Food Magazine Typo Poisons Sweden

Photo: Giselleai Dubner got egg on his face earlier this summer when he called out The Economist for a supposed typo that turned out not to be one. Sometimes, of course, consequential mistakes do make it through, and a simple correction isn’t always the answer. Tens of thousands of copies of a Swedish food magazine […]

A Different Kind of Crime Thriller

Photo: Petteri Sulonen Over at BLDBLOG, Geoff Manaugh has been conjuring up a new literary genre: the bank heist master plan — rethinking the city as a “maze of unrealized break-ins.” Talk about exploring the hidden side of everything. In pursuit of the prize for most beautifully crafted bank heist plan, Manaugh writes: You describe, […]

When a Novelist Holds an IPO

When rogue author Tao Lin set out to write his second novel, he realized he would need to raise some capital to sustain himself. So he has decided to sell shares in 60 percent of the U.S. royalties for his forthcoming, as-yet-untitled book. Not only will the scheme defray his financial risk if the book […]

An Experiment for Fake Memoirs

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 […]

Maybe This Book Blurb Works

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 […]

That Damn Harry Potter

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 […]

Free Books on the Internet: HarperCollins, Oprah, and Yale Join the Fray

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 […]

What Do Lolita and Freakonomics Have in Common?

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. […]

Further Insight on Book Blurbs

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 […]

‘The Logic of Life’

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 […]