Penguin Random House Withdraws From BookExpo, Book Promotion Under Quarantine, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

Citing the new government guidelines to limit large gatherings, Penguin Random House has announced it will not attend BookExpo and BookCon, two major industry trade shows scheduled to take place at the end of May in New York City. The publisher’s decision came despite the March 15 letter from Reed Exhibitions stating organizers “remain optimistic” that both events would move ahead as planned. (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Times talks to debut novelists who have had to cancel all or part of their book tours due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many are now finding innovative ways to share and celebrate their books online. 

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has donated $100,000 to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to assist in the organization’s efforts to support booksellers coping with financial losses due to store closures and layoffs. The ABA also announced it would reduce membership fees, accelerate payments for stores using IndieCommerce sites for online sales, and host a virtual open forum on Zoom every weekday. (Publishers Weekly

Jessie Gaynor rewrites the opening lines of classic novels for the age of social distancing. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Then she remembered the florist was closed. And the party was canceled. Finally, some time to rest and reflect on her marital choices.” (Literary Hub)

“I’m using intuition, sentence by sentence, to tell me what the book wants to be.” Paul Lisicky talks to the Rumpus Book Club about the long evolution of his new memoir, Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

Ali Cobby Eckermann reflects on how her creative life shifted after winning the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize for poetry in 2017. This year’s prizewinners will be announced later today. (Guardian)

For some authors, the new isolation regime offers a chance to tackle their to-be-read shelf. At the Los Angeles Times, eleven writers share their next reading goal. 

In more isolation-reading news, the Paris Review Daily has launched a new series, “Quarantine Reads,” in which writers reflect on the big books they’re tackling during these strange times.