1. Laura — thanks for the article on singles and shorts. Plus the list of articles at the bottom of your piece is very, very helpful. I am moderating a panel at DBW in January on eBook shorts and this has been great as a reference. Thanks again. I’m a fan of your reporting. Jack

    1. Thanks, Jack–looking forward to the panel!

  2. I think I would have put a cap on the ‘Free downloads’ at 10,000. Not a good idea to allow 70,000 free copies to go out. Good for the publisher not so good for the writer.

    1. Hey–interesting thought about putting a cap on it. I remember when this promotion ran; Byliner had literally just launched and I think they published the piece and ran the promo right after the 60 Minutes on 3 Cups of Tea. 72 hours does seem like kind of a long time and 70k downloads is a lot; on the other hand, I think Krakauer agreed to it, and the story must have gotten tons more exposure that way. Kindle Singles were also just a couple months old at that point.

      Byliner also pays the writer a flat fee up front and then it’s a 50-50 profit split.

  3. Thanks for reporting on this Laura.   

    Our perspective from the frontline of digital publishing is definitely more in line with David Wolman’s experience.   At Now and Then Reader, we’re targeting the extreme niche audience of serious readers interested in history.  We know that our readers are out there.  It’s just a daily grind of trying to find them through as many channels as possible.  

    And the terminology is a challenge for us as well.  At 5,000 to 25,000 words, we’re reluctant to call our releases “books.”  However they’re not articles either.  “Short nonfiction books” isn’t particularly sexy.  We’ve landed on “nonfiction titles,” for now. But we’re still figuring it out as we go.  We welcome any suggestions!

    For anyone interested, check out our nonfiction titles at http://www.nowandthenreader.com

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