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Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Central Books is Open, taking deliveries, processing and despatching orders.

We are now operating as normally as we can but please check details below.

Updated Tuesday 5th January 2021

We are running almost 100% normally.

We are being told by our couriers that they expect to be extremely busy during the Government announced changes.  So please understand that some deliveries may not be as quick as we would like them to be. 

We are ensuring the safety of our staff, making sure warehouse staff are keeping a distance from one another and wearing the correct PPE whilst office staff are working remotely on a rota basis.

Magazine and Book deliveries can now be made on any working day. Book publishers with deliveries over 10 boxes should still book in the delivery as before by emailing address

If you are a magazine publisher please visit

The internet booksellers continue to place orders. Gardners and Waterstones are placing orders. We expect that independent bricks and mortar shops will offer click and collect services whilst non-essential retailers are told to close. Many gallery shops are still closed, so  there are still sectors of the trade that are not running.

Like everyone we know that during a pandemic, events can move very quickly, below is the most recent news we have about how Central Books is reacting to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is effecting the distribution of books and magazines.

Central Books will keep this page as up to date as we can. At the end of this article are some questions and our current answers that you may want to ask. 

As long as the government does not request that we cease to work in the warehouse our operations are running but please do not expect all service levels to be what they were whilst we are working in different ways.

We will be posting updates to how this virus effects Central Books - so please visit this page for updates.

If at some point we are told to close we will send out emails to our publisher clients via mail chimp, If you are a publisher and you have not received one of our recent mail chimp emails about COVID-19 you may wish to subscribe, see how at the bottom of this page.

We hope you all remain well and healthy.

We are expecting to get a number of repeat questions about how we will operate during this crisis therefore please do keep checking the FAQ below as these will be updated as the situation develops.

As time has gone on more generic questions are being asked so there are now four sections to these Questions and Answers, 

Each question is numbered so we can refer to it in emails we exchange or for cross referencing. Please excuse some repetition.


General Questions & Answers


General Question 1: How long was Central Books closed for?

General Answer 1:   We are now processing orders and taking deliveries on normally. We were closed from about 25th March to 20th April 2020, but we are now open for orders.


General Question 2: Are despatches getting delayed?

General Answer 2:   There are a small number of delays still but most delivery services are fine. We are holding back orders where we believe the customer is closed.


Book Publisher Questions and Answers

Book Question B3: Can Central Books still take deliveries from publishers and printers?

Answer B3:  Yes, we can take deliveies as normal, Monday to Friday. For larger deliveries please still use to book the delivery in.


Book Question B4: Should publishers delay publication?

Answer B4:  Although everything is uncertain we currently see no reason to delay publications now.


Book Question B5: Should we delay special gratis free copy espatches?

Answer B5:   We can take these orders now. If you want to add an order or gratis request to the queue that will be despatched as quickly as we can then send requests to frees@ for gratis free requests, trade orders for books orders@ and trade orders for magazines magazines@. 


Book Question B6: Who can I contact at Central Books?

Answer B6:   We fear that some of us will get ill and hope it will only lead to days in bed.  At the moment a number of our staff are able to look at emails remotely. Answers to your emails might not come straight away but for the moment try emailing the person you normally contact. If you are a publisher making a gratis or free copy request please send these orders to frees@ and send any trade orders to orders@ for books and use magazines@ for magazines. As not all staff are checking emails these emails addresses is more much better than induvial emails.


  Book Question B7: What we will happen if a shop places an order?

Answer B7:   When shops start to re-open, we will discuss with each shop how they wish to treat recorded orders.


Book Question B8: Should overseas printers send Central Books books during this crisis?

Answer B8:   Yes, we can now take deliveries. Please book in all deliveries over 10 boxes. 


Book Question B9: What will happen for those publishers who have proportionately more stock at Central Books and are charged for storage or excess storage?

Answer B9:   As Central Books will continue to pay rent on a large amount of the books they store and will still have to pay rates, we are not able to suspend excess storage charges. We also now processing and despatching orders.


Book Question B10: What might cause Central Books to close down again?

Answer B10:   Some publishers have asked us if we might close down again. We believe we can now stay open in all but the most extreme situations. During the pandemic anything could happen but currently we think that only two situations will cause us to temporarily close down. The obvious reason is that the Government announce something like all non-medical or essential businesses must temporarily close, this could be a local, London wide or a national requirement. The other reason is if we are asked to close down due to an outbreak connected to our staff. We believe the measures in place reduce the likelihood of a work place outbreak. When the Government asks all those, who can work from home to work from home naturally we will follow this request but we will continue to operate. In summary we plan to continue our operations unless we are asked not to by the relevant authority, we are confident that we can remain open under most circumstances.


Magazine Publisher Questions and Answers please visit


Retailer and Wholesaler Questions and Answers


Retailer Question R3: Should a retailer still place orders?

Retailer Answer R3:   Yes, we can take orders. Please see below for details about the digital ordering systems TeleOrdering and PubEasy. As you will see from above we are not running at normal service but your order will be processed and despatched. Contact ordes@ for any order  queries.   


Retailer Question R4: TeleOrdering - how is Central Books treating TeleOrders?

Retailer Answer R4: If a retailer sends an order via TeleOrdering we will process the order in good time. If the retailer has flagged the order as do not record, we will NOT record.


Retailer Question R5: PubEasy - how is Central Books treating PubEasy orders?

Retailer Answer R5:  If a retailer sends an order via PubEasy we will process the order in good time. If the retailer has flagged the order as do not record, we will NOT record.


Retailer (Magazine) Question R6: Can shops order new magazines  or back issues before normal regular despatches begin?

Retailer (Magazine)  Answer R6:   Yes, but please send your orders to magazines@ . 


Retailer (Magazine) Question R7: Can shops return magazines or books in the normal way?

Retailer (Magazine) Answer R7:   Yes, we are receiving and processing returns.


Publishers Please Subscribe to our Mail Chimp email lists:

If you are a book publisher and you know your vendor or bookweb logins details you can subscribe to our mail chimp email list

If you are a magzine publisher and you know your vendor or bookweb logins details you can subscribe to our mail chimp email list

If you do not know your logins email Mark or Bill, but remember this page will have the most up to date information on it.

Central Books is now processing and despatching orders. We are now operating with a lower than usual staff numbers.

If you landed at the bottom of this page do scroll up or click here to read it all.