Markets in Self-Publishing

BainbridgeDespite our legislators’ efforts, it’s hard to keep vibrant markets down.

One of the most interesting emerging markets that I’ve been following recently has been in self-publishing. UCLA business law professor and longtime blogger Stephen Bainbridge – who, along with Larry Ribstein, is a blogosphere leader in advancing the understanding of corporate and business law principles – self-published his most recent corporate law book as a Kindle e-book. Professor Bainbridge passes along his reasoning for doing so here.

In short, Professor Bainbridge reasons that he will make money with his e-book than for law review articles, he controls the marketing and price of the book, and he keeps all the proceeds instead of just royalties. Moreover, the self-publishing route allows him to update his work in a timely manner so that he can provide analysis of recent court decisions that wouldn’t be possible under the conventional book model.

Meanwhile, similar self-publishing ventures are emerging in the music industry.

For example, popular Houston-based musician Robbie Seay – the worship leader at Houston’s fascinating inner-city church, Ecclesia – recently went the Kickstarter route to raise the funds necessary to self-produce his new CD. Seay – who melds spiritually-based contemporary music with a rocker’s edge – raised enough money to self-produce his CD in two weeks and is now shooting to reach 1,000 backers in the next two weeks.

These are wonderful developments. Talented individuals taking risks that provide consumers at low cost with scholarship and music that might not otherwise get published.

In other words, the power of markets at work.

Art DeVany on The New Evolution Diet

Clear Thinkers favorite Art DeVany (previous posts here) is preparing for the release of his new book, The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us About Weight Loss, Fitness and Aging (Rodale Dec. 21, 2010), so he presents his basic ideas on nutrition and exercise in the trailer for the book below. Russ Roberts’ longer audio interview of DeVany from earlier this year can be listened to here and Patrick Kiger provides an excellent overview of DeVany’s ideas on nutrition and exercise here.

Five myths about the death penalty

Peculiar Institution2David Garland of New York University has a new book coming out later this year on a common topic on this blog, Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (Belknap 2010). He previews the book in this WaPo op-ed in which he addresses the following five myths of the death penalty:

1. The United States is a death-penalty nation.

2. The United States is out of step with Europe and the rest of the Western world.

3. This country has the death penalty because the public supports it.

4. The death penalty works.

5. The death penalty doesn’t work.

Check out the entire article.