Advice on Legal Book Publishing

Opinion Poll on Behalf of Younger Colleague Ready to Publish First Casebook in First Year Course.

Suppose offers of publication by the following publishers. What’s the order of ranking, assuming all terms are equal?

Aspen, Carolina, or West?

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2 Responses

  1. Walk away. The traditional casebook publishers charge unconscionably high prices to students, demand excessive copyright assignments, provide surprisingly little editorial and promotional help, and end up paying surprisingly little in royalties at the end of the day. This casebook model is doomed in the face of competition from new publishing models that are more convenient, timely, flexible, and above all, affordable. Ranking the major publishers is like ranking Titanic staterooms.

    Your colleague can do much better for the world — and better for him or herself — by self-publishing or going with an alternative publisher like Semaphore Press, LawCarta, or ChartaCourse. I run through the available options in a post at Law School Cafe, and I would be happy to talk to your colleague about his or her options.

  2. Brian L. Frye says:

    Bravo to James’s comment! The academic presses are vultures preying on a principal-agent problem. They will disappear eventually, but we should hasten their demise.