Obama's run for the White House was always going to going to be a ripe subject for an intriguing, behind the scenes, tell-all political tome. Game Change is definitely it. Published in the US by HarperCollins and re-titled, stupidly, by Penguin as Race of a Lifetime for those of us in the British Commonwealth who couldn't possibly relate to 'Game Change' as a title, it's an absolutely fascinating read for political junkies of all sorts.
First, well done Penguin Australia for getting the book out on virtually the same day (Jan 11) as the US release, and for pricing it competitvely ($32.95 for 448pp, which is today's exchange plus 10% plus GST plus price point rounding, which is the fair formula).
Second, a book like this, which pulls no punches and is full of some really unpleasant revelations about so many of the major and minor players in the Democratic and Republican campaigns, could never have been published in Australia about Australian politicians because of our restrictive defamation laws.
Third, changing the title for the Commonwealth edition virtually guarantees the book doesn't capitalise on the huge publicity Game Change is getting in the world's media. I stumbled on it in Readings by accident when I was actually looking for the title Game Change, and thinking I'd probably, once again, have to go to Amazon. As will so many other junkies.
And finally, what a mess HarperCollins have made of the ebook. They're delaying the release for six weeks so as not to allow Amazon's $9.99 price to undercut hard cover sales. This is causing a consumer revolt, as it should. Clueless in the extreme. No respect for consumer choice. This is how traditional publishing will die.