That’s according to the NY Times.  They Are Us is a book about immigration in the US and it will be released this fall by Little, Brown & Company.  This will be the company’s first straight-to-ebook venture.

Hammill, an author of 8 nonfiction books, a columnist for The Village voice, reporter for the New York Post, The Daily News and New York Newsday, a foreign correspondent and editor has never read an ebook.  But, he says, he doesn’t care in what form a book comes out as long as people read it.

The publisher felt that this was an excellent ebook candidate because of timing – immigration is a major issue and the midterm elections are approaching.  An ebook can be put out quickly and will save at least 6 to 8 weeks for typesetting, printing and distribution.




  1. Nice idea, but why? Who convinced him of this move? I think it could actually be considered ELITIST. Not everyone in this country has the funds to buy the devices for EBook reading as yet, many do not even have access to the internet still. No print edition means no access to the book…NOT a good direction to be going in. While I love EBooks, and use them myself, there are times when I seek out library editions of printed books instead. This should NOT be an either/or proposition at this point in time. The publisher is wrong and Pete Hamill shows his lack of market understanding by doing this. Poor judgement on all counts!

  2. @Julius: Think of the logistics.
    Labor day and campaign season is upon us. If they waited to get a big batch of dead trees processed and distributed they might, barely, get the book out in three months? Or roughly the week *after* the election.
    Topicality matters.
    A book on the second hottest issue this election cycle that ships after the election is a post-mortem, rather than an opinion-shaper as Hamill and the NYT intend this to be.
    Besides, let’s face it; Hamill is looking to make some money. There is more money to be made off the ebook-reading “elites” than the library trolling “proles”. 😉 It’s the NYT, what did you expect?

  3. Timing is everything- especially with topical subjects. This is an excellent example of why ebooks are BETTER than print books. The print takes months (often 18 months after completion) to get into stores. here, a few weeks.

    All the difference in the world.

  4. @BargainBookMole; it doesn’t *have* to take that long. But it isn’t unheard of, either.
    The critical lag, however, is how long it takes to go from fully proofed, formatted document to the retailer. And that seems to run about three months between finding an available slot on the printing presses, running the launch batch, shipping the books to the warehouses, and from there to the retailers.
    The equivalent ebook process might take at most three days instead of three months.

  5. It is not fair to publish only in e-book. There are
    retirees like me who cannot afford the technology.
    We need to be able to buy print or to use a library.
    This will be the first Hamill book I will be deprived
    of reading. I am not happy.

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