Nieman Foundation at Harvard
The New York Times is buying the gadget and technology review site The Wirecutter for $30 million
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 22, 2012, 11:47 a.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   March 22, 2012

Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs, writing in The Atlantic, asks if ereader samples — which give readers a free taste of the start of a book — will lead more writers to put cliffhangers or key plot questions at the point where the sample ends. He also asks if Kindle user data, shared with authors, could lead to more reader-friendly structures:

Here’s the value: if a significant percentage of readers are running out of steam at the same point in a book, then perhaps the text needs to be sent back to the author for tweaking. A second edition — or a third, or a fourth: there’s no necessary limit to the iterations — can perhaps fix the problem, which can get more readers to finish the book, which can get the book higher ratings on Amazon, which can lead to higher sales. Unhappy readers of the first edition can be informed that there’s a freely downloadable New and Improved Version, which may induce them to give the book another try.

Philip Roth and Jonathan Franzen, meets agile development and lean startup.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The New York Times is buying the gadget and technology review site The Wirecutter for $30 million
For the price, the Times is getting one of the real bootstrapped success stories in the past decade of digital media — and a toehold in a growing e-commerce revenue stream.
From East Coast to West Coast: The company behind Miami’s The New Tropic is expanding to Seattle
WhereBy.Us is one of the most interesting digital startups working in the local news space. After starting in Florida, it’s launching The Evergrey in Seattle, and it has its eye on additional markets.
Newsonomics: Here are 10 storylines we’ll be talking about into 2017
The next generations of Murdochs and Sulzbergers step up, two newspaper chains chart the consolidation of the industry, and a Trump-driven shift in straight news reporting.