Electric Literature Is Alive and Well and (Still) Living on Medium

We Respond to Ev Williams’ Announcement of Company Cuts

On Wednesday, Medium’s CEO Ev Williams announced that, in addition to laying off 50 employees and closing its East Coast offices, the company has abandoned its ad revenue model which recruited publishers like us, The Awl, and The Ringer to move to Medium last year.

Many have been asking what that means for Electric Literature, and basically, things will stay the same. We’ll be publishing the same writing you enjoy here on Medium for the foreseeable future.

There have been many benefits from Electric Literature’s relaunch last summer. The website looks damn good, for one thing, it’s easier to use, and the community of readers we’ve found has been supportive and engaged. We were also fortunate to work with talented, inspired individuals at Medium, most of whom have been sadly let go.

Admittedly, the potential for higher ad revenue played a significant role in our decision to migrate, and we are disappointed by Medium’s swift retreat from the publisher-centric model.

But unlike larger publishers that will surely be more affected by this change, Electric Literature is a non-profit that relies on reader support and grants as well as earned income. In fact, proceeds from our newly launched Membership program will soon equal what we once made in monthly ad revenue. Electric Literature receives 100% of your Membership dues after credit card processing fees, and contributions are tax-deductible. So, if you’re worried about the state of publishing, please consider supporting the writing you believe in by joining today.

In his post, Williams said that Medium plans to shift “resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people.” We’re not sure what that will look like yet, but in the meantime, we are going to keep our heads down and continue to do the work of promoting vibrant literature, supporting writers, and broadening the audience for literary fiction in the digital age.

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