Like other newspapers and magazines, The New YorkTimes has struggled to find fresh revenue sources to replace dwindling advertising sales and print subscriptions. In a new two-pronged effort, the paper hopes to leverage its formidable reporting depth to sell short e-books on a variety of topics ranging from business and health to sports and entertainment. If it works out, other publications will no doubt follow suit.
The Times has previously attempted a number of online publishing business models, with limited success. This time it’s partnering with digital startup Byliner to co-publish as many as 12 e-books per year, each about 10,000 to 20,000 words.
The content will be original, although in some instances the topic may build off reporting in the print edition or on its web site. The first e-book is about a group of skiers hit by an avalanche; the e-book debuted Dec. 17, the same day a much shorter article about the incident appeared in The Times.
In a corollary program that also launched Dec. 17, The Times is using the Vook platform to assemble articles from its extensive archive into themed e-books. Twenty-five titles have been produced so far, with “many more expected to come in 2013,” according to a press release.
Both Byliner and Vook products will be sold through Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and the NYTStore.com, with retail prices starting at $1.99. Byliner will also sell the titles it co-produces.