What once took weeks and months now may take only days, or even hours. As long ago as the early days of the space age and the JFK assassination, book publishers have pushed their printing presses into warp speed to capitalize on the public’s hunger to learn what lay behind the headlines. In 2013, however, instant books that seize the moment and deliver long-form in-depth coverage of a late-breaking news story are produced more quickly than ever.
“These shorter-form books satisfy a demand for information that’s more organized and deeply thought out than just an article or a series of articles,” notes Jeremy Greenfield, the editorial director for Digital Book World. “But here’s the really big question for publishing companies. Will there still be money in it? Will they be able to make the investments in time and energy necessary to put together these works? If you know the history of nonfiction literature, for many of these books, there isn’t money in it. It’s a very hard business.”