We have some big news to share today: Longreads is teaming up with The Atlantic, in a partnership that will allow us to expand our site and membership model—and continue to serve this community of readers, writers and publishers.
When I first started the #longreads hashtag four years ago, The Atlantic was one of the earliest publishers to embrace it, and they understood what makes it special—the diversity of readers’ tastes, sharing the stories they love, from a mix of well-known and undiscovered publishers and writers, across both nonfiction and fiction.
We’re excited about the opportunity to work together with The Atlantic, and to continue expanding this site and community.
If you’re curious about the business side of things, here are some specifics about how the partnership is set up:
Longreads remains an independent company and editorial team, just as we always have been. We’re six people who have invested our time and resources into building Longreads—and we will continue to do what we do best, which is spotlight the best work from magazines, newspapers, books, and across the web.
Our site will be featured alongside the rest of The Atlantic’s growing network of sites, and their team will be helping us with business and operations.
By now, you’ve already seen the two big pieces of the Longreads business model, and in the spirit of transparency, I’m outlining it here:
Our goal has been to create a business that supports readers, writers and publishers in different ways, through a mix of paid memberships and advertising.
With paid memberships, we’re creating a system where you, our subscribers, are helping to pay writers and publishers for rights to stories and book chapters that are featured as “Longreads Member Picks.” (Here’s this week’s Member Pick, a short story from Amelia Gray and Tin House.)
Through our membership, we want to keep building a secondary market for publishers and writers to make money off licensing, and we’re doing so with your financial support. (You can join for $3 a month or $30 a year.)
On the advertising front, we teamed up with Virgin Atlantic last year on Travelreads, and we’d like to continue pursuing these types of creative initiatives. Advertising, done thoughtfully, will help support new channels like Travelreads, as well our daily editor picks across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and the weekly Top 5 Longreads email.
We’re excited for what’s next, and we’re so thankful for this community’s continued support. We can’t do this without you, and we’ll share more details as things come together.
–Mark and rest of the Longreads team (Mike, Kjell, Hakan, Jodi and Joyce)