The Big Deal and the Damage Done: If it’s worthwhile, spread the word

The second half of this post’s title really applies equally well to Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13) and specific issues of Cites & Insights (or C&I in general), although in this case I’m posting about The Big Deal and the Damage Done:

If you think it’s worthwhile, spread the word.

Tell other people about it on your blog. Spread the word on appropriate lists (whether the lists use Listserv software or an alternative). Tweet about it. Comment at Facebook. Whatever.

I’m pretty good at analysis, synthesis, writing and layout. I’m pretty lousy at self-promotion, entrepreneurial activity, and drumbeating. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to keep touting my stuff more than once (per publication) on any given list, especially not one like PUBLIB. I really don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to join lists where I have no natural nexus just so that I can post ads for publications.

If you think it’s worthwhile, spread the word.

I’ve done my part. The books are priced very modestly by library-book standards and by most standards–$9.99 in both cases for the PDF ebook; under $20 for each paperback (the difference in price is based on length of the book and, thus, production costs).

As for C&I, it’s free–but if you think it’s worthwhile and find it valuable, you could join the half-dozen or so (this year) who’ve actually contributed to it. The Paypal donation link’s right there on the home page.

Of course, if you think the books are worthless trash or seriously flawed, you should probably say so–and maybe say what’s wrong, if it’s something fixable in a future edition.

If the flaw is that they’re not free, there’s not a lot I can do about that; if they need to be free to be “worthwhile,” then they’re not really worthwhile, are they?

Oh, and if you want one of my books to be available to students and others? The PDF versions never have DRM. They never did. (Lulu doesn’t even allow it any more, for which they deserve kudos.)

Want to put an e-copy on reserve? Be my guest.

Want to make it available on a one-at-a-time basis on your own ebook server? Be my guest.

Want to make it available on an unlimited basis within your own institution? I’ll ask you to behave fairly and ethically–and if that means buying four e-copies as an appropriate “price,” well, I’m not litigious in this area–not even close.

(One non-US institution asked about that; I provided an explicit permission to mount the ebook on an unlimited basis if they purchased four copies. I ask for a fair shake; obviously, if each major U.S. academic library purchased four e-copies, I’d be more than happy… On the other hand, if one person buys an e-copy, mounts it and says “Go ahead! Free for all!” that’s flat-out unethical. I’ll certainly object, even if I probably wouldn’t sue. You’re saying that my labor is explicitly worthless; I don’t appreciate that.)

I believe the new book raises important issues and provides important information in a way that hasn’t been done before. If you agree…well, you know the refrain.

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