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Publishers have begun to experiment with instant e-books to capitalize on political news and other timely events. The Daily Beast teamed up with Perseus Books Group in 2009 to publish e-books on a shortened schedule. And following the death of Osama Bin Laden, publishers rushed to release instant e-books.
Jon Meacham, Random House executive editor and EVP and former Newsweek editor-in-chief, edited Beyond Bin Laden, an instant e-book collection of essays that came out just a week after Bin Laden’s death. Now Meacham is moving Random House further into the instant e-book space. Politico has teamed up with Random House Publishing Group to publish a series of four instant digital books about the 2012 presidential campaign. The books will be written by Mike Allen, Politico’s chief White House correspondent and author of daily tip sheet Playbook, and former Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas, and edited by Meacham.
In a statement (PDF), Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said, “The e-book series will give us an opportunity to tell those stories in a way that is hard to do in the rush of daily business.”
The Politico books are entering a competitive market: James Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the author of the bestselling Game Change, signed a multimillion-dollar deal to write a book about the 2012 campaign, according to the NYT’s Media Decoder blog. Politico executive editor Jim VandeHei described the Politico books as “an effort to get ahead of anybody who’s waiting until the end of the campaign to write a book.”
Politico is also launching what it calls an “online bookstore” that will sell the new series along with other “titles on current events, politics, history and biography from all book publishers,” Politico reports. “The books will be selected on their relevance to Politico’s news content, and available in both paper and digital format through a range of online retailers.” It’s unclear from this whether Politico will actually be selling the titles directly, and we’ve asked for more information.