25 years is an anniversary worth celebrating. And this year, Foreword Reviews, the premier magazine for reviews of independently published books, is doing just that.
Since 1998 when Foreword Reviews was first established, the magazine now:
- Reaches 36,000 booksellers and librarians annually
- Sees 300,000 readers perusing reviews online each year
- Has published more than 30,000 long-form book reviews
The goal of Foreword is to help librarians and booksellers find trusted reviews of independently published books for their shelves. By giving indies the spotlight, the company aims to encourage diversity and risk-taking in publishing.
Founder and publisher Victoria Sutherland said:
“When we started, most of the publishing industry saw independent presses as a fad that was certain to fade away. I believe Foreword helped give them some well deserved cred, and our reviews elevated them as serious contributors to the national literary scene. I hope Foreword is now seen as a legacy media platform that continues to celebrate indies’ unique contributions and diverse voices.”
Below is a Q&A with Victoria Sutherland.
Q. What role does Foreword Reviews play in the publishing industry, and why is it important?
A. Foreword is a discovery tool for the trade and avid readers to find great books from independent presses. Librarians and booksellers are inundated with new books, and curation in the form of reviews is critical to their acquisition processes. In the last couple of years, avid readers found us via our website as indie reviews bubbled to the top in their searches.
Q. What are you most proud of from the past 25 years of publishing Foreword?
A. The spirit of indies is about exploring personal values, authenticity, and happiness. In that vein, I think the thing I am most proud of is that I was able to run a company and support a small staff of talented individuals who wished to stay in beautiful northern Michigan and pursue a profession that contributes to literary culture.
Q. Where do you want to see Foreword go/grow in the future?
A. It seems like journals devoted to books are a dying breed, while interest in books and reading continues to grow, as it has for hundreds of years. However, the landscape for presses to get the attention of readers, or shelf space in bookstores and libraries, has become very competitive. Independent publishers are not going away, and by collaborating with each other, I think we, and they, stand a better chance of surviving against the bigger houses, and even thriving. I would like to see Foreword drive that community bond through events, expanded coverage online, and raising indie awareness on social media platforms.
In addition to publishing a bimonthly print magazine, online reviews and author interviews, Foreword hosts the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, annually recognizing the best independent presses and authors. Now, they also provide editing services, a paid review service, and foreign rights exchange at international trade shows.