The Morning News and the Tournament of Books need your help
Hi. This is Andrew and Rosecrans. We’ve published The Morning News since 1999, and produced the Tournament of Books every March since 2005. But we’re a small shop. We’ve never had an office. We have day jobs. Even with great sponsors like Field Notes, the Tournament of Books is a major event that takes many months to produce. To continue doing this for many more years to come, we’re asking for your financial support.
We explain in greater detail below, including what we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to our supporters’ generosity, but first, please take 30 seconds—the process is fast and super easy; click your preferred membership level below, or, if you’d rather not be a Member, make a one-time donation—and join us as a Sustaining Member today. Because with your help, we can continue and grow. (Plus, as a Member you’ll receive a 50 percent discount on every item in the TMN Store.)
TMN wouldn’t exist without the contributions of generous readers like you. Whether it’s our everyday content or the Tournament of Books, you’re the reason we’re here. Thanks!
Annual option → Become a Backer for $60
You’ve probably been reading us for a while now, and you’re a defender, a sponsor, a big-hearted champion. We’re extremely grateful for your encouragement.
Annual option → Become a Booster for $120
What can we say? TMN depends on lunatics like you. Your investment will go a long way to ensure that one of the web’s original independent publications keeps on cranking.
Annual option → Become a Patron of the Arts for $240
Please email us with any questions about the Membership program. All payments are made via Stripe through Memberful. Members will receive occasional newsletters to update them on the goings-on inside TMN and the ToB. We won’t use your information for any other purpose.
If you’d prefer, you can also donate through PayPal or using cryptocurrency or by check (email us for more information), although unfortunately we’re unable to offer the TMN Store discount and Member email updates if you choose these options.
Here’s why we’re asking for your help
Like other independent sites and blogs, over the years we’ve tried a lot of different ways to make TMN self-sufficient. Display advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate links, Hulk Hogan sex tapes. For many years, display ads were our primary form of sustenance, supplying us with the money we’ve needed to produce TMN and the ToB, but that revenue has now bottomed out, and we face an uncertain future. There are reasons why, and those reasons have presented us with a plan.
Ad blockers of the world unite
Is it OK to install a browser extension that blocks advertising, even if that means you inadvertently block ads at a beloved online destination? (Asking for a friend.)
The short answer is that ad-blocking technology has throttled the number of ads we can serve on TMN and ToB pages, which has eroded our income.
The long answer is that we’ve never been entirely anti-blocker. People who use ad blockers experience faster site load times, diminished risk of malware, lives free from worry of exceeding their data plans, and meaningful, deep relationships with friends and family. They are, in all these ways, the best users anyone can have.
They just don’t want advertising. We can’t ignore that fact.
Fake news is real
The more people who enjoy their daily TMN through social media is a great thing, but it’s also meant fewer of them are coming by to check us out—since they’re able to gaze upon us from afar. That’s another strike for our display advertising, which depends on site views to exist.
As with ad blocking, social media obviates dependency of on-site display advertising, and it’s what TMN and ToB readers want. Yes, down with ads!
Where we’re going, we won’t need ads
The past, present, and future of The Morning News and the Tournament of Books has always resided within the relationship we have with you, our readers. We don’t make this stuff for traffic—nor, according to the reasons outlined above, should we even want to. We make this for you. We want to continue doing it. We believe you want us to continue doing it. And that’s why we’re asking for you to become a Sustaining Member.
With your support, we’ll be able to:
- Expand the Tournament of Books with more events and other extensions. (Thanks to you, we’ve now launched the Rooster Summer Reading Challenge and the Rooster Nonfiction Pop-up, with more—we intend!—to come.)
- Return to publishing more of TMN’s award-winning essays, art, and humor.
- Offer TMN and the ToB in more ways to more readers—newsletters that bring the world into focus (with your support, we introduced our daily Headlines newsletter in 2017); new columns that bring new voices to the fore; new iterations of the internet’s foremost (and fore-weirdest?) literary prize.
We have so much planned. Won’t you help us make it a reality?
With our great thanks,
Andrew Womack and Rosecrans Baldwin
Please be aware: Neither The Morning News nor the Tournament of Books are designated as charities, so your donations won’t qualify as charitable donations for tax purposes. Thanks Obama. (Sigh.)