…about how long it has been since I wrote one of these.
I started to write this back in February. The mood was starting to turn. People were sick in China and Italy. I got preoccupied by all of it. And then I got sick with all the symptoms of COVID-19 at the end of the month. I just thought it was a strong flu. Even then, I was barely connecting my illness to what was happening. At some point, I hope to get a test for antibodies to see if I did get infected early in the cycle.
I have found myself struggling to figure out how to respond to everything going on. I finally relied on what has long worked for me: starting reading. This is not the first crisis that I or country or the world has faced. Many, many people have written about the struggle and the hope that is always there.
I collected a set of those thoughts and writings into an ebook called Right Now. It contains less than twenty pages and you can probably read it in about 15 minutes. There is a wide range of perspectives. I hope you will find something that lands with you. You can find the landing page here.
I also want to thank my friend and long-time collaborator Joy Stauber for helping me put this collection into the world. She does amazing work as a designer. You should check out her work.
Trends in Business Books
Another way I have felt that I have been able to help is looking at the business book market and try to make sense of it.
I was already doing market research for authors and around some future projects, when this all hit. I just shifted my focus to start looking at the macro effects.
It’s been rough. Business and self-help sales are down roughly 40%. Launches are seeing less sales and many publishers are pushing their release dates later in the year.
If you are interested in more detail, check out my update from March 20th and my update from April 6th. I am working on a third update, but I need a little more data to know where things are headed next.
Fun and Games
We are a big board game family and one way we are spending time together at the table. I have been posting photos on Instagram of our choices if you want some inspiration.
I have to say that Wingspan from Stonemeier Games has been getting a lot of play in the last two weeks. The illustrations are beautiful. The gameplay is easy enough to learn but the strategies you can play are numerous. If you really want to nerd out, you can read about the birder and game designer Elizabeth Hargrave in the New York Times.
That’s all for now. Stay safe (I mean it!) and be well. -Todd