Books and Publishing in the Digital Age
On January 22, 2013, the online literary magazine The Millions announced the sale of its first original ebook Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever. Author Mark O’Connell’s ebook tackles the essence of what makes awful things such as failed restorations and embarrassing YouTube videos so worthy of our attention. The Millions Originals were created to offer authors a new platform to publish works that consists of about 15,000 words. The ebook original is still available for $1.99 at Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo ebookstores. The launch of Epic Fail gained publicity from several news outlets including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wallstreet Journal.
The Millions was created in 2003 as an online magazine that covers literature, the arts, and culture. Essays and blog posts are updated daily with current news related to the literary arts. The Millions has created a community and actively engages with readers on various social networking sites.
Original ebooks have begun to emerge among other literary sites as well as culture magazines. The Millions is among a number of independent publishers who have adopted the practices necessary to excel in a digital age. Literary magazines have learned to use social networks to create relationships with readers, to demonstrate their knowledge of the industry, and generate buzz for their own brand. An online community is an important way to learn what readers are looking for and to recommend new title based on essays and reviews.
The recent push towards developing ebooks, apps, and content for ereaders and tablets has given publishers and magazines the opportunity to create original content that is suited specifically for a mobile device. Epic Fail is a short enough read to consume within relatively short amount of time. By making the ebook original available through the most used ebookstores, a reader can buy the ebook for any device.
An excerpt from the ebook was made available by The Millions followed by a link that would take the reader to the ebookstore of their choice. The excerpt was long enough to get a feel for the book while also leaving the reader interested in reading more. The reviews on Epic Fail have been overwhelmingly positive, and those reviews are available on digital platforms which will likely encourage more readers to buy the inexpensive ebook original.
Original ebooks can certainly bring magazines and publishers into the Singles marketplace while emphasizing truly original content that shows creativity and innovation.. The ability to explore new outlets for creativity and innovation will be vital as the publishing industry shifts towards a more digitized culture.