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Three years after she oversaw the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s transition to an online-only newspaper, Michelle Nicolosi is leaving the Hearst-owned publication to launch an e-book publisher called Working Press.
Working Press will publish the “work of journalists and other established writers,” and at the start will primarily focus on e-singles at the start. “I’ll be doing both original and repurposed content,” Nicolosi told me. “I’m especially interested in bloggers with a strong following who have been writing about their topic for a while, and have content that can be easily repurposed as a [Kindle] Single.”
Nicolosi will also work with news outlets to help them release e-books. “Relatively few news organizations have stepped into this space,” she said. (Guardian, the LA Times and others are among those who have entered it in recent months.) “Not everyone has the staff to dedicate to e-books. I’ll be working with publishers who are looking to outsource their e-book work.” Sites like Byliner and Atavist have also stepped into this space, but there are “lots of readers looking to spend lots of money on e-books,” Nicolosi says.
Nicolosi believes her work at seattlepi.com, “six years of scrutinizing metrics showing what people do and don’t read,” gives her a good sense of what readers want. “Part of what I will be doing
is helping publishers identify which content is likely to work as an e-book,” she said. “Though I’m sure I’ll discover some differences between e-book and online readership, I think my deep knowledge of online readership patterns will come in handy.”
Working Press titles will be available on multiple platforms. The first, an e-single, will be released this spring.