Public affairs managers have to be lightning-quick to track what’s being said about their issues in the news and on the Internet. Here’s a new challenge of amazing dimension: From concept to market, what if an enterprising author produced an e-book about your hot-potato issue in just seven days?
It happened last week with the arrival of a digital book about basketball sensation Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks star almost unknown to fans at the beginning of the month.
"Linsanity: The Improbable Rise of Jeremy Lin, by Alan Goldsher, was turned around in just 72 hours,” a review on CNET reports. The chilling news — Linsanity is one of seven e-books about Lin already on the market, or soon will be.
If you haven’t followed this “Linstant” star — Lin’s name and play inspires endless puns — then you’d be shocked at the opening lines of the book describing the Harvard grad’s meteoric rise. "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."
“The amazing virtue of the [e-book] project is that it collects all the fragments we’ve heard about Lin on the Internet…and puts them into a narrative,” says Jason Allen Ashlock in a CNN interview. He brokered the deal between Goldsher and publisher Vook. “It gives a sense of back story you can’t find on the web.”
The 15,000-word e-book demonstrates what's possible with the latest in publishing platforms. That, and some hard word by an author willing not to sleep for three days and engage in intense research, including the use of Lexus-Nexus and ProQuest, Ashlock says.
“It’s never been possible to publish so directly into a trend as we did. That’s magic,” Ashlock adds.
That’s kind of scary. If more writers get focused on public affairs topics, there will be more communications managers losing sleep to keep up with the aftermath of fast-track e-books.