Hachette is the latest Big Five publisher to reconsider and decline to exhibit at the postponed BookExpo and BookCon 2020.
In a statement released today by the Hachette Book Group, the publisher said “with the impact of the coronavirus still an unknown, Hachette Book Group has decided to withdraw our participation in BookExpo and BookCon 2020 in the interest of the health and well-being of our employees and authors. We’ll miss having the opportunity to engage with booksellers, librarians, and readers but are committed to finding new ways to connect these audiences with our books and authors.”
Despite the rescheduling of BookExpo and BookCon from May to July, such major exhibitors as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and now Hachette, have decided to withdraw from participation in the annual trade show and events around it.
BookExpo organizer Reedpop rescheduled BookExpo and BookCon 2020 events following an emergency degree by New York State banning large public gatherings in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19. However this week, New York State announced plans to place as many 2000 hospitals beds in the Javits Convention Center making it unavailable for its usual activities for an indefinite period.
Reedpop executives have said they still plan to go ahead with the show. "We are working closely with the Javits Center to ensure the health and safety of our customers. I think it is noble what they are doing, opening their doors to overflow patients so that those who are infected with COVID-19 will have focused care in the city’s hospitals," said event director Jenny Martin. "We are all doing the best we can during these times, and what that means for BookExpo is to work hard to provide the place that gives our customers the tools to bounce back from this."