Atlantic Media Dips Toe in Ebook Business

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The Atlantic, a media company with 150-year-old magazine at its center, is dipping a toe in the ebook business.

It released its third ebook today, The Best Writing From the Atlantic’s Technology Channel, an aptly named compendium of technology reporting by senior editor Alexis Madrigal and other regular contributors. Madrigal also managed the project and helped edit the book, which is available on TheAtlantic.com for free from today until the end of the year, at which point it will go on sale at major ebook retailers for $1.99. The Atlantic used Pressbooks to produce the ebook.

The company had previously published two other ebooks, The Obama Presidency, Explained by James Fallows (an article that Fallows developed into an ebook) and The Civil War, a commemorative edition of the magazine that included both old and new material. The Obama book came out in Aug. and is for sale at major ebook retailers for $1.99 and the Civil War book came out earlier in Dec. and is $5.99.

These three titles are just the beginning for The Atlantic.

“We’re planning a lot more on this score, including original long-form content,” said Madrigal.

The Atlantic joins a growing chorus of non-book-publishing media companies to produce ebooks. Most recently, USA Today published USA Tomorrow, a collection of expert predictions about the future of America. Harlequin and Cosmopolitan magazine inked a deal to publish several ebooks a month together. Newsweek/Daily Beast entered into a partnership with Vook to publish ebooks. Playboy launched a series of shorts for the Kindle, the Washington Post announced an e-book program, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, a trade publication focused on the higher education field, launched an e-book business. Other notable companies to jump into the space are magazine publishers Conde Nast and Hearst and NBC News, a division of NBC Universal. And the Wall Street Journal has recently rejuvenated its e-book program.

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