Publishers Weekly Launches #BooksAreEssential

- Hashtag Campaign to Support Publishing Industry in Face of Covid-19 -

NEW YORK, N.Y.—April 20, 2020—Publishers Weekly has launched a new social media campaign, #BooksAreEssential, to support the publishing industry, booksellers, authors, illustrators and others affiliated with the industry who have been affected by the new coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Publishers Weekly created the hashtag in response to the shutdown of all but “essential” businesses. In that fallout, books were deemed “nonessential,” leading to widespread pushback from publishers, booksellers, authors and readers.

The #BooksAreEssential campaign launches with the April 20, 2020 issue of Publishers Weekly. The cover, by the Finnish illustrator Pirita Tolvanen, shows a reader who peers out over a book held open in the manner of an N95 surgical mask. The book’s title, shown on the spine, is “a novel,” Coronavirus.

“Whether you are working in a hospital, teaching your children at home, laid off or furloughed from a job or simply trying to make sense of this pandemic, books are a lifeline,” said Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly. “We’re asking everyone to stand up and say, ‘Yes, books are essential to my life.’” More than two dozen publishers participated in the kick-off of campaign—each with a selfie taken with a book held up as a surgical mask. The publishers’ #BooksAreEssential photos are published in the magazine.

The hashtag emphasizes the belief that books are essential to the health, well-being, entertainment and education of society and culture, particularly in times of crisis. Publishers Weekly is encouraging readers to take selfies with books they’re reading and post the photos to social media platforms using hashtag #BooksAreEssential and tagging Publishers Weekly (Instagram, @pwpics; Twitter, @publisherswkly; Facebook, @Publishers Weekly). Photos may also be submitted for consideration for Publishers Weekly‘s Picture of the Day,

The #BooksAreEssential campaign is the latest effort by Publishers Weekly to lead the industry during the pandemic. The magazine is offering open access to gated content for the duration of the pandemic, maintains a Covid-19 chronicle of the impact of the virus on the book publishing industry, offers resources for unemployed and furloughed booksellers and others and keeps a running list of book publication date changes due to the crisis. More information is located at

About Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly is the international news platform of the book publishing industry. Founded in 1872 and published weekly since then, the magazine boasts 1.23 million social media followers; publishes 10 e-newsletters, BookLife (a semimonthly supplement), two blogs, a mobile edition, digital editions, apps and podcasts; and features a thriving website that reaches 14 million unique visitors annually.

For more information, contact Christi Cassidy, +1-917-217-4269,

Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Email Address


Log In Forgot Password

Premium online access is only available to PW subscribers. If you have an active subscription and need to set up or change your password, please click here.

New to PW? To set up immediate access, click here.

NOTE: If you had a previous PW subscription, click here to reactivate your immediate access. PW site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. If working at an office location and you are not "logged in", simply close and relaunch your preferred browser. For off-site access, click here. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options, please email Mike Popalardo at:

To subscribe: click here.