Just when you thought the Churchill book news couldn’t get any better than last Saturday’s item about Jim Muller’s new edition of Great Contemporaries, it does. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Churchill estate has reached an agreement with ebook publisher RosettaBooks to publish nearly all of Churchill’s books and speeches in digital form for the first time. (A handful of Churchill’s books are available in ebook or Kindle form, but not many.)
The agreement will make the e-books available in English globally, a change from the standard publishing deal which is negotiated on a country-by-country basis where books are available in some countries well before others. That highlights a shift in the publishing industry, as the emergence of digital publishing and retailing makes it much easier for a book to be offered globally at the same time.
One title that will unfortunately not be available is Churchill’s charming autobiography My Early Life. Apparently Scribner owns the copyright to this title, which is somewhat unfortunate, since the current Scribner paperback edition has several dreadful mistakes in it. By the way, as you may know many colleges these days require incoming freshmen to read a book over the summer to be discussed in class when then arrive in the fall. Most of them are dreary trendy liberal books, of course. My peeps at the Ashland University honors program require incoming freshmen to read—My Early Life.
Anyway, since this special supplemental Churchill is on books, there’s a perfect WSC quote for the occasion:
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.