Media organizations and their journalists are in an ideal position to be repurposing their content into new media formats, including publishing an ebook, which can offer new revenue streams. Here are four types of content that make sense for journalistic ebook publishing.
Ebook Idea 1: Explanatory and Investigative Journalism
Newsweek Europe recently launched its Newsweek Insights books series in which its journalists produce book-length narratives on subjects that are too long even for a long-form news-magazine article. The 12,000-28,000-word Insights books explain phenomena such as consciousness, male suicide and the evolution of drug trafficking in certain regions. Newsweek publishes these digital tomes at a rapid pace–one every few weeks.
Ebook Idea 2: Stories Told in Series and Installments
You’ve heard about Serial the podcast, but what’s the book equivalent? Plenty of news orgs are racing to emulate the breakout Chicago Public Media station success, but the real takeaway isn’t that journalists should produce a suspenseful podcast series. It’s that journalists should ask: How can I deliver a compelling story in installments across mediums? Books, especially ebooks, are another cost-effective medium ready for this type of innovation. And while it’s true podcasts are making a comeback, people of people still prefer to read than listen.
Ebook Idea 3: Long-form Journalism
The What is Code piece that’s been circling the Internet is not so much an article as it is a book. At 35,000 words, you’ll need about the same amount of time to consume it. Though admittedly, ebooks can’t support the degree of multimedia showcased in this piece, an ebook is a natural way to package similar-length pieces that have less need for interactivity.
Ebook Idea 4: Training and Educational Content
Journalism associations can use ebook publishing as a revenue generator and a way to broaden their audience and potential membership base. Who’s doing this well? The Investigative Reporters and Editors organization publishes a variety of educational books of interest to investigative reporters. From Numbers in the Newsroom, part of the IRE Beat Book Series, to The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook, the organization offers a variety of manuals for watchdogs for sale on the IRE website.
Elizabeth Mays is the marketing manager for Pressbooks.com and a former journalist.