This post is a call for lovers of the Best Music Writing series to come together to support a new initiative. Starting with the 2012 edition, the series will be independently published and have a new editorial structure that will better serve the music writing community and create a more dynamic, wide-reaching book for music writing fans. We need your help to make it happen!
Best Music Writing is the beloved annual publication of the best English-language music
writing. The book collects the outstanding music features, essays,
reviews, profiles, blog posts, short stories, news reporting, Tweets,
online commentary and many other forms of writing into one handy space
that defines the cultural conversation had through music today.
The 2012 edition will be the first book for a new, music writing-focused press, of which Best Music Writing will be the flagship title. We need support from followers of the title, music fans, music writers, music publishers, the music industry, and independent publishers to get started.
We launch this campaign to raise $30,000 to pay for the production of our 2012 book, including paying writers for their reprints (at a new rate), a small editorial board stipend, graphic design services, and administrative services for licensing and project management.The first $15,000 we raised in two months through Kickstarter. The second $15,000 we hope to raise through We Pay.
This campaign is the first phase of the book's production, and we would be more than happy to raise more than $30k to cover administrative and start up costs. We would love to hear from other funding sources, donors, or from those who would supply us with in-kind services. If you are a music and music writing fan who has have brilliant ideas or skill sets related to publishing, marketing, or editorial service, we want to hear from you.
The Best Music Writing series stands as the most important space for music writers to be honored each year and has brought many readers to their favorite writers, musicians, and publications (send a testimonial if you're one of these people!) With your help, the book will be even better and its future will be assured. We promise to maintain the high level of attention to quality writing and depth of coverage to as many forms of music and music culture that the book has offered in the past, while reaching out to a global network of writers and publishers, embracing new formats, and serving 21st century readers and writers.
The series will be growing dynamically this year. It will have a new, improved submission process that is, as always, completely open to the public for nominations of great writing from 2011. For the 2012 edition, there will no longer be a "series editor" position, but rather an editorial board of ten music writing peers who will solicit materials, read, nominate, and argue for or against pieces. Their selections will be "The Best Music Writing of 2012." Then our guest editor, selected after consultation with the board, will select the pieces that go in the curated book version of this list. The book will exist as a low cost digital copy and as a print copy, and will be designed by a noted book designer who loves music. It will appear earlier in the cycle of “best” anthologies than it has in year’s past. Read more about the project structure here.
I ask you as lovers of this book, as writers, editors, and publishers, as book buyers and book reading attendees, maybe even as friends, lovers, or parents of people involved in music writing, to support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser. Think of it as a really early pre-order, since everyone who gives $15 or more gets a copy of the book.
I also ask readers who are keepers of the media to write about this campaign to make a new, better Best Music Writing. I'm happy to talk to you about the project and/or about the 2011 book (with Alex Ross! It's fantastic!) for news pieces or features. Please post, Tweet, or otherwise encourage your audiences to support the book now, and come September we will have a book launch party that will be that much more spectacular, because it will be of us, for us, by us.
Stay tuned for news and updates here (or sign up for the mailing list), and join me in the making of a new, better Best Music Writing series.
Daphne Carr (series editor, 2006-present)
musicwriting at gmail dot com
Donate to Launch Best Music Writing as an independently published book series