29 March 2011

New poll -- a subtitle for The End of Abundance?

I've not been writing a lot about TEoA, but I've been working on it quite a bit.

Here's a brief summary of the situation:
  • I cancelled the contract with UC Press in December when it was clear that we were not reaching agreement on the audience for the text.
  • Island Press gave it a pass. Reviews were decent (two positive and one neutral), but the new editor wasn't willing to take a chance on me as a first-time author.
  • I've decided to self-publish the book (probably through Amazon). That will make it possible for you folks to get hard copies. I plan to put out a PDF (hyperlinks!) and/or Kindle version.
  • I've got a copy editor. I may have a cover designer.
  • If all goes well, it should be done in May (party!)
This book is meant to summarize most of the material on this blog, tie together meta ideas and add some new insights and ideas that seem to fit better in a book.

I've written it for "people like you" -- folks who may not be economists but who are interested in understanding or using economics to improve water management. I am writing for engineers, managers, lawyers, environmentalists, biologists, political staffers and farmers...

So, I've got two questions:
  1. Which subtitle (in the poll on the right sidebar) sounds the most interesting? What makes you want to open the cover?
  2. Do you have any comments/ideas on what I've described? Please comment or email me.
Bottom Line: I am looking to put out the best book possible and will consider all suggestions.

Addendum: The title will still be The End of Abundance. I am talking about the subtitle!

12 comments:

Pat Keys said...

Since you're trying to reach a relatively broad audience (e.g. "engineers, managers, lawyers, environmentalists, biologists, political staffers and farmers..."), I would steer clear of academic sounding language (e.g. political-economy, economic analysis).

I'm looking forward to the Kindle version.

Four Mound Farm said...

The End of Abundance was a GREAT title. Stick with it.

Cameron McColgan said...

I agree keep that title because it will provoke the interests across numerous fields also I would have to agree to steer clear of academic writing. I definitely look forward to reading the kindle version.

cnfish said...

How about something much less cerebral and more grabby, just like "The End of Abundance":

The End of Abundance: Why the real problem with water is money

The End of Abundance: Why the real solution to water problems is economics, not engineering

The End of Abundance: Why we finally need an economics of water

/Charles Fishman
cnfish@mindspring.com
Author, "The Big Thirst: The secret life and turbulent future of water"
www.thebigthirst.com
(not the best subtitle, but what would fly)

David Zetland said...

@All - -I am *keeping* the title. We're talking SUBTITLE here... :)

Kristina Donnelly said...

I think that all of the subtitles you have offered suggest a very different sort of book (is it an economic analysis? does it focus on economics, or politics, or indeed both? Is the most important thing the analysis, or the solutions?). Without having read it, I couldn't say for sure which one fits. I think you need to think about what the content is actually offering the reader, and then go with whatever subtitle fits (regardless of what may sound more appealing to a reader). If you still don't know, then maybe the contents need more attention.

Regardless, I don't like "challenges and solutions to water scarcity." Everyone (who cares at all about water enough to buy a book about it) has read "that book" and it says really nothing at all about the content.

Good luck,
Kristina.

David Zetland said...

@Kristina -- excellent point (and one I had in mind). I am testing the waters, but I will choose a subtitle that matches the content. Luckily, I am familiar with it :)

Nathan T said...

I think think Four Mound and Cameron were suggesting that you ditch the subtitle altogether and publish as The End of Abundance.

Per my vote and feelings on your last poll, to change water policy you need the support of the public. The listed subtitles in your poll suggest an academic read and will narrow your audience.

I suggest you publish as The End of Abundance. Save the subtitle for your sequel =)

David Zetland said...

@Nathan (et al.) -- good point, but the subtitle adds useful context that may be the ONLY thing some people see. Oh, and the book *does* have quite a bit of economics. It's not A Year in Province :)

David Rankin said...

Think about a play on words. The subtitle should hint at the beginning of something. Some ideas:

The End of Abundance:
-the dawn of economic water management
-and the new economics of water
-new approaches to managing decreasing supply and increased demand for water
-an exploration of how economic tools can better allocate, manage and sustain scarce water
-economic tools to manage the increasing value of water
-how economic tools can increase the value of water use, decrease social costs, and protect the environment
-a field guide to how economic tools can (help) solve water scarcity
-and so on. (Clearly I am not a copy writer!)

Sorry to read about UCal Press.

Best of luck with this!

jim said...

You might use the title:
challenges and solutions to resolving water scarcity

Andrew C said...

economic approaches to water scarcity