How Disc Makers Is Helping Combat COVID-19

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face shields

Our sister company, Disc Makers — who serves independent musicians much the same way BookBaby serves independent authors — has joined in the fight against COVID-19, and for that matter, so has BookBaby. These stations and the people making face shields are some of the same folks who work behind the scenes in production and administration and packaging at BookBaby. This post was penned by Tony van Veen, CEO of Disc Makers, and it’s a testament to the ingenuity and forward thinking that will get us through this pandemic.

face shields heroThe COVID-19 pandemic continues to consume news headlines and alter the daily lives of people around the world. As we all grapple with staying healthy (as I hope everyone reading this is) and navigating the changes to our normal work and social environments, we all have personal and societal stakes in doing our part to help end this pandemic.

Like so many other businesses, Disc Makers has felt the effects of the Coronavirus. Business is down, as you might expect, and while we were doing everything we could to stay open and keep our family of employees safe and working, we were at the point where we were cutting hours and taking pay reductions to try to keep everyone employed.

It’s hard to believe, but after almost 74 years in the volatile music industry, this virus is the biggest threat this company has ever faced. Then, a week ago, while watching the news and hearing of the desperate shortage of protective equipment for front-line health workers, my wife turned to me and asked, “Tony, can’t you guys manufacture some of this?”

That question put a chain of events in motion.

Two days later, our amazing team of manufacturing engineers and operations pros had come up with a prototype for a protective face shield. We ordered supplies, worked through the weekend to finalize the specs, set up workstations on Monday, and started manufacturing the next day! The factory staff who print your inserts, replicate discs, and package your products — as well as office staff from every department — are now soldiers in the battle to literally save lives.

And now, instead of worrying how we’re going to survive on diminished CD volume, I’m worrying if we have enough staff to fill the demand for these face shields. Every single person at Disc Makers is invested in helping in this fight and I’m so impressed with how our team turned on a dime, made this happen in a matter of days, and enthusiastically jumped in to help battle this global crisis.

We’re not out of the woods yet. There’s more social distancing, more quarantining, and more medical emergencies ahead. But it’s heartening to see so many companies rushing to help defeat this crisis — and I am so proud that Disc Makers is among them.

If you or your loved ones work in the medical, emergency, janitorial, food service, or any field helping others get through this crisis, thank you! We’re working as fast as we can to help protect you and are pricing our face shields on narrow margins to make them affordable. They can be ordered at www.discmakers.com/faceshields. Hospitals that need large quantities can email faceshields@discmakers.com.

We are doing all we can to maintain a safe, clean environment at Disc Makers, and our factory is still open and producing CDs, vinyl LPs, and t-shirts. While your need for these items may be lower than normal at the moment, rest assured that, when you need product, we’re here for you.

Our New Jersey headquarters will continue to manufacture your books. Safety is always our #1 priority, so on top of following the latest CDC guidelines, everyone in our production facility is practicing additional sanitation protocols. This includes handling all packages with gloves and wiping down all machinery after every shift.

Our Publishing Specialists are doing their part by practicing social distancing. They may be working from home, but you can still reach out if you have questions. Just give us a call or send us an email during our usual business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST.

You devote a significant amount of time to finishing your book. You give even more effort into building a publishing career. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to supporting your publishing project — all the way to the finish line.

Stay healthy and safe.

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Steven Spatz
Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to steven@bookbaby.com.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, Disc Makers for “changing it up” at your facility to help our frontline healthcare workers during this unprecedented time. So glad that your effort also keeps your employees working instead of laying them off.

    I am blessed to be living in times that witness people doing good for each other. There will always be selfish riff-raff, but good triumphs over evil. No doubt many writers are currently plotting out stories that incorporate this pandemic. 🙂 So the BookBaby business should also recover quickly. 😀

    God’s blessings to you all.

  2. Fantastic! That’s a heroic response, and I applaud the ingenuity and quick response of your entire staff! I’m sharing this post to get the word out.
    Prayers for all of you and your families!

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