Tips on Doing Good from Authors During COVID-19

[Editor's Note: PRNEWS believes it's important to highlight brands and organizations reaching out to do good work during this difficult time. We offer the article below about the book industry in an effort to spur ideas for PR pros in other sectors.]

David E. Johnson

The book industry, as many others, expects to get hit very hard as the economy grinds to a halt owing to coronavirus. Book stores are shutting and cancelling author events. Sadly, the industry likely will have to lay off thousands of workers.

Authors received more bad news when Amazon announced that it would de-prioritize book sales at least until April 5.  Based on the letter that Amazon provided, publishers and independent authors should expect decreased sales and extended delivery windows for existing orders.

Authors, like many others, are asking PR pros what they can do in this shifting economy. In addition, and importantly, authors are asking how they can help readers during these stressful times.

Here are several things authors are doing:

Social Platforms

Some writers are holding Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime readings from their books with fans. In addition, they are fielding reader questions. This allows authors and readers to escape the stress of the news for a while.  Others are doing Google hangouts. (Who would have thought they would be popular again?)

Virtual Clubs

Many book clubs continue to meet, though not in person. They are doing so virtually, via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and other platforms. These book clubs are looking for authors to speak and share writing experiences.  Authors are appearing at these virtual book club meetings to discuss writing and their books. Most important, their participation lets club members know that they are not alone. Similar to the above, this is a good way to help people escape the pandemic's stress.

Smiling Children

Children are being particularly affected and stressed by this crisis. Many authors of children's books are holding virtual readings with children to reassure them that everything will be OK.  The main goals of the authors are to reassure the children and bring smiles to their faces.

Don't Forget Medical Personnel...

As you know, doctors and first responders are at the frontline of this pandemic. Many are not going home. Numerous authors are providing copies of their books to these tireless heroes via eBook or, in some instances, print.

Or the Aged

The medical evidence shows the elderly are particularly at risk from coronavirus. Many assisted living facilities are limiting or shutting down visitation during the crisis. Books have brought entertainment to many over the years. Similar to the above, many authors are donating books to these facilities.

This virus has brought much of the world to a standstill, but even in this horrible time, many authors are finding ways to bring entertainment and escape from the stresses of this crisis.

David Johnson is CEO of Strategic Vision PR Group