U.S. News & World Report today unveiled its first-ever e-book, a guide that proposes to reveal how readers can live to be 100 years old. How to Live to 100: Be Healthy, Be Happy, and Afford It ($7.99), as the book it titled, “explores why some people live long, healthy, and happy lives, while others struggle with dementia, heart disease, and depression,” according to a brief description on the U.S. News site. Here’s a blurb from the accompanying press release:
Interest in living a long and healthy life has grown as Americans have added an average of three decades to their lifespans since 1900; the average American can now expect to live to age 78. What’s less clear is how to maximize the chances of doing so. In How to Live to 100, U.S. News draws on the latest research from top experts throughout the country to help readers understand what they can do to increase their own chances of living a long, healthy, and happy life.
I learned about the e-book after being contacted by Mark W. White, who works as the VP of specialty marketing for U.S News; he also serves on the advisory board of Publishing Executive, one of TeleRead’s sister publications. “Just to be clear,” White told me, “we have a digital magazine and digital versions of our ‘bookazines’ (such as our annual Best Colleges guides, the print versions of which are sold as magazines at retail but have ISBN numbers and are sold as books on Amazon), but this is our first true e-book.”
I’ve sent an email to the publicist working directly on the book—I was curious to discover why U.S. News decided to get into the e-book market at this particular point in time, and of course I’m also curious to know whether or not the company has plans to release more e-books at any point in the near future. I’ll be sure to post an update here as soon as I hear back.
Incidentally, I’m very curious to see how well this book ends up selling; $7.99 seems pretty steep for a 213-page book from a publisher that’s untested in the e-book space. We’ll see, I suppose.
UPDATE: According to U.S. News’ Kimberly Palmer, “we don’t currently have [any] other e-books planned, although we do release U.S. News Weekly in an e-book format.” Mark White, by the way, concurred: “Nothing is scheduled,” he told me, “but we’re doing a lot of experimenting on a variety of fronts.”
And as far as U.S. News‘ decision to release its first official e-book: “We decided to publish [it],” Palmer told me, “because while we already provide a lot of information to consumers on health, money and happiness, we do so mostly through our online articles. We noticed that some readers prefer to get their information in a different format, specifically via e-books. So we decided to create that for them.”
And there you have it. Nothing too terribly earth-shattering, for sure. But if nothing else, this book at least represents one more small step toward the eventual normality and omnipresence of e-books.