THE GIFT OF TWENTY YEARS
For this anniversary issue, I’m finding it impossible not to reminisce about the myriad changes, the industry drama, the miracle of print surviving in the age of machine learning. But Foreword’s mission has never been to dwell in the past or get caught up in the machinations of process. Then and now, we’ve only ever been about sharing reviews of great books coming from indie presses.
My message today is one of gratitude. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of those fiercely indie presses who have sustained us for twenty years— from established publishers smaller than “the big five,” to university presses, and even self-published authors. You see, Foreword Reviews is primarily supported by advertising revenues, not expensive annual subscriptions or newsstand sales. The endorsement of these indie presses has kept our message vital to a loyal and growing group of booksellers and librarians, distributors and wholesalers, who don’t just want to offer a media-driven list of bestsellers to their customers and patrons. Our foundation was built on championing literary fiction, poetry, children’s picture books, translations, and topics like climate change, diversity, and multiculturalism. Most importantly, we strive to promote voices that are unheard, overlooked, or even silenced.
In a world of haste and noise, it gives us great pleasure to know our print readership continues to grow. More lengthy reviews demand a present patron who wishes to be provoked as well as entertained. I’m crazy proud of my colleagues, a support team of editors, reviewers, programmers, designers, and salespeople that has evolved through the years. They’ve helped Foreword not only garner awards in editorial and design, but establish staying power to share great books from indie presses for a long time to come.