The New York Times has just announced that it will be partnering with digital publishing services Byliner and Vook to release a combination of original work and existing stories as ebooks. In the next year, the Times and Byliner — which commissions long-form stories for online publication — will release up to 12 short original ebooks, selling them through Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble as well as their own sites. The first, an expanded version of an upcoming Times article called "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek," will come out December 17th and sell for $2.99. Further pieces will be written by columnist James B. Stewart and recent Pulitzer Prize winner David Leonhardt.
With ebook design company Vook, the Times will take a different tack. Instead of commissioning original reporting, it will select articles from its archives and assemble them into a narrative arc. 25 of the resulting ebooks, known as TimesFiles, will be released for $1.99 and up on December 17th, with more to follow in 2013. "The Fall of the Berlin Wall," "The Life and Films of John Hughes," and "The Rise of Apple" are all mentioned as upcoming titles.
Other newspapers, including The Washington Post and USA Today have tried their hand at ebook publishing; the latter's first book, USA Tomorrow, was released only a few days ago. The Times, meanwhile, has tried a number of paid digital models, most recently a paywall that limits non-subscribers to 10 free articles a month.
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