"At more than 24,000 words, Steve Fainaru’s Pulitzer-winning reports on American mercenaries in Iraq were nearly as long as Heart of Darkness and just as eerie. But spread over nine installments in nine months, the Washington Post series could hardly be read as literature.
Later this month, a coalition of news organizations — including the Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Associated Press — will try selling some of their multipart series as repackaged “digital newsbooks” for e-reader devices. Fainaru’s series, “The Private Armies of Iraq,” will be among those available for $4.95.
It’s a small but intriguing attempt to monetize the most costly and least profitable work in a newsroom: investigative journalism. The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri is producing the newsbooks and coordinating their sale through two retailers, eReader Outfitters and MBS Direct. The latter targets educators, who Reynolds is hoping might use newsbooks in their courses."
If newspapers are testing out multi-part investigative journalism as a e book for educators, see snippet below, it should be pretty easy for someone to get the rights to do it in paper.
It's cheaper and easier to buy a paperback, then to buy an ereader. Plus the ereader is not a mass market. Paperback books are the mass market information appliances.
They even have a great name. Newsbooks. So when your VAR makes the call, tell them you specialize in "printed newsbooks." If you already have a contract to sell into a school system, get the rights to sell it to high school teachers who do civics, or history or reading. You can call it supplementals, supplies or professional development.
Or if you are Staples, who already has all those contracts, you should call. Or if you have an MPS contract for a school, make the deal to print it at the district's CRD.
Free advice for global VARs
Follow the link to the story, get in touch with the people who are doing this. Offer to test it out as book. Print it black and white at Lulu.com or maybe PediaPress.
Free advice to independent regional/local VARs (MPS or Creative Studios)
Get in touch with anyone you know at a local newspaper. Tell them about what the big boys are doing. Ask them if they would like to try a proof of concept experiment with one of your really good customers in education or health.