Here in Oregon, we are under a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. It’s not a shelter-in-place order, but by later today, it might be. Given the number of visitors we had in Lincoln City this weekend, it’s pretty clear that the only way a lot of people will indeed stay home is if more extreme measures are in place. But that will be a blog for a different day.
Because every day now ushers in a new reality.
At WMG, we are following all the guidelines. All of our contract employees were already working from home in the first place. As for the three employees we have in the office, one is now working from home exclusively and the other has the main office space to use for himself. I alternate between working from home and working from my private office, which I can get into and out of without interacting with a soul as it has an exterior door and the interior door is locked.
We’re getting creative to keep business functioning as smoothly as possible. We’re lucky that we can do that. And our new ever-shifting reality calls for continued innovation and creativity.
I’m seeing that innovation and creativity at play in some unexpected places right now, and it’s heartening that we’ll all help each other get through this transition from what we knew to what the world will look like after the COVID-19 World Event.
Here in Lincoln City, most businesses are not on the cutting edge of modern technology. They’re mom and pop shops just struggling to make ends meet (even during a booming economy). Home delivery is not much of a thing here. Before last week, I could count on one hand the restaurants that offered it.
All that has changed now.
Many of our local restaurants (forced to close to diners but allowed to offer takeout and delivery) got creative for the delivery part. They have partnered with local cab companies (ride share hadn’t really become a thing out here yet) to help keep them in business, too, by turning them into delivery vehicles. They’ve set up online ordering so you don’t have to interact with a human at all. Just place your order and pay online, specify no-contact delivery, and the food is dropped at your doorstep and you get a text when the driver is at a safe distance. That’s a hell of a leap forward in the space of a week.
Our local family-owned theater is getting creative, too. They’re offering curbside pickup of fresh movie-theater popcorn for a one-hour window every evening for people to enjoy at home.
Meanwhile, all sorts of virtual experiences are coming online to help us all.
It can be easy to focus on the fear and uncertainty and peril and anger in times like these. Understandable, even. But I’m trying to find those rays of hope in all this darkness.
So, the staff here at WMG will continue doing what we do best: making products that entertain people, that provide a welcome distraction from the harsh realities we’re facing.
To that end, we’ll continue to focus in the coming weeks on great deals and free offers so that those of you who are suffering the most economically from all this have access to as much inexpensive entertainment as possible.
So, this week, let me remind you of two things:
Our Cave Creek Kickstarter offers you two ebooks right now (Thunder Mountain: A Thunder Mountain Novel by Dean Wesley Smith and The Gallery of His Dreams by Kristine Kathryn Rusch) for just $5. And for $15, you get five (the two just mentioned plus the three Cave Creek anthologies). If we reach our second stretch goal, you can add another ebook to those same values. Read more about that here.
And don’t forget to sign up for our Stay Inside and Chill newsletter. Everyone who gets that newsletter receives two free ebooks just for signing up: Life of a Dream: An Earth Protection League Novel by Dean Wesley Smith and Hidden Charm: A Fates Universe Novel by Kristine Grayson. Plus, you’ll be notified of our weekly deals on bundles and other special pricing. Click here to learn more or to sign up.
And don’t forget to check out our free first in series books here.
Stay home if you can and stay healthy, everyone!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.