SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Byliner, the digital publisher of bestselling short fiction and nonfiction by such celebrated authors as Amy Tan, Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Nick Hornby, and Buzz Bissinger, is pleased to announce the introduction of Byliner Serials, an ambitious new imprint devoted to great serialized storytelling. The program kicks off today with Positron, by bestselling novelist and Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood, and 15 Gothic Street, by nonfiction crime master Joe McGinniss. Each will be delivering regular episodes in the grand tradition of iconic writers from Charles Dickens to Tom Wolfe, but in a thoroughly modern, supremely convenient form.
Since publishing its first Byliner Original, Jon Krakauer's runaway bestseller Three Cups of Deceit, last year, the company has released 31 titles—fiction and nonfiction written to be read in a single sitting—as well as e-books with valued publishing partners such as The Atlantic, McSweeney's, New York, and Zyzzyva. There has been a sea change in publishing over the past year, and Byliner has been at the forefront of it. E-books now generate more revenue than hardcover books, and by next April an estimated 50 percent of Americans will own an e-reader. The fastest-growing segment of digital publishing is "e-singles"—stories too complex for magazines and too timely or short for conventional books. It's a form pioneered by Byliner, and the company will sell more than a million of them this year.
"We've been very happy—and sometimes astonished—at the number of readers coming to our stories," says Mark Bryant, Byliner's editor-in-chief and cofounder. "Neatly delivering great page-turning, serialized narratives to readers' mobile reading devices is the logical next step."
The literary serial began hundreds of years ago with One Thousand and One Nights, says Bryant, "and Dickens carried on the tradition with The Pickwick Papers, Harriet Beecher Stowe with Uncle Tom's Cabin, Tolstoy with Anna Karenina, Dostoevsky with The Brothers Karamazov, and Tom Wolfe with The Bonfire of the Vanities. With the new immediacy and convenience of digital publishing, the possibilities are extraordinary. Along with Margaret's and Joe's ongoing stories, we'll soon be publishing serials with a number of other leading authors, and we're keen to see where all this leads."
Margaret Atwood's Positron series takes readers on a thrill ride to the near future, where paranoia reigns but sex has clearly not gone out of style. Husband and wife Stan and Charmaine were hoping for a safe and predictable life when they signed up for Consilience, a social experiment in which the lawful are locked up and, beyond the gates, criminals roam the wasteland that is now America. What they got was something altogether different. I'm Starved for You, the first installment in the series (originally published under the Byliner Fiction imprint), has been hailed by the Globe and Mail as "seamless as a stocking, and shockingly believable." Episode Two, Choke Collar, offers everything the title suggests: deviance, discomfort, and a lot of naughty pleasure. Just what you would expect from Atwood, the legendary author of The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and After the Flood, who makes dystopia a great place to be—but as a voyeuristic visitor, not an inmate.
Joe McGinniss's 15 Gothic Street serial tells the story of life in and out of an American courthouse over the course of a tumultuous yet typical year. Imagine Law & Order set in Lake Wobegon: murder, shootings, arson, drug deals, theft, and more, all taking place against a backdrop of small-town charm and civility. Unlike prime-time television, however, everything that happens in 15 Gothic Street is all too real. The stately Hampshire County courthouse sits at the center of beautiful Northampton, Massachusetts, home of Smith College and Calvin Coolidge and aptly nicknamed "Paradise City." But even in paradise, there's trouble. The worst of these troubles find their way to superior court at 15 Gothic Street, where they are laid bare every day, Monday through Friday. Joe McGinniss, the bestselling author of such classics as The Selling of the President, Fatal Vision, and Going to Extremes, is there to tell us all about them.
About Byliner: Byliner commissions and publishes original stories written to be read in a single sitting. Bestselling Byliner titles include Amy Tan's Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood's Positron, Jon Krakauer's Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett's The Getaway Car, Nick Hornby's Everyone's Reading Bastard, and Buzz Bissinger's After Friday Night Lights. The companion website, Byliner.com, gives readers personalized access to an unmatched library of fiction and nonfiction, handpicked by our editors. On Byliner, readers can discover new writers, explore, save, and share great stories, connect with other readers, and even engage directly with their favorite writers.
Episodes of Margaret Atwood's Positron and Joe McGinniss's 15 Gothic Street will be available for $2.99 as Quick Reads in Apple's iBookstore, as Nook Snaps at BarnesAndNoble.com, as Short Reads at Kobo, in the Amazon Kindle store, and at Google Play.