The birth of the global pandemic has meant change in almost all industries across Canada and that includes publishing. Maria Zuppardi, marketing assistant at Mawenzi House joins us to share more about what the shift to working from home has meant for her (and her new co-worker!) and how Mawenzi House continues to bring creativity forward in these difficult times.
Some of you may know me from my bookstagram,
@readingmaria, and others will know me as the fun (and somewhat cool) marketing assistant at Mawenzi House, where we publish uniquely diverse fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. When I started out a couple of years ago, I never would’ve thought that I would be working from home, creating newsletters and programs with a fury. I guess it’s safe to say that none of us ever really anticipated this!
Maria's WFH setup
My workday has changed drastically since working from home. Like many of you, I’m sure we suddenly find ourselves with new, unpaid coworkers—who might not be too happy about that! Juggling work with an overly hyper 7-month-old puppy, Charlie, is my biggest hurdle during the day. Zoom meetings and puppies just don’t go well together (I apologize to the authors who had to deal with loud barking during said meetings). I usually start my workday off with a coffee, check my emails, and then go on to make a newsletter. After that, I’ll log onto Twitter/Instagram and be a little active by liking posts, and the occasional retweet. Next are some social media graphics, and then scheduling them accordingly. Of course, there are mini play sessions in between and an afternoon walk, so my regular workday is now stretched by a few extra hours.
Maria's new co-worker, Charlie
On top of regular work duties, the shift to schedule online events has been a fast one. We have a few events in the works, organized by us or other places, and making sure my authors are ready and know what to do has been giving me some extra added stress throughout the day. It’s a new world for many of us, and learning what to do is imperative!
In the short few weeks we’ve been working from home, we’ve also rolled out a couple of special initiatives to help our authors and their books succeed. When you use code STAYHOME on our website (
www.mawenzihouse.com), that will give you 20% off all our print books and ebooks, which will be running until June. Our second initiative is our new ebook program: if you buy a print book, you can email us proof of purchase and we will email you a free ebook, which is especially helpful for our newly released books since there are printing delays.
Needless to say, working from home is crazy busy. There’s a lot more pressure to do most of your own marketing, because we are losing those foot traffic sales from many of our beloved indie bookstores. Staying relevant on social media is easy, but it’s converting those views and engagement into interested and willing readers that can be challenging!
What I can tell you is this: the publishing industry is always evolving and bringing new creative ideas to the table, and we will continue to do so during this trying time. Keep supporting authors who are publishing books right now, and we’ll make it out ok. Stay safe and healthy!
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A big thank you to Maria Zuppardi, marketing assistant at Mawenzi House, for joining us on the All Lit Up blog!
All Lit Up is produced by the Literary Press Group and LitDistCo. LPG and LitDistCo acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.
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