Rick Hertzberg writes about a forthcoming book from Bob Kuttner called Obama’s Challenge. It sounds very interesting. Also interesting is this — unlike a normal political book that’s finished, it’s not going to float around in the ether for months waiting for me to try to scheme my way into possession of a free copy. Instead, says Hertzberg:
Kuttner’s book, by the way, is a pioneering exercise in cutting-edge publishing. The publisher, Chelsea Green, plans to have two thousand copies ready for distribution at the Democratic National Convention. That will mean a lapsed time of about one week between final edit and finished book. (I’ve written blog posts that took longer to make their way online.) The book won’t be in the stores till September 15, but you can get it sooner, thanks to a deal Chelsea Green has made a with BookSurge, Amazon’s new print-on-demand subsidiary. You order it, they print it and bind it, and it’s in your hands forty-eight hours later.
That’s totally awesome. The publishing industry is badly in need of a shakeup in its methods and business models, and this sounds like a step in the right direction. My order’s been placed.