Are Books the New Magazines?

According to Tina Brown, they are – in an interview in today’s Financial Times about her website, The Daily Beast.  This is an elliptical addition to Eugene’s posts about e-books and new legal book technologies.

I’m sure many legal academics, myself included, have wondered how, along the way in the last couple of years, things seemed to shift so that no one seems to read one’s academic articles anymore.  Our legal academic audience, in my highly anecdotal take, seems to want to read either blog posts or books.  I’m not quite sure why this is, but I Sense This In The AcademicoSphere.

Here is Tina Brown on the topic of websites, magazines, and books.  It’s quite a good interview on the founding and progress of the Daily Beast.

Given her record, it is startling when [Tina Brown] announces that she sees no future for long-form magazine pieces “of the old kind”, outside the pages of The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Vanity Fair, and proclaims that “books are the new magazines”.

However, Daily Beast writers are to be encouraged to “exercise their narrative journalism muscles” through a tie-up with Perseus Books to produce books of no more than 50,000 words.

“People’s time spans are so short, they either want a short ‘nerve centre’ piece immediately, or they want a short book they can read on a plane,” she says. “A lot of stuff about the [financial] meltdown I would have liked to be marinated over three or four months, but I didn’t want to wait a year and a half.”

The model, which will be tested in January with a book by John Avlon called Attack of the Wingnuts , will be to launch e-books for Amazon’s Kindle or Sony’s Reader, and then to print paperbacks for titles that have sold well.