotely.
“We continue to print and publish our books in all the ways we can and I’m hugely grateful to our printers, our distributors and our publishing teams for their fortitude and commitment. We will continue to communicate as conditions change. We are grateful to all our stakeholders for their great and continuing support.”