E-book release delayed for Kennedy memoir

September 10, 2009 By HILLEL ITALIE , AP National Writer
In this book cover image released by Twelve Publishing, "True Compass," by Edward M. Kennedy, is shown. Kennedy's memoir is scheduled for release on Sept. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Twelve Publishing)

(AP) -- E-book fans will have to wait for a download of Sen. Ted Kennedy's memoir.

"True Compass," one of the year's most anticipated books, is scheduled to come out next week. But publisher Twelve has decided to hold off "indefinitely" on a digital edition. The head of Twelve, Jonathan Karp, said Thursday that the delay was a "business decision" and added that the pictures and illustrations in "True Compass" cannot be duplicated in e-book form.

"It (the delay) does not reflect any larger corporate policy," said Karp, whose imprint is part of the Hachette Book Group. "We publish each book individually and we felt that this particular hardcover edition of `True Compass' deserves to be the first and pre-eminent format for the book."

Telephone and e-mails messages left Thursday with e-book sellers Amazon.com, Sony and Barnes & Noble.com were not immediately returned.

Digital sales were so tiny until recently that the publishing industry routinely released e-books at the same time or even before the paper editions. But the growth of electronic sales, widely believed to be between 1 percent to 2 percent of the overall market and higher still for current best sellers, has made publishers worry that the market would suffer for more expensive hardcover editions.

"True Compass" has a list price of $35. usually sell for under $10.

Kennedy, diagnosed last year with brain cancer, died Aug. 25 at age 77. The book was originally scheduled to come out in 2010, but was moved up to October of this year, then Sept. 14, in hopes that Kennedy would live to see its publication. Twelve has announced a first printing of 1.5 million copies and preorders of the "True Compass" hardcover have been strong enough to place the book in the top 10 on Amazon.com.

Kennedy agreed to publish with Twelve in 2007 and reportedly received $8-$9 million for his book, a rare firsthand, high-level account of one of history's most famous political dynasties.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2009
Do the world a favour and delay the vile garbage permanently.

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