One year after launching its full Web site, the Los Angeles Review of Books has published its first print edition and plans to make it a perfect bound quarterly that will be offered as a premium to kick off LARB’s major membership program in June.
"The print magazine will be a companion to our online magazine, not an alternative to it," says LARB publisher and editor-in-chief Tom Lutz. "The online magazine will continue to be our flagship publication. We'll publish them together as a way of furthering our mission to revive and reinvent the cultural arts review for a new generation."
LARB has structured the membership program around building a community of readers and writers and connecting them to each other in a conversation about arts and culture. “Becoming a monthly member will help LARB stay strong in the years ahead, and also give our base a platform for staying connected to each other, to our writers, and to independent bookstores through our Naked Bookseller program,” Lutz says. This program has become one of the review’s most popular regular features, in which a different independent bookstore is profiled each month. “It's a part of our commitment to support independent bookstores, who we believe provide an indispensable public service to our communities,” Lutz says. Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and Redondo Beach, Calif. is the “Naked Bookseller” for May.
Lutz describes the membership plan as a four-tiered program that starts at $3.50 a month and goes up from there. “We'll be making a variety of premiums available at the different levels,” adds Lutz, “including a subscription to the monthly LARB Digital Editions ePub, a collection of some of our best articles and essays by theme or genre; a subscription to the LARB Quarterly Journal, a quarterly print edition that will also be sold at participating bookstores; and ‘Tom's Book Club,’ a quarterly live webinar chat hosted by Lutz that will include books shipped out to participating members.
Lutz and his staff have been developing a model for the quarterly journal that will be a cross between a traditional glossy magazine and a perfect-bound book that features original articles, essays, photography, poetry, and author interviews. It will retail for about $12 and will also be sold in bookstores.