MediaFile

The end of the story…

……is the cash cow for Chinese company Shanda Literature Ltd, a
subsidiary of Shanda Interactive Entertainment.

The company’s business model is simple: read the first half
of a book online for free, and if you want to know the rest
(which usually is the case if you have read that far) you need
to pay for it. Revenues are split with the stories’ authors.

In China, this proves to be successful. According to Shanda
Literature CEO Hou Xiaoqing, the company now has cash reserves
of $1.8 billion, with 800,000 authors creating up to 80,000 new
pages of content per day, he said at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

On web portals such as www.qidian.com and www.hongxiu.com,
customers can chose from a huge variety of stories, and the best
even make it into print.

Xiaoqing said the company has also teamed up with China
Mobile
to distribute literature via mobile phones, a
business model that he said was “very promising”.

Madoff pays dividends in book deals

Not everyone in the orbit of accused mega-thief Bernard Madoff wants to give him the old pitchfork-and-torches treatment. In the past 24 hours, I received two press releases touting book deals for reporters who are going to write about the man who purportedly stole $50 billion from a variety of rich people, hedge funds, charities and universities.

Here is an excerpt from the first one:

The Portfolio imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. has acquired DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL by Erin Arvedlund, a journalist who in 2001 wrote one of the first critical articles about Bernard Madoff, the recently indicted financier. World rights were bought by Adrian Zackheim, President and Publisher of Portfolio, from Esmond Harmsworth of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. Publication is planned for the spring of 2010.

Arvedlund’s book, combining narrative and analysis, will share the same title as her May 2001 article in Barron’s — one of the first to ask tough questions about Madoff’s surprising results and unusual practices. That article, based on a four-month investigation and hundreds of interviews, was recently cited in an SEC complaint.