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David Meerman Scott’s new eBook on real-time PR is released in (almost) real-time

David Meerman Scott often writes with great clarity about stuff that the rest of us are thinking about but haven’t gotten around to articulating. His newest book, Newsjacking, released today (11/14/11), is no exception. Two things are notable about Newsjacking: 1. it is being released in almost real-time in e-book format only (for Kindle, iPad and soon Nook and Sony) and 2. the topic is real-time PR and how to get it.

I read about the book release on his blog. Seconds later I had downloaded the free excerpts to both my Kindle and iPad. That sounds like a real-time book to me. I decided to buy it for my iPad ($6.99) so I could see what it looked like in color. More on that below.

The gist of Newsjacking is that to be successful in securing PR for your company you have to be highly attuned to breaking news so you can inject your own idea or product or newsworthy tidbit into the unfolding story. Makes sense, doesn’t it? As always, David packs the book with spot-on examples like Oakley giving Oakley Radar sunglasses to each of the 33 Chilean miners when they first emerged into daylight after 69 days underground.

Oh, and in keeping with the real-time theme, the book is a quick read (under two hours) – for which David makes no apologies. Note: the iPad version say it is 64 pages long.

Here’s our Q & A that we did moments ago via Twitter. David’s receiving email inbox is down today so I submitted 140-character questions by DMing him.

1. DW: Does e-book only release mean that you are adopting a Real-Time Book Publishing model? If so, why?

DMS: Newsjacking is only available as an ebook and not via dead trees. There are a few things that this model allows, and one of them is I can get the book out faster and the examples can be fresher.

But I don’t see it as an either / or. I’m not abandoning traditional publishing and I’d like to go on record saying that I do not predict the death of print. Heck, I subscribe to the daily print Boston Globe, and print magazines including the Week, Surfer, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and a few others.

TV didn’t kill radio. It is a both / and not an either / or.

2. DW: I’m reading your new book on my iPad. It looks nice (color chapter headings, a few charts, embedded links) but not revolutionary. What’s next?

DMS: Actually, for a business book it is quite new. Most business books are just long bits of text. I know you’ve done some work with interactive books but that is a distinct minority. Most iPad and Kindle books are just black and white copies of the print book.

I do think that the interactive nature of the current generation of ereader provides some great things (like linking to content I talk about in the book) but it does not mean the end of paper.

3. DW: Re the topic of “newsjacking” as a way to get publicity for your company, this seems like common sense. Why don’t companies get this stuff??

DMS: The biggest barrier is fear. The lawyers and PR people at many companies insist on countless review cycles and this means that people within that company cannot get information into the marketplace fast enough.

4. DW: Your new digital-only book is published by Wiley, your traditional publisher. Were they resistant or gung-ho about doing it this way?

DMS: Wiley was very excited to try this as an experiment.

5. DW: Did you consider self-publishing?

DMS: My main goal is to get many readers, not to make more money. So I knew I wanted to go with Wiley (as the publisher). Wiley got the book into the various formats (Apple, Amazon, B&N, Sony, Scribd, etc.) so it had lots of reach.

Thanks, David, for a quick Q&A in almost real-time.

This interview was published on Nov. 14, 2011.

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