All across the world, book tours and other similar events have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving some authors worried that readers won’t buy their new books.
The London-based Society of Authors has set up a $378,000 Authors’ Emergency Fund for writers who are British subjects or who are living in the U.K. Authors who are missing out on income because of the pandemic can apply to receive grants, which the society says on its website “are likely to be up to” $2,300.
“When part of the crisis consists of not knowing enough about the crisis itself to be able to plan with any certainty, it will be enormously reassuring to many authors to know that this fund exists,” Pullman, the president of the Society of Authors, told The Guardian. “With the cancelled event there also disappears, of course, the author’s fee. This is the situation that many of us now face, and which the Authors’ Emergency Fund will do a great deal to mitigate.”
Among the groups contributing to the fund are the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society, the Royal Literary Fund, the T.S. Eliot Foundation, English PEN, and Amazon UK.
The society is also accepting donations for the fund on its website.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.