Yes Amazon, I am Interested…

…in my own book! This is one of the more amusing emails I’ve received in recent days. Apparently there is no algorithm that checks you are not recommending to an author a copy of their own book.


And no, I’ve no idea why this version is so expensive. Did they print this one with gold leaf illumination on the first letter of each chapter?


Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Yes Amazon, I am Interested…

  1. In the case of some books, I have suspected the author had not read it. Some authors have told me that after the editors and publishers changes they did not recognize it as their writing. 🙂

  2. Mary Cole says:

    That’s funny! I expect you are not the only author this has happened to. There should be a new word for this phenomenon (as per ‘googlewhack’ for example). Any ideas?!

  3. Clifford says:

    Hi Mary,

    That’s a good question… I’ll have to think about what that word might be!


  4. Kevin Tah N aka ktahn says:

    There is obviously a mountain of easier things I don’t understand, and I’ll deal with that soon enough but . . . . .
    If by some chance I am offered a chance at study, I have to be honest branes scare me. Let me elaborate; I don’t have any psychological problems accepting strings as a natural extension of the point particle, but branes well . . . . At first I thought they were invented, then I heard they were needed to account for some kind of invariance, a physical object of sorts acting like a wall* . I have not read much on this(yet). Can you explain how branes come about in string theory. I am sure in modern literature there have been new understanding of this , but how did people imagine this kind of thing might be useful. Regarding the people doing string theory without branes are they really escaping branes or doing mathematical tricks. lmk.

  5. Clifford says:

    “I don’t have any psychological problems accepting strings as a natural extension of the point particle, but branes well”

    HI Kevin,

    If what you say is correct, then it is puzzling that you stop at strings. Why stop? That’s the core point. Branes end up being forced on you once you start the process of extending.. put differently, they are states in the theory that were simply turned off in the regimes people were doing string theory for most of the early years. Once you leave the regimes, you find they were there all along. Search on D-Branes in the search bar and you’ll find lots of posts on branes which will maybe help fill in some of the background. Better yet, there’s a book about them somewhere, I hear.



  6. kevin Tah N aka ktahn says:

    Clifford, calm down
    I know there are books, a guy named Clifford might have even written one , I’m just not ready yet. Sometimes we need reasons to do something. Its not like reading about d-branes is the most easy or exciting or least time consuming thing to do. I just wanted to know. Ok, a guy going by the name of Frank Wilczec stopped at strings. I think he has a Nobel prize, which means he is smarter than me.

  7. Clifford says:


    I’m puzzled as to why you want me to calm down. I am quite calm. (I don’t see what the relevance of Nobel Prizes is to any of this either, so I’ll pass over that.) I tried to make a few jokes in my reply, and I’m sorry the humour failed to come across. There is no need to assume the worst. Try assuming otherwise. I thought I was being helpful: I don’t know what you want me to tell you beyond what I already have. I cannot know what level you are at, so cannot write out a personalized explanation. Besides, if I tried to do that for everyone who asks me because they don’t want to just look at existing resources, where would I have time to do anything else? I think that if you want to know more then there’s a huge amount of information out there, easily findable should you care to look. Whenever you find it exciting enough, and/or make the time, go for it. There’s a lot of physics out there, and not everything is to everyone’s taste, and that’s just fine. Have fun!


  8. Mark Peifer says:

    I can’t resist asking:

    How much do you make (if anything) on the $130 price of each book??

    If you do get a cut, maybe I should try monographs–I do know exactly how much I have made on all the many journal articles I published in my career and that’s exactly nothing. I did succumb six or seven years ago to what looked like easy money on a one of a series of recorded talks/powerpoints put together into a package for libraries and while I haven’t made textbook sums, the ~$600 in royalties over the years was nice especially since it arrive sin entirely irregular and thus unexpected checks for $100-200.

  9. Clifford says:


    I think the hardback price went up because they published a paperback version. They stopped printing hard cover ones a while back. The paperback is more reasonably priced, as was the hardcover once upon a time. Part of my deal in the early days was to price it to allow students to buy it in volume, as I’d written it as a handbook for researchers, not an expensive monographs that they just sell to libraries.

    Publishing a technical monograph is not the business to be in if you want to make money. An academic press typically gives royalty percentages that barely break single figures. And then I’ve no idea what deal amazon has with cup, so goodness knows if I see much of anything…