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Storyville: Can Subscriptions Save Short Stories?

storyville.jpgWhat will the future of the short story look like in a world filled with eBooks? Paul Vidich, co-founder and publisher of Storyville, thinks the future lies in a subscription app for mobile devices.

Vidich (pictured, via) has a unique resume–he served as executive vice-president in charge of worldwide strategy and business development at Warner Music and he attended the creative writing MFA program at Rutgers-Newark. During the interview, he explained how they found stories for the app and analyzed eBook pricing questions facing the industry.

Here’s an excerpt: “I was at Warner Music and I did the first deal with Steve Jobs. I’m the one who suggested the 99-cents deal.  Then he took our deal and went to the other music companies and replicated it. The idea behind 99-cents was to produce a price that was low enough for the buyer of the music it would be a no-brainer. I think there’s no question that one of the effects of the digital world is that it’s created a deflation for all the content businesses. That’s happened in music and I you’re seeing the same thing in the book business.”

Vidich added: “eBooks are doing quite well actually, and I think they will continue to do well. I think $9.99 is a very good price, but obviously some books are going to be priced higher than that. I think the bigger challenge is not so much the pricing within the publishing business, but to imagine what this new platform can enable publishers to offer–because you are no longer limited by type on paper.”

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