Breaking Points Appearance
On Tuesday, I was on Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar to discuss my new book.
As of this writing, it’s still number 1 among new releases in political science on Kindle, as it was when I wrote this tweet a few days ago.
This experience made me look into what it’s like to self-publish, and Kindle says they give you up to 70% of the sales, compared to 5%-7.5% in the academic book market and around 10%-20% for popular presses. To go out on your own is pretty risky for someone without a preexisting audience, but seeing how much money Amazon lets you keep, I’m surprised more people don’t do it.
On a different note, I’ll be doing a followup on this post pretty soon. I’ve been paying less attention to the betting markets, as PredictIt has bored me a bit as I’ve been following the day-to-day of American politics a little less and focusing more on a few large projects. I may start making regular predictions on Metaculus, which is less interesting because there’s no money involved, but more interesting because there is a broader range of questions.
Publishing a book through a mainline publisher should be about more than just book sales. Especially if you already have an audience, you can target hitting a bestseller list which can add a ton of credibility. Look up prominent intellectuals (or "intellectuals") and you'll see "NYT Bestselling Author" right up front in their bio. All of your preorder sales count for first week's sales and the number needed to hit important lists are lower than you'd expect for nonfiction.
In the part where you discuss predicting the policy of the USA, you conclude that it’s basically a matter of inertia, the USA will keep its attention basically wherever it is right now, and will just use whatever reasons come to hand to stay in those places. What countries are doing the best at reading this and which countries are making mistakes?