Charlie Melcher has helped create and publish all sorts of inventive books over the years, from beautifully wrought companion books to hit musicals like Hamilton to immersive, clue-filled companion books for shows like Mr. Robot. But Melcher, the founder of Melcher Media, had never published a book like Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything.
It’s a literary account of the election and its endless plot twists, produced by a 24-hour cable network—CNN—that’s hitting shelves on December 6. Yes, that’ just one month after the election, making it an instantaneous book.
Written by Thomas Lake, a master of narrative nonfiction, Unprecedented was actually two years in the making. But the project had to pivot at the last hour—around 3 a.m. on election night.
That’s when Donald Trump gave the book its shocking finale and, says Melcher, most likely broadened the audience. “I think if Hillary had won, only the Hillary supporters would have ever bought this book,” says Melcher. “In this case, a lot of people would like to have greater insights into the last 12 months. Both camps are interested in how this election unfolded and turned out the way that it did.”