Monday, March 30, 2009
Motoko Rich's piece in today's NYT points out that book publishers are accelerating the schedule on more titles than ever before. I would be interested to see any correlation between speed to market and unit sales. The Warren Commission Report, the Pentagon Papers, the Nixon/Watergate transcripts come to mind as selling furiously for a few weeks. But - one of the bestselling books of the past 6 months - Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals - was published 4 years ago (and tells a 130 year old story). People "hire" a book to do a job - contextualize, entertain, teach ( I agree with Ann Godoff). It's great to wring a little extra revenue from a ms. by making the ebook available early - but the focus on jamming books out into the market that publishers think will sell because of current events is another example of "doing something to do something".