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August 2020

Things are quiet here because ...

The federal circuits have not posted any jury instruction revisions since Covid-19 shut things down. One would think that this is precisely the sort of activity judges could work on at home, and that this would be a good time to do it, but I am guessing that there are formal procedures that require meetings, and that these meetings are being shelved for now. The Seventh Circuit put up a set of patent instructions up for comment earlier this Summer, but that's it.

I have had a decent run of sales for 360 Federal Crimes; a couple hundred copies sold in hard copy. It's enough to encourage me to start work on another book, this time for the police officer market. The working title is A Detective's Guide to Interrogation Law, and the current draft of the Foreword looks like this.

A Detective’s Guide to Interrogation Law is the most complete and authoritative manual on the law of interrogation ever written for law enforcement officers. It covers—in plain language, and with illustrative case examples—every important legal principle. Use it to solve real world problems like this:

  • Compelling suspects to unlock computer and cell phone passcodes
  • The difference between Garrity and Kalkines warnings, and how to use them while questioning public employees
  • Admissibility of admissions made by prisoners, probationers, or parolees as part of a treatment or rehabilitation program
  • The admissibility of a defendant’s silence when accused of a crime
  • Things an officer can say and do to avoid a finding of Miranda custody
  • Questioning prison and jail inmates without Miranda warnings
  • The application of the Miranda rule to questioning at borders or airports
  • Obtaining Miranda waivers from uncooperative suspects
  • How to lawfully question suspects who have invoked their Miranda rights
  • What officers should do when defendants change their minds about invoking Miranda rights
  • Questioning suspects who have been formally charged or who have attorneys
  • How to manage jailhouse informants
  • How to work with prosecutors on investigations without creating ethical problems for them
  • Tactics for addressing insanity and diminished intent issues
  • Your obligation to advise foreign nationals of their consular notification rights
  • Working with foreign police officers in foreign countries

On the chance that someone working in law enforcement reads this, and has some interest in reviewing an advance copy, please email me.

I guess that I should also report back on my experience with my Amazon "advertising campaign." I pretty much just went with the defaults, and placed a fairly high (70 cent) bid for impressions. My "product" has an extraordinarily low click-through rate (CTR) (.09%) (people who see my ad don't often click on it), but a ridiculously high number of people who click on the ad buy the book. So my cost-per-click is extraordinarily low (21 cents) and my advertising cost of sales (ACOS) (.27%) is extraordinarily low. The raw numbers are 4230 impressions, 38 clicks, and 25 orders, at a total cost to me of just under eight dollars. As an indication of how crazy low my ACOS is, the Amazon average ACOS is 30%, mine is less than 1% of that.

I don't feel any incentive to bump my bid number; I am getting plenty of impressions. And I don't see any reason to end the campaign; I'm getting some sales out of the campaign (although the great majority of my sales are coming from word of mouth), and the cost is minimal.

(08/13/20) (permalink)

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