I admire both of these books, and their authors, and even their covers.
I admire both of these books, and their authors, and even their covers.
I just self-published a book called How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive! I published it in paperback form, Kindle form, and free PDF (see directions below to get free PDF). The entire process took me three weeks. Using an established publisher would’ve taken over a year. [If you want Kindle version, click directly on kindle link above.]
I’ve written a prior post on my sales and advances on my first five books which were all published with major publishers. But I’m never going to publish in the morgue of the publishing industry again. This post today is about why I did it and how you can do it.
The book publishing industry is dead but they don’t know it. It’s like how the typewriter industry died. And the reason companies like Blockbuster and Borders can’t survive. And the entire music industry is dying. And broadcast television might be on the way. And the tablet industry is the first sign that companies like Dell might be in major trouble. And companies like Sirius mean the radio industry is dead.
My publisher created a Facebook page for my soon-to-be-published book Beauty Pays. For the page to be effective, the Press told me that I had to add things; and in order to add things, I needed to sign up for Facebook. What to do?? My wife’s response, “Join the 21st century, Daniel.”
Being an obedient husband, I did so and just became the 500,000,000 and 1st Facebook enrollee. I’ve been on Linked-in for a while, but I doubt I’ll ever use it—so many more people are on Facebook. There are tremendous network externalities in social network sites—you want to be on the site with the most links to people with whom you want to be in touch. That is clearly Facebook. I’m not sure, though, that I like this aspect of the 21st century.
E-books are growing like crazy. Most of the complaining you may have read is from publishers– that it will be ever harder to stay solvent in an e-book world. But it’s actually authors, not publishers, who take the biggest hit.
You may have read about the standoff between Amazon.com and the Macmillan publishing company. Macmillan had objected to Amazon’s pricing, particularly its loss-leader $9.99 e-book price for new books. In turn, Amazon.com temporarily halted the sale of all Macmillan books.
Each year I receive about 10 introductory economics textbooks from publishers. The purpose is to induce me to adopt the book in my 500-student principles class…
As if you needed another reason to avoid the bookstore, you can now buy your book from an Espresso Book Machine, which prints and binds (albeit without flashy cover imagery, photos, etc.) your book of choice in just a few minutes. There are about five of them in the U.S., reports Publishers Weekly, and they were recently launched in the . . .
| Via Andrew Sullivan: romance novel sales are up — after generating $1.375 billion in revenue in 2007. Expect these numbers to rise, even as other areas of the entertainment industry suffer, because romance novels tend to do better in economic downturns. O.K., so if we’re spending the recession fighting off zombie banks, can we expect a big spike in . . .
We usually hear about these declines in isolation. But taken together, they seem to suggest that cultural pursuits across the board are on the decline. Indeed, if nobody seems out buying books, movies and music, what are they doing with their leisure time instead?
Apparently: going to the library.
Here’s a letter that Roy Blount Jr., a wonderful author (all football fans should read his Steelers classic About Three Bricks Shy …) and president of the Authors Guild, recently sent to Guild members: I’ve been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren’t known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip . . .
Why are there so many fake memoirs in the world? The latest is Margaret Seltzer‘s Love and Consequences. (I would link to its Amazon page but, alas, it no longer has an Amazon page.) If you had written a memoir that was, say, 60 percent true, would you try to present it as a memoir or as a novel? If . . .
We’ve written in the past about the (presumed) worthlessness of book blurbs. But I just came across one blurb that I think might be an exception. The book in question is Why Blacks Fear “America’s Mayor”: Reporting Police Brutality and Black Activist Politics Under Rudy Giuliani. You may recall that this was the book Al Sharpton was reading on a . . .
When it comes to Harry Potter, I was a late adopter. For years, I chuckled at the avid readers who camped out at book stores the night before the latest book’s release. My wife is hard to buy for, so when she mentioned half-heartedly that she should read Harry Potter because all of her friends were fans, I bought her . . .
Given our fondness for all things publishing here at Freakonomics, we’ve been following the development of e-books with particular interest. In the past few weeks, it appears that the free e-book movement has officially begun. Last week, publishing monolith HarperCollins (the publisher of Freakonomics) announced that it would offer free electronic editions of a group of its books on the . . .
A Cal Tech grad student put together a list of the most popular books across college campuses and then correlated those book choices with S.A.T. scores at those schools. His results reveal that the five books with the highest average S.A.T. scores are Lolita, 100 Years of Solitude, Crime and Punishment, Freakonomics, and Atlas Shrugged. Among those five books, I . . .
