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Atavist Books to launch first fiction volume in March

Dumbo software and publishing concern moves from strictly journalism to kicking off a fiction venture with a MacArthur Fellow.

Photo provided by The Atavist.
A previous version spelled the name of the Atavist product Creatavist incorrectly. 1/14/14 12:29PM.

Coming in March, Dumbo’s Atavist will release its first fiction volume under Atavist Books, a new partnership between the publishing-software startup and some well established media heavyweights. The first Atavist Books release will be from a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Karen Russell, called Sleep Donation.

Russell’s ebook will be followed by other digital first books will follow from well established writers like Eli Horowitz and Chris Adrian, Kamila Shamsie and Raj Patel. The Atavist Books effort includes backers like Scott Rudin (the first producer to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony) and Frances Coady (formally of Macmillan‘s Picador imprint).

Atavist started as a way to put out longform journalism. The founders wanted to make it natural to embed multimedia content reporters found writing stories into the text of the story. So, for example, a very early piece by one of its cofounders opens with a video before the text begins. The platform also includes a built in recording of the author reading his or her story, and allows readers to seamlessly switch back and forth between listening to a story and reading it.

Eventually, the team spun its software off and made it possible for others to use it to create multimedia documents with the same attributes as Atavist pieces, through Creatavist. Creatavist is still in Beta, but it’s fully open to anyone who want to use it, at free and paid levels. Hear its cofounder, Evan Ratliff, describe the origin of the company that has grown to employ fifteen people in a video on The New York Post website.

The Atavist's Dumbo home.

Companies: Atavist
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