Upon its launch on April 8, Literary Hub will become a daily go-to website for readers engaged in the literary world. Its ever-changing content will include essays, excerpts, interviews, bookstore profiles, and more, and its founders are actively seeking the involvement of indie bookstores.
“It’s obvious that there’s a gigantic amount of literary content being produced, but for those of us who are producing it, we’re frustrated because we can’t quite bring an audience to it,” said Literary Hub founder and Grove/Atlantic President and Publisher Morgan Entrekin at a Winter Institute session focused on the new website. “It’s scattered so widely across the Web that you could spend all day looking for it and still never see all of it.”
Thus far, Literary Hub has the support of more than 100 partners who are looking to contribute content. These include large and small publishers, literary magazines, and independent bookstores. Literary Hub anticipates engaging readers by producing both long-form writing and shorter, shareable pieces highlighting quality literary fiction and nonfiction authors and content.
In April, Literary Hub will feature an interview with author Megan Mayhew Bergman from Nashville’s Parnassus Books; a profile of author Lydia Davis; a series of essays on how people read in the digital world from writers including Claire Vaye Watkins and Ashley Ford; a personal essay from Chantel Acevedo about her life as a Cuban American; and an excerpt from author James Wood’s upcoming memoir The Nearest Thing to Life (The Mandel Lectures in the Humanities) (Brandeis University Press).
An easily navigable online bookshelf will display face-out every title discussed on Literary Hub, along with a link to the original piece that featured the book. As Literary Hub continues to grow, editor Jonny Diamond, founding editor of The L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine, expects to integrate a system for directing purchases to independent booksellers.
“Expecting literary culture to thrive without supportive bookstores is like expecting to have shade when you’re cutting the roots off of a tree. You guys are really the roots of literary culture on the ground, in your communities,” said Literary Hub co-founder Andy Hunter, founder of Electric Literature and publisher of Black Balloon Publishing.
In an effort to take the literary conversation outside of New York City and to regions across the nation, Literary Hub’s 15 field correspondents will cover local literary scenes, festivals, and author readings, and will work with bricks-and-mortar bookstores to identify regional stories.
Through a regular feature profiling independent bookstores, readers will really get to know their personalities, said Diamond, starting with a look at staff recommendations shelves and generating real excitement around physical bookstores. City Lights Books in San Francisco will be the first bookstore profiled.
Discovering the best way to harness booksellers’ talents and coordinate communication between booksellers and Literary Hub is still a work in progress, said Diamond, but as Literary Hub continues to grow, booksellers are invited to reach out with news, comments, and ideas by e-mailing email@example.com.
“We want to go that extra step beyond the philosophical celebration of these bookstores — go a step further than just cheerleading,” he said. “Breaking everything down to its most essential, we hope this is a site that gets people very excited about talking about books.”