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How not to share "stolen" books

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Perhaps techdirt will agree with this strategy (it's a form of "CWF+RTB" after all, they have a service and the reason to buy is to keep the site online) but this just cracks me up. A site which provides pointers to illegal copies of books has a little call to action in the right sidebar asking you to donate to keep their server online.

Not surprisingly, the visitors (people who are interested in free books) have given 0% toward the target of $150.

The footer message from the site declares:

Some Research Before You Write That (Technical) Book

It appears that the costs of publishing have really fallen, otherwise how can I explain that there's a good chance I'm going to be writing a book that might actually get published. In the last week two referrals came my way and I'm sitting here thinking "Should I do it?"

The major questions in my mind are: Is it profitable on its own? If not, can I do it in a manner which will be profitable (i.e. write about a niche that somehow brings in future business)? Should I partner with a publisher? Write it myself? Or perhaps "dead-tree" books are just "dead" and I should make it an e-book?

Oh yeah, and will I maintain the motivation to get it done? And done to a level that doesn't suck?

John Resig Writes about Writing For a Publisher

In his post about Programming Book Profits (which, I'm not going to be writing about "programming" but it's probably a useful comparison to what I would be writing) John Resig lays out exactly what his profits were 1 year after publishing. He also lays out some of the pros and cons and surprises that he found. In short: the paycheck from the publisher doesn't seem like it will be worth it.

Note: he recommends pretty strongly against the e-book route.

Go It (mostly) On Your Own With or the Kindle

ProBlogger's How to Be a Rockstar eBook Seller [Interview] mentions the use of for sales of their book. It appears that they've made a decent profit. Sadly though, while he gives revenue numbers he doesn't give "books sold" numbers and the sales $ depends on several factors so you don't really know how many copies they sold.

Note: they love the e-book.

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Book Recommendations for our new Christmas Gift?

As we're on our year long trip Nikki and I have read a lot of books. We find that without as many friends, family, and normal recreational activities there's a lot more time for touristing but also more time for reading. This has been great. The last 5 months I've read more non-technical books than the past 5 years (seriously).

At that same time - we're fresh out of reading material! I (Greg) will be coming back to the states for a usability work session at the University of Minnesota and then for Drupalcon Boston. It's going to be great.

While I'm home I'll be bringing back books we finished down here (and some wine) and hope to make a big purchase of books to bring back down.

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Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

One of the nice things about being on a trip is that it gets you out of your normal habits and gives you more free time for things you don't prioritize at home like reading.

Nikki and I both just finished off The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It was a surprisingly good book - quite a fast read but still thought provoking. I was amazed at how often I agreed with her parents (if you haven't read the book, the central premise is that the parents are crazy). The major conclusion we both drew was, of course, that people can survive from some pretty horrible situations. Some fun sub-ideas were that American mainstream is so crazy that even some nutty individualists are right a lot of the time. And we both agreed that Jeanette Walls writing was stunning. It really puts you into the mind of a child at the age she was in the biography and makes you think of the world with wide-eyed-wonder.

It's definitely highly recommended by both of us. Thanks to Mom Kneser for the gift! We passed it on to our friend Eliana which would probably make Jeanette's mom happy by not just throwing it out ;)

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