The Los Angeles Times has joined the ranks of newspapers and magazines that have begun publishing expanded versions of popular articles as e-books. Today it released a 99-cent Kindle, Nook, and iBooks e-book called A Nightmare Made Real.
The book recounts the story of Las Vegas banker Louis Gonzalez III who was accused of kidnapping and raping the mother of his child, and the investigation his defense attorney and an investigator mounted to clear his name. It incorporates material from a two-part Los Angeles Times article, as well as expanded profiles of the people involved.
It’s not clear how long the e-book is; the Kindle e-book file is 155KB, so I’m guessing it might be around 60,000 to 80,000 words. Not a “full-length” work by any means, but for that sort of in-depth reporting a 99-cent price sounds just about right.
On Publishing Perspectives, Erin L. Cox wonders if newspapers publishing e-books based on their stories might somehow “thwart” book publishers, since a lot of non-fiction titles that end up with publishers originally started out as newspaper articles the way this one did.
I’m not sure I can really see it having that big of an impact, though; most of the “Kindle Single” style e-books (including the LA Times’s entry) are too short to be published as “real” books. And given the relatively small number of these e-books being published so far, compared to the total non-fiction output of the Big Six, I suspect they don’t have anything to worry about just yet.