Publisher’s Weekly 2020 Person of the Year: The Book Business Worker

Time to celebrate all those in the publishing chain who make it happen – from book warehouse workers to editors, booksellers, reviewers et al. Celebrating all those involved in the publishing ecosystem looks like a good way to start 2020.

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How the workers in the publishing ecosystem kept it all moving…

All the while, workers in libraries and warehouses, like booksellers, put on their personal protective equipment and reported for duty. Publishing workers endeavored to make some sense of their new employment situation, isolated at home and making books alone together from behind screens. And authors and employees across all segments of the book business, frustrated by the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in publishing, made their frustrations heard, prompting the first concerted industry-wide effort to address these issues.

There’s an old proverb that says, “Many hands make light work.” This year, for the book business, that wasn’t quite true: the work was never light. Still, without many hands, there would have been no work at all—no books made or sold or read, no milestones achieved. No individual could stand out in such a year, and no individual should be honored in it either. Instead, it is the collective of book business workers, often overworked and underpaid, that kept the industry afloat and challenged it to live up to greater standards.

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