A customer browses a large selection of books at a New York City bookstore.
A customer browses a large selection of books at a New York City bookstore. - 
Listen To The Story


Scott Jagow: What do you know? People are already writing books about this financial collapse. One publisher, Penguin, got a little lucky with their timing. A couple weeks ago, they released a book on spectacular corporate collapses. It's called "Billion Dollar Lessons." Looks like that will be the first of many books to come. Rico Gagliano reports.

Rico Gagliano: Seth Ditchik is senior editor at Princeton University Press. He fields book proposals from business authors. Since the economy imploded, he says proposals have doubled.

Seth Ditchik: There's gonna be, as far as I can tell, an avalanche of these sorts of books over the next 18 months or so.

That's not unusual in the wake of a big business news story. But Adrian Zackheim, President of Penguin's Portfolio imprint, says this is the biggest business news story in years.

Adrian Zackheim: The only one I can think of that's comparable over the last decade or so would be the Enron crisis.

So as publishers sift through the piles of pitches, what are they looking for? Princeton University Press's Seth Ditchik says he's focusing on historic analyses of similar meltdowns.

Ditchik: Any book that we undertake now won't be out until next year, unless Alan Greenspan calls and says "I wanna do a book with you." So I think the historical approach will have much more of a life.

Hopefully, a longer life than the crisis itself.

In Los Angeles, I'm Rico Gagliano fro Marketplace.