Hundreds of Dutch authors and people in the publishing industry have rallied round a campaign to support high street bookshops initiated by Dutch literature marketing body CPNB.
The campaign, which kicked off on Thursday and consists of ads in papers, on radio and social media, wants to bring home to people that despite the lockdown it is still possible to order books at ordinary high street bookshops.
Well-known Dutch writers, such as Simone van der Vlugt, Tommy Wieringa and Paulien Cornelisse called on people to order books from bookshops which have now been closed for a month because of coronavirus measures.
One in three is in danger of having to close its doors for good, Anne Schroën of the booksellers association told Nu.nl. At the moment it’s the big online sellers who are benefitting from the shift to online sales although smaller retailers also deliver, Schoën said.
Bookshops are not allowed to conduct transactions via a ‘takeaway’ point at the shop, but ‘inside your bookseller is dying to bring fantastic books to your door’, the CPNB writes on its website.
Publishers are also feeling the pinch and are putting new books on hold, Trouw reported. Physical bookshops are still a major showcase for new publications, head of publicity at Balans publishers Claudine Janssen told the paper.
Authors promote their books at bookshops and an older reading public still prefers to browse there. New books tend to get snowed under on social media, she said.
Balans is postponing seven new titles announced for January until after the end of the current lockdown on February 9.
‘The danger is that a wave of new books will result in none of them getting the attention they may deserve,’ commercial director of Atlas publishers Edo Dietvorst pointed out. ‘We will space them out over the coming months but the Boekenweek is in March and we do want our books to be available by then,’ he said.
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