Digital Fill-Ins

Little by little, the digital world is taking over. And filling in where some print options no longer exist.

Remember when many general-interest magazines used to run fiction? Back in the days before magazines devoted their pages to lists, stunt journalism, how-to features and whatever else other than things literary?

Apart from The New Yorker (which generally only publishes one story per weekly issue) or The Atlantic, which may do that as well (and it’s a monthly), fans of new short-form fiction are out of luck, unless they subscribe to literary quarterlies and the like.

Now the men’s magazine Esquire is going to publish fiction, Fiction for Men. Digitally.

At the same time, the magazine is publishing fiction in its June issue in June, from such big-names as Stephen King and Lee Child, which will only be available in the print and iPad versions of the magazine.

What does this mean for you, burgeoning thought leader, entrepreneur and writer who’s building a platform to broaden an audience?

It means greater and greater acceptance of digital distribution of shorter-form works. It means that even traditional publishing entities, like magazines, see the market in digital-only content.

It means that you have more options than ever for getting your message out.

I thought about this also while reading through today’s New York Times, which published a story that took up the first few pages of its Monday sports section, devoted to a noted runner. Micah True, who died. He’d been featured in a book Born to Run, and the Times article covered his later life.

Interestingly, the Times offers the article as an MP3 download and as an audio file read by the actor Jay O. Sanders. It all comes with the digital subscription (or for those who have digital access).

This is forward-thinking รขโ‚ฌโ€œ a way to disseminate an interesting article. And perhaps I’m more used to digesting things on an e-reader (and I say this as someone who still reads a newspaper the old-fashioned way, on paper). But seeing the four broadsheets of newspaper with the dense type, my heart sank: who really has time to read something this long and potentially interesting over breakfast?

I wonder if this could also be marketed as a standalone, 99-cent single. It makes sense.

In any event, content can get distributed.

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One Response to “Digital Fill-Ins”

  1. Andrea May 22, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Bob, Thanks for the wisdom. What I’ve found interesting is that people are starting to realize how much control we have over the content we get to consume. It’s fantastic to know that we are can self select our daily intake of information ๐Ÿ™‚

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