A strange new world

You must have noticed it, but since Covid a lot has changed in our daily lives. Working from home became the new way, something that was often frowned upon before we all went in isolation. Professional travel was reduced to the bare minimum and we discovered that Teams and Google Meet meetings were just as effective. Online shopping boomed, a lot less hassle and you could send your stuff back if you didn’t like it. We adjusted to the new situation, almost overnight.

Also in the land of Books and Writing things changed. We could no longer get together at bookfairs or book markets because everyone was concerned about getting infected. Authors and publishers discovered that there was a whole new, often unexplored world out there that was theirs for the taking. Well, not everyone was shy of this new world, some authors were quite good at getting noticed on social media and build a following of readers. For others the transition was not so easy. How did you do an online book presentation? And what with book signings? Should we all go back to our little books with autographs that we cherished as a youngster while we waited at the back entrance of the concert hall in the hope that our favorite singers would grace us with their presence? But human kind is flexible and we adapted to this new way of doing business. And we all looked forward to the day that the world would be normal again.

But that day didn’t – for now – come. Ukraine suddenly had an argument with its neighbor and all of a sudden everything got more expensive. Energy, bread, building materials, paper… I don’t think we ever realized that war in one country could have such an immense impact on the rest of the world. And when it seemed as if this quarrel between neighbors wouldn’t get resolved soon, we adapted again.

Not only did the price of energy go up, books also got more expensive. And with people saving as much as they could, eBooks suddenly became more interesting. They were cheaper, and you could carry a few in your eBook reader or tablet. But for authors, this was something they had never considered. How do you sign an eBook? And what about the bookfairs we all loved to visit? We had to re-invent ourselves again and we needed to work as a team because this new reality was there for all authors. The gap between published and indie authors suddenly got a lot smaller.

So we gathered in online groups, thinking of new ways to get our messages across and bring our stories to our readers. It took some out-of-the-box thinking but we adapted, just like we always did. We thought of new ways to link with readers in the hope that one day, we could sit behind our signing desks again, surrounded by stacks of books in bright colors and with magical covers. Where readers could touch the books again, leaf through them and even smell them. And when they got home, carefully put them between the rest of the books in the book cases.

But for now we use our creativity, not only to tell stories but also to come up with ways to bring our stories to you, our readers.

PS: This doesn’t mean that you will no longer see physical books of me appear in book shops, on the contrary. But they will be joined by a collection of digital books that will be available as eBook only… for now 🙂

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