Brilliant Idea of the Day: The 24-Hour Book

02 October 2009

I can't stress enough my belief that the book industry has to adapt to the age of 21st-century technology in order to survive. We can't keep doing things the way they have always been done, because this is a new age (read: ebooks) in a new market (read: broke) with new challenges (read: Amazon). In this vein, the brilliant idea of the day comes from England: the 24-hour book.

if:Book, the Society of Young Publishers and completelynovel.com have teamed up with Spread the Word to challenge writers to create a book about London in just 24 hours. Not just write, but create: print, publish, etc. The writing will take place this Saturday, with publishers and editors swooping in on Sunday to prepare the book for its Monday launch. Technically you could argue that that time frame is longer than 24 hours, but it's still impressive.

The project goes beyond the interesting timeline to engage readers by inviting anyone interested in actually participating in the process. Through the glorious Google Docs, parts of the book will be written by anyone interested in logging in and writing (with monitoring by the lead author, for cohesion's sake). The group has put out a call for editors on Sunday, and is even looking for someone with a really loud voice to stand on top of buildings in London and start a shout-campaign (which I think may or may not be legal).

This is the kind of project we need to see more of - the kind that is not only interesting in its own right, but the kind that goes one step further to really get people interested in books and the book-making process. Without that interest, what we are left with is raw type -- glorious in and of itself, but just as accessible digitally as physically. And that is the end of publishing. Ha, I keep ending these posts with doomsday announcements; really, I do think there's hope, I promise.



2 comments:

  1. So, it's Monday. How'd they do? I think this is a fun idea, and would like to see an attempt this side of the pond.

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  2. It seems to have gone off well - sadly, I can't find much about it except that it was completed within the alloted time frame, and the launch was tonight in London. More will follow if I hear more!

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