How The CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Is Affecting Me & The Whole Self-Publishing Industry
Today’s article was no fun to write and it’s certainly not fun to witness how this pandemic is turning into a full on crisis. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus has collapsed China and most recently Europe (with countries like Italy and Spain topping the red zone list).
Yep, you guessed it: I’m in Spain for the time being, at the core of it all, living the situation firsthand as an expat and as a professional. I’m a novelist, a blogger, a YouTuber and a digital marketing specialist. A millennial with multiple streams of income, making my family proud from the distance. Until last week, that is, when the shit hit the fan and no industry was left unmoved or unaffected.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
Whilst still partially blinded by the shock of it all, I’d like everyone to know THIS is only the beginning of a crisis that, health implications aside, will impact every professional in every sector. No exceptions. For the time being and after speaking to fellow writers, all of our book sales have dropped dramatically. Because in order to pick up that book people need to be in the right mindset. Now they’re in alert mode, figuring what to make of all the red flags coming at them from literally everywhere.
Working From Home During The Pandemic
Even Netflix is under lockdown and a great number of its employees are working from home.
That’s right. You thought Netflix hit the Jackpot? It didn’t. Nobody did and nobody’s life is better in this equation. Because all big companies are made up of small people like you and I whose lives took a different turn when they had to deal with their kids’ schools closing in the midst of chasing that last roll of toilet paper, stocking up on supplies, trying to suppress the ‘joy’ of having your offspring running naked in the background at your latest staff meeting. Is there any wonder that productivity is decreasing?
Working from home is no fucking picnic. Not for parents whose kids haven’t migrated to online education because their countries just aren’t prepared, children who haven’t seen a park in weeks and pour that excess energy like molten lava on their already frustrated parents. Parents who are trying to be good employees and hold the tent up while their life is basically going to shit. Parents who NO LONGER HAVE TIME TO READ.
I work for these parents. I work with these people and for the big companies they represent. I work for the big fish who is always represented by the small fish and that small fish is currently riding the edge of a razor. Teachers can no longer teach like they used to, nannies can’t look after kids, grandparents can’t watch the little ones as they’re in the high-risk category corona-wise.
At the beginning of this pandemic (when I still didn’t take it seriously), all my streams of income were holding strong. I was covered. I can’t make a living from writing alone nor would I like to. I love having my fingers in all the pies and passive income has been a great incentive to work harder, do be more, to do more until I got to the point where I am now: I work because I want to, not because I have to. I was covered. Clients came in, clients walked out with big smiles, my books were selling, my Google AdSense did the job for me.
But my job depends on people and although I work remotely and I don’t have any screaming kids or any kids whatsoever, my pockets were generously filled by people who do. People who now may have lost jobs or are under the constant stress of cutting corners because THIS is the unknown and governments worldwide are blown away despite their reassuring messages. We didn’t see it coming. They didn’t see it coming.
People Move The World, The Economy
Not now. Now everyone’s glued to their TVs.
At the beginning this was about not getting sick and not infecting others. It’s only now that the economic impact has hit and we’re starting to realize just how much our jobs depend on others. Clients are not coming in, jobs are lost every single day, people have stopped spending. Book sales have drastically reduced as far as I’m concerned and my income has dropped an alarming 60%.
I was naïve to think that some jobs would suffer and others wouldn’t. That people would turn to reading or blog-browsing to chase the storm away. Graphic designers (although working from home) don’t get as much work coming in. Due to the current situation, writers think twice on the amount they should spend and many of them have turned to premade covers on their quest to cut corners. Here’s a premade cover site I recommend if you’re looking.
Editors are in the same boat. Until the storm blows over, everyone’s cutting corners. Why shouldn’t writers? Why shouldn’t readers?
From Perpetual Nomad To House Arrest
I too am working from home. We can’t go out of our homes for the reasons we used to. Just to walk the dog or do the necessary shopping or go to the drugstore. Alone. Because of how contagious the COVID-19 actually is and how hospitals would collapse if we don’t manage to be responsible and control the spread.
We’re being identified and asked where we’re going by the authorities. The lockdown is supposed to last for fifteen days. I severely doubt it. My friends in Germany said they’ll be under lockdown until the end of April. Some of us have to spend this time all alone and far away from our families.
Everyone in Spain is joking about the absence of toilet paper. Because it’s a thing and I saw it with my own two eyes: the Spanish president sending a reassuring message that THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYBODY and THERE’S NO NEED TO SHOP FOR THE APOCALYPSE, yet supermarket shelves told a different story.
This is how it really looks. But every single night at 8pm and 10pm people join in a collective clap from their balconies.
They’re showing appreciation however they can for the Healthcare System and supermarket workers. They’re clapping for those front line soldiers who are helping everyone overcome the pandemic.
These pictures have been sent to me from Madrid. Supermarkets look exactly the same as they do here.
I love how the Spaniards never lose hope in the face of adversity and I’m going to hug my laptop and follow their example, although I’m not in the greatest of moods.
Buy Cheaper Bread, But BUY It
And before I end this written bawl, I’d like to ask you all to try and preserve as many jobs as you can given your circumstances. I’m fighting for my own employees and emailed all my clients literally begging them to help me save as many jobs as possible and I did so because I now understand that paralyzing the economy will have an unprecedented impact on all of us.
What’s life if you don’t pull your shorts down and slide on the ice once in a while? I already got a few angry replies telling me to mind my business, but I still need to try. Solidarity needs action.
If our circumstances allow it, we must try moving forward even if it requires taking small steps. If it all falls on the governments, we’ll be swamped in our attempts to stay afloat. Stand by your workers, fight for them, make calculated purchases, but make them because if you don’t, families will go hungry, people will lose jobs and governments won’t have enough for all of us.
I repeat, if you haven’t lost your jobs, if your income allows it, keep the economy moving, or it’s going to get even worse.
Video on the Coronavirus situation here:
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She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
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Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!