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image: Campus NewsGetting The Vote
Although a new release from the University of Chicago Press was published in early October, some customers received their copies in the mail long after they'd already read it.

In its first online publishing venture, the Press released an electronic version of The Vote: Bush, Gore, and the Supreme Court on April 16-nearly six months before its scheduled publication date. Customers who purchased the book in advance received a password to access a Web site where they could read a draft version, complete with typos and missing citations.

"We thought there would be immediate interest in the contents of this book, and we wanted to strike when the iron was hot," says John Tryneski, AB'76, executive editor at the Press and acquiring editor for The Vote. "We also wanted to get a jump on the competition because there would be a lot of books on the subject coming out."

The Vote, a collection of 11 essays by legal scholars on this past fall's hotly contested presidential election, is certainly competing in a crowded field. Top scholars- such as Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, Michigan's Richard Pildes, and Stanford's Pamela Karlan-have already released such FOX television-sounding titles as When Elections Go Bad and Supreme Injustice.

"What sets this book apart from the others is that it comes from a wide spectrum of perspectives on what happened with Bush v Gore," says Tryneski. "So you get conservative views and liberal views and places in between-a more balanced take on what happened."

Edited by ideological opposites Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn distinguished service professor of jurisprudence, and Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall distinguished service professor of law, the book includes essays by scholars from Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, Michigan, and Utah. Nine of the 11 essays appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review this summer.

Although actual sales figures are not available, thousands of readers visited the site, and Tryneski believes the Press may try the strategy in the future for another time-sensitive book. The Press is also considering online publication of reference books such as its well-known The Chicago Manual of Style.- C.S.


 

 


  OCTOBER 2001

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