The New York Times has big digital plans for its Book Review supplement — one of the most popular and influential book review publications. The paper is planning to make Book Review an individual product (separate from the rest of the NYT’s e-reader content) on the three major e-reader platforms — Sony’s e-reader platform, Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.
Poynter Online reports that the NYT is carving out Book Review as part of a larger “disaggregation” effort to figure out which content it can sell individually. The paper’s $13.99 Kindle edition, for example, also lacks the famous NYT crossword puzzle. The puzzle was originally excised because of difficulties implementing it on e-reader platforms, but as its implementation becomes more of a possibility, it’s also being looked at as a ripe standalone offering.
Book Review will be available on Sony e-readers sometime in the next couple of weeks, and will hit the Kindle and Nook later.
The information comes from the NYT’s director of marketing James Dunn at a recent Digital Publishing Alliance and E-reader Symposium session. The crossword and Book Review segments are only the first among many other slices content that the paper hopes to sell individually.
We’ll likely see other publications focus on disaggregation efforts as well. Instead of selling all of their content bundled in a single newspaper or magazine, publications will have the freedom on digital platforms to let readers choose their content in a more a la carte fashion. The big problem is figuring out the balance between neutering the core publication and losing readers, and keeping the core publication closed off from disaggregation efforts entirely.