A special kinship exists among newspapers, books, writers and readers. The written word and ideas are their bloodlines.
We are very excited therefore to announce the creation of a new literary journal and membership program called Printers Row.
Printers Row is our first foray into premium offerings for Chicago Tribune readers with very specific interests. Chicago-area subscribers will find more details included in today’s paper.
At the heart of this first-of-a-kind program is the new 24-page Printers Row Journal, with book reviews, author interviews and stories about Chicago’s rich literary scene. Accompanying the journal each week is the Printers Row Fiction Series, a bound booklet of original fiction, much of it by Chicago writers. The journal begins publication Feb. 26.
Inside Printers Row, members will find the unique insights of Tribune Literary Editor Elizabeth Taylor and Tribune arts critics and columnists such as Julia Keller, Chris Jones and Rick Kogan. Notable writers from around the country will provide their commentary on books that merit your attention.
Readers will continue to get the weekly Books page inside the Saturday paper, just as they do now. But Printers Row will be a richer, deeper exploration of the literary world.
Printers Row is more than a new section, however. It is an invitation for you to participate in a community of readers and thinkers.
In addition to the journal, we offer members free admission to one of our monthly Printers Row Live author talks and special access to author receptions. And there will be programs and discussion groups that connect you with fellow book lovers.
The price of joining Printers Row is $99 per year if you are already a Chicago Tribune subscriber. The journal and fiction will be delivered with your Sunday newspaper. You’ll also receive Printers Row electronically through an e-edition. You can sample the journal and the first installment of the fiction series via e-edition at chicagotribune.com/printersrow. You can join by visiting the website or by calling 866-977-8742.
You might ask: Why does it cost extra?
A number of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, once offered stand-alone books sections. They were distributed to the entire readership, including those who were passionate about books and those who were not. Traditionally there isn’t much advertising in these sections, so the cost became unsustainable. Most of these sections disappeared.
But this approach is different.
We are creating a multifaceted program for a community of readers, one that goes way beyond a traditional books section. We are offering Printers Row on a membership basis for those who are most passionate about this subject. It’s a new model that we think will broaden the range of news coverage we can offer. We plan to launch more premium offerings as the year progresses.
Printers Row is the next phase in our initiative to enhance the Chicago Tribune for our loyal readers. Last summer we added 44 full news pages each week to give you more local, investigative, business, national, world, arts and entertainment news, plus opinion and commentary. Readers are pleased, and we are delighted. We know you’ll love Printers Row too.
We invite you to join in the conversation. Become a member and let us know what you think.
Gerould W. Kern