Major media outlets around the world – from The Guardian and La Vanguardia in Europe to The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair in the U.S. – have put out e-books this year.
Most of these publications are neither repurposed magazine or newspaper features nor full-length books – they’re something in between.
Take for example The Los Angeles Times, which released its first e-book this month (available for 99 cents). Nightmare Made Real won’t be completely new to L.A. Times readers: the e-book is essentially a longer version of staff writer Christopher Goffard’s two-part newspaper story.
Similarly, The Huffington Post’s first e-book – which they’re selling for $4.99 – is a curated collection of reporting by HuffPo contributor Arthur Delaney.
“As a content company, we are enthusiastic about harnessing new mediums and business models that expand the reach of our unique storytelling,” L.A. Times president Kathy Thomson said in a statement. “The immediacy of e-book publishing allows us to easily adapt Times coverage to a convenient reader experience that’s being heavily embraced.”
One of the main reasons media outlets are embracing online publishing is simple: it’s cheap.
“Instead of paying writers hefty advances and then sending them out on the road to report for months at a time, publishers can rely on reporters who are already doing the work as part of their day job,” Julie Bosman and Jeremy W. Peters write in The New York Times.
This is yet another example of how what it means to be a newspaper or magazine is changing in the digital age. Media outlets are no longer just publishers but brands whose content can be found on all platforms wherever their audiences may be.