Derek Finkle, the director of the Canadian Writers Group is planning to launch a pay-as-you-go online digital publishing venture this spring to market single, long-form articles in much the way that this is now being done by Byliner and Guardian Shorts.
According to a story by Jason McBride in the January 1, 2012 issue of Quill & Quire magazine, the as-yet-unnamed company is part of a growing trend towards new models for the publishing and monetizing of non-fiction writing, comparable to e-books. Byliner, for instance, markets original articles for from $0.99 to $5.99.
Finkle, who represents about 120 writers across the country ... is frustrated by both the shrinking magazine and newspaper markets and by how writers are being squeezed out of revenues generated by new digital platforms....
“No one is fostering and paying talent in this country,” he says. “And there are really very few places left to publish long-form stuff.” Unlike Byliner, Finkle also intends to focus on local stories, at lengths and depths that newspapers and magazines can’t realistically accommodate.
Finkle can imagine publishing, say, a controversial story about a Bay Street law firm that would potentially be downloaded by tens of thousands of lawyers taking the train home from work, with each reader actively contributing to the writer’s bottom line. “It’s subversive,” he says. “It’s an entrepreneurial opportunity that magazine writers haven’t had before. If you can make $40,000 on a story, that’s a game changer.”