April 18th 2020
- My first word: Welcome! -
I decided to devote a space for reflection and discussion about how the pandemic of Covid-19, today spread across 193 countries, may contribute to a new social order. I just want to advise my readers that my purpose is to use this space to express my opinion - personal and non-transferable - by which you can leave your comments on this page as well.
Above all, and as an Author (and many Authors probably share the same opinion), this pandemic crisis comes to redefine the way we make literature, sell books and survive in the market.
It is clear, fairly obvious, that the literature will be consumed and nurtured by all online networks existing in the world, not just through major retailers like Amazon and the Ingram Spark, but also through the websites of the bookshops and small business.
In this sense, we have created in recent times, real networks to support the sale of the book which, for example in Portugal, notes a dramatic drop of 80% in sales. We must say, this is a market which is already in difficulties.
For those interested, here is an example of a network of bookstores that have joined together to preserve their survival and bring books to potential thousands of readers:
RELI (https://www.reli.pt/?fbclid=IwAR0E6KsSzpEy8fa1ea8k1oVmrvwwU7Bo7D3y3ml65dkn1VAB0wIq7cr7d2k) - Network of Independent Bookstores.
Once again, this is a Portuguese example, but I believe that there are many other examples spread around the world.
So, we have two worlds gravitating around books: their readers and buyers, and the sellers. The sellers will experience great changes in the market and will have to rely on technology to maintain the business; on the other hand, the readers will stop flip through books in bookstores, where they used to spend hours. Everything is done at home now: read, sell and survive.
For those who like the physical book more than online, maybe now you will start reading more e-books. But the question here is, will these preferences be changed by the Pandemic? In my opinion, there are people who will not change their habits, despite the Covid Crisis. It is true that we will continue to order books online and receive them comfortably at home: we will no longer stroll through bookstores, look at shelves and watch people buying books like us - no, the world has changed.
- by Maria Inês Rebelo