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The Quickness of Crisis Books

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We often complain about the slow pace of publishing. And while those criticisms are sometimes absolutely valid, it’s amazing at how quick the industry is to jump on a topic.

Yesterday, Publishers Weekly had an article on all the financial crisis books snatched up by publishers recently. “Though the situation on Wall Street continues to unfold, there’s already quite a crowded field of book proposals and sales stemming from the crisis,” Matthew Thornton writes for PW.

We’re accustomed to seeing quick-turnaround titles on current events that usually appeal to a slightly more seedy or salacious angle. True crime stories about high profile murders usually get churned out quickly.

(By the way, where are the books about the so-called teen pregancy pact kids or Caylee’s nutjob mom? Not saying I want to see books on those subjects, but I am surprised they haven’t surfaced yet.)

But back to the Wall Street books… somehow I can’t imagine that writers were pounding on Scribner’s doors less than a week after Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. How long did it take the writers of the era to sell — and write — books about their own financial calamity?