During a crisis such as the one we are currently facing worldwide, it’s always interesting to note the way people approach problems. A tough time for the book business may be something we are currently dealing with, but I am proud to say that even though this crisis has been hanging over the heads of many, this has been a time of true Christianity and hope. From the author who couldn’t afford his meds and got the cash needed from his publisher (not an uncommon story at the moment with people so short of money); the authors who have been working tirelessly to keep putting stories together for readers to enjoy; the publishers who have been buying more advertising to help authors move more books; and the editors who have continued to work on product even through the darkest days of this invisible killer we are all facing. For me, I have discovered more about people through this time. Yes, I believe the character of the author comes to the fore. We can truly discover who can really handle the heat in the kitchen. I have identified three personality types I have witnessed during this crisis. Let’s meet them.
This is the author who has allowed their greed to take over. Crisis? What crisis? People dying? Where’s my money! These authors are not destined to survive the crisis, as they will, at some point, inevitably quit in anger and disgust that their own need for greed is not being satisfied. If they aren’t getting what they want, then they sulk, pout, throw hissy-fits like little girls and run off and hide in the bushes. Surprisingly, there are more of these than you’d think. In many cases, the sulkers are faring better saleswise than most, but cannot see the positive because of their greed, anger and inability to change. It’s a shame, but we love them too because they can’t help it.
Yes, we are here to meet a certain kind of person—a person who sees negatives around each corner and has already quit many times over. They give themselves many reasons for quitting. Most of these are centred around imagined problems rather than real ones. This person will always be a quitter and only wants to play with their marbles when the going is good; but when the rainclouds come, they run back to hide behind mama’s skirts, quaking with fear. A shame, but a fact—a fair number of quitters exist, and they are not the people you may usually identify as quitters, either. Crisis creates cowardice. But we love them because they can’t help it.
This category is the author who doesn’t waste time worrying about this, that, or the other. They keep on keeping on. Writing new books, understanding the pressure the market is under and how buying trends have changed. Always with a cheery word. These are the ones who encourage new ideas, encourage growth and are the ones who will still be here in a year’s, or ten years’ time. This is the author who will always find success because they are not just in it for the sunshine, they are in it for the long haul. They will overcome anything, and I’m proud to say the majority of the authors I know are soldiers. They are working harder than ever to make sure that there will be books today, tomorrow, and the day after the crisis has ended, when things start to return back to normal. And we love them because these people are born winners and can’t help it.
At an unprecedented time like this, it’s important to understand that things are not going to get better tomorrow or the next day because we wish them to. Things are going to get better when they get better, and until they do, we do the best we can in the meantime. There’s lots of work to be done, and someone has to do it. There’s a bright new sunrise coming once this storm is finished, as tough times never last, but tough people do!