The Power Broker Is Still Not Available As an E-Book. Except … It Is.

“A myth,” says Robert Caro’s publisher. Yet, somehow, I just bought the Kindle edition.

8/3/2021 6:10:00 AM

'The Power Broker' isn't available as an e-book. But for a little while last month, it somehow was

“A myth,” says Robert Caro’s publisher. Yet, somehow, I just bought the Kindle edition.

Neither Caro nor Knopf has said why not, but the best guess is that it’s about money. Nobody negotiated digital rights in 1974, when The Power Broker was published, and Caro got a decent deal from Knopf but hardly a fortune (after two other very small advances from other houses ran out) back then. One would certainly not begrudge the author and his agent, Lynn Nesbit, if they asked for a significant sum to amend that old contract; similarly, one can understand how Knopf might say “we forecast that we’ll sell only X number of copies each year; we can’t overpay for this.” So: no e-book.

Majority Of Office’s Supplies Used To Apply For Different Job FDA authorizes booster dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for people 65 and older Fact check: Eastman's arguments on overturning the 2020 election are pure fantasy

Until yesterday, when my colleague Joe DeLessio messaged me to say that The Power Broker had quietly become available for downloading. I checked the Amazon page, and there it was: buy now with 1-click, for Kindle, $7.99. I emailed to ask what was up, and got a prompt response from Paul Bogaards, the longtime publicity chief at Knopf. “The Caro ebook is the literary equivalent of Bigfoot,” he wrote. ”A myth! Does not exist, is not forthcoming,” But, I then asked, what’s that Amazon button? “Historically, sites have put up the availability of this title in ebook form to drive traffic.” It was, he was saying, a phantom unauthorized listing. Given that I’ve encountered a lot of weird Amazon pages in the past, that seemed plausible. “Try and buy it and see what happens! Your Kindle will explode!” he told me, jokingly.

Whereupon I did try. And at least for now, all 1,296 pages, from the dedication (“For Ina,” of course; God bless Ina) to that epic howl of a final line (“Why weren’t they grateful?”), reside on my phone. Now, this is a little weird. Many e-books, of course, can be found lurking around the internet in pirate editions. Someone gets hold of the book once it’s published and cracks its digital-rights-management cage so it can be freely downloaded. (Same thing happens for albums and movies.) But this is a little different, because it is not through some torrenting site but on Amazon, the biggest bookseller in the world, and one whose e-books exist in the relatively closed environment of the Kindle. If you buy a major publisher’s e-book from Amazon, you are getting an edition that ostensibly came through some kind of authorized channel — one that, in this case, Knopf tells me does not exist. headtopics.com

Whatever it is that I bought, it’s clearly a real e-book, not some amateur scan of the paper edition. It has the right cover, and the full text, and the occasionally awkward flow of type that I recognize from many other e-books I’ve read. It is, however, a slightly glitchy product: the links from the table of contents to a few of the chapters don’t work, and the photographs are not-so-great scans of the published pages. There is, for some reason, an image of the hardcover dust jacket, yellowed and crinkly, at the end of the e-book, just before the endpaper maps appear. My colleague Joe also bought the book, and he noticed that the text seems to have been poorly transferred via OCR from the original: Some commas have accidentally been turned into periods, and there are extra paragraph breaks. It also, perhaps tellingly, lacks a copyright page.

Where did it come from? In the early days of e-book production, most titles were outsourced and sometimes shoddy, but today they’re typically made by the publishers themselves, in the same process of copy flow that produces printed books. I spoke to a couple of publishing-industry people about this curious release, and both posited that Knopf had, at some point, probably prepared the e-book for future publication. But they were surprised to hear that it had made its way all the way into public view, because e-book files are so closely held: “We don’t give the e-pub files out to anyone,” one insider told me, explaining that they’re kept under tight control because of concerns about piracy. This person suggested that, just maybe, a deal had been struck, the digital book had was being prepared, a publication date had been set but not announced, and then somehow a switch had been accidentally thrown ahead of schedule. Judging by those typos and glitches, which contrast with Knopf’s customary level of polish, this wasn’t finished.

Read more: New York Magazine »

How J Balvin convinced Jordan Brand he was the real deal

Initially, Jordan Brand sought out reggaeton artist J Balvin as a partner in a series of Hispanic Heritage Month campaigns, with photographs of him in upcoming …

Power failure: Cuomo’s $106M bridge light show fades to blackAndrew Cuomo had plans to bedazzle every state-run bridge in New York City. Now, with no signs of movement half a decade after the project's inception, newly released documents show for the first time that taxpayers spent $106 million on the project. As the MTA turns to shit under his leadership. How is this man not impeached/ in prison already? rontkim He’s the NY version of DCs Bowzer

Newsom issues emergency proclamation to free up extra sources of powerEfforts include reducing red tape and even offering money for industrial energy users. good luck I don't understand how every home or most homes and buildings in CA - esp Southern California don't have solar panels by now! Nothing at all to do with recall, I'm sure

Trump endorsement power faces another test in Ohio special primary'We're going to see what is more powerful: Local forces or national forces,' mmurraypolitics says on fmr. President Trump's endorsement power facing another test in a Ohio Special Election. mmurraypolitics God help us! mmurraypolitics Trump is the best president in US history. The golden era. mmurraypolitics

Women, Power and Peacebuilding: Assessing the Women Peace and Security AgendaSanam Naraghi Anderlini, founder and CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics joined Ms. for a frank and far-reaching interview to discuss what has been accomplished by the Women Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda thus far and what more needs to be done.'Certainly we need the war-makers present to agree to end to the violence, but to make peace, you must bring the peacemakers.' sanambna Another nonsense from UN mixed into Ms Mag. Try putting Peacekeeping women on the ground in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, for the Occupation forces to use as Arrow Fodder great!!!!!!

4 Ways To Tap Into The Transformational Power Of Empathy To Find Common HumanityEmpathy is the one way a person can step into another person’s shoes and see from their perspective. It gives us hope and meaning. It helps us solve problems. It makes our world happier and healthier.

Halsey Announces Cities & Dates for 'If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power' IMAX Film Along With Godly New TrailerHalsey is offering up another look at their If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power IMAX film in a new trailer -- as well as another listen to her album of the same name. LMAO TOUR DATES We haven't even got the album. You mean screening dates to watch the movie 😩😩😩 There's no known tour atm. It's just the dates and screening locations for the IMAX film. Who wrote this tweet... 😐 You have just removed that from my heart,I want power now