New Ideas, Realized

The project I’ve been hinting about? It’s live. Today we launch Work in Progress, a hybrid blog/online magazine focused on the world of literature.

Many of you know how increasingly difficult it’s been to introduce new writers to readers. The blessing and curse of novelists and short fiction writers is their voice – impossible to experience unless you’re reading it. Faced with declining review coverage it seems only natural publishers like Farrar, Straus and Giroux should create as many points of entry as they can for readers (and potential readers).

Let’s not be vague. We’re not talking about series, sequels, or genre titles. There are only a handful of genuinely brilliant books each year; wouldn’t you do anything to spread the word about them?

Work in Progress is, then, a long-term bet: create interesting pieces, delivered monthly, around only the best work curated by our editors. Give it a year. Connect readers with the editors and their lists which they’ve been reading for years without knowing it. Build up that trust, then tap them on the shoulder and say, Oh, by the way, here’s a novel you just might like.

Sound like wishful thinking? I direct you to a gem in our Sontag archive illustrating the difficulty in publishing new writers. In 1963.

Work in Progress will deliver four to five articles, multimedia pieces, and data visualizations each month. There will be special content and giveaways in the email component, so I encourage you to subscribe. Oh, and this is my job now, so if you love it, hate it, or think it could be better, let me know.

Still here? Go, check it out.

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5 Comments

Filed under farrar straus and giroux, industry, work in progress

5 responses to “New Ideas, Realized

  1. Hey Ryan,

    WiP looks great, and I’ve already subscribed!

    I do have a couple of WordPress tips for you (take ’em or leave ’em):

    1. The permalink structure you guys are using is the default, but ANY of the other options would be much better for search engines (and URL readability). Here’s how to change ’em:

    http://www.scottexplains.com/2010/04/improving-your-wordpress-blogs-permalinks.html

    2. Also, you might want to check out the All in one SEO pack plugin (if you care about SEO and such):

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

    Good luck!

  2. congrats Ryan, looks good, love the illustrations
    -Joshua

  3. Congratulations on the launch!
    -Dan

  4. Pingback: New Ideas, Realized « Chapman/Chapman | Eoin Purcell's Blog

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