Last week I read about Byline.com, an e-publishing and social networking website that publishes nonfiction under the minimum book length word count of 70,000 words. The site also helps readers find stories based on their interests, follow favorite authors, leave leave comments about pieces and make recommendations.
Here's the website's description:
Byliner publishes original narratives by some of the most accomplished writers working today, at lengths that allow them to be read in a single sitting. Called Byliner Originals, these stories typically range between 10,000 and 35,000 words and are available in digital form, with select titles also available as audio or print-on-demand books. They tackle compelling stories from the worlds of culture, technology, politics, business, sports, science, crime, adventure, and more.
Some other titles:
• The Cartel by Taylor Branch, an expose about college sports
• The Getaway Car, a memoir by Ann Patchett about the writing life
• I Hope Like Heck, 50 "hilarious" poems found among 24,000 recently-released Sarah Palin emails
I decided to make a purchase from Byliner Originals to 1. check out the download experience, 2. study the production quality of the material (layout, font, etc.) and 3. read an entire piece on the iPad my husband bought several months ago, and 4. see if this market might be for me.
I chose Jon Krakauer's Three Cups of Deceit ($2.99) about the reprehensible shenanigans pulled by Greg Mortenson, author of the popular book club book, Three Cups of Tea about the foundation he created to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The price of $2.99 seemed reasonable for the well-researched 70-page piece that includes another 10 pages of end notes. The download experience was smooth and the reading experience so easy I look forward to reading a lot more books on the iPad. And this from a diehard hard copy lover.
In terms of a possible market for me, however, I'm not, as yet, well-known enough. The pieces are, as the description promises, by top honchos in their fields. Judging by their work, their reputations seem well deserved, in that the often-controversial pieces of national interest are well-researched.
If you think your work is on par with the quality of these works, make sure by reading a few pieces, then check out the website's Writer Inquiries:
• Published writers can find out if and how to get their work published on Byliner.com.
• You can join the Byliner.com directory "to engage your fans or promote your work."
• Byliner commissions a lot of their pieces, but they also accept unsolicited submissions consisting of a query letter and writing sample, both of which can be submitted via an online form.