The End of Yesterday's News

by Allison Horton on

The Wall Street Journal powers up E-Books.

For journalists, E-Books could be the most powerful technology development since blog software; they're the perfect way to deliver in-depth stories that outlast the news cycle. And the Wall Street Journal is setting the industry standard.

Using the Vook platform, The Journal is repowering its E-Book business with new titles that leverage existing content—not just to increase readership, but to share and preserve great stories. Their E-Books take advantage of video, careful styling, and great writing to create reading experiences that rival the Big 6.

Two E-Books composed of previously published work in WSJ include Checks & Balances: A Year in the Complicated World of Marriage and Money and The London Gold Rush: The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the 2012 Olympics. The former video-enhanced eBook compiles a year’s worth of Katherine Rosman’s biweekly column of the same name that examines the economics within a marriage: how money, time, and responsibility are allocated between two busy people. The London Gold Rush gathers articles by various journalists about the 2012 Summer Olympics—the wins, losses, predictions, and insider information—together with images and video. Coming from a different source, Women in the Economy: Tales From Those Who’ve Made It brings together interview transcripts and videos from two annual WSJ conferences on Women in the Economy. These three eBooks republish existing content to highlight superior journalism and tell larger stories that won't disappear into an archive. In regards to The London Gold Rush, WSJ sportswriter Matthew Futterman tells Vook, “So much of what we do as reporters lacks permanence. The idea that smart people think we produced something lasting is one of the great compliments I’ve received during my career.”

Each chapter in Checks & Balances represents a biweekly column in Rothman’s yearlong investigation of conflicts in marriage. They boil down to fundamental economics—the allocation of scarce resources—entailing everything from $4 cappuccino disputes to time management. From the first chapter, ("The Dance of Marriage: Who Does What?”), the eBook reads like a novel as we come to know her family. She writes, “When we argue, it’s usually about currency, which in a marriage is about far more than dollars. It’s about time. It’s about whose agenda gets top billing. It’s about the divvying up of responsibility. It’s about an intricate system of check and balances…it’s inevitable that a marital ledger develops.” We quickly learn that her husband meticulously budgets the family’s spending and Rosman, while aspiring to stick to the budget, allows her family extra indulgences. The end of the first column sets the tone for the rest of the E-Book: “In every marriage, there are things we do for the ledger. And then there are things we do for love.” The proceeding chapters ask who takes care of the kids with the sitter calls in sick? Is a spouse’s hobby too time-consuming? What is the purpose of a joint bank account, and more. Even if readers cannot relate to certain chapters standing alone, by compiling 25 stories to form a larger narrative, this eBook paints a picture of the universal checks-and-balance marriage.

Like Checks & Balances, the different articles featured in The London Gold Rush tell an overarching story—the collective American viewing of the Olympics. As WSJ's Rachel Bachman tells Vook, “While they’re happening, the Olympics are a spectacular blur. It’s great to be able to step back and re-experience the amazing events we witnessed without having to worry about a deadline.” The E-Book brings to life again the pride and excitement felt across our country, throughout London, and around the world. Published four days before the start of the games, “Who’s Going to Win?” predicts the U.S.’s triumphant gold-metal count. The report of Michael Phelps’ record-breaking medal win is followed two chapters later by an article on the Chinese women’s badminton team’s disqualification for throwing a match. Resting in between these chapters lies an article providing an inside glimpse at how athletes married to one another handle the Games. There is a cadence to the coverage that might have been lost were the reporting not brought together in an E-Book. While every four years bring different outcomes, the Olympic story in The London Gold Rush stays relevant for games to come.

Finally, Women in the Economy covers two momentous conferences that brought together influential women from different industries, including former US Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, actress Geena Davis, neuroscientist Sandra Witelson, and journalist Suzy Welch. The chapters are equally diverse: the participants share everything from the differences between the male and female brains to specific strategies for getting ahead (such as interrupting a meeting to speak up). In a series of interviews, Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck tells WSJ how she balances work and family. Conference co-chair Teresa Sebastian insists that boards be scrutinized for their company’s compensation records. Adele Gulfo, president of Pfizer's U.S. primary-care operations, tells Vook that "women need to accept the challenges before them in terms of learning the operational role and being on-point to deliver results, as much as C-suite executives need to recognize the contributions of female top talent. The Journal’s eBook goes a long way in furthering those two principles.” Finally, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recounts how she made herself heard in United Nations meetings, even if it meant interrupting. Albright tells WSJ that she thought, “If I don’t speak today, then the voice of the United States will not be heard.” For this reason, for preserving these voices and the work of their journalists, Vook is proud of The Wall Street Journal, and we are grateful to be a part of the E-Book movement.

These E-Books and more are available for purchase on The Wall Street Journal’s iAmplify store. If you are interested in having Vook help your business take advantage of E-Book, please sign up so we can tell you more.

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