Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The modern serial part 2

Yet another sign that the publishing industry is changing: on Monday, we looked at the Wool series for its unique success as a sequence of novella-length books. Today, there's news of Cosmopolitan and romance publisher Harlequin joining forces to produce 30,000-word contemporary romance ebooks. 

Cosmo isn't the first magazine to jump into ebook publishing: Newsweek, Playboy, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post are also publishing content for ereaders. However, of these new endeavors, the Cosmo program focuses the most heavily on (new) fiction. Esquire, Playboy, and The Washington Post, in particular are using digital platforms to repackage and resell classic content.

While 60,000-100,000-word novels seem to be the safest bets for publishers, shorter forms could be more appealing to readers who don't feel they have the time for a full-length novel. And it will be interesting to see if an affiliation with a well-known brand (like Cosmopolitan) entices new readers.

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