Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Finkle plans to market long-form journalism
by the piece, online

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.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see the market research supporting this long-tail fantasy. People won't pay for entire publications yet they'll pay to read long features? Who will edit these features? Who will pay those people?

12:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could start by reading the article this post was derived from.

4:38 pm  
Blogger The Tuque Souq said...

If what Finkle asserts is true -- that the Canadian markets both for producing and for consuming long-form journalism are fundamentally different from the US due to different approaches to paying for (and fostering) quality content, and not merely because the Canadian markets are one-tenth the size -- then this project will be more revolutionary than Byliner. Finkle's project would then compete directly with magazines. Would I pay $8 for a self-serve cocktail of quality e-journalism from CWG writers over the latest issue of X magazine? Except in cases where I exhibit irrational brand loyalty, the answer is unequivocally YES.

5:35 pm  
Anonymous Freelancer lover said...

Great idea, I hope it pays off for our country's writing talent. Perhaps this is a better project for Finkle. Maybe he can take on this project with more diplomacy and far less verbose bluster than he brought to CWG.

2:01 pm  
Blogger Peggy said...

Check out http://atavist.net/ for some really innovative ideas in single-sale, long-form journalism. I think it could work.

11:02 am  

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