In the wake of Muhammad Ali's death on June 3, publishers with upcoming titles focusing on "the Greatest" and his career have made some changes in their schedules.
At Pegasus, Thomas Hauser's Muhammad Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest was slated for July. But, after news of Ali's death hit over the weekend, the publisher released the e-book edition of the title on June 4. As Pegasus dealt with the new production timeline, Hauser hit the media circuit; he was featured on Face the Nation over the weekend, and WNYC's The Takeaway on Monday.
"Obviously we are pushing it up," said Pegasus marketing director and senior editor Iris Blasi, citing a new official hardcover pub date of June 6, and a first printing of 40,000 copies. Despite this change, the new official publication date for the book does not guarantee that copies were available in stores on Monday. Blasi told PW that copies of the book "should be in stores this week."
At Norton, Davis Miller's Approaching Ali: A Reclamation in Three Acts, which was published in hardcover last November and was to be released in paperback this November, has been bumped up to an early summer release.
"While we won’t be dramatically altering the print run, we will be adding a new chapter to the paperback," said the book's editor and Liveright's marketing director, Phil Marino. "We’re hoping to nail down the new pub date this week.”
Josh Gross's Ali vs. Inoki: The Forgotten Fight That Inspired Mixed Martial Arts and Launched Sports Entertainment, at Ben Bella Books, will keep its June 21 release date, with a first printing of 5,000 copies.
At Vintage, New Yorker editor David Remnick's King of the World went back to press on Monday, after Vintage saw an increase in demand; the book was reissued in February, with a new introduction by Salman Rushdie and a new afterword from Remnick. The publisher has gone to press twice and printed 10,000 copies of the book since Ali's death, and Remnick has been interviewed by programs including BBC World News, ESPN Sports Center, and WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.
Time, Inc. Books will publish a Muhammad Ali: The Tribute on June 14, with a first printing of 75,000 copies. "Because of our bookazine business, we had content ready to go," associate publicity director Courtney Greenhalgh told PW, referring to the portion of Time's publishing arm dedicated to publishing book-magazine combinations sold primarily through newsstands and mass merchants. "So there was no need to alter our release date other than to give it one."
This article has been updated to reflect new information.