How to Support the Publishing Industry Right Now

by - April 17, 2020

Hey, all. This time of pandemic has hit many industries, not just the publishing industry. But as a hardcore bookworm, I am afraid to lose this community that I love. What will be left when this is all over?

We need art and literature more than ever right now.

Here are ways you can support books: authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries!

1. Borrow ebooks or audiobooks from your library

The library might be physically closed but that doesn't mean you can't get any books! Download the Libby app and sign in with your library card to access their digital catalogue. You can always ask the library to add something if it isn't already available. Alternatively, ask if they do curbside deliveries for physical books. It doesn't hurt to check. Libraries aren't just a  public service; they've also got a huge impact on how much books sell. Borrowing a book from the library supports your favorite author as much as buying your own copy!

2. Buy from your local indie bookstores or Barnes & Noble instead of Amazon

Hey, even I use Amazon. It's cheap, quick, and easy. But Amazon exploits its workers, doesn't pay taxes, and has ruined the publishing industry to the ground. Instead of supporting their empire, send your local stores an email and ask how you can help. Even if they don't sell ebooks or aren't doing deliveries right now, you can still buy a gift card or preorder books. They'll need cash to ride out this horrible wave. We don't want to leave this with only Amazon standing.

If you're like me and don't have any more local bookstores open, then check out Kobo or other online alternatives.

3. Preorder books

Some publication dates are being pushed back. Others are being buried by the chaos of everyday life. Author events are being cancelled everywhere. Preorder the books you are excited for to prove that you still want to buy them. Even if they won't come out for months (or a year), your preorder will keep the business going.

4. Share the books you are excited for. Share the books you love.

Even though everyone has switched to digital marketing, you have to admit that it's difficult to compete for attention when we're going through a pandemic. But word of mouth is still the most effective way to spread news. Don't let your favorite books and authors become forgotten! Your friends probably need some distractions now too, and they know your taste enough to judge whether or not they'll like the same stuff. Imagine if you tweeted a book rec once and got 3 people to buy it. That's way more supportive than keeping the goods to yourself!

So gush about books on social media. Write Goodreads and Amazon reviews. Share posts from your favorite authors about their books. Tell the world what you're reading and why you love it.

5. Join webinars or online book launches/events

Just because we can't meet face to face doesn't mean we can't meet at all. Many authors have moved to livestreaming book launches, interviews, or book readings. Your presence, even virtual, will be highly appreciated. Check if your favorite authors have a social media account where they share these links.

6. Support online content creators through commissions or Patreon

Here's an open secret: majority of the people working in the publishing industry have a second or third job. Very few authors can write full time. Publishing assistants earn a measly amount. Agents survive on commission and don't have benefits. Every industry is getting hit right now, and times are tough. But if you can afford it, then why not buy someone a ko-fi, commission some art, buy a Patreon membership to see some original stories, or buy a newsletter subscription to read some articles about writing? Even 10 dollars can make a difference! And you know the money is going straight to the creator's pocket, not guzzled by a corporation.

7. Sign up for 30 day free trials

There are so many ways to get mass books by subscription. Audible. Kindle Unlimited. Scribd. Kobo. Why not give these packages a shot and see if you like them enough to continue? At least you'll be able to access as many books as you want in a safe, legal way. And you can gush about them too.

8. Request ARCs (advanced reader copies)

Just because a publication date is delayed doesn't mean the hype is over! If you're a book blogger then you probably have a Netgalley or Edelweiss account. If not, then it's easy to sign up, and you don't even need a big following. Of course, your following (and location) determines which books you can receive, but it doesn't hurt to try. Keep up the hype and help with the marketing! Also, this is a good way to access small press or indie novels. They'll need more assistance than the Big Five folks, so why not give them a hand?


If you're in a tough spot right now and can't help monetarily, don't fret. Sharing support and resources is 100% free. But please do what you can. Take care and keep reading!

Are you working in the publishing industry? Do you have other suggestions? What have your experiences been like? Share them with us, if you can!

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