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The world has changed...


As the benefits of the vaccine programme take effect, it looks like parts of the world, certainly the UK, are edging back towards a more normal life. And yet it won’t just be a question of waking up from a 15-month bad dream and going back to exactly how we were. Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of bereaved families, shattered lives, failed businesses, lost hopes, fractured educations, exhausted health workers… the list goes on.

But aside from the terrible wreckage of this 15-month period, there is a much longer-lasting impact. As well as the medical syndrome of long Covid, there will be a societal long Covid. With the medical version, it looks like it may take years in some cases for people to be able to recover and lead fit and active lives.

Similarly, the societal long Covid means that it will be years, if ever, until many many aspects of our lives will resemble what they did in, say, February 2020. And this will have an impact on how we think, how we act and how we interact with others. In other words, it will continue to shape every aspect of our lives.

What has all this got to do with books?

Well, non-fiction books, the area of writing in which I work, hold up a mirror to our lives (as of course does all great fiction), and they need to provide relevant, up-to-date advice, information and guidance on their subject area. The problem is that, now, every book published before the pandemic is, to a greater or lesser extent, out of date. No author (except of sci-fi books) saw this coming and therefore could not have possibly addressed what has happened.

Now is the time to write a post-Covid book

If you have ever had the ambition to write a business-related book about your world, then now is a perfect time. This book of yours could be the first book in its sector to reflect what is happening in this new world, as it relates to your business topic. How amazing would that be??

So, this disruption could be your opportunity. We are all searching for new guidance, new reassurances, fresh ways of looking at this new world that can help us to make sense of it. This now may well not be provided by a book written pre-2020. Indeed, dipping into a couple of books I enjoyed in 2019 which seemed to provide a refreshingly bold and original take on aspects of business now seem pale and timid. The solutions they offer now come across as tinkering at the edges rather than facing up to what are now seismic shifts taking place.

What are the big changes?

Where to start? Let’s start with the big one: death! In the 8 months of the blitz in WW2, between September 1940 and May 1941, 43,000 civilians died in bombing raids across the UK. During this pandemic around 130,000 people have died from Covid in the UK. That helps to put some scale on the issue. We have never in our lives previously had death tolls announced nightly on the news. We have all been touched by death.

This makes us appreciate life, family and friendships so much more! So, every book on relationships and family, every book with any ‘live life, it’s the only one you’ve got’ message, of which there are so many, needs rewriting.

The next big one: health and wellbeing

Probably the fastest growing non-fiction genre! Never again will we take our health and wellbeing for granted! The spectre of Covid and long Covid has been hanging over all of us, and it has made us all cherish and focus on our health. Obesity, poor diet and lack of fitness have been shown to be proven points of vulnerability to Covid. As for our wellbeing, well, our mental health has been tested to the extreme, so again, there has been a focus on this as never before.

Other business areas:

Networking: Meetings via Zoom are the new normal, and yet what books on networking talk about Zoom etiquette?? So many questions are unanswered in previous books on networking: How to produce an effective Zoom 40 seconds? How to use Zoom Chat effectively? How to follow up after an online meeting? And many, many more.

Migration online: Any book which has some element of discussion relating to online strategies will have underplayed online’s importance. Five years’ worth of online migration trends has been compressed into one year! The most obvious changes happening in retail but the effects of this are being felt across every sector. For example, it’s now even more overcrowded online, so how do you gain attention?

Work patterns: For the self-employed little has changed, working from home probably was the norm anyway. But what is the future of the office? Managing people has suddenly become far more complicated! Many organisations are saying that ‘mixed’ working is here to stay. If you were managing teams where everyone was in the office 9-5, 5 days a week, this was so much easier than the prospect of everyone now being dispersed permanently, or even more complicated, in the office 3 out of the 5 days. So, every book on management is out of date!

Motivation: How to motivate people remotely? How to stay focused and self-motivated? Everything needs reappraising, with fresh strategies needed.

Already written a book? Create a post-Covid updated edition

If a reappraisal of everything you put across in a pre-2020 book is necessary, then the good news is that this may well be able to be achieved relatively quickly, easily and economically.  The beauty of a self-published book is that you have the flexibility to create a new edition. This will require a new ISBN number and a tweak to the cover. Amend relevant sections of your book and flag up on the cover that this is a post-Covid updated version of your book.

Start reappraising your world and get writing!

Sales of books, audiobooks have risen greatly during the pandemic – people are hungry for answers! So, if you are a coach, an expert in your field, a leading practitioner of a skill, your time could be now!  Others will be busy having the same idea, so get writing a new book for a new world… NOW!