The New York Times is reporting that Scribner has decided to give the iTunes model of selling individual songs for $0.99 a try in their line of work. After all, any wannabe musicologist knows that the record industry was born of the publishing business. And who better to captain the flagship than my favorite essayist, Chuck Klosterman.
Mr. Klosterman, the best-selling author of “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs” and “Eating the Dinosaur,” has written on culture, music, sports and media, and collected a diverse following of readers along the way. The plan to publish his essays individually was hatched more than a year and a half ago, said Susan Moldow, the publisher of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster whose list of writers includes Annie Proulx, Laura Bush and Frank McCourt.
“We thought, it’s a shame not to follow the iTunes model here, because you have all these essays and they’re all on different subjects and we could recast them,” Ms. Moldow said. “It harkens back in a funny way because for Fitzgerald and Hemingway, the best thing that could happen to them would be that a story was published in Life magazine or The Saturday Evening Post or The New Yorker. The idea of stories being sold in individual units is as old as stories.”
Gotta say, this makes a lot of sense. I don’t own an e-reader myself, but if Apple and Amazon are fixin’ to make them the new iPod, which I imagine they are, it would be an absolute shame to not follow the model that revolutionized the music business earlier this decade. There may even be room for a subscription model in there too, (depending on the productivity of the writer of course), where you can plunk down a certain amount once you’re sold on the author and know you’re going to want everything he writes in the future – like buying his books ahead of time at a discount and getting them automatically on your e-reader the day they are released in print.
Klosterman’s books are great collections of essays and I recommend all of them. Easy reading that doesn’t sacrifice intellect or humor but is abundant in both.
Thanks to Jared for knowing I would love this.
Follow Chuck on Twitter @CKlosterman.
Filed under: Science & Tech, True Genius, Very Serious Business | Tagged: 99 cents, amazon, apple, Arts, Chuck Klosterman, Eating the Dinosaur, ereader, essays, ipad, itunes, kindle, music, New York Times, pop culture, Publishing, scribner, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Simon & Schuster |