3 Nov 2009
I wrote recently about how it's possible to adopt a new web-based publishing model for books, and how you can put the Internet at the centre of your publishing operation. Well, here's a good example of someone doing just that.
Going Rouge: Sarah Palin – An American Nightmare, edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, is published by OR Books. It's a timely rejoinder to- some would say, sabotage of - Palin's own book, Going Rogue, which is due out soon.
Here's the book blurb: "Edited by two senior editors at The Nation magazine, this sharp, smart, up-to-the-minute book examines Palin’s quirky origins in Wasilla, Alaska, her spectacular rise to the effective leadership of the Republican Party, and the nightmarish prospect of her continuing to dominate the nation’s political scene."
OR Books was started by John Oakes and Colin Robinson. In their own words:
To avoid the waste of unsold stock and returns, we produce our books only when they are wanted, either through print-on-demand or as platform-agnostic e-books.
This system allows a rapid publishing turnaround so relevant books can intervene quickly in issues of the day.
Most importantly, we sell direct to you, the customer, shipping promptly when a book is released and/or your order is received.
Our approach jettisons the inefficiencies of conventional publishing to better serve readers, writers and the environment.
It points to a new future for book publishing.
The money saved by avoiding waste on unsold inventory can be spent on marketing instead, they say. That's good news for authors who don't benefit in the least from the slices taken out of the cover price by distribution and retail overheads.
OR Books has been able to move very quickly, getting Going Rouge into print in time to give Going Rogue a run for its money.
Judge for yourself whether they are competing with or hijacking Palin's book (and whether you think this is a perfectly legitimate thing to do):
Personally, I feel this is like a return to the 18th century days of pamphleteers, when self-publishing was used as a means of political expression and free speech.
Going Rouge is not currently available from Amazon. But be warned, there is a book with that title available (soon) from Amazon.com. Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book is by satirist Micheal Stinson and political cartoonist Julie Sigwart and produced by another new publisher, TBTM Media.
To quote the publishers, it's a "parody, which mercilessly lampoons Sarah Palin, and skins her policies like she would a rogue moose".
Looks like Palin's going to have some stiff competition. And given her notorious problems with reading, if she wants to buy one of these titles herself she might be wise to choose the colouring book.