Thursday, March 7, 2013

I trust you completely: sharing "What's up with Catalonia?"

Dear Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis reader:
I hope you're not anxious about my preoccupation with Catalonia. Remember that everything I learn as I edit and publish these books later comes back as dividends for this blog, and the independent and digital publishing communities. That is, everything I am learning, I'll explain here.

I'll begin by telling you about a new phase in my digital publishing life: sharing files. I have just made the electronic versions of my new book, What's up with Catalonia?—my new book on Catalonia's push for independence, written by 35 experts, for a English-speaking audience—freely available on Catalona Press' website.

You can also download them here:

EPUB | Kindle/Mobi | PDF

(Note that I did make special versions with extended explanations about the licensing scheme. I hate forking ebooks, for just this reason, but I think it was important to explain the new system.)

I've never been a fan or user of DRM on my own computer-related ebooks, but this is the first time that I am explicitly allowing people to make copies of one of my books in order to share them with friends and acquaintances. You might say I'm crazy, on that I've simply written off any hope of selling the book, but I believe (and hope) that neither of those ideas is correct.

To begin with, since we've been making books, people have shared them. Digital publishing has not changed that, indeed it makes it easier. That spreads fear in the hearts of big publishers but it shouldn't. We often find out about books that we want to read through the books that our friends have lent us. My idea is that if you share "What's up with Catalonia?" with a friend, it's a way of spreading the word about my book, and perhaps they will also support the book.

Because I do ask for financial support for the book. That someone copies the book doesn't mean they can't or won't buy it. Please, buy it! The writers and I have worked hard to create it and the more copies we sell, the more resources we'll have for writing sequels. There's a lot of work to do.

And of course, I'm not the only one who does this. Look at Cory Doctorow, a novelist who has posted all of his novels online, several of which I've downloaded, and then subsequently bought multiple copies of in paper—as gifts, or to share with non e-reading friends. Or Amanda Palmer, who just released a totally inspiring Ted talk in which she describes her million dollar crowdfunding campaign as "We made an art out of asking people to help us, and join us."

I don't have to make people buy this book. I can simply ask.

Right now you can find the book in paper in a few Barcelona bookstores: Botiga Vilaweb (Ferlandina, 43), Llibreries Laie (Pau Clàris, 85, and at the Park Güell, Pedrera, and Picasso Museum stores), Llibreria Îndex in Vilassar de Mar, and soon, in the bookstores that belong to the Bestiari cooperative.

Online, you can find the book in paper and electronic formats at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | | | | | Amazon Canada | Amazon Brazil | Amazon Japan

Barnes & Noble

Apple iBookstore

• or see Catalonia Press for an updated list.

I also created a Paypal button where I can accept donations in any amount, and I will dedicate that money to sending copies of the book to public libraries, politicians, business leaders, university professors, or anyone else who asks for a donation of the book, or to translating and editing new editions of this book or others about Catalonia.

I've been nervous about trying this up until now, I admit. But since a lot of the objective with this book is to share information about Catalonia, it seemed a perfect time to experiment. I'll be watching sales and comparing them and I'll let you know how it works.

Next article: Crowdfunding on two continents

More of my books