Political ePublishing: A Frontier To Consider

We talk about publishing here a lot at Muse Hack. That’s because a lot of us are writers professional or otherwise. Also its because in an age of technology that has made self-publishing easy, there’s a lot to talk about.

Oh and some of us want to sell books. Hint.

But when we talk about self-publishing and its implications we usually talk quality, or technology, or market saturation. We don’t talk politics a lot because its not usually a subject that comes up.

It probably should have.

Before his son’s trial, the father of George Zimmerman has released an ebook on the case. Frankly it’s sounding like it’s filled with dog whistles about racism in the black community and kinda missing the point.  I don’t think this is going to help his son and may look exploitative.

Before I go on let me note that:

1) I consider Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin to be suspicious to say the least, but that’s what a trial is for.

2) I hate the show trial mentality.

3) Our political pundit culture hasn’t helped.

This is one of the last things I imagined coming out of the Zimmerman case. I figured after the trial there’d be the usual round of books by people capitalizing on it. I also realize I was foolish in this day and age for thinking of that.

We’re in the age of the near-instant eBook. In fact at this rate I’m surprised we don’t see more quick topical political eBooks out there.

  • It’s easy to get out an eBook on your own, let alone if you have help.
  • There are plenty of publishing methods available, but having Amazon’s broad focus and market makes it very easy to get work out.
  • Topical subjects like the Zimmerman case make it even easier to promote books or become part of the situation.
  • We’re used to a kind of “political-media” complex where politicians become commentors, popular topics find books, and more. We’re in a “mentality” of publishing based on politically charged issues, and have been ever since remainder aisles were filled with the latest quick controversial waste of paper.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised in the least to see this. In fact I’m a bit surprised we haven’t seen more of political quick/topical ebooks coming out faster. My guess is we may be seeing the start of a trend.

Now, if this is a trend, and I suspect it is or will be, then I see a lot of repercussions:

  1. First of all, the realm of “writing anything on politics” is big in the blogosphere. I can see that turning into political ebooks. Again, I’m surprised there’s not more of this . . . so I suspect their will be.
  2. This speed of delivery in turn could well affect political situations. A blog entry is one thing, but a book gets attention and is often taken more seriously – for now.
  3. For “for now” part matters. If this becomes a trend, which I suspect, and there’s an onslaught, it could well lead to political eBooks being regarded much as we regard some of the low-quality eFiction out there.
  4. I suspect politicians an pundits will jump on this no matter what – a new market/method/form of attention that’s also faster.
  5. This is a new vector to spread political information and misinformation, and may inform debates, elections, and of course, trials.
  6. We’ve talked here about publishing indie works.  Is the realm of promoting political ePublishing any different?  Do we have any ideas at all?  Is it still evolving?

I didn’t see this coming and now I think we’re gonna see plenty of it. A good reminder we don’t always know or see what’s coming up when culture intersects technology.

– Steve