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David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book Blog


I am tempted to write, "The Open Book Is Now Closed." I don't mean that this blog is shutting down---though obviously it's been pretty quiet lately---only that the process of making the book as become less public.

I announced three months ago that the Book Is Cooked. I had at last heaved the manuscript off to the editor. But there are many milestones in finishing a book. The edited chapters trickled back to me in mid-August. I was pleased with the deft editing: lots of line edits that I agreed with, essential quality control (the References must have been missing a dozen entries), and some rearrangements and cuts to improve flow. Today, having reviewed all the changes (and gotten some proofreading help from my mom), I will send the texts back to the editor. I expect they'll cycle back to me so that the editor and I can resolve any remaining disagreements. Then I will no longer be able to touch my text in Word. In the next months, the book will be typeset. The page proofs--showing what the actual book pages will look like---will come to us for review. One project within this phase (for a contractor) will be laying out the graphs I made in Excel and Stata. Like all CGD books, Due Diligence will be published by Brookings Institution Press.

Meanwhile, we are working with a designer on the cover. And I've been collecting endorsement quotes; some will go on the front or back cover and the rest of will go inside. (Thank you to all who have contributed.) I also need to assemble a list of perhaps 10 favorite posts from this blog for inclusion in the volume. (Any nominations?) And I need to write the acknowledgments.

We've decided for now not to share the latest versions of the text, so as not to steal the thunder, such as it will be, of the book release. That will probably happen in mid-November. So the public drafts, accessible to the right on this blog, are pre-edit. We will almost certainly put at least chapter 1 of the final version online for free. We may hold back on the rest, at least for the first year; we will see. At any rate, the currently public drafts will stay up.

My other major project has been working with Jonathan Morduch to revisit the Pitt & Khandker study, now that we can replicate it properly, in the spirit of this post. There have been some interesting discoveries.

But none of this has lent itself to blogging, which a big reason I have been quiet. The intellectual journey of writing the book is mostly behind me, and with that the impulse to think aloud about it. Also, the microfinance scene has itself been quieter. But I will keep following microfinance for the foreseeable future. Thanks for sticking with me, keeping me honest, and giving me a powerful sense of audience.

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