Magazine ePublishers increasingly turning to eBook singles

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Magazine ePublishers increasingly turning to eBook singles

Aptara Editorial | Posted on 16th Sep 2013

As eBooks continue to grow in popularity, it is inevitable that more ePublishers will take advantage of the medium. EBooks are, thanks to their digital nature, inherently flexible, and consequently ideal for a range of purposes.

Highlighting this trend, magazine publishers are taking steps to utilize the eBook format with increasing frequency, Thin Reads contributor Howard Polskin reported.

Magazines and eBooks
According to Polskin, the last month has seen the release of several eBook singles by major magazine publishers.

For example, Discover magazine launched an eBook singles series called Discover in-Depth this month. The first offering is "Obsessed: The Compulsions and Creations of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz," by Steve Volk. As Polskin noted, this release is particularly noteworthy because a condensed version of the story will appear later this month in the magazine itself, effectively giving precedence to the eBook version. A second eBook single will be released later this year, according to the news source.

"Standalone stories that people could buy on an à la carte basis seemed like a no brainer," said Steve George, Discover's editor in chief, the news source reported.

Fast Company also recently released an eBook single, Polskin noted. The third eBook single from this ePublisher, the work is an oral history of Apple's designers.

Lastly, Philadelphia Magazine introduced its first eBook single, a nonfiction piece that was the cover story of the magazine's September issue. As with Discover, a second title will be released before the end of the year, Polskin noted.

EBook versatility
As these releases highlighted, eBooks are the ideal medium for certain types of storytelling. All of these works are essentially extra-long feature articles, stories that are perhaps too long for print but do well as standalone offerings. By providing this flexibility, writers and ePublishers are enabled to tell and distribute stories that would otherwise struggle to reach an audience, as they would be too long for magazines but too short to be offered as printed books.

Additionally, eBook singles are valuable because they allow reporters and writers to cover current, ongoing events. Printed books take a long time to design and publish, created a significant delay between when an incident takes place and when readers can learn about it. EBooks can be published far more quickly, and can be updated as new information comes to light.

Digital Content Development, Magazine Publishing