After announcing in initial two-month delay from May to July, BookCon and its more industry-based sister event BookExpo are no longer taking place in 2020.
Due to its population density, COVID-19 has spread quickly through the city and overwhelmed hospitals. In early April, the Javits Center– where BookCon and BookExpo is held each year– was designated as a field hospital that will serve up to 2,500 patients infected with the disease at a time once fully functional. However, even before the Javits’ transition was confirmed, all of the “Big Five” publishers– Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon and Schuster– has withdrawn from the rescheduled July dates, prompting many attendees to request a refund.
BookCon released a three-part statement via social media and its official website:
However, that doesn’t mean BookCon and BookExpo are giving up on all efforts to support the book community:
While we cannot move forward with a physical event in 2020, we are finding new and different ways to connect our fans with authors to celebrate books virtually. Keep an eye out for our virtual content in the coming days and weeks on our official Facebook page and we look forward to coming back stronger in 2021.
So far, BookCon has done a massive author read-a-thon to support the Save Indie Bookstores effort, as well as started a Virtual Author Tour series on their social media.
Folks who were planning to attend BookCon 2020 will receive automatic refunds, with no action required on their part.