Talk about fast to market.
In the wake of "Linsanity," the worldwide hype that's blown up over the last couple of weeks surrounding New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, there are already at least seven books, all electronic, about basketball's instant star.
From biography to poetry to trivia to Sun Tzu Art of War-type advice, the books run the genre gamut. And all have one thing in common: they were written, edited, and published at breakneck speeds.
According to Digital Book World, one the titles, "Linsanity: The Improbable Rise of Jeremy Lin," by Alan Goldsher, was turned around in just 72 hours.
"On February 16, 2012, 'Forbes' magazine reported that New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin had a bigger footprint on the Internet than Barack Obama," begins the Amazon description of Goldsher's book. "So how did this unassuming, modest 23-year-old Harvard grad rise from obscurity to sports iconicism? How did he put a struggling NBA team on his back and give them the kind of hope they had not felt in years? How did he become a hero to millions worldwide in a matter of days? In the first-ever e-book examination of Jeremy Lin's brief, magical career, novelist and sportswriter Alan Goldsher (ESPN Magazine, NBA.com) invites you to join the Linsanity and meet Jeremy Lin, the first Chinese-American to play in the NBA, the inspiring young man who made the phrase 'Linning Time' part of the sports lexicon, and the man bringing pure joy back to professional basketball."
The e-book, which was published by Vook, demonstrates what's possible with the latest in publishing platforms, Jason Allen Ashlock, who brokered the deal between Goldsher and Vook, told Digital Book World.
"The Vook platform offered us an opportunity that we'd never have had years or even months ago," Ashlock said, "to publish directly and immediately into a trend."
Goldsher's book costs just $1.99 and is said to be available wherever e-books are sold. It has no images beyond its cover photo--a nod to both the time it takes and the cost of acquiring licensing rights.
But Goldsher's "Linsanity" is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Galleycat. The other Lin-related titles include "Jeremy Lin: Advice from Sun Tzu on Basketball and the Art of War" and "The Zen of Jeremy Lin."
What's clear from a quick perusal of the Amazon listings for the books is that each was cobbled together quickly and without much concern for design or aesthetics. None will likely sell many copies, and even if they do, the low prices for these e-books will not earn the authors much. Before long, assuming Lin continues to captivate fans throughout basketball, a more traditional hardcover book will emerge.
But for now, it's worth noting that fast-thinking authors have the tools that can get their book project about almost any topic in print in a matter of days. The success of those titles depends almost entirely on how good a job they do.