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An Economist Short Book: "In Gold We Trust?"
October 25, 2012 - 9:00pm

In Gold We Trust? The Future of Money in an Age of Uncertainty (Kindle Single) by Michael Green and Matthew Bishop

Published in March of 2012.  92 pages.  $2.99

Is the Economist getting into the concise non-fiction e-book business? Will the Economist be the latest organization to trade on its brand and stable of thought leaders to challenge traditional publishers with an e-book only strategy?  

Some other examples of this move to e-book only publishing comes from Amazon's Kindle Singles, TED BooksAtavist books, Hyperink, and Now & Then books. (Can you share other pure play e-book publishers?).

The Economist's e-book In Gold We Trust? is perfect for fans of the Economist. If you like the Economist's Special Reports then you will love this concise e-book.

Green and Bishop set out to answer three basic questions about gold.

1.  Why is gold so valuable?

2.  Will gold continue to become more valuable?

3.  What does the price of gold say about paper money?

If you are interested in these questions then buy the e-book.  It will not set you back much in treasure or time, and reading it will force you to re-think some assumptions about money, value, and wealth.

I hope that the Economist comes out with more concise books by Economist reporters.  Doing some googling I couldn't find anything else about the Economist's e-book publishing business.   Do you have any knowledge about this business line or other e-books from the Economist?

My bet is that other publications, and maybe even companies and universities, will start getting into the short nonfiction e-book industry.  

Any employer where the main product is ideas, a definition that encompasses more and more of the innovation economy, has the potential to incentivize its employees to turn their work into digital only short books.   

The benefits of claiming some thought leadership ground assuredly outweigh the writing, editing  and publication costs.  Particularly if the enterprise already aggregates an audience and has developed a brand that conveys credibility around a specific subject will the benefits of producing and releasing concise e-books be compelling.   

We can expect in the future e-books from the big media players, from the NYTimes to CNN to Fox to the Huff Post, and maybe from some smart universities, companies, and more narrowly focused media outlets.

What concise nonfiction e-book are you reading (or writing)?


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