“Publishing a book is easy these days. All you have to do is press a button.”
Publishing a book is easy these days (in electronic formats, at least). It’s just the writing/editing bit (and in the case of an anthology, organizing) that takes a bit of time. I just did that and it felt amazing to get it across the finish.
I was fortunate enough to get to work with an amazing group of co-authors. It was a lot of work, but it was work that I thoroughly enjoyed. But now I have to do something else. I have to get it into people’s hands. I thought about doing a private sale like the Wu Tang Clan’s to bring in a lot of notoriety for the WPC, but to tell the truth, that was just going to be a setup for a Martin Shkreli punchline, and I think his 15 minutes ran out a few weeks ago…
Where were we?
One of the things that’s said to be important for new books is to have a handful of reviews for potential readers to peruse. Big publishing houses have relationships with reviewers, so this is just part of the process for them. Fledgling houses (like ours) don’t have such relationships, so your left with a couple of choices:
- Connect with professional reviewers in the hopes that they’ll take up your book (Over 1,000,000 books were published in the U.S. alone in 2009, so the odds of getting the time of day as an unknown is vanishingly small.)
- Pay for reviews
- Somehow get your early readers to provide them
Option 1 is something that I have to work on in my role as publisher, but it’s going to take time. I believe we’ll slowly build a reputation for putting together quality offerings, so it should just be a matter of putting in the appropriate effort and being a little patient. (I am not patient.)
Option 2 is basically a non-starter. I’m sure there are plenty of great reviewers who work in this model, but in doing research on this option, I found too many offerings that felt unsavory. Reviewers need to get paid for their work–there’s no doubt in my mind about that–but my gut says they need to get paid by a third party for it to be a fair deal. I don’t want to pay for a glowing review. I want to earn it.
That brings us to Option 3 (Beg your readers!). This is where YOU (could) come in!
I should take a step back and level set here. I’m not looking for a 1,500 word review set for the pages of the New York Times or the London Review of Books. (Although that would be pretty cool.) We just need a handful of short, honest reviews on the book’s page on Amazon.
Thought it was pretty good? – Great!
Loved it? – Even better!
Hated it? – Hey, as long as you’re being fair/honest, we can’t complain. (Okay, we might complain a little, but give us a break, we’re human.)
So here’s the deal, we’re offering the Kindle version of our book for $1.99 starting at 8am ET today (The regular price is $9.99) and the price will tick up by $1.00 every 24 hours until the morning of 3/6 when it will return to full price.
A couple of bucks for 37 essays by a thoughtful, engaged group, on one of the defining issues of our time. All that I ask in return for the discount is that you consider sharing your thoughts after reading it. (We’re in great need of reviews to help establish credibility via the book’s Kindle page.) So if you could hit the number of stars that feels appropriate at the end of the book, and share a few sentences on what you thought of it, that would be really helpful. (Did you learn something? Did you change your perspective on one or more issues? Were you my 3rd grade teacher who thinks everyone should buy our book because I had such nice manners?) If you don’t enjoy the read. If you don’t find it credible. If you feel it was a waste of your time. Please do warn the others! I’m just looking for honest assessments. I hope that’s a fair ask.
Also, if you’re interested in doing an interview, please leave a note in the comments. Thanks for reading.
Before you go, here’s a list of the book’s chapters with links to each of the author’s pages on Twitter. Check em out. It’s a really interesting group.
WPC Book 1: What do we do about inequality?
1. TO ADDRESS INEQUALITY, THINK GLOBAL | Dylan Matthews
2. THE IDEOLOGICAL STRAITJACKET | Sean McElwee
3. WHAT DOES EQUIPOTENTIALITY BRING TO THE TABLE IN TERMS OF EQUALITY? | Michel Bauwens
4. INEQUALITY, UNCOUNTED | Alex Cobham
5. THE INEFFICIENCY OF INEQUALITY | Daniel Altman
6. IS CAPITALISM UNFAIR? | Chris MacDonald
7. THE PROBLEM OF INEQUALITY | Kevin Carson
8. TOWARDS RENOUNCING PERSONAL PRIVATIZATION | Nicholas Archer
9. THE INEQUALITY OF WILDNESS AND THE NECESSITY OF WILDNESS FOR EQUALITY | Megan Hollingsworth
10. THE STICKINESS OF INJUSTICE | Jennifer Reft
11. NOBLE FICTIONS AND SACRED TEXTS | Paul Fidalgo
12. THE VOICES THAT ARE NOT YOUR OWN: MAINTAINING CHOICE IN THE AGE OF THE ALGORITHM | John C. Havens
13. THE EMPATHY DEFICIT: WHY THE INEQUALITY CRISIS IS ALSO A CRISIS OF EMPATHY | Robin Cangie
14. BILLIONAIRES WITH DRONES: FROM OLIGARCHY TO NEOMEDIEVALISM | Frank A. Pasquale
15. WHAT SHOULD THE WORLD LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF INEQUALITY IN LATIN AMERICA? | Patrick Iber
16. OCCUPY SANDY AND THE FUTURE OF SOCIALISM | Sam Knight
18. INEQUALITY AND THE BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE | Scott Santens
20. TWENTIETH CENTURY SOLUTIONS WON’T WORK FOR TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY INEQUALITY | David O. Atkins
21. THE STATE OF AFFAIRS: HEADING FROM BAD TO WORSE | Adnan Al-Daini
22. THE TRAGEDY OF OUR MIDDLE CLASS | Peter Barnes
23. POST-SCARCITY ECONOMICS: WHY ARE SOME PUNDITS AND ECONOMISTS STILL ENAMORED OF AUSTERITY? | Tom Streithorst
24. INCOME INEQUALITY: WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT, AND WHAT’S NOT |F. Spagnoli
25. TURMOIL & TRANSITION | Harold Jarche
26. KNOWLEDGE, POWER, AND A POTENTIAL SHIFT IN SYSTEMIC INEQUALITY | Jon Husband
27. THE QUESTION OF INEQUALITY: A VIEW FROM INDIA | Akhila Vijayaraghavan
28. WHAT YOU KNOW IS BASED ON WHO YOU KNOW | Deborah Mills-Scofield
29. INEQUALITY IS ABOUT THE POOR, NOT ABOUT THE RICH | Miles Kimball
31. ADDRESSING WEALTH EQUALITY WITH INVESTING SOLUTIONS FROM NATURE, NURTURE, AND SCIENCE | Rosalinda Sanquiche
32. THE LOGIC OF STUPID POOR PEOPLE: STATUS, POVERTY AND GATEKEEPING | Tressie McMillan Cottom
33. POOR CHOICES | Melonie Fullick
34. THE PARTICIPATION GAP | Devin Stewart
35. GETTING THE FRAME RIGHT | KoAnn Skrzyniarz
36. THE FIRST JOB CREATOR | Adam Kotsko
37. LIFE IN THE TREETOPS: A CHOICE OF CHASTENING PRIVATION OR DEBASING PROSPERITY | Chris Oestereich