September 11 Tragedy
The events of September 11, 2001 were of such a horrific and shocking nature that they did not allow for the careful planning that is often associated with the publishing industry. Rather, the devastating terrorist attacks, and their aftermath, demanded quick action to satisfy the public's need for information—and answers. To fulfill this need and to raise money for Red Cross relief efforts, BookSurge.com, BlueEar.com and the New York University (NYU) Department of Journalism joined efforts to produce 09/11 8:48 AM; Documenting America's Greatest Tragedy. The book recounts stories of those who survived the attacks and those who are involved in the civic aftermath.
With a guideline of approximately 300 pages, faculty and students at NYU worked directly with BlueEar, an editorial partner committed to publishing international journalism and writing in a variety of digital formats, to compile the oral history. At first, Mitchell Davis, president of BookSurge, was concerned that they might not be able to gather enough information to produce a compelling book in such a short period of time. "But then we started getting in so many stories and we knew we had the makings of a great book," notes Davis. The stories deal first hand with how life has changed for the rescue workers and the families of the victims. The book, available since September 30, is published and sold by BookSurge. All publisher and bookselling net proceeds are being donated to ongoing relief efforts of the Red Cross at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon crash site. The goal is to raise at least $1,000,000.
The quick turnaround of the project was made possible due to BookSurge's print-on-demand (POD) capabilities. The three parties utilized innovative digital communication technologies to integrate journalistic, editorial and publishing efforts within an extremely tight editorial and production schedule. The book shipped in paperback to individual customers and bookstores only 19 days after the terrorist attacks occurred. "Often it takes a tragedy to bring something like this together," says Davis. "The separate components existed before this happened but there was no single point of poignancy to act as a catalyst."