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Tina Brown’s Unorthodox eBook-First Strategy

img-author-photo---tina-brown_101220562199.jpgLast night GalleyCat correspondent Blake Gernstetter covered the launch party for John Avlon‘s political book, “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.”

The party was held at the Manhattan home of Tina Brown (pictured, via), the author, magazine editor, and founder of The Daily Beast. In a short interview, Brown outlined how the online publication was taking its first step into the publishing industry with Beast Books.

She outlined why the company bucked publishing tradition by releasing the eBook edition first: “We feel that that’s really what seeds the interest. What we feel strongly is that the digital is really the place that we are, but to have the paperback as well is a terrific way for the writer to fire on all cylinders,” Brown explained. Last year, she made headlines for criticizing the $9.99 price point for books.

She concluded: “It’s a great sort of sexy little paperback, 40,000 words, it came out of Beast content [which was sort of] the idea of the imprint to take pieces that have appeared as blogs and as passionate sort of opinion pieces and actually develop them into a longer form, provocative 40,000 word book.”

Read the complete interview after the jump.


Q: Tell me about this first Beast Books launch.
It’s really exciting for us because it’s our first Beast Book. It’s soup to nuts, three months — it’s been published digitally first, now it’s coming in paperback in a joint venture with Perseus.

It’s a great sort of sexy little paperback, 40,000 words, it came out of Beast content [which was sort of] the idea of the imprint to take pieces that have appeared as blogs and as passionate sort of opinion pieces and actually develop them into a longer form, provocative 40,000 word book.

Q: Why did you decide to go digital first, and then print? That’s pretty new.

A: It is. We feel that that’s really what seeds the interest. What we feel strongly is that the digital is really the place that we are, but to have the paperback as well is a terrific way for the writer to fire on all cylinders.

Q: What’s coming up next?

A: It’s called Angel Face by Barbie Nadeau. It’s about the true story of a student killer Amanda Knox. Nadeau was at every one of the sessions of the trial, so she covered it obsessively for the Daily Beast. She gathered a huge following with us, and so we’ve given her the time and space to do a great 40,000 word narrative. She put the whole trial together into a really compelling narrative. It’s terrific, I mean I couldn’t put it down; I was reading it this weekend.

Q: Where do you see Beast Books in a year?

A: I see us as producing probably a book every couple of months … I mean John Avlon‘s timing with Wingnuts is fantastic. He was really a kind of embed in the radical right wing world … He’s been writing about that obsessively on the Beast and over the last year, and of course his book comes out just as the Tea Party movement is really exploding.

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