Book Trailer The Noble Train

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Publishing A Book During A Pandemic

Herny Knox's Noble Train  will be out May 12, 2020. It is my fifteenth book. I have published in almost every situation imaginable. I have published during wars (First Iraq War) during horrible downturns in the economy (2008 recession/depression/) I struggled for years to get my first novel published and was handed the proverbial 250 rejection letters before finally a small publisher took a chance. Since then I have had good advances, lived the literary dream, movie deals, bad deals, lawsuits, triumphs, crushing defeats, and comebacks.. I have had to start over many times in the last thirty years since graduating college and deciding to become a full time writer. But I have never, ever published a book during a once in a century Pandemic.

It is like publishing into a void. Its not that the normal promotion hustle until you drop of modern publishing is hard enough...this...this is like publishing a book in a ghost town. It's not that I have stopped working, I work at home of course, it's just everybody else has and so I might as well be yelling into the night. All the pop-sickle stands are closed. Everyone has gone home. My publisher has gone on a three week furlough. The libraries where I give one hundred paid speeches a year are all closed. The trades are all working from home (PW Booklist, Kirkus) and I have yet to see a review. Only my agent has stayed at her post and so we are like the last of the Mahicans, two warriors not sure what battle to fight.

What makes this different is that the great Ferris wheel of publishing which is vast has for the moment just stopped and everyone is just waiting. Think of a party where you are the last guest and you are walking among the empty champagne bottles and picked over food. My editor let me know the books were in the warehouse last week and I should be getting my advanced copies. This is a good thing. At least the book will come out. But the question is then what? Barnes and Nobles is for the most part closed. The independent bookstores are closed. Amazon is still chugging along but busy with getting the nation toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

So I have to say publishing a book during a Pandemic is different. Maybe this is how authors felt when the Nazis marched into France. A sort of...now what? But it's your job. And so in a way I am back to where I started with my first book when no one knew or cared who I was. So I have a book that has just been published. I have a book and I better get to work selling it any way I can. I have always thought the authors job is also to sell so I have begun doing lots of Zoom presentations. I have always done lots of social media but it was always in support of larger efforts. Now it is back to square one. A brick at a time. More Social media. More zooming. Zoom might just be the ventilator of publishing for authors until the mighty Ferris wheel starts again. Just keep it all going...at least until a vaccine or a therapy. 

Books by William Hazelgrove