With a number of publishers announcing plans to rush books about Osama bin Laden to the market in the wake of the Al Qaeda leader's death, Random House entered the fray with news that it is crashing an e-book original about bin Laden scheduled to be available for download on Monday.
The 75-page $1.99 Beyond Bin Laden, which will also be available as a downloadable audio file from RH Audio, is edited by RH executive editor Jon Meacham and features contibutions from a number of bold-faced Beltway names Karen Hughes (former counselor to President George W. Bush), James A. Baker (former Secretary of State), and Richard N. Haass (president of the Council on Foreign Relations). RH said the e-original will "look ahead to the world after Bin Laden."
Beyond Bin Laden follows on the heels of other just-announced print titles about the 9/11 mastermind, one from Penguin and another from Random House. Earlier this week Penguin Press announced its acqusition of Steve Coll's currently untitled book that will expand on his 2004 work, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2000. Also, Rachel Klayman at Crown took world rights to a detailed account of the operation that took down bin Laden by Peter Bergen tenatitvely titled The Manhunt. Bergen is a national secuity analyst for CNN and his most recent book is The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Free Press, Jan.); The Manhunt does not yet have a publication date.