I think I speak for everyone when I say this week has been A Lot. Living in the era of the never-ending news cycle can be overwhelming at the best of times, and this, my friends, sure doesn’t feel like the best of times. So, I tried my best to keep the bad news short and sweet and right off the top of our roundup this week, and made sure to outweigh any negative news with some good and inspiring stuff.

COVID-19 continues to cause event cancellations around the world. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which had originally been postponed a few months, has now officially been cancelled for 2020.

2020 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Is Canceled

Due to the spread of the new coronavirus in Italy, the organizers of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair have opted to cancel the fair for this year. In addition, the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair has been canceled as well.

Big events and conventions aren’t the only ones being hit with the effects of COVID-19. As people start to self-quarantine and practice social distancing, indie bookstores are seeing a dramatic decline in business.

Coronavirus Impact Begins to Spread

The growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the publishing industry came into view for the this week as some independent bookstores reported slowing sales and the number of book festival and author tour cancellations rose. At Books, Inc. locations in the Bay Area, sales began to decline last week.

It’s not all bad news though! Booksellers in Beijing have teamed up with a food delivery service app to bring books to those who can’t, or don’t want to leave their house.

Latest News on China Tech, Gaming and Gadgets Review | Abacus

Abacus covers the latest China tech and gaming news, from start-up updates, product reviews to Chinese internet and social media trends.

More good news, especially for those of us in the digital publishing world, the 20% tax on eBooks and digital newspapers and journals in the UK will be scrapped this year.

Budget 2020: VAT on e-books and newspapers scrapped

“However, for many people living with sight loss, audiobooks are their preferred format and allow them to enjoy their favourite titles in the same way as everyone else. It’s not right that they will continue to be charged 20% more for books and we urge the government to make sure that audiobooks are included in the exemption.”

After canvassing her readers for ideas, author Sybil Wettasinghe was awarded the Guinness World Record for most alternate endings in a book with 1250!

Children’s book gets Guinness record with 1,250 alternative endings

March 6 (UPI) — A Sri Lankan author was awarded a Guinness World Record after enlisting the help of the country’s children to write a book with 1,250 alternative endings. Sybil Wettasinghe, 90, author and illustrator of popular children’s books including The Umbrella Thief, enlisted the help of students from all across the country to contribute writings, drawings and poetry to complete the story in her book, Wonder Crystal.

Lady Gaga’s organization will be publishing an anthology of stories about kindness and I have to say, the timing on this could not be better.

Lady Gaga’s organization is publishing an anthology about kindness.

Boy do we need it. Lady Gaga and her organization, the Born This Way Foundation, have announced that they’ll be publishing an anthology later this year called Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community.

If you’re looking to be inspired, Juliana Narváez Gutierrez (14) and Leonardo Mete (15) have won the First Page student writing challenge. You can read their entries in the article and spoiler alert: they’re very good.

The First Page student writing challenge is now closed | CBC Books

The First Page student writing challenge is now closed for submissions.​ The judging process is ongoing. Ten finalists from each category will be selected by a team of readers at CBC Books . Finalists will be notified by email in February 2021. David A. Robertson will select two winners, one from each category, from the shortlists.

Speaking of prizes, the National Book Critics Circle have announced their 2020 winners.

2020 NBCC Award Winners Announced

​The National Book Critics Circle has announced the recipients of its annual book awards, honoring works published in 2019. Due to an outbreak in New York City of Covid-19, the ceremony originally planned for this evening at the New School in New York City was canceled, and the winners were announced remotely.

After the walkout at Hachette Book Group convinced the publisher to drop Woody Allen’s memoir, some are hopeful that this is the beginning of a positive change in publishing.

Woody Allen’s book could signal a new era in the publishing industry

The book publishing industry last week learned the potency of pushback – that bad business decisions have consequences and that lower-level employees have more power than for which they’d previously been given credit. On Friday afternoon Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of the publisher Hachette, announced that it would cancel filmmaker’s Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, mere days after announcing the deal.

Another inspiring article, this one about a mobile library that serves refugee camps in Greece which I found to be incredibly moving.

Good deeds: the mobile library reaching refugees’ hearts and minds

‘The Anne Frank came back to us recently from a man living in a tent in Malakasa,” Keira Dignan says. We’re on board the Echo mobile library, a donated minivan lined with DIY bookshelves, as it motors between refugee camps in Greece. The 24-year-old librarian is telling me about the most popular books held on its wooden shelves.

And finally, my favourite piece of the week: Roxanne Gay’s love letter to her Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. Have a great weekend everyone.

Roxane Gay on Her Always Dependable KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I am trying to master baking croissants. I am failing spectacularly. No matter what I do, the croissants come out too thick and chewy. The butter leaks while I am laminating the dough on my kitchen counter. The butter leaks while the croissants are baking.

Staff Reads and Recommendations:
Laura Granger, Author Engagement Specialist

Wild at Heart ebook by K.A. Tucker – Rakuten Kobo

Read “Wild at Heart” by K.A. Tucker available from Rakuten Kobo. From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska an…

“This sequel was one of my favorite romance reads of 2020 so far! Canadian author KA Tucker returns to the world of Calla and Jonah with the follow up to The Simple Wild. Set in Alaska, Wild at Heart follows Torontonian Calla as she tries to adapt to her new world of cold weather and wildlife. Tucker is a great writer, and I loved hearing about Calla’s journey as she forged her own path in her new home, along with a new cast of entertaining side characters (plus Zeke, a fainting goat!) And to be honest, I can never get enough of Jonah. 5/5 Yetis”

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