The text and the book

by John Quiggin on September 24, 2010

I’ve been living with the text of Zombie Economics for a long time and the cover art came out a while back. But now I finally have my hands on a physical copy of the book, and it’s surprising what a difference the real object makes. My immediate reaction was to open it with dread, sure that some terrible error would jump out at me, but that didn’t happen (no doubt the reviewers will find them, but that’s their job).

With that out of the road, I’ve been filled with irrational confidence. “Surely”, I think, “even the most jaded traveller, passing this book on the airport bookstall, will feel impelled to buy it”. No doubt, this optimistic glow won’t survive the arrival of actual sales figures, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.



Sandwichman 09.25.10 at 1:33 am

Except the airport bookstall won’t carry your book. You’re not Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter.


Tom T. 09.25.10 at 2:51 am



Alex K 09.25.10 at 6:07 am

Wow, that’s awesome. I’ll buy it as soon as I can.


belle le triste 09.25.10 at 8:30 am

The thing I always get excited about — when the mag comes back from the printers — is how they got all the writing and pictures on both sides of the pages! Since I have been working in magazines for nearly 30 years this suggests my brain is going soft, but actually I always got excited by it.


Phil 09.25.10 at 11:59 am

My book’s had a review with the Yippieish conclusion
This is a serious piece of work that deserves a much wider readership than it is likely to get retailing at £60. Steal this book!

Thanks to Daniel (for it is he) for pointing out in comments that this wouldn’t actually depress my royalties. Unfortunately the only places it would be feasible to steal this book from are the publisher’s stockroom and my office. It’s not the kind of book that bookshops tend to stock, and at £60 who can blame them.


engels 09.25.10 at 12:38 pm

So where’s your office and what time do you leave work? :)


Michael Drake 09.25.10 at 12:44 pm

While there’s ignorance, there’s hope.


Eric 09.25.10 at 1:26 pm

I too recall the joy and dread of having the thing go from a stream of bits to stream of pages, with a cover. Congrats!


Guido Nius 09.25.10 at 3:25 pm

May Glenn, Sarah and Ann be hit with great doubts near an airport bookstall carrying the book, for they will be able to pay for it, and be struck by its argumentation into finding Obama too far to the right for anybody’s comfort.


bob 09.25.10 at 8:22 pm

I saw your post and went down to my favorite new-book bookstore, also Barak Obama’s favorite bookstore, Seminary Co-op, right next to the University of Chicago – where there are lots of people who should read it (as should B.O.) – and bought a copy for the very reasonable price of $24.95, less a 10% member’s discount (plus tax). But I’m appalled at the British price of £60, if that is accurate. I never really understood how such huge pricing discrepancies happen.


bob 09.25.10 at 9:49 pm

Oops – I see that the £60 price was for another book, not for Zombie Economics, which I assume has a reasonable price in Britain as well.


Phil 09.25.10 at 10:42 pm

Zombie Economics is available from Amazon at £16.95. ‘More Work! Less Pay!’ isn’t. (In terms of being careful what you wish for, incidentally, what a bloody awful title that is. The next book I write, I’ll have to find a pretext for calling it Million-Selling Paperback Edition.)


David 09.26.10 at 5:18 am

Actually saw the book in the wild today at my small neighborhood book store.


Eszter Hargittai 09.26.10 at 6:57 am

Many congrats, John! I’m so impressed by how worked on this book and it’s great to see such a wonderful outcome!


tomslee 09.26.10 at 6:03 pm

Congratulations. The old world of publishing may be full of arbitrary gatekeepers and elitist institutions, but the other side of that coin is who would celebrate getting a blog post published?


ejh 09.26.10 at 6:16 pm

It’s not the kind of book that bookshops tend to stock, and at £60 who can blame them.

I once wrote a book about football complaining, amongst other things, that football matches were too expensive for people to get into. The publisher issued it in hardback at £14.99.


Eric Schwartz 09.27.10 at 3:05 pm

Congratulations! It’s been fun seeing the book develop here at CT.


realdelia 09.30.10 at 12:34 am

Congratulations. You’ve been plugged by a Time Lord:

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