Byliner aims for the space between books and magazines

Another company believes there’s a future in long-form writing. Byliner released its first original work, Jon Krakauer’s “Three Cups of Deceit,” in the wake of the “60 Minutes” story on Greg Mortenson. TechCrunch explains that the company plans rapid-fire, digital publishing of content — and plans to pay writers pretty well. In doing so, it “may wind up disrupting the likes of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker more than it disrupts publishing houses.” The site will also help people discover new writing. But, Sarah Lacy wonders, is there a market? “Largely, I think it’s designed for a mass audience that reporters like me wish existed. It’s one of those sites designed for the way we wish we were and the time we wish we had – never a great starting point when it comes to the consumer Web.” || Jenny 8 Lee: The approach is a “classic Innovator’s Dilemma wedge.” || Related: How technology is renewing attention to long-form journalism.

> Still time to download “Three Cups of Deceit” free. (A spokeswoman tells me the final number of downloads to will surpass 50,000.)

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  • Anonymous

    Kindles, iPads and other digital readers are the perfect medium the kind of put-down, pick-up, find-your-place reading that long-form journalist begs for and requires. Magazines were not the right medium. A reader would lose his place in the magazine story (because the stories are often difficult to read in a single sitting) and then lose the magazine. Hey, did I leave that story I was reading upstairs in the bathroom, or downstairs on the desk, maybe at the office, the train? You get it. But e-readers solve that nagging annoying commitment a reader must make to a long-form story: read it or forget it. You don’t lose an e-reader, as you might lose a magazine. More important, the e-reader doesn’t lose the article, and most important you never lose your place in the story. It’s always there, ever available, ad you can make notes in the electronic margins. Good stories will have their place in the world of good readers.