The publishing industry is on shifting ground as publishers, booksellers, authors, and other important players strive to understand the impact of COVID-19. Every person in the United States and most countries around the world is impacted by this virus, and there is a lot of uncertainty around when and how the publishing industry can rebound.
A few of the issues facing publishers right now are:
- Supply chain interruptions
- The cancellation of in-person events
- Uncertain dates and postponements for conferences and book fairs
- Distracted readers with changing interests
- Reduced staff, reduced working hours and productivity due to at-home work, furloughs, and layoffs
How are book producers working with the industry during this time?
Book producers are used to working behind the scenes and remotely managing development teams. Members of the American Book Producers Association (ABPA) are experts who have been in publishing for years and have weathered past challenges faced by our industry. Producers regularly deal with writing, editing, design, project management, contracts, photo research, printing, and many other functions, and can help get projects off the ground from idea to finished product. They have a keen sense for the demands of the marketplace and are savvy about what is technically feasible, bringing books to market for maximum profit.
As publishers rebalance and figure out how to fill gaps in their production processes, book producers can be valuable partners. They stand ready to complete projects that originated in house, either managing the entire project or providing individual services as needed. While safeguarding brand standards, the services they provide include:
- Writing the proposal, pitching the project to publishers
- Negotiating a contract
- Commissioning a writer
- Editing the manuscript
- Sourcing and acquiring art or photos
- Designing the book
- Copyediting, proofreading, indexing
- And often prepress and printing as well.
The ABPA is the trade organization for book producers in North America. The ABPA’s mission is to educate the industry about the role of producers and support members with networking and educational events. In this time of industry crisis, the association is offering more support than ever, by hosting member happy hours and weekly email updates to share important information about the rapidly changing publishing industry as it seeks to rebalance.