Publish During a Pandemic?

My book is ready for publication, do I release it now?

What a time to be a writer, or anybody, in this dark spring of 2020. You completed your manuscript, and went through the painful process of preparing it for publication, it is street-ready, and now there is a world pandemic. What’s an author to do?

As with most dilemmas, there is no easy answer and several different paths an author could follow. You could follow the path of caution, moderation, or riverboat gambler.

The Path of Caution

This path is simple. The time is bad for in-person events and traditional advertising. Go home and work on your next book.

Even without a pandemic — if no COVID 19 existed — this is a bad year for publishing in the U.S. because it is a national election year and all eyes are on politics. If your book has no political bent, it might be lost in the shuffle.

The Path of Moderation

Be aware of the realities of publishing your book in 2020. Know what you’re up against and don’t fool yourself into thinking this is anything like a normal publishing year. Then take moderate, well thought out steps toward your publishing goals.

Who is your audience? Like always, the answer to this question is crucial to your sales strategy. People are still purchasing books, at least those who can. Our economy is likely to get worse before it gets better. If your audience is young, urban restaurant workers, they probably can’t afford your book. If it is rural retirees, they probably can. Once you’ve determined your target audience, find ways to reach them online. Check out our author resource guide: A Recipe to Market Your Book: 21 Steps to Book Marketing Success! for ideas.

Riverboat Gambler

Your book is done. You have an author platform and are ready to market your book. Go for it! Why not? What have you got to lose?

If there is an answer to that question, then you’d better wait. If not, there are reasons to publish now, with consideration of the timing of the election.

Why Publish Now?

Here are some reasons for going ahead with publication in 2020: If your book or topic is timely, you certainly don’t want to wait. If you have a second book in the works, you might not want to delay the whole series. Summer reads may be in higher demand this year if isolation continues!

One option is to release your book one version at a time, instead of all at once. Traditionally, hardcovers are released first with paperbacks and eBooks following later. You could release one version of your book now, and release another version in 2021.

Whatever you choose to do, go into publishing this year with eyes wide open!

Keep scratchin’

P.S. Anamcara Press is accepting unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction on the topic of Words are Contagious through June 29, 2020 for publication spring 2021. Please visit our submissions page at:

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