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Publishing in Antarctica

This one came in the email today:

Dear Gelman Andrew,

I am ** from ** ** Academic Publishing, a publishing house founded in Germany in 2002.

We would be interested to publish a printed book based on your research in the field of Charles Murray’s Coming Apart and the measurement of social and political divisions.

In brief, ** Academic Publishing is dedicated to scientific works written in English. Our books are distributed worldwide through well known shops such as Amazon, Morebooks, Hachette. In addition, we bear all costs related to the production, marketing and distribution of our books.

Gelman Andrew, would you agree to receive more information?

I am looking forward to your reply.
Sincere regards,
Email: **@**.com

** Academic Publishing
Website: www.**.com

Founded in Germany in 2002
Now in all of Europe, Africa, Asia and South America

Sorry, I’m not going with them until they open an office in Antartica.

Turning a 12-page article into a book seems like a challenge . . . On the other hand, they made a whole feature-length movie out of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which can’t be much more than 12 pages long, so all things are possible.


  1. Daniel C says:

    Do you read popular business books? Aimed at managers and marketers? Many have a good idea at their core – an idea that could be explained and explored in 5000 words. A publisher then goes to the originator of this idea and hires him or her to write a book. The book must be 250 pages so the publisher can sell it for $25. The idea can be written up in 10 pages, so the author is forced to repeat the thesis over and over and to provide some examples and to fill the book with fluff. This is why so many popular business books are frustrating. Not that they don’t have a valuable message to convey, but that they are way too long. Economics of publishing.

  2. Min says:

    “Rashomon” was based on the short story, “In a glade”, by Akutagawa. It took its name from another of his short stories.

    “Blow-up” was also based on a short story, IIRC.

    And there was a strange flick called “Coming Apart”, starring, appropriately enough, Rip Torn.

  3. “Now in all of Europe, Africa, Asia and South America” — I guess the cane toads and box jellyfish repelled their attempts at Australia.

  4. Jonathan (another one) says:

    As a big fan of Coming Apart, and of you, I’m really surprised I never read that piece before. I think it’s a really good piece, marred only (in my opinion of course) by your deciding to give your view of the thesis filtered through your understanding of Murray’s ideology, rather than just taking it as is. But hey, it’s your piece, and you’re very fair in labeling what’s your opinion about Murray’s opinion from what Murray actually said. I’ve got an idea: why not turn it into a book?

    P.S. Any thoughts on Murray’s new book: Human Diversity? The thing I think you’d like about it is that it eschews NHST for the most part and just discusses differences in effect sizes. (Ad nauseum, in my reading; I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open in parts of it.) But maybe not.

    • Andrew says:


      My discussion of Murray’s book led to some off-the-wall comments in this thread.

      • Kyle C says:

        I still find it surprising how often people react to views that are “farther left” than theirs by telling the view holder, “No, you don’t really believe that, think again,” as in that thread. I honestly wonder if there is a psychological name for that reaction.

      • Jonathan (another one) says:

        Wow. I have no idea how I missed that. But a ton of that discussion revolved around things that people assumed about Murray’s thought rather than what he actually said. (A fair part was tied up in discussions of what *you* thought as opposed to what you said.) Of course, the turning of every opinion into a political statement has only accelerated since the ancient halcyon 2013. But this is a nice precursor.

  5. John N-G says:

    I tried Googling “Now in all of Europe, Africa, Asia and South America” (in quotes). Exactly one hit. Below the sample email are various links to discussions on the publisher. The quora link led to a blog post link that in turn led to a Slate article:
    A reasonably entertaining rabbit hole.

  6. Renzo Alves says:

    I have paid hard currency for a printed book that was available free on the internet. Because I didn’t want to read it on a screen, and printing it out would have cost more than paying for the book. I have also bought paperback copies of books that I already owned in hardcover. If you lived and worked (with three hours per day commutes) in Japan you can probably imagine why. I have also paid authentic money, lots of it, for copies of dissertations that were not available otherwise, in pre-internet times. Case-by-case, as we say. I wouldn’t pay anything for a Wikipedia article.

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