Tina Brown may have a resume that’s the envy of the entire journalism world – if you’re a journalist and you don’t envy Tina, that inscription on the Mont Blanc in your pocket obviously says Graydon Carter – but hey, there’s always room for improvement. The former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, best-selling author of The Diana Chronicles, winner of four George Polk Awards and ten National Magazine Awards, and most recently founder of The Daily Beast, is about to branch out into book publishing.
The initiative will be a joint venture between Perseus Books and The Daily Beast, the online venture that Brown formed in 2008 with US$150-million of media mogul Barry Diller’s cash. Beast Books, as the new imprint is to be called, aims to fill a gap in New York’s cutthroat publishing market – the apparent demand for quick turnaround titles that address hot and fleeting topics. To achieve this, Beast Books will draw on The Daily Beast’s pool of writers, who can expect to find some pretty harsh deadline clauses in their author contracts: final manuscripts will be expected one to three months after the date of signing.
With a further one-month publishing deadline to produce an e-book, the time to market of a Beast Book title is expected to be significantly less than the industry average, which can range anywhere from eighteen months to five years and beyond. As previous experience has shown, however, rapid-fire e-books have met with limited success on the sales charts – a fact that might have something to do with the little matter of quality.
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