At the height of the boom, the publishing industry churned out title after title by and about the chief executives and founders of companies such as Microsoft and Netscape Communications. Now that businesses are struggling and closing, interest has shifted to the underlings and skeptics.
The new appetite among publishers for these accounts has fueled a pair of recent auctions, both won by units of Simon & Schuster. One of the books promises an insider's account of working at online retailer Amazon.com; the other, by F***edCompany.com creator Phil Kaplan, will recount the Internet industry's boom and bust from the perspective of the Web's most famous dot-com deadpool.
The market for mainstream books about high-tech is "still hot," said Doug Pepper, an editor at Random House's Crown Publishers, which bid unsuccessfully on the Amazon book but did not bid on Kaplan's. "We're seeing more proposals (for books) that are licking their chops and having fun with the fact that all these rich young kids went out of business. Publishers are keeping a very, very close eye on good stuff that's coming out." --Paul Festa, Special to ZDNet News