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This summer, Politico signed a deal with Random House to publish four instant e-books about the 2012 presidential campaign. Now Politico has opened an online bookstore, powered by Random House, selling politics and policy titles from a variety of publishers.
Politico is not selling the books directly–this is more of a storefront than a store. Users can browse for titles and then click through to buy them from Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) or independent bookstore Politics and Prose. 2,743 titles are currently available, from a wide variety of publishers. Update: Random House is staffing the store, handling the merchandising, and providing the bookstore technology, as well as doing marketing for the store to drive traffic. Politico receives the affiliate fees when someone buys a book via a link in the store.
Politico’s announcement promises a “prominent opportunity” for shoppers to pre-order Random House and Politico’s first instant e-book, Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back, due out on November 30.
I couldn’t find that title featured anywhere on the bookstore’s front page, however, and had to specifically search for it to find it. The ad blocker on my browser blocked the Playbook graphic, apparently considering it an ad though it did not block other content on the site.
I liked the mix of books on the site–not just presidential candidate autobiographies (Michele Bachmann, Core of Conviction!!) but also political fiction (John Grisham) and humor (Stuff White People Like). On the jacket of his Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games, it looks as though Mitt Romney has a snake wrapped around his neck.
Publishers have been talking about selling directly to customers for awhile, and this is a chance for Random House to test the concept: “By partnering with an organization as popular and trusted in the political arena as Politico, we’re able to deliver book publishing’s best politically relevant content directly to interested readers and consumers,” RH president of digital Madeline McIntosh said in a statement.