Lost: treatise authors

by Jason Wilson on March 2, 2011

By Jason Wilson

From Mark Estes comes this statement from the AALL Vendors Colloquium:

One challenge vendors face is the difficulty in finding treatise authors. It used to be that treatises were the primary secondary source. Then white papers became important, and now blawgs provide content. Specifically vendors must figure out how to monetize the new format of blawgs and integrate them into the workflow of the practicing lawyer.

I would have loved to hear the complete comments made about this point, but the summary is accurate: very few people are writing treatises these days. Yes, existing ones are being maintained, but the quality varies from publisher to publisher, just look at the Rudovsky matter as a recent example. The real question is whether we can build a practice on the shaky grounds of white papers and blogs.

[Image (CC) by Jon Wiley]

{ 2 comments }

Andrea Rasmussen March 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

There is another reason treatise writers are hard to find. In the West sham pocket part litigation (story at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20101221_… court documents reveal that the publisher attempted to cut the writers' pay by half. These were the same writers who had produced the previous years' pocket part. Evidently they refused to take a 50% pay cut.

jasnwilsn March 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Agreed. The book wasn't making much money, and the wisest course (in my opinion) might have been to cancel the title rather than try to update it internally. It really just depends on what kinds of internal publishing/authoring systems you have in place.

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