March Publisher’s Note
We’re quietly celebrating Foreword’s 22nd anniversary on April 1, while nervously settling into our turbulent twenties, thank you very little COVID-19. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been a part of several virtual group meetings with up to 100 independent publishers and service providers rallying to share information with their peers about the immediate and long-term business challenges posed by the virus, as well as to discuss ideas and solutions for staying in business. The key word seems to be SHIFT.
Foreword’s transition to a virtual, work-from-home company was smooth and speedy. We are still accepting snail mail submissions for review, but would prefer seeing more PDFs sent via email to Managing Editor Michelle Anne Schingler at email@example.com. She’s extended the submission deadline for books coming out July or later to the end of this month. Her selections are being made for the July/August issue of Foreword Reviews and our digital LitHits. Let her know about any delays in pubdates you’ve made for titles already submitted.
If you are anticipating some cash flow crunches but still recognize the importance of marketing during the bumpy months ahead, take note that we are immediately dropping the display advertising rates 15 percent and will extend advertising credit terms for up to 90 days if you need it. Trade marketing, online and in print, is particularly crucial now that all the major trade shows are cancelled this spring and summer. Our librarian and bookstore readers may not be at their desks, but like winter armchair gardeners, they are home scanning their “seed” catalogs dreaming about summer blooms. Our May/June issue closes April 7 and will be mailed to subscribers at the end of the month.
The 2019 INDIES Book of the Year Finalists were announced last week. Many presses find this recognition comes at a perfect time to lift staff spirits, as well as to share with their tribes on social media platforms, driving sales of notable titles from 2019. We will continue to promote the list of Finalists to our hundreds of thousands of online visitors and via social media channels. We also have a “Congratulations Finalists” advertising feature slated for our May/June issue with economical price points.
You are all in our hearts and minds. We wish only the best for your staff and family’s health and safety, and offer our deepest gratitude to your friends and relatives on the front line in healthcare and food distribution. This feels very different from the recessions we’ve experienced over the last couple decades, but I feel confident that the spirit of independent publishing will help see us all through this trying and yes, sometimes scary, development in global public health. I have no doubt we will come out on the other side in a better, shifted way.
Thinking of you all,
Victoria Sutherland, Publisher