Vanity Fair magazine is releasing its fourth e-book, The Sopranos: The Vanity Fair Oral History by Sam Kashner and Jim Kelly, today, this time providing an “unexpurgated” digital edition of the magazine’s April profile of the show’s creator David Chase and cast members. The Vanity Fair e-book edition is priced at $1.99 and is available on iPad, Nook and Kindle.
The new Vanity Fair e-book follows e-book releases on Elizabeth Taylor, Rupert Murdoch and on Chad Harbach’s debut novel, The Art of Fielding. Vanity Fair has created a digital publishing model that ties together its print and digital programs, creating e-book releases out of expanded versions of headline articles published previously in the magazine. The Sopranos adds lively comments from all the stars—Jim Gandolfini, Steven Van Zandt, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico among them—as well as creator David Chase, about every aspect of the show, including its controversial and iconic ending.
Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter told PW that while “any extension of the brand helps with subscriptions,” he concedes that there’s “no real way to track it at this time.” Asked how the magazine manages to convince consumers to buy an e-book on a topic ostensibly published months before, he said, “the incredible access VF had to the cast and crew of The Sopranos left us with an embarrassment of riches. Editors had to make tough decisions and too much good material became blue pencil casualties when the story was published in the magazine last April.” The e-book, he said, offers, “much deeper insight into the show and into the brilliant mind of David Chase, especially.”
“The catholic scope of the Vanity Fair e-book program is in synch with that of the magazine,” Graydon said. “We’re interested in every aspect of the culture, business, politics and society. This is reflected both in our pages and in our e-book publishing program.”
Graydon said VF picks e-books for its digital series based on the “quality of the reporting and writing,” the timeliness of the subject matter and the ability to get e-books published quickly. “This e-book and the one we did on The Art of Fielding, both provide fascinating background into how art gets made from both a business and an artistic standpoint,” said Graydon. “That’s the kind of thing that is fascinating to our readers.”