first_imgNot content with winning the hearts of a nation, or transforming the humble waistcoat into the coolest thing that’s ever come out of M&S, England’s sweetheart Gareth Southgate has now inspired the country’s publishers. While they chase Southgate, Harry Kane and the rest of the squad to write books after their World Cup success, some are not waiting for their involvement at all. Zero to Hero: The Southgate Story, by sports writer Rob Mason, is set to trace Southgate’s journey from “zero to hero”, from his start at Crystal Palace until this year’s World Cup. The biography, like HarperCollins’s similarly rushed England’s Heroes: A Tribute to Our Young Lions, is due out in just three weeks.Celebrities capitalising on a brief glimpse of fame (there are a startling number of Love Island books); politicians using memoirs as a final hurrah before an autumnal career speaking to rooms of bored risk analysts; publishers scrambling to keep up with our rabid news cycle. Speedy cash-ins are a long, if not entirely respected, tradition. Aside from World Cup books, there are plenty more heading our way. The Thai cave rescue? Very likely, as three big publishers told the Wall Street Journal this week – but they have to be quick – one sceptic pooh-poohed the idea that readers would still care in “months” – an unimaginably distant future. How about the Novichok poisonings? On Tuesday, Pan Macmillan announced that it will publish “definitive” account The Skripal Files by Newsnight’s Mark Urban, in October – just seven months after the Salisbury attack and just in time for Christmas. Facebook Share on Facebook Pinterest Books But that’s positively slovenly compared to David Cameron’s director of communications Craig Oliver, who published Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of Brexit in October 2016 – just under four months after the EU referendum. After the Chilean miners were rescued in October 2010, 33 Men was on shelves by February – followed by Buried Alive (March), and Trapped (August). François Hollande’s ex-partner, Valérie Trierweiler left the president in January 2014 after his affair with actor Julie Gayet emerged, and had a memoir out by September. And after winning big at the 2012 London Olympics (August), Jessica Ennis’s memoir was ready to read in November.Heck, publishers can even rush out a book before something has even happened: when only the title of JK Rowling’s first post-Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy, was announced in 2012, Pan Macmillan immediately responded with a parody, The Vacant Casualty. Quite a feat to make fun of a story that was, at the time, entirely unknown. (“Made me want to chew my own hand off,” reads one Amazon review, which has possibly made more people laugh than the book itself.)Paul Morley claimed he wrote the 450-page The Age of Bowie in 10 weeks flat after its subject’s death – but compare that to the breakneck speed of Jiang Xiaoyu and Xing Han of China, who wrote an “instant biography” of Michael Jackson after working nonstop for 48 hours “on a diet of coffee and cigarettes”. Moonwalk in Paradise was available in shops in China nine days after Jackson’s death in 2009.Jiang admitted to the state-run China Daily newspaper that the book could contain some inaccuracies – but at least 10 other Chinese publishers were planning “instant” books about Jackson at the time. If we don’t have 10 Gareth Southgate biographies by the end of next month, I’ll eat my waistcoat. Michael Jackson … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Gareth Southgate Books blog Share on LinkedIn Biography books Share on Twittercenter_img Love Island Since you’re here… Twitter Share on Pinterest Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian Thank You For This Moment: Valerie Trierweiler’s tell-all book was out eight months after she left French president Françios Hollande. Photograph: ROMUALD MEIGNEUX/SIPA/REX Topics Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img

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