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Press Release: Did Free Content Kill the American Newspaper?

Now and Then Reader, the publisher of original short-form nonfiction books for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other popular e-readers, will give away free copies of ProPublica general manager Richard Tofel’s Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future, it was announced today by co-founder and chief editor Ivan R. Dee.  Available for free download from February 8-15 through Apple’s iBookstore this book offers fresh insights into how and why free content brought on the downfall of print journalism.

“Since free content is the villain in this story,” said Dee, “it only seemed natural to give it away.”

From his perch outside the print world at ProPublica and drawing on years of experience  at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, Tofel offers a unique perspective on the mistakes made as the internet mushroomed in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Part economic and history lesson and part cultural critique, Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future is an insightful 16-page commentary on how it happened, why it happened, and what it means for the future of journalism.

This e-single, which will also be available to purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google Books for $1.99, joins Now and Then Reader’s growing list of original nonfiction Kindle books, iBookstore Quick Reads and Nook Books released every Wednesday. The newly launched publishing house was founded by Dee, former chief editor of Quadrangle Books and president of Ivan R. Dee Inc., and Chandos Erwin, managing director of Oatmeal Beach, a Los Angeles based digital agency.

The company will soon publish the timely essay How Iran Got the Bomb by Jeremy Bernstein, author of Plutonium: A History of the World’s Most Dangerous Element and Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to KnowAmong its recent offerings are John F. Kennedy’s Women: The Story of a Sexual Obsession by Michael O’Brien, Holy Cow 2000: The Strange Election of George W. Bush by Kenneth O’Reilly and High and Tight by Ray Robinson, the story of how famed Jewish baseball player Hank Greenberg confronted anti-Semitism.  Now and Then Reader is also reissuing a selection of free books to complement their list of  paid titles.  The full list is available at

Direct links to download or purchase Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future can be found at  Review copies of this and other titles are available upon request.

Now and Then Reader publishes both original nonfiction titles and excerpts from forthcoming and previously published books.  Their titles range in length from 5,000 to 25,000 words, or approximately 15 to 60 book pages, and are available for purchase through Kindle Books, Nook Books, iPad Books and other e-bookstores.

Ivan R. Dee, Now and Then Reader's co-founder and chief editor, is the former president and chief editor of Ivan R. Dee, Inc., publishers of serious nonfiction books founded in 1989. Before that he was chief editor at Quadrangle Books, and also worked in newspapers, newspaper syndicates, and magazines.

Chandos Erwin, Now and Then Reader’s co-founder and marketing director, manages the publisher’s technology and marketing efforts. He is also the principal at Oatmeal Beach, a digital agency specializing in web application development and marketing solutions.

Richard Tofel, author of Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future, is general manager of ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism newsroom headquartered in New York and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, including the first for material not published in print.  He was formerly assistant publisher of the Wall Street Journal and, earlier, assistant managing editor as well as vice president for corporate communications and assistant general counsel of Dow Jones & Company.  More recently he was vice president and general counsel of the Rockefeller Foundation, and earlier president and chief operating officer of the International Freedom Center, a museum and cultural center that was planned for the World Trade Center site.  He is the author of five previous books.




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