Digital Publisher Releases New eNovella by James Ellroy, 'Shakedown'

'Shakedown' by James Ellroy

Byliner is a publisher that specializes in "compelling works of original fiction and nonfiction written to be read in a single sitting."

I've never heard of them but they clearly have some juice--they just released a digital-only novella by crime fiction master James Ellroy. 

Here's the synopsis, from the publisher's website

Meet Freddy Otash: corrupt cop turned sleaze hustler, extortionist, pimp, and an actual historical figure who made the 1950s magazine Confidential the go-to source for the sins of the rich and famous. Shakedown breathes randy new life into the man who whetted our national appetite for sex and scandal and whose lack of scruples makes today’s gossip culture seem almost innocent. What’s true and what’s fiction? Ellroy’s not telling.

According to Byliner's website, "stories range from 5,000 and 30,000 words, and are sold as Kindle Singles at Amazon, Quick Reads at Apple's iBookstore, and NOOK Snaps at" They put out fiction and non-fiction, and seem to be focused on work from established authors--they don't guarantee replies to unsolicited material. 

So, interesting on two levels! First, there's a new piece of writing from Ellroy. That's always something to celebrate. Then we've got a publisher getting down with the bite-size fiction craze that's been ushered in by the digital age. I'm a big believer in this format, and it seems to be flourishing.

Are you going to check out the Ellroy story? Interested in leaning more about Byliner? Discuss!

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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine October 12, 2012 - 6:21am

I don't have an eReader, but I will be getting this.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore October 12, 2012 - 8:34am

I'm torn. I do like the trend towards shorter novels and novellas that can be read in fewer sittings. But I'm not really into the Singles model. From a marketing standpoint, I think it's great, being able to get more content more often from authors we enjoy, and for them as well. It's just the logistics of managing so much content on my particular Kindle, which gets pretty klugey with the way it handles Collections, so I end up with all this crap just laying loose in the root directory. For that reason, I'd rather these shorter works be collected first and then offered.