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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Publishing Update

The manuscript for Recessions: Volume I is now in the final editing pass. The actual appearance in online stores will take at least a month, but possibly closer to two months. I prefer to release the ebook and paperback editions simultaneously, and as I discovered the hard way, I need to see a printed proof of the paperback edition. (The chart image files were mangled by a processing step at the printers.) (The Amazon paperback/ebook editions will likely appear the same day, other stores have variable processing lags.) The book is longer than my previous books (58,000 words), although it is still shorter than most books you find in bookstores. (Novella length versus novels, using fiction terminology.) This book is somewhat specialised, and so the pricing will be somewhat higher than my earlier books.

Note: I have an article half-written on inflation and bond pricing that will either appear later today or tomorrow. I will return to Scott Fullwiler's article on debt sustainability this weekend (I hope). This will be a focus of the chapter on Fiscal Policy. 

My next book is going to be an intermediate MMT handbook. I really, really, want to keep this one short (which is what I say every time...). At the minimum, it will be an ebook, and the ebook should be priced cheaply. Since my books are self-published, and cannot be browsed in bookstores, I want to have an introductory text at a low price point so that readers can get a sample at little risk. I hope that the MMT handbook will be popular, so the greater volume will make up for the shorter length. Unfortunately, a really short book is unattractive for paperback. There is a large fixed cost component to print-on-demand books, and the price for the book would end up only with a small discount versus my other paperbacks. This could generate unhappy customers.

The only way to fill out the MMT handbook to make it an acceptable length for paperback is to have a second part that is repackaged earlier articles that I have written on MMT. (The recent sequences of MMT articles are drafts that will make their way into the main handbook.) This would fill out the book, and provide some context for my summaries of online MMT debates. The book would be labelled "expanded edition." (Unfortunately, it is not easy to add text to existing ebooks, even though the technology supports that. Therefore, existing owners would not get the added articles.) I want to finish the main handbook before thinking about adding those articles; I also need to finish Volume II of Recessions (some chapters were written, but missing key parts).

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