Bainbridge’s e-book experiment

Larry Ribstein —  14 July 2011

Steve Bainbridge is offering his new book, Directors as Auctioneers: A Concise Guide to Revlon-Land, as a Kindle eBook. Here’s his discussion of the book and of his decision to go the e-book route.  I’ve bought it already and presumably will have it when I turn my Kindle on.

Steve’s reasoning is plausible:  he gets more money than for law review articles, controls the marketing and price, and keeps all the proceeds instead of just royalties. He doesn’t get any quality signal, but at his career stage doesn’t need another one. His Revlon book offers him an opportunity to “update, expand, and augment older work on Revlon and offer up a new and improved analysis in a different package” that provides analysis relevant to some recent Delaware decisions. 

I would add that the format provides a marginal incentive that could produce scholarship that might not otherwise get produced.  This is what markets are supposed to do.

Needless to say, I’m interested in how this works out for Steve.  Given rapid developments in publishing, I expect that this is just the first stage of an interesting evolutionary process.

Larry Ribstein

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Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

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