Blogs and books
Blogs kill books. At least, that’s what I always thought. Between 1988 and 2000, I wrote four1 books and edited a couple of volumes. In 2002, I started blogging, and I haven’t done a book since then.
But, in the mysterious way of things, it turns out that blogs generate books, or at least book contracts. In comments at Crooked Timber not long ago, Miracle Max wrote
The discredited ideas theme really needs a book, and JQ appears to be the ideal person to write it.
I will even contribute the title: “Dead Ideas from New Economists.” No charge.
Brad DeLong picked it up, and a couple of days later I got an email from Seth Ditchik at Princeton University Press suggesting that it really would be a good idea. Now, we have a contract, and we’re going to use Max’s suggested title.
Of course, it’s much easier to promise to write a book than to actually write one, and I still have a more-than-full-time commitment to work on climate change and sustainable management. So, I have to find some spare time, and the blog-book conflict reappears. My brilliant(?) solution is to focus my blogging on the “discredited ideas” theme, and leave blogging on other topics for another day.
I plan to pop up various snippets as blog posts, crowdsourcing the task of pointing out, and hopefully correcting, my numerous errors. Past experiences suggests there are legions of commenters eager to do this free of charge and unsolicited, but I’m going to use my allocation of free books to reward the 10 commenters who do most to save me from error and to steer me in the right direction. Of course, Miracle Max will get the first one.
1 Actually five, if you count my self-published book of satirical songs and verse, Bobby, I Hardly Knew You