As many of you will know, I have a book coming out this year, all about the decline in public discourse. I learned yesterday that the publishers, HarperCollins, have decided to postpone publication from 28 May to 6 August.
I wholly understand (and support) the decision. Even this small change, though, will have an economic effect, given there will be a delay of a couple of months in the printing of the book.
All the literary festivals I was booked into in late May and early June are gradually falling by the wayside. Some may be rearranged for the autumn, but most will have to now skip a year. It's heartbreaking for the organisers who put so much effort into organising events like this, for scant little financial reward.
Big publishers like HarperCollins can cope with the burdens this crisis will inevitably put on them. For smaller publishers, who live on a day-to-day cashflow knifedge, this could tip them over the edge.
Bookshops are not ordering books at the moment. Amazon is their only lifeline, and that won't change for some months.
Click HERE to see why literary festivals and other events I'll be speaking at.