We’ve posted earlier about book blurbs and how much they matter if at all. Rob Walker, the “Consumed” columnist for the Times Magazine as well as a blogger and author, recently wrote in to share some worthwhile blurb thoughts. I am interested to know how/if this changes your view of blurbs as a consumer. As a longtime blurb skeptic, I . . .
Tim Harford, a.k.a. the Undercover Economist, has a new book out called The Logic of Life. Tim is a very fine economist, writer, TV host, and “agony uncle” (that’s British for “advice columnist”). Yes, he is also British. Although I have blogged in the past about the untrustworthiness of book blurbs, let me say here that I both blurbed Tim’s . . .
That is the headline of Rafe Furst‘s blog post here, and that is the subject of his post as well. It is a very entertaining read (hardly surprising, coming from Rafe), especially as he leads up to describing the holy grail of Amazon free grazing: the Minimal Amazon Covering Set, about which Rafe has also set up a Wikipedia page. . . .
There are few people I have ever met who are more interesting to talk to than Sudhir Venkatesh. I’ve known him for over a decade, and I cannot remember ever having a boring conversation with him. This Q&A with Venkatesh gives you a sedate and sanitized peek into the sorts of things he has been part of throughout his career. . . .
National cholesterol levels fall to “ideal” range. (Earlier) A survey on the ethics of book reviewing. (Earlier) Hedge fund buys professional soccer team. (Earlier) Corporate battle underway over rest stop naming rights.
Video The latest installment of FREAK-TV is an insider look at the making of The Boy With Two Belly Buttons: The Audio Version, read by none other than its author, our own Stephen Dubner (who also provided the voice for the audio version of Freakonomics). To hear a sample of the final product, go to the book’s Amazon page and . . .
Do the book blurbs that one author gives to another author affect your decision to read the book? The publishing industry certainly believes that blurbs matter a great deal. There is a lot of effort put into sending a manuscript out to authors for blurbs — more effort, I sometimes think, than the editing that goes into books. So do . . .
Rarely do I get to the end of a book and wish that it had still more chapters. On the rare occasion when this does happen, the feeling usually passes quickly. When my longing for a book persists, I know I really liked the book. By this measure (as well as any other), I loved the book Sin in the . . .
Amazon has just introduced a new e-reader called the “Kindle,” and it looks like a fantastic piece of technology. The company must have high hopes for the Kindle — today, when you type “www.amazon.com,” into your browser, you get a letter from Jeff Bezos touting the new product. I have to say that it looks quite enticing. Amazon also provides . . .
A while back, I solicited your suggestions for great children’s books, and you responded mightily, with more than 270 comments. Your answers made me realize how many children’s books we already own, which is probably a good thing, at least according to these guys. But you also suggested a lot of books we’ve never read, and you made them sound . . .
A few weeks ago, I gave a bookstore reading for my new kids’ book, The Boy With Two Belly Buttons. I was sitting on the floor, reading to a bunch of kids, when suddenly something seemed wrong with the story — it didn’t track, didn’t make sense to me at all. Befuddled, I stopped reading. I remember thinking, “Wow, has . . .
(Photo: Scott Adams) Although I’ve never been a regular reader of Dilbert — the silly newspapers I read most regularly, the Times and the Wall Street Journal, don’t have the good sense to run comics — I am a huge fan of Dilbert creator Scott Adams, thanks to his extraordinarily good blog. After studying economics at Hartwick College, Adams took . . .
Video For the past couple of months, we’ve been regularly posting short FREAK-TV videos, made by resident young genius Nick Graham, in a box on the right-hand column of our home page. The problem was that the video itself couldn’t be housed within a blog post, so you had to scramble over to the right-hand column to watch the video . . .
eBay structures micro-loans for businesses in impoverished regions. (Earlier) Is the “Kitty Genovese Effect” overblown? (Hat tip: BPS Research) Amazon quadruples profits from Harry Potter sales. (Earlier) Just how skin-deep is beauty?
We have posted in the past about Amazon.com reviewers — their motives, their celebrity, and even some reviewers who seem to game Amazon’s commenting system. Much more recently, I blogged about a strange shakeup in the Amazon best-seller rankings. From the comments that followed, it appears that the Amazon algorithm wasn’t re-jiggered, and that the change had nothing to do . . .