The Guardian is the latest news outlet to get into e-singles publishing with “Guardian Shorts,” a series of “detailed guides to topical news stories, public policy, sports and cultural events” for sale on iTunes and Kindle. Several e-singles will be published each month. Not surprisingly, the first title in the series is Phone Hacking: How the Guardian Broke the Story.
Phone Hacking is available on Kindle now for £2.29/$2.99, and will be on iTunes soon. The book includes coverage of the scandal from several of the reporters who broke the story, with a final new chapter, “How we broke the Murdoch scandal,” by Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.
Future Guardian Shorts will cover “all subject areas in which the Guardian has expertise, ranging from current news topics and opinion pieces to the highlights of our writing on books, music, film, food, sport, business, travel, education and many more,” the company writes in an FAQ on its website. Much of the content will be repurposed from the Guardian, but the Guardian Shorts will also contain “new content, including a newly commissioned introduction or overview, a timeline of events where relevant, plus, in some cases, content from our extensive archive which goes back to the newspaper’s creation in 1821.”
The company may publish up to “several” shorts each month, “increasing if there is a particularly active news agenda,” ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 words and priced from £1.99 to £3.99 “depending on subject area, length and how much new content they contain. Some will also be free.” Pricing based on new content is an interesting concept that I have not seen before in e-singles.
Phone Hacking is not the first e-single on this topic. Vanity Fair recently released Rupert Murdoch: The Master Mogul of Fleet Street, a compilation of twenty previously published articles from the magazine, up to the hacking scandal, with a new introduction by Graydon Carter. It’s $3.99 on Kindle and Nook.
Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.