A Letter from the President of The Independent
- February 21, 2012
February 21, 2012
This week The Independent marks its first anniversary — and they said it couldn’t last! We are proud of our record through this first year of operation:
– We’ve posted more than 400 book reviews by 200 reviewers, running the gamut from thrillers to literary fiction to memoir to history to science: the full range of human experience and creativity. Books reviewed in The Independent came from over 100 different publishers and imprints. The site showcases top-drawer regular reviewers like Robert Swan and Larry DeMaria alongside distinguished special reviewers like Paula McLain, Beverly Lowry, Geoffrey Stone, Paulette Meier, and Judge Patricia Wald.
– We’ve run more than 120 features, including podcasts, Author Q&As, and blogs by contributors like Darrell Delamaide, James McGrath Morris, and Martha Toll. Voices heard on the site include Garry Wills, Karl Marlantes, Alice McDermott, Kitty Kelley, Tom Perrotta, Debby Applegate, Joshua Foer, Ward Just, Tom Perrotta, and Joyce Carol Oates, to name the proverbial few.
– A periodic poetry feature by Grace Cavalieri and two regular columns — “Snapshots” and “Would My Book Club Like This?”–present capsule reviews. Plus we have shared almost 30 podcasts of author interviews provided by Vick Mickunas of WYSO in Ohio and Stephen Usery of WYPL in Tennessee.
– We post a literary calendar for the DC area, send out a weekly e-mail newsletter (sign up for that now by clicking on the “sign up for updates” button above!), local and national bestseller lists, a Blog Roll of “interesting Friends,” local and national advertising, and occasional news about books and the business of books.
–We have found a steady and growing community of readers, as reflected in traffic that increased to 16,000 page-views per month, with almost 40,000 unique visitors for our first year, plus a strong social media presence through our Facebook page and Twitter account.
Our success is due entirely to the extraordinary contributions of the talented writers and editors who put it together. This is a true labor of love for all of us, since none of us (including our reviewers) is getting paid. We all believe that the most important feelings and insights are shared through books. With the death and shrinkage of so many book reviews, we are proud that The Independent has so quickly begun to play a role in sustaining the culture of books.
But our success also depends entirely upon support from friends like you. Thanks for standing by us through this first year. If you’d like to help us out directly, please click on the “donate” button above. We survive with a little help from our friends.
And do stick around for the coming weeks, months, and years. We’re just getting started –
David O. Stewart