$4 to $1: An FAQ of Sorts

In case you hadn’t heard, I’m running an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to underwrite a three-book project:

  • $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14): Libraries by Size
  • $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14): Libraries by State
  • A Library Is…: A Collection of Public Library Mottoes and Slogans

The project is discussed in more detail here; some additional information about the campaign is here.

They say you need to keep telling people more and more about crowdfunding campaigns…especially ones that aren’t taking off with the velocity of, say, the LibraryBox Kickstarter campaign.

So, for now, here’s an FAQ of sorts about the project, where it stands and related issues.

How’s it going?

You can check by going to the campaign itself. As of this writing, not so well. That could change, of course.

What happens if it fails?

  • The Libraries by Size book will probably happen, maybe, but will also probably be a little more expensive.
  • The Libraries by State book, which is of more interest as a look at the diversity of America’s libraries than it is as a tool, might not happen at all. If it does, it will be significantly more expensive.
  • A Library Is… will almost certainly happen. I’d either offer it as a perk for significant contributions to Cites & Insights, offer it on its own as an ebook (and maybe a paperback), or both. (Hey, I’ve gone through some 5,000 libraries, with around 4,200 left to go–all serving fewer than 10,000 people. It’s turning out to be as interesting as I thought.)

What happens if it succeeds?

  • That’s pretty much spelled out in the various goal levels. Even at the minimal $2,500, completion of all three books is guaranteed–and quite a few of them would be “presold,” since they’re offered as perks for any contribution of $12 or higher.
  • The books would be less expensive than otherwise, maybe even free in some cases.
  • I’d be thankful and happy and resolved to do the best possible job.

Does this project replace Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13)?

No. That book–and the related Graphing Public Library Benefits¬† and commentary in Cites & Insights–offer a more detailed picture of a single year, 2010, but split across several resources.

The new project offers less detail (for libraries by size) but a richer and more integrated view, and looks at both measures for 2011 and changes from 2009 to 2011.

What might happen to Give Us a Dollar…: I’m toying with the idea of combining the three resources (essentially cutting-and-pasting between various Word files, with minimal new editing) into either a single huge ebook combining tables, graphs and commentary, or two huge ebooks (one by size, one by states). If I do that, the new item would only be available in two forms: ebook(s) and campus/state-licensed ebook(s), where I explicitly say the ebook(s) can be loaded onto a server for a campus (including distance students), single-state consortium or state, with no controls on simultaneous usage. I’d take the Lulu ebook version of the current book out of print; the print version and the Amazon/Createspace ebook version would continue to be available. Modified 7/11/13: I’d forgotten that the Graphing book didn’t include Chapter 20, so the only feasible version would be one humongous ebook, probably around 570 pages. It’s not feasible to offer a print version because the spending-segment graphs require color to make sense–and a 570-page color Lulu book would cost around $118 per copy to produce (since printing costs would be $0.20 per page rather than $0.02 per page, and you can’t have part-color).

What About The Big Deal and the Damage Done?

No direct effect, although the (very mild so far) success of that book’s “campus license edition” will guide me in future ventures.

I’m 99% certain there is not going to be an unglue.it campaign for this book, for several reasons (including stalled requests, as far as I can tell); I believe the campus license edition fills the need that the unglue.it campaign might have filled without requiring me to try to come up with yet another high-profile campaign and new perks.

Will there be a next edition of that book including 2012 data?

Probably and probably not. There will probably be something–in mid-2014, if all goes well–but it may not be a self-published book. The current book should continue to be valuable.

Hope this helps. If you think it’s a worthwhile project, please publicize it, support it or both!

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