The New York Review of Books Celebrates 50 Years of Great Publishing
Next year is going to be a big one for The New York Review of Books. It’s going to be the kind of year that publishers of the almost-200 new magazines launched in 2012 might dream about having some day.
In these days when most of the coverage of publishing has to do with print’s decline and demise, and the corresponding hit to quality content, it’s heartening to hear about publications that have events worth a celebration.
For The New York Review of Books, that event will be going on pretty much all of 2013. That’s because the venerable publication will celebrate its 50th anniversary year. In 1963, during the New York publishing strike, Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein decided to launch a magazine, written by good and great writers, about the works of good and great writers. Their magazine was to be based on the concept that ideas are themselves important.
According to The New York Times, who called the publication “one of the most influential and admired journals of its kind,” Silvers and Epstein succeeded brilliantly. The New York Review of Books has been called, variously, “the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language” (Esquire); “one of the few venues in American life that takes ideas seriously “ (Chicago Tribune); an unprecedentedly “high standard of reporting” (Kenneth Clark); and “of more cultural import than the opening of Lincoln Center” (The New Statesman).
With fifty years of that kind of success to boast of, and a current worldwide circulation of 135,000, The New York Review of Books is pulling out the stops and having a year-long party. Festivities include Town Hall meetings with Silvers himself and living literary luminaries (Joan Didion! Darryl Pinckney! Michael Chabon!); reprints of articles to be found in issues throughout the year (January will feature Mary McCarthy’s 1963 review of William S. Burrough’s The Naked Lunch); complete reprints of the historic first issue for Town Hall attendees and everyone who buys the August issue on the newsstand; and even, it is rumored, a feature-length documentary directed by…somebody we’ve all heard of.
So new publishers, take heart. There are still great publications around, and those of us still in the publishing world can spend 2013 celebrating with one of the greatest.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.