Do Publishers Release eBooks Too Quickly?

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

Book publishing is not known for its speediness. Rather than breaking news, nonfiction books give readers the whole story of an event and its context within the larger picture.

They have to, because it takes a while to write, edit, layout, copy-edit, manufacture and distribute a book.

But with the growing use of eBook publishing tools, digital book production timelines are getting really short. Within days of Bin Laden’s death, eBooks on the subject began popping up. Random House released a collection of essays about the Al Qaeda leader’s death called Beyond Bin Laden: America and the Future of Terror in less than two weeks.

Today, Adams Media sent out a press release for an eBook on the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup win, just days after the game was played. Adams Media senior publicist Adri Cowan bragged about the speediness: “Within hours of the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup, we had a complete 61-page ebook about the Bruins and their Stanley Cup victory up on the virtual shelves by that following Saturday – less than 3 days after the historical event.”

But is this quickness to turnaround copy realistic? Even cutting out manufacturing and distribution times, it seems awfully quick for a book to be written, edited, laid out, copyedited and formatted in just a couple of days. Is eBook publishing changing the expectations of book turnaround times?