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Self-published $10 law school casebook a good deal for buyer and seller, co-author says

Posted Sep 18, 2013 1:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Few legal experts author law school casebooks expecting to make money.

However, two law professors have reportedly increased their profit margin—and cut the purchase price to a tiny fraction of what a standard casebook costs—by self-publishing their 800-page volume online. The ebook, Advertising & Marketing Law: Cases and Materials, is priced at only $10 and earns a net royalty of $9.25, writes co-author Eric Goldman in a Forbes post.

Goldman is a law professor at Santa Clara University and co-author Rebecca Tushnet is a law professor at Georgetown University.

While there are some disadvantages to their opting to self-publish their casebook online, such as potential piracy and a lack of "publication" credit among fellow academics, Goldman calls the venture "a great choice for us."

And economically it's been a success, too, he says, suggesting that the low cost of legally purchasing the ebook discourages those who might otherwise be tempted from violating the copyright.

"In the past 14 months, we’ve sold 467 copies at Scribd and 58 at Gumroad, for a total sales volume of 525 copies and net royalties of over $4,100," he writes. "Assuming a few more adoptions in Spring 2014, we will substantially exceed my expectations for the first two years."

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