Industry & Advocacy News
April 15, 2020
Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this edition: Famous authors describe their quarantine, a virtual book party draws 60,000, a senator’s response to the National Emergency Library, and more.
How Judy Blume, Samantha Irby, Jennifer Weiner and Other Authors Are Spending Their QuarantineThe Washington Post“Susan Orlean, whose Twitter bio reads, ‘Writer, writer, writer. Oh, I also write,’ was organizing her spices and counting grains of rice on March 21.”
U.S. Newspapers Face ‘Extinction-Level’ Crisis as COVID-19 Hits HardThe Guardian“As journalists across the US scramble to cover the impact of the coronavirus, they are grappling with a bitter irony: as demand for their stories soars, the decline of the business model that funds them is speeding up catastrophically.”
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis Questions the Internet Archive’s ‘National Emergency Library’Publishers Weekly“In an April 8 letter to Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, questioned the legal basis for the Archive’s National Emergency Library initiative.”
The National Emergency Library Must Support Both Authors and ReadersWashington Square News“If the National Emergency Library wants to truly support both authors and readers, then it needs to update their model so that authors are able to preemptively decide if they want their work to be available on the service, rather than forcing them to request it to be taken down.”
Liberty University Police Issue Arrest Warrants for NYT, ProPublica ReportersThe HillJerry Falwell, Jr., announced that university police have issued arrest warrants for trespassing to a photographer and a journalist, following critical coverage of his decision to partially re-open the school.
Spanish Author Javier Castillo Meets 60,000 Fans Online During Coronavirus LockdownPublishing PerspectivesThe Snow Girl was published just two days before Spain’s lockdown began, canceling a tour—but fans from around the world flocked to Instagram for a live event with the author.
Agents Weigh Whether to Submit Projects During the PandemicPublishers Weekly“Publishers will need to keep buying books, but many are uncertain about whether they want to send new projects out at such a difficult moment.”
News Media Outlets Have Been Ravaged by the PandemicThe New York Times“Roughly 28,000 workers at news companies in the U.S. have been laid off, been furloughed or had their pay reduced. Some publications that rely on ads have shut down.”
New Grant Will Help Disabled Authors Promote Their BooksBook Riot“Through the Disability Visibility Book Circle, 15 writers will receive a one-time $1000 grant to help them organize their own public book promotion event via video conference.”
On Verge of Closing, City Lights Receives over $365,000 in Donations in Single DaySan Francisco Chronicle“City Lights, the San Francisco bookstore that has been a beacon for writers, literary intellectuals and book lovers of all kinds for almost 70 years, is nearly broke and on the verge of closing permanently.”
Washington State Group Is 1st to Sue Fox News for Calling Coronavirus a ‘Hoax’Times of San DiegoThe suit says Fox news “acted in bad faith to willfully and maliciously disseminate false information” about the virus. Some are calling it a SLAPP lawsuit, a “strategic lawsuit against public participation meant to chill free speech.”
#AuthorsTakeAction, Authors Save LivesPublishers WeeklyChildren’s author Padma Venkatraman has sparked a trend of authors posting selfies with their books, along with a message to promote social distancing.