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September 28, 2010

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Tim Zinnecker

Jeff, I hope the royalties propel you and your co-authors into a higher tax bracket. But I gotta ask this: why would any serious faculty candidate pay what the ABA is asking, when so much free info is available on this and other blogs, law reviews / journals, etc.?

You may begin your remarks with the phrase, "Tim, I'm glad you asked that question...."

Jeff Lipshaw

Tim, I'm glad you asked that question.

First, I'm glad you observed "what the ABA is asking", as under our fairly standard author agreement, the publisher has completely control over that.

Second, there are a number of discounts available from the list price. And the marketing isn't just to candidates, but to libraries, groups, etc.

Third, we aren't publishers and deferred to the ABA's far greater expertise in the area.

Fourth, the market will tell us whether the book adds value or not. I suspect you could have asked that question about the book at any price.

Fifth, if you do the math, you'll see that the royalties may pay for a nice dinner out for Alene and me at a not-too-upscale restaurant. (Like I don't think it would even cover the entree at The Inn at Little Washington.)

Marcia McCormick

Tim, I'm glad you asked that question. So what value does the book add to what is already available? Quite a bit. That was our goal, and that has been our feedback from reviewers.

You probably want specifics. For one thing, the book gathers information that's scattered in a number of different places in one spot and it updates quite a bit of the information that's out there. But the book also goes into substantially greater depth and covers things that are not readily available elsewhere, like what you might encounter in a job talk and how to handle those things.

Additionally, many of the posts available in the blogosphere tend to be read (from what I can tell in the comments) by folks who came from a relatively small group of schools and who want to teach at a relatively small group of schools. Our book tries to provide a roadmap for people from a broader variety of backgrounds and describes more fully the diversity of positions and academic environments a candidate might encounter and be interested in.

So those are some reasons that a serious candidate will want to buy the book. It's a much more practical, complete, and in-depth roadmap than anything currently available for free.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

To Marcia, Jeff and Brannon: congratulations on the book!

Miriam A. Cherry

Congrats on the book!

anon

Does the volume touch on clinical professorships at all?

Marcia McCormick

Anon, it does a little bit in the sense that it describes the different models of job security for different types of professors and the different ways that success might be measured in those positions, but it does not serve as a great roadmap for pursuing a clinical position to the extent that the map will be different for clinical candidates based on how success as a clinical prof. is measured. We don't have as much direct experience with that path, so we didn't try to write about it and acknowledge as much in the book. To the extent that there is overlap, though, in the ways that the success of profs in different contexts (doctrinal/casebook only as opposed to clinical) are measured similarly, there will be some useful advice. Whether that makes the book a good enough resource for clinical candidates to buy it, I can't say.

anoncandidate

So is the book only going to be available via the ABA and at the price of $80 or $100? That's steep! (of course, understanding, as disclaimed above, the authors didn't set the price).

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