The Future of the Publishing Industry

Wired Magazine has released an “in-depth” article on the “shenanigans” of John McAfee of the anti-virus McAfee fame who sold his company to Intel, a couple of years ago.

Wired Magazine first wrote an article about their interview with John McAfee with good and unexpected photos. Now, they are reprinting and enhancing the article to become a stand alone $0.99 ebook for iPad, Nook and Kindle.

Wired Magazine needs to sell only a few hundreds to start making a profit. Wired already made its profit by publishing the article. They expanded the article to become an ebook size, added photos that were not published in the magazine because of the space constraints.

And now for the two most important part, the costs and the sales.

They have 2½ costs (why always ½?):

  • The writing needed to be expanded and to a more in-depth than what appeared in the magazine or people will feel “screwed.” It's another couple of days of writing. Conde Nast pays OK but not great, they may not even pay the writer and just put him on a percentage of the sales.
  • The photography. Wired Magazine is part of the Conde Nast empire. All of their photo contracts require the transferring of all the rights not only to the printed magazine but also for e-whatever edition and format including smart phones and tablets. So publishing all of these photos cost them nothing.
  • And finally the ½ cost: Formatting and publishing in the various e-book formats. As a writer/publisher, once you accept the fact that you can't control the look on the page once you go e-whatever because not only each format is different but the pagination also changes depending on the font size… It's only a matter of running through their “formatter.”

The sales: It's free for their subscribers and it's $0.99 for everybody else. A buck. They just have to sell a few hundred of these and they start to make a profit. Just in Silicon Valley, they will sell at least a few thousands, then there is Silicon Alley in New York, Boston…

Once again Wired Magazine, from the Conde Nast empire, is showing the way on how a publisher can be very profitable in the Internet age.