Industry Resource Lists: Publishers’ Responses Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

In News by Porter Anderson

In both the UK and the US, the publishers’ associations are offering guides on how publishers are—and can—respond to the coronavirus crisis.

In trade publishing references, children’s and family services are highlighted in the Association of American Publishers’ new listings. Image – iStockphoto: Sasiistock

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

AAP and the PA Offer Distinct Resource Pages
In their efforts to support publishers and related businesses in the world’s two major English-language markets, both countries’ publishers associations are making efforts to support the industries they serve in response to the international coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

London’s Publishers Association (PA) has set up a page of information on its site, a resource focused primarily on various elements of business guidance for publishers. The page can be accessed here.

In a comment to the news media from the PA, its CEO Stephen Lotinga says, “The escalation of the coronavirus situation is causing a range of very significant challenges across publishing businesses. We are doing everything we can to support the industry at this extraordinarily difficult time.”

Stephen Lotinga

Lotinga reports that the PA, in addition to opening its resources page, is issuing regular member briefings and “collating business intelligence from publishers which will inform our interactions with government. Despite the challenges they are facing,” he says, “publishers are doing a huge amount to help.

“Lots of educational resources have been made available free to schools and families. Academic publishers are fast-tracking publication of scientific research relevant to the pandemic and ensuring it is widely accessible. Many publishers are promoting bookshops at a time when retail businesses are under strain.”

Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has begun to catalogue what US publishers in the trade and scholarly sectors are doing. That page can be accessed here.

Many of these publishers, of course, are operating on the international stage, and the goals of many of them, as reflected here, are classified as being “to create transitional experiences for readers of all ages.

AAP president and CEO Maria A. Pallante says, “Publishing is built upon the principal of transformation. Our normal focus is to invest in authors, champion education, and connect readers to stories and scholarship that inform, inspire and empower them.

Maria A. Pallante

“Now, as the pandemic continues to threaten and disrupt our lives in unprecedented ways, the point of publishing is clearer than ever and publishers are embracing their responsibilities to the public. Across all sectors we see commercial publishing houses, nonprofit societies, and university presses working to address the crisis, with many publishers creating special programs, flexible licenses, and other initiatives to propel reading, learning, and commerce.

“These initiatives include offering complimentary digital education materials, expanding powerful storytelling platforms for general public use, and making research and medical journals pertaining to the coronavirus freely available to the scientists and doctors who are on the frontlines of the pandemic.”

As we’ve written recently, many international publishers in the scholarly and academic sectors have been working together to make coronavirus research material freely available, an attempt to support the worldwide effort to create a vaccine to COVID-19 and to relieve suffering in the more than 150 countries in which the virus is known to be present to date.

The American Booksellers Association has information relative to the virus, as well, and you can find that here.

What follows, then, is an abbreviated listing of the initial round of resources the AAP is offering for publishers. At the association’s site, this will be updated.

Trade/Consumer Publishing

HarperCollins Publishers

  • HarperCollins Children’s Books has launched Harper at Home specifically for families sheltering at home during the pandemic. Some of its elements included HarperKids daily sessions at noon ET, video series, Wednesday and Friday “Epic Reads” events, Monday “Harper Stacks” library programming, a family podcast called “Remember Reading” and more. Full listings are in the AAP resources page.

Penguin Random House

  • Penguin Random House’s offering bringing together reading and classroom read-aloud experiences permits teachers, librarians and booksellers to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events. Brightly, a Penguin Random House site dedicated to helping parents and educators find books and reading tips for every age and stage of a child’s life, has launched a new portal, Reading Through It Together, as Penguin Kids debuts a “Live Story Time Read Aloud,” hosted online across Penguin Kids’ Instagram and Facebook.  Much more is detailed at AAP. 


  • Scholastic has partnered with Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams, Save the Children, and No Kid Hungry to launch #SaveWithStories (Instagram account here). This social media initiative will feature the actors (and celebrity friends) sharing their favorite books and stories on Instagram and Facebook – and asking their friends to do the same – to drive donations to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry coronavirus response. The is meant to support the needs of kids who won’t have access to meals because of widespread school closures. More offerings from the publisher are at the association’s listing.

Simon & Schuster

  • Simon & Schuster is providing resources and support as booksellers and educators navigate distance learning and bookselling in the weeks ahead. “Open License”: In addition, S&S permits educators, librarians, and booksellers to livestream and post readings of Simon & Schuster children’s books online for students and customers, subject to specific terms of agreement. More at AAP.
Educational Publishing

Listings in the educational sector include special coronavirus landing pages to sort out the publishers’ offers, most of which include free access to digitally distributed content for students. In each case, our reference is to that publisher’s landing page.

In some cases, such as McGraw-Hill, specific international purview is offered.

Education Publisher Partners
Scholarly Publishing

In addition to material referred to in our previous coverage of freely available material on the viral outbreak–our full story is here–the AAP resource page includes input from:

Scholarly Publisher Partner


More from Publishing Perspectives the coronavirus outbreak is here.

Download your free copy of our Spring Magazine here

In our Spring 2020 Magazine, Publishing Perspectives has interviewed publishers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and authors to present a look at the book business for the coming year. Inside this issue of Publishing Perspectives Magazine, you’ll find articles and resources including:

  • Publishing and the coronavirus
  • Richard Charkin’s view of key industry challenges
  • China’s growing comic book market
  • Brussels Book Fair debuts its rights center
  • Eksmo CEO Evgeny Kapyev on Russia’s book market
  • Matchmaking for publishers and producers in Latin America
  • Book market data
  • A world tour of copyright developments
  • Translation sales resulting from Norway’s Frankfurter Buchmesse guest of honor program
  • An AI startup creating interactive stories
  • An interview with author Andrew Keen

Download ‘Publishing in Times of Crisis’ free of charge here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.