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Substack and Legal Publishing

Lexblog: “Can the new email newsletter publishing platform, Substack make inroads into the legal publishing arena? When the New York Time’s Ben Smith reports this morning that Danny Lavery, the publisher of a blog and newsletter, just signed a two year, $430,000 contract with Substack and that his wife, Grace Lavery, a professor at UC-Berkeley, who edits another publication, signed on for a $125,000 advance, you have to wonder. Substack’s model is to disrupt the model of traditional journalism, where reporters and editors are woefully underpaid today -if the have jobs at all. Substack is direct to consumer media. Substack pays advances to a couple dozen writers with the remaining receiving email subscription moneys, of which Substack receives ten percent. For the ten percent, Substack is working on adding elements of centralized support, such as password retrieval and limited legal and editing help. Just as LexBlog is working to develop communities of bloggers for collaboration and cross promotion, Substack says their community of writers may receive some cross-promotion. Substack is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, a high profile venture capital firm that, among other things, is looking to disrupt the publishing and media industry. Smith is right that a shift in power toward individuals and direct payments has broad implications. And it’s working on a limited basis…”

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