What is Atavist?
You’ll find the longer-form version of our story here. In short: We’re publishers, and we’re also tool-makers. Our mission is to tell beautifully written and designed, original, multimedia stories—and help other people and organizations tell their own. We believe that new mediums call for new ways to publish and that digital doesn’t have to mean shorter or shallower. We believe that you should be able to find readers on every platform and create using whatever media you want.
What is Creatavist?
Creatavist is our Web-based storytelling platform. We built it to publish our stories in The Atavist, our app-based magazine and ebook publishing arm. Outfits like TED, The Paris Review, and The Wall Street Journal have used it to tell theirs, publishing everything from ebooks, to case studies, to magazines (see some examples here). Now we’re opening up Creatavist for you to tell your own story, using text, video, audio, and more. As the name implies, it’s a place for you to express your own creativity, whether it’s personal, educational, journalistic, or something else. You can publish a story, a book, or a whole digital publication, in the Creatavist iPhone and iPad app and at your handle on Creatavist.com. You can also produce ebooks of all flavors to keep, distribute, and sell elsewhere. Or, if you are looking to create your own home for your stories, you can upgrade to produce and publish into your own mobile app and Web store.
What can I make on Creatavist?
Creatavist lets you write, design, enhance, and publish digital multimedia stories, ebooks, and publications. We refer to the basic unit of what you create using Creatavist as a story, but that story can take a lot of forms. You can create an ebook of any length (and produce an ebook file for any retailer, download it, and go sell it). You can collect any number of stories together into an ebook. You can form your stories into a magazine, a journal, a catalog, or a newsletter and publish regularly. You can make an open-ended, constantly evolving publication that you add to as time goes on. Your stories can be multimedia—with text, audio, video, and interactive elements woven together—or it can be built entirely around text or video. No coders are required, just log in and start building! For other technical questions, check out Creatavist’s documentation wiki.
Where do people read what I publish in Creatavist?
In Creatavist you’ll be able to offer stories to readers in the Creatavist app for iPad and iPhone, as well as through your own handle on Creatavist.com (as in: yourname.creatavist.com). You can also create EPUB (iBooks, Nook, Kobo) and mobi (Kindle) files that are yours to use however you wish: You may sell them using your own publishing accounts on Kindle, iBooks, and Nook, or offer them on your own Web site.
Can I sell my stories, ebooks, and magazines through Creatavist?
Not yet! But very soon, we’ll be giving you the ability to sell through the Creatavist Web site, and eventually our app as well. If you upgrade to create your own app using Creatavist, you can sell through that app right now (as, say, TED Books and The Paris Review do already).
Do I get to keep the rights to whatever I produce in Creatavist?
Yes. Whether you are an enterprise customer or a Creatavist user, Atavist does not claim ownership over anything that you create using our tools. Anything you create or import into our system, and any ebook files you take out of it, are owned by you.
Can you help me make a custom publication or app?
Our enterprise clients often publish into their own Creatavist-created mobile app, as well as into ebook formats and the Web. If you are a business customer looking for an enterprise publishing solution for books, magazines, newsletters, or any other mobile publishing, you’ll soon be able to upgrade directly in the system. For now, please contact us about Creatavist for Enterprise. We’ve worked with clients like Pearson, TED Conferences, Dartmouth College, and many others to develop innovative, customized apps and ebooks.
How do my own stories fit in with your publication, The Atavist?
The Atavist is a magazine and e-singles publishing house through which we release our own original, longform narrative journalism. Those stories are commissioned by us from professional writers and produced by our own editorial team. The stories you publish in Creatavist will not be brought into The Atavist, although Creatavist stories may be featured alongside our own on Atavist.com. We hope you’ll produce work even better, more innovative, and more beautiful than ours!
So…what’s happening to The Atavist, then?
Nothing! We will continue to be releasing at least one piece of deeply-reported, carefully written and edited piece of longform narrative nonfiction in The Atavist once a month. Everything in The Atavist is produced using the Creatavist platform, of course. By telling our own stories, we hope to show what’s possible using our tools—and hopefully entertain and inform a lot of folks with great narrative journalism along the way. Rich multimedia versions of our stories are available in The Atavist app for the iPad, iPhone, and Web. Text versions of our stories are available on Kindle (often through the Kindle Singles store), Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play.
Does The Atavist accept manuscript submissions?
Unfortunately we do not generally accept completed manuscripts for publication in The Atavist. We do welcome pitches from professional writers who are familiar with our work. If you are an author of other types of work, especially heavily multimedia work, we’d love for you to produce it in Creatavist. We plan to feature all the best projects through the Creatavist Web site and app.
Why is it called Atavist?
Atavistic is a biological term referring to traits that disappear in a species or lineage over generations but then suddenly reappear. We think of Atavist as bringing the traits of longform storytelling back into the digital era of shorter, faster, and more disposable content. (We don’t even particularly like calling stories “content.”)