Instant Books Go to Kindle After Whitney Houston’s Death

Alan Cross is a “professional music geek.” He’s also an author and sees the effect of the internet now reaching books they way it gnawed away at music. There are, of course, big differences between the technical barriers to music production and the distribution barriers to writing. Cross points out that Garage Band is more powerful than a recording studio from the 1970s but a book’s production has never been much more than the labor of an individual (or several if an author is using research assistants.)

Today Cross points out that these two worlds have collided somewhat improbably with the death of Whitney Houston:

Amazon’s self-publishing tools along with Apple’s new iAuthor program for formating things for the iBooks store, are freakin‘ amazing.  Agents, publishers and bricks-and-mortar book stores are COMPLETELY disintermediated.

Now consider the death of Whitney Houston.  Within hours of her death on Saturday, FOURTEEN brand new Whitney Houston ebooks appeared on Amazon. Six of them have a publication date of February 11–which means they were made available for sale before the end of the day of her death.

If the news of her death came at 4:57 PST, that would have given these authors just seven hours to get something up for sale.

Sure, these books are probably pretty superficial–I’ll admit that I haven’t looked at them–but for 99 cents or $1.99, they filled an immediate demand in the publishing marketplace.


What Happened to Music is Happening to Publishing
by Alan Cross
February 14, 2012;

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