NEW YORK — All of the so-called "Big Five" publishers have dropped out of BookExpo, the industry's annual national convention. Hachette Book Group and Macmillan became the fourth and fifth to announce they would not attend the July gathering and the fan-based BookCon which immediately follows.
"With the impact of the coronavirus still an unknown, Hachette Book Group has decided to withdraw our participation in Book Expo and BookCon 2020 in the interest of the health and well-being of our employees and authors," according to a statement Thursday from the publisher. "We'll miss having the opportunity to engage with booksellers, librarians, and readers but are committed to finding new ways to connect these audiences with our books and authors."
Penguin Random House, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster had already canceled even as the convention's organizer, ReedPOP, postponed BookExpo and BookCon from May to July.
In a statement Thursday, show manager Jenny Martin said the gatherings, which traditionally attract tens of thousands, were still planned. The events are to be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, which New York state has converted to a medical facility.
"No one is operating business as usual because business is not usual," Martin said. "Our customers know the door is open and the dialogue will continue now through July about how we come together as an industry and survive this."