The Morning News and the Tournament of Books need your help
March 9, 2016
Hi. This is Andrew and Rosecrans. We’ve published The Morning News since 1999, and produced the Tournament of Books every March since 2005. To continue doing this for many more years to come, we’re asking for your support.
We’re a small shop. We’ve never had an office. We have day jobs. Even with great sponsors like Field Notes and Powell’s, the Tournament of Books is a major event that takes many months to produce. And in order to write and publish TMN every day, we need to be able to keep paying the people who create it. Recent, significant changes in the website’s revenue threaten the future of all we’re doing. More about that below.
We simply can’t continue to produce TMN and the Rooster without your financial support. But with your help, we can continue and grow (did anyone say ToB Summer 2017 edition?). We explain in greater detail below, but first, please take 30 seconds—the process is fast and super easy; click your preferred membership level below—and join us as a Sustaining Member today.
TMN wouldn't exist without the contributions of generous readers like you. Whether it's our everyday content or March Madness, 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
All payments are made via Stripe through Memberful. If you have any questions or would prefer to donate a different amount, or through another method, please email us. Please also note: 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.
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 a few years now, display ads have been our primary form of sustenance, supplying us with the money we’ve needed to produce TMN and the ToB, but in the past few weeks that revenue has 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, it’s the way the web works now, it obviates dependency of on-site display advertising, and it’s what TMN and ToB readers want.
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 a “Summer Reading edition” this year (more info soon!) and other extensions.
- Publish more of TMN’s award-winning essays, art, and humor and our daily package of the best from around the web.
- Offer TMN and the ToB in more ways to more readers—newsletters that bring the world into focus; 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.