Writing a book One is the lonely pursuit, one that can take years of solitary work. Selling a book is another story. The authors converse in packed stores, schmooze over lunches and learn to casually discuss their bellied creative projects as commercial content. The distribution of propagating circuits can be sluggish and tedious. It can be exhilarating, liberating and even fun – a chance for people who spend a lot of time alone with their thoughts to feel like someone has heard them. This year, releasing a book into the world became a massive home single, another act of staring at the screen. COVID-19 The epidemic forced the publishing industry to revisit its process to convince people to buy its latest offerings. Even the fiercest nights of the industry, like the National Book Awards Gala, took place in the form of digital events, with participants glamorizing and sitting at home.
WIRED asked the authors behind five of our favorite 2020 graves to tell us what it was like to release a book during quarantine. Here’s what he said.
I was lucky to have some in-person events before the quarantine. One of the events for Book TV was recorded on C-SPAN, and because it was the very last in-book bookstore event that took place anywhere, it ended up playing again and again at odd hours in March and April Gone. The first month of quarantine, I was not feeling so sleepy, so I used to wake up at 3:00 am or 4:00 am. I signed up for email alerts when I was told that I would get occasional emails before going to bed. I was living with my parents, and my father got up really early. The first time it aired, we were both up, and I was able to watch my show with my father.
It could be a lot worse. The kind of person who wants to pierce a room and write 80,000 words is not necessarily the kind of person who is the center of attention. So there are some aspects of virtual events that are less nerve-wracking than doing them in person. But the drawback is that these bookstores are not getting the same sales. And you don’t have the conversation you used to have; You are not meeting in a restaurant and meeting up with old friends who show up to read. I miss those things When you zoom out and you are alone in a room. It is truly amazing.
Just staring at the screen feels tired. There are only so many ways to make virtual events different. But one of my upcoming events will be different – this is a Second Life book club organized by Bernhard Drakes. He creates avatars for writers upon request. I asked for a cyber avatar. I am excited because it is a creative approach that is not trying to replicate the offline experience of the book event.
I live in the Yukon, so we were delayed in relation to most cases in North America. I had a launch party on April 6 at a local restaurant, which was just a pure celebration for me and all my friends — super informal, no readings. I hoped there could still be some way, which seems retrospective in retrospect. It was strange at first to be in one place without a case and all this stuff being canceled. There was a disconnect there. But then Yukon went into its first lockdown. And even if I had felt comfortable traveling, my publisher gave my approval for a tour of my book and the whole thing was canceled, including, of course, the launch party.