About

I’ve been a writer and editor for much of my career. Books and magazines, and mostly at places you probably know. More about that below, but first some bio bullet points:

  • I’m the author of the nonfiction bestseller The Colony, selected as an Editor’s Pick by The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and NPR
  • I founded the award-winning digital publishing company Byliner, which was acquired by Macmillan Publishers
  • I’m currently Editor in Residence at True Ventures, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that backed WordPress, Goodreads, and Fitbit
  • I consult on publishing and digital strategy for companies such as Bonnier Corporation, The New York Times Company, Time Inc., IAC, and the Hearst Corporation
  • My writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Men’s Journal, Spy, The Wall Street JournalFortune, and TIME, among many others
  • I started out as a photojournalist, logged stints at Life and Sports Illustrated, and have worked and studied with extraordinary photographers such as the late Mary Ellen Mark, Eugene Richards, and George Lange
  • I’m from Colorado, and now live in San Francisco with my significant other Mimi, and a retired seeing eye dog named Kali

If you’d like to connect directly, pop over to the Contact page.

Startup Stuff

Byliner. I founded and served as CEO of this award-winning, venture-funded company, which was named one of the “10 Most Innovative Media Companies in the World” by Fast Company. Byliner pioneered the ebook single—digital books written to be read in two hours or less—publishing 32 nonfiction and fiction bestsellers, including the first ebook single to reach No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller List. Byliner authors included Jon Krakauer, Amy Tan, Margaret Atwood, Nick Hornby, Carl Hiaasen, Mark Bittman, Sebastian Junger, Jodi Picoult, Jess Walter, and many more. Byliner was acquired in 2016 by Macmillan Publishers.

Motormouths. I founded and served as CEO of this bootstrapped startup, dubbed “The Rotten Tomatoes of Car Reviews,” by TIME magazine. An early entrant in the category now known as data journalism, Motormouths did statistical and semantic analysis of published automotive reviews, offering online tools for shoppers as well as business intelligence reports for clients such as Porsche, Audi, and Hyundai. Motormouths went on hiatus in 2015.

Book Stuff

The Colony. My account of the 103-year-long exile of lepers to the island prison of Molokai, in the Hawaiian Islands, is possibly the only book to ever receive raves from both The Onion and The New England Journal of Medicine. The colony was the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history, made all the more unsettling by the fact that half of the almost 9,000 people who were exiled should never have been sent away. It is an almost unbelievable tale of ruthless manhunts, thrilling escapes, bizarre medical experiments, and tragic, irreversible error—populated by a cast of characters that includes Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, and the martyred saints Sister Marianne and Father Damien. Imagine the movie Papillon crossed with an especially good episode of House—but all entirely true.

Some touts from the critics:

  • “Tayman’s understated and unadorned presentation achieves a quiet greatness. His noble account makes you want to stand and applaud.” —The New York Times Book Review
  • “An utterly engrossing look at a heartbreaking chapter in Hawaiian history.” —Booklist, Starred Review
  • “Fascinating. Tayman brings dignity to the 150-year history of a heavily burdened (but hardly defeated) population.” —Entertainment Weekly
  • “Riveting. Tayman can stand toe-to-toe with Erik Larson (Devil in the White City) in his ability to weave meticulously researched material into a fascinating narrative. He certainly can keep a reader up at night.” —Detroit Free Press
  • “Tayman brings a meticulous, compassionate eye to the saga. It’s a riveting account. Grade A.” — San Francisco Magazine
  • “A must-read.” —TIME
  • “Fascinating” —The New Yorker
  • “At once eye-opening, shocking, and inspiring. The kind of book readers are sure to tell their friends about.” —Rocky Mountain News
  • “A morality play illuminating the best and worst of human nature, a page-turning narrative, and a deeply sympathetic drama featuring a fascinating cast of characters.” —The New England Journal of Medicine

You can buy The Colony at Amazon or Apple iBooks. Or add it to your book shelf at Goodreads.

Magazine Stuff

I’ve been fortunate to write for a lot of notable publications, and I’ve run some of them, too. A few highlights:

  • Outside Magazine, Deputy Editor. Oversaw all editorial assignments and editorial packaging for the award-winning adventure magazine.
  • Men’s Health, Editorial Creative Director. Oversaw an editorial and digital redesign of the world’s largest men’s magazine.
  • TIME.com, Technology Editor. I led a revamp and relaunch of the magazine’s technology coverage.
  • Business 2.0, Columnist. Writer and editorial consultant for Time Inc.’s business and technology magazine. I also wrote the car column.
  • The New York Times Magazine, Editor-at-Large. Writer and editorial consultant for Play, the Times’ sports magazine. If you’re curious as to what it feels like to blow $100 million on a boat race, here you go.
  • Men’s Journal, Editor-at-Large. Writer and editorial consultant for the popular men’s magazine. If you’re wondering what it’s like to accompany an American as he ventures to Russia to hunt a bride, here you go.
  • Rocky Mountain Magazine, Founder. Created, launched, and oversaw all editorial matters for the award-winning regional magazine, which was acquired by Primedia Inc.

If after all this you’re still looking for something more to read, how about the tale of the world’s most valuable dinosaur bones?