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Hoover 's John B. Taylor is Econo-Blogging:

Stanford Professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow John B. Taylor has started up a blog, Economics One. His short Hoover Press book on the monetary origins of the financial crisis, Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis, was a surprise intellectual intervention in analysis of the crisis and an instant mini-best-seller, as this kind of book goes. I don't pretend to any knowledge of monetary economics, but I am already a fan of Professor Taylor's blog (he makes interesting comments in a new posting, by the way, on his recent co-authored piece in the WSJ on the effect (non) of the stimulus).

(Tangentially, the director of the Hoover Institution remarked at a meeting on something different I was at yesterday that, just from a pure publishing standpoint, the speed with which Hoover Press was able to produce a very short, elegantly written essay, put it in a handsome hardback format with good design, high quality paper stock, great graphics, and get it out via Amazon backed up by Hoover Press directly to readers has altered how the institution thinks about in-house production. I wonder whether other think tanks or university presses will consider this model? Getting Off Track has sold something like 20,000 copies, and I would guess 80% have been via Amazon. I mean, you have to start with a great book, and let it go viral - but reducing the production cycle from over a year to a few weeks, with readers knowing they can just hit the one-click button and get two day Amazon Prime delivery ...)

josil (mail):
Maybe Hoover can publish a book with the Mohammed cartoons that Amazon can pair with the Yale book on the cartoon saga sans cartoons.
9.23.2009 8:07pm
David Welker (www):
Via Greg Mankiw, for those interested in another right-wing economist's views, Harvard's Jeffrey Miron has also started blogging again.

If you are going to be reading John Taylor, why not?
9.23.2009 8:35pm
Kenneth Anderson (www):
Thanks - that's interesting too!
9.23.2009 9:16pm
Angus:
Oh dear me, the irony of someone at the Hoover Institution criticizing someone for their reaction to a major economic crisis.

I also can't help but marvel at Taylor's predictive power about the government prolonging the crisis given that he wrote the essay when the crisis was only a few months old.
9.24.2009 12:31am
hlm (mail):
Seems to me that the same thing can happen via Laissez Faire Books which uses income to fund libertarian projects. And, on average LFB is cheaper than Amazon as well. They also give personal service, you can talk to the people who fill your order if you want. There is greater flexibility as well. So lets see: more flexibility, personal service, lower prices, on-line ordering or telephone ordering (which ever you prefer), and the profits fund libertarian projects. Sounds like a no-brainer when compared to Amazon. www.lfb.org.
9.24.2009 3:14am
Arkady:



an instant mini-best-seller


Uh, WTF is that?
9.24.2009 6:36am
ohwilleke:
Other academics cut out the for profit middle man and distribute articles and book excerpts via models like SSRN, PubMed, and arvix, depending upon the discpline.

These sources are free, and keep clutter on your hard drive, not on your desk where your dog can eat it. Paper waste can also cause forest fires if said professor smokes the traditional academic pipes and is a bit clumsy.

Polish is nice. But, only works well if you can count on a large enough and predictable enough distribution for it to make economic sense, and it is a lot more expensive. And, while a handful of hot titles can benefit, most can not be determined in advance to have enough readership to make hard back publication economically attractive.

Offering book excerpts through SSRN is a good way for an academic press to drum up interest to sell the rest of the book and I've seen it done.
9.24.2009 8:29pm

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