More instant books now. We mean NOW!





For those who want instant information, there is no shortage of outlets, from cable news to Twitter posts. For the long view, it was said, try a book.

But as the metabolism of the culture has sped up in the digital age, pockets of the publishing industry are prodding themselves out of their Paleolithic ways and joining the rush, with more books on current events coming out faster than ever before.

For generations the publishing industry has worked on a fairly standard schedule, taking nine months to a year after an author delivered a manuscript to put finished books in stores. Now, enabled in part by e-book technology and fueled by a convergence of spectacularly dramatic news events, publishers are hitting the fast-forward button.

In December the FT Press released an e-book edition of “Barack, Inc: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign” a month after the authors delivered a manuscript. Last month Free Press, a unit of Simon & Schuster, published an e-book version of “Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation” just three weeks after Daniel Gross, a writer for Newsweek magazine, completed the book.

And as the financial crisis was deepening last March, George Soros submitted a manuscript to the publisher PublicAffairs. Ten days later the e-book of “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” went on sale.


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