November 9, 2004
News & Opinion: Publishing Industry Stories
[Gene] Stone, who has written or ghostwritten 20 books, got the idea while watching the third presidential debate. On Monday, Oct. 18, he sent an e-mail memo to Mr. Karp, suggesting a humorous instant book. Mr. Karp made an offer the next morning, noting that he would need the manuscript by noon on Oct. 25. Mr. Stone delivered his book [The Bush Survival Guide] two hours early. Mr. Karp read the manuscript that night and requested added material by the next day. Meanwhile, he sent the book to the typesetter. On Wednesday, Mr. Stone added a number of chapters with such headings as "Seven Reasons to Love Global Warming." On Thursday, Mr. Stone came in to read his book, which had now been copy-edited and typeset. The following morning, the cover was sent to the printer. Everyone then waited to see who would win the election. If President Bush lost, Mr. Stone's book would have been killed. But even though it was in Mr. Stone's own financial interest for President Bush to win, the author said he was still devastated when rival John Kerry was defeated. Gina Centrello, Random House Publishing Group's president and publisher, gave the green light on Wednesday morning. Manufacturing was expected to be completed by 6 p.m. for all 100,000, with the $9.95 books expected to be on sale as early as tomorrow. "I used to work in publishing, and I've never seen anything move this fast," said Mr. Stone.When you consider it take 12 to 18 months to get most books to market, this is an amazing feat.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.