In an era when all media outlets are looking for new ways and different platforms to deliver content, Canada’s historic weekly news magazine has gotten into the book business.
Maclean’s has produced an e-book on the Shafia “honour killing” murder trial, which ended Jan. 29 with Mohammad, Tooba and Hamed Shafia each convicted with four counts of first-degree murder.
The 171-page book was published less than a week later, available for download from the Maclean’s website for $1.99 or through the Maclean’s iPad app for 99 cents. The book should be available for Kobo and Kindle users within the next couple of weeks.
The e-book is a first for Maclean’s parent company Rogers Publishing (which also publishes Marketing).
Maclean’s has been considering an e-book for some time with another topic, but the Shafia case presented itself as a more timely option, said publisher Penny Hicks.
“The great thing about e-books is the that you have that speed to market. We had the assets, we had the story and we thought it would resonate really well,” she said. “This seemed like a perfect opportunity.”
Aside from senior writer Michael Friscolanti’s 10-part series covering the trial and 22-page final article in the Feb. 13 issue of Maclean’s, there was plenty of additional content from the trial itself including interrogation videos, excerpts from victim Rona Shafia’s diary and rare photos from inside the Shafia house and the crime scene.
Just like a hard-copy book, the e-book was not treated as an advertising vehicle.
“We were not looking for ad support,” said Hicks.
“It is testing to give readers what they are looking for in whatever format they need it.”