Book People Archive

Re: Sustaining on-line book sites

Maybe what we (all of you) need to do is reestablish the idea of patronage
for literature.  Release etexts that plug the patron in a short dedication
at the beginning of the released etexts.  I have dedicated etexts in honor
of my daughter, my sons, my wife, parents and in honor of my companies I
work for, even in honor of myself.

Recently I have been approached by some of my clients about (for a small
fee) dedicating  released etexts which probably would be downloaded.  Anyway
you say something like "The production of this etext was underwritten by
David Reed/We Made It Press for the futher advancement of the pleasure of
reading." or anything else you can think of.

For right now I am still thinking about it.  My companies at the present
time support the underwriting of my etext production and releases.  But
there are all kinds of businesses which support the public schools, dance
and theater productions, PBS.  My companies are continually asked to donate
for various purposes.  And really all that they offer in return is a small
statement that we have supported them in something and of course helping in
a small way to the advancement of education/arts/culture.

I scanned and released Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and
hardly a day goes by when I don't get an email from someone thanking me for
releasing it on the web.  At one site I know that it has been downloaded
1800+ times in all six volumes.  Imagine if it was pluging a patron as well.
A couple of years ago McDonalds commissioned a book of poetry (Put together
by Dover) for teachers and students.  They gave them away.  It cost them
$100,000 and was part of their advertising campaign.  I give as Christmas
presents a CDR that has 4,357 zipped etexts on it.  I buy bulk CDR's and
cases and my cost of those are about 65 cents.  If you think about it there
are a lot of up sides to something along these lines.

David Reed