The award-winning Chicago Tribune, one of the nation’s most respected newspapers, has a weekly reach of about 4.8 million readers as part of its parent company’s other outlets. Now, the periodical portion of the Chicago Tribune Media Group will be pairing up with Agate Digital to release stored content in ebook form.
According to a press release, “Agate Digital, an imprint of Evanston-based Agate Publishing, and Tribune have published approximately two dozen ebooks since the partnership began in spring and expect to complete 50 by the end of 2012. Among the titles are “Charlie Trotter,” a fast-paced personal history of the culinary superstar; “The Best of Mary Schmich,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist’s own favorite pieces; and “Capone,” never-before-published photographs of the infamous Jazz Age gangster. A regularly updated list of ebooks can be found at chicagotribuneebooks.com. Forthcoming books will cover the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks; holiday recipes; the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his son U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.; city guidebooks; exclusive photos of the 1933 “Century of Progress” World’s Fair; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.”
This is both an outstanding opportunity for consumers to have access to older and sometimes never-before-seen content, as well as an innovative way for the paper to monetize off of information that is gathering dust in a file server somewhere. Unlike the currently popular long-form journalism that is being written and made available through outlets like Kindle Singles, the works by the Chicago Tribune-Agate partnership are for the most part already edited and ready for publication, speeding up the turnover time to produce ebooks for eager consumers. The ebooks are slated to be available from all major ebook retailers at a cost of around $4.99, although Digital Plus members of the Chicago Tribune will have full access to all of the ebooks.