This week, March 13, marks the one-year anniversary of the announcement that my daughter’s school was closing due to the novel coronavirus. That was the beginning here.
I was pondering last week just how much our world has changed in the past year. My daughter was not allowed to set foot in her school for almost a year. Her teacher had to almost completely reinvent how she taught her class. We suspended our Kiwanis meetings, eventually moving them to Zoom. I’ve been working from home while my daughter learns from home for almost a year.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the pandemic changes. We’ve seen so much shift in this past year.
As you all know by now, I face adversity by looking for the silver linings. Brain surgery didn’t change that. Neither did the pandemic.
The last thing we did as a family in public with other humans was Nola’s blue belt test in Kempo Karate. It was the last time she’d ever set foot in that dojo.
Her dojo closed permanently two weeks later as the full impact of the pandemic took hold.
I was devastated when it closed, but encouraged when her sensei agreed to try lessons on Zoom. They are still meeting on Zoom, and Nola has advanced two belts in the past year.
And so, I celebrated with my daughter last week when she earned her green belt. Karate kept my daughter sane during all this upheaval. It was the tether to her pre-pandemic self.
We still celebrate her belts with Chinese food from our favorite restaurant. Although now, it’s delivered to our house. (Frankly, I prefer that.)
The pandemic has forced a lot of modifications. And they aren’t all bad.
On the publishing side of things, one of the silver linings has been forcing us to take a look at some of those things we just hadn’t had time for and prioritizing them.
We’ve spent the past year taking stock of our products and looking for new and more efficient ways to bring them to readers.
One of the best things to come out of the pandemic, for us, was the creation of our weekly Grab a Book and Chill newsletter. It’s really become a fantastic vehicle for us to not only share news but also to offer special deals for our subscribers.
So, if you haven’t signed up for it, you should. Thanks to our new partnership with Findaway Voices, we’ve expanded access to some of our WMG-produced audiobooks, including into libraries, and we’ll be able to offer promotions in the future on those audiobooks.
We’ll use our newsletter to do that.
To sign up for the Grab a Book and Chill weekly newsletter (and get free ebook copies of Dust and Kisses: A Seeders Universe Prequel Novel by Dean Wesley Smith and A Dangerous Road: A Smokey Dalton Novel by Kris Nelscott), click here.
Life continues to change, and the pandemic continues to evolve. But we will continue to roll with it. In good times and in bad.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.