I’ve been saying for a while that ebooks should take advantage of being digital and able to be produced quickly, so it’s exciting to see that publishers are finally embracing that (not that I claim they are listening to me!). Tomorrow morning, Random House will be releasing an ebook about Osama bin Laden, now that he is dead. I have no idea whether or not this is a book they’ve had written for a while and been waiting to release, or if they had a really knowledgeable and talented writer who was able to put this together in a week. But, that doesn’t matter. This book may end up being shorter than a traditional book, but traditional books probably won’t be around forever, (or at least they won’t dominate the market–ebook sales are really on the rise). The point is, publishers can defend themselves from “getting scooped” by newspapers and magazines. They can publish relevant, newsworthy stories just as quickly as journalists now, and that is a great way to take advantage of the ebook market. To read the article on Random House’s bin Laden book, go to RH Enters Bin Laden Book Craze with E-Original.
Another, arguably more exciting (in terms of the publishing industry embracing the future) piece of news involves Bookish, an online book site backed by Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette (three of the six biggest publishers in the world). This is a first step in publishers working together to sell their books. Bookish is an independent site, but it will provide customized recommendations for users and it will be another channel for publishers to sell their books. To read the full article, go to S&S, Penguin, Hachette Back Bookish, Online Book Site.