The Daily Beast has partnered with Perseus Books Group to found a quick turnaround imprint aimed at getting books from writers to readers in a matter of months, as opposed to the traditional year or two. Here's how it would work:
On a typical publishing schedule, a writer may take a year or more to deliver a manuscript, after which the publisher takes another nine months to a year to put finished books in stores. At Beast Books, writers would be expected to spend one to three months writing a book, and the publisher would take another month to produce an e-book edition.
Then it's off to the paperback edition. What's interesting about this model isn't simply the shortening of the production time -- it's the shortening of the writing time.
This doesn't get as much attention as it should, in part because it's not really in the interest of writers to loudly talk about how much easier their job has gotten, and how much more quickly they can produce lots of content. But that's the reality of it. People tend to assume that blogs are a product of technological advancements in publishing content. But the writing of constantly-updated political blogs is a product of the falling time cost for finding information. You can now get all your polls on pollster.com, and all the op-eds from every newspaper, and all the archives from all these newspapers, and all the info on other blogs, and so on and so forth.
That's why I can publish 15 posts a day. Writing doesn't take very long. Quoting doesn't take very long. But assembling information used to take an awful long time. It required a lot of phone calls and microfiche and faxes and walking over to Brookings and paging through newspaper archives and begging a source at Gallup. Now it doesn't take much time at all. That allows me to be the equivalent of a very fast columnist, and there's no reason it won't allow others to become very fast book authors.
Photo credit: By Jeff Chiu —Associated Press
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