But enough about you all. Let me tell you about us.
About 18 months ago, my brilliant staff and I unveiled a "new" PW. Working hard to preserve the strengths of the "old" PW—I guess it's really not an insult, just a fact, to call a 130+-year-old magazine old—we also added a lot of new stuff: a snappy (I hope) Foreword section, for one thing; updated, information-rich bestseller lists for another. This very column was born then, the reviews section overhauled and the Soapbox feature introduced. We heard—ahem—from a lot of you about a lot of this: much of it complimentary; some, well, not so much.
I'm immodestly proud of it all.
Still, to paraphrase Woody Allen (when he was still funny), publications are like sharks, and when sharks don't move forward, they die; then, all you have on your hands is a dead shark.
Well, we're of the never-say-die school of sharks around here, and so we've been making even more changes, some you may have heard about, some you've just begun to see. First off, we decided to make PW free to every single solitary qualified bookseller in the country—which means not only the guys who own your favorite local indie, but the buyers at the big bad chains and big-box stores, too. So there can be no doubt that PW is the journal to reach everybody publishers need to reach. And then, in the magazine itself, we've added a weekly, two-page section completely devoted to retailing, which will include all news and info about those same buyers and their bosses and the books they sell. Look, too, for a children's page and a full-page version of our very popular Indies column, about the small to mid-size publishers who make up the majority of book producers in this country. And this week we debut our comics bestseller list, which will appear monthly.
There are changes on our Web site, too—Talk Back Tuesday, our comics blog, the children's newsletter and greater visibility are just the beginning. It's an exciting period, perhaps not quite so frenetic as the original relaunch of 2005, but an invigorating one nonetheless. Still, if I've learned anything about this beloved business and its practitioners in the last year and a half, it's that everybody has an opinion—and that book people, especially, aren't shy about sharing theirs. I expect—no, make that want—to hear what you think. So write, call, e-mail and speak your mind. I'm a big girl. Sometimes, anyway.
I mean, I can't exactly sit here and write an opinion column that makes at least some of you mad at least some of the time and then get all thin-skinned when you practice the joyful art of giving back.
Besides, I'm a firm believer in the adage that everybody is entitled to my opinion.
Agree? Disagree? Tell us at www.publishersweekly.com/saranelson