Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

The newsonomics of the digital cafeteria

By Ken Doctor

Here’s how newspapers sell what they do to would-be readers.

You can get the whole paper, now sometimes including digital access. We’ll sell you Sunday only, or the weekend, or 7-day, but you have to take our whole paper. That’s what we sell; that’s our one-size-fits-all product. It fit your grandparents and your parents, so why shouldn’t it fit you?

If newspapers were in the restaurant business, they’d be out of business quite quickly. That’s not much of a menu. There’s practically no à la carte, other than single copy, which is again the whole thing, but just once. It’s prix fixe, with early-bird specials for introductory signups...more

Backlist E-Books Find an Audience

By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

Last October, suspense writer Jonathon King launched “Midnight Guardians,” the sixth novel in his Max Freeman crime series. Unlike the previous five titles, this one didn’t have a major publisher or a cash advance.

Instead, “Midnight Guardians,” available at Amazon.com for $14.99 as a digital text and $23.08 as a print-on-demand paperback, was issued by Open Road Integrated Media LLC, a digital upstart that has also reissued Mr. King’s entire backlist...more