They may not be the kinds of world records to make headlines in London as the Olympics get underway this weekend, but Guinness is trying its hand on e-book only publishing with a new title, Guinness World Records Wacky Sporting Champions. “We’ve got tens of thousands of records in our database,” said Jennifer Gilmour, sales and product director for Guinness World Records, North America. “We’re sitting on a great amount of content, and the new format gives us the opportunity to bring together records in groups along themes that can answer any interest.” The e-book has a list price of $2.79.
So, this summer while the world is focused on what athletes might break world records at the Olympics, Guinness thought it was good time to test bringing out a themed sports title in e-book. “Everyone knows that Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is the fastest man on two legs,” boasts the Guinness promotional material, but what about running on all fours? In 2008 in Japan Kenichi Ito ran the 100 meters on hands and legs—and just took nine seconds longer than Bolt to do it. Other feat-breakers featured in Wacky Sporting Champions include: Erik Skramstad from Las Vegas for the longest distance cycled (23.25 miles) without using hands (23.25 miles); Veronica Tor from New Zealand for fastest 100 meter hurdles wearing swim fins, (18.523 seconds); and Jonathan Macfarlane of New Zealand for throwing a human the farthest when he threw Andrew Rainford 15 feet, 11 inches.
Cleary Guinness is having a bit of a laugh with this new title but it will watch closely to see if the e-book only version takes off and lends itself to other titles grouped by themes.