Paul, or any other members who have extensive knowledge about different aspects of permaculture and/or self sufficiency:
I'm writing a dual series of novellas set in a post apocalyptic world, told in first person from the POV of a young boy in one, and a young girl in the other. The novellas will be intensely character driven. In these characters' wanderings across a devastated America, they'll be coming across communities and individuals who are surviving using a number of different off-grid energy sources, food growing techniques, and building methods. These characters are going to be showing YA readers these methods we talk about on these forums.
The way I figure it, exposing young adults to the possibilities of a change in the way this world operates would be a good thing because these kids will be adults soon, ready to make their mark. They won't learn about this in public schools, that's for sure. If they know about sustainable
energy production, sustainable food production, and alternatives to the way we do things now, some of them just might go on to lead the way toward change in years to come.
The post apocalyptic setting should be perfect to show these methods. Monsanto is no longer a corporation, though the effects of their GMO crap, I mean crops, in the aftermath will be severely felt by many of the characters. Corporations no longer exist. Money is history. Barter is the main currency. Oil and coal, while still around, will no longer be an option for many. In this series, I'll get to show the way things could be if we had the chance to start over and do it right this time. Yes, there will be action and romance and drama galore. That's just good storytelling. But, these technologies and methods will play heavily in the identity of these towns and individuals surviving without the system we now have in place.
Writing for young adults does not mean young adults are the only readers. Twilight and The Hunger Games, two popular YA novels, have a massive following of adults. The kids' parents frequently read YA books to see what their kids are reading. Sometimes they get hooked, too. Adults reading YA titles is a growing trend.
What does that have to do with you all? Well, I'm going to write non-fiction books featuring these technologies and methods shown in the novellas. I want any series readers interested in knowing how to use these methods they saw in the series to have access to how-to books clearly explaining them well enough for the reader to use them if they want.
I'd be more than happy to have co-authors for the non-fiction books and split the profits from those non-fiction books. 50/50.
I'll write it from detailed research notes you send me if you don't want to do the actual book writing part, though I'd rather you at least tried so I have a skeleton to build upon. I'll need people with extensive knowledge about the methods and tech shown in the novellas. This isn't a free ride. You'll have to know your subject backwards and forward and be able to answer my questions about it competently. If you can't take someone with zero knowledge to a place where they could actually accomplish the subject of the book at home, you don't have enough knowledge for this.
I already have a few members in mind to tap for info, and possibly to co-author a book or two if they're interested. But, I've got a ton of subjects to tackle and many of you know more than I do about specific aspects of permaculture and self sufficiency.
Some subjects I will try to work into these novellas are:
plants as alternatives to modern medicines. Need the real deal, here. I'm not knowledgable about this.
Alternative energy, big time. Gasifiers, steam engines, solar
, wind, hydro, biomass, fuel alcohol, ect...
Rocket stoves and heaters. Heck, Paul can even be the character who teaches one of the kids to build one, if he wants. In the non-fic on rocket stoves, we can lead readers right to his rocket mass heater
videos, if he would like. The non-fic on RMS might help drive sales for the project
he's working on now.
Food production, big time. Container gardening
, growing crops in fields, growing food at the home level, growing sprouts as supplemental fresh food when crops aren't available, gathering wild edibles
, raising small and large livestock, ect... And yeah, I'll be dealing with raising bugs for food at some point. It's too gross to pass up, from a fiction writer's POV. Never underestimate the power of the gross out. The kids will love it.
Transportation. Bicycle, vehicles & farming equipment running on biofuels and waste oil, steam engine vehicles/electric vehicles, animal drawn wagons, ultralights, sailboats...whatever gets them from point A to point B without oil or coal or grid-fed electricity.
Water purification and irrigation. Desalination, wells
, rain catchment, dehumidifiers condensing water from air,..you get the picture. Water is # 2 on the survival list, right behind air. It has to play a major part in the survivors' lives.
Alternative construction of buildings. COB
, earth bag, log cabins, RV's, houseboats, underground
structures...they'll be traveling through different climates coast to coast, so different construction methods will be called for in different locations.
Survival methods & tech. Too many to list. I'm fairly well versed in this, myself.
Day to day tasks. Washing clothes, cooking, cleaning, ect... All without oil/coal power. Either by hand or using alternative energy listed above.
Government setups. Some of these towns will have different types of "government.". From socialism to dictatorships, the kids will probably come across it. If you think you have something better than we have now, this would be your chance to express that, if you like. If we have an expert in the house, I'd like to talk with you.
I'm familiar with most of these subjects to one degree or another, but no expert on all of them. Co-authoring would allow me to focus more on writing & less on researching all the finer details. Non-fic books will push the novellas and the novellas will push the non-fic books. This is where most of the sales will come from, if this series works well. Each novella should feature at least 3 non-fiction book's worth of subject matter.
As you can see, my plan is ambitious and this will take years. If I can write the series well, the non-fic books should also sell well. If I suck, nothing will sell well. Readers will make that call. I am a published author, though that was years ago, before Amazon Kindle ebooks became so popular. It's no guarantee the series will sell well, but it is evidence I might not suck, should you want to take a chance and co-author a manual or two with me.
BTW, a short story of mine is for sale on Amazon in an anthology titled 'Women Behaving Badly.' Mine is on page 88 and my character behaves pretty badly. I don't make a dime if any of you buy it, but it would show a sample of my published writing. My flash-fiction story in that paperback anthology is titled, 'A Perfect Family Dinner.' It kicks ass and stands out from all the other stories in its own way. One of the reviewers mentioned mine specifically in the anthology's review, which was pretty darn cool. The anthology has several outstanding short stories by some incredibly talented authors and is worth the money, in my opinion.
The non-fic books will go up immediately after each novella. This won't happen tomorrow or next week, but I should be able to add a new novella in the series once every 6 weeks. (Will be done in 4 weeks, leaving me 2 weeks to organize the info & write the non-fics. I intend to use a fairly standard format to structure the Non-fic books. These novellas will be 50,000-70,000 words, not full novels, and sell at $2.99. I frequently hit 7,000 to 10,000 words per day in my writing and I work from a detailed outline. I can maintain that publication schedule. If I have all the necessary info for the non-fic mostly organized, I can finish them within days. The non-fics will be long enough to get the info to the reader & sell for whatever price seems fair. Price for non-fics should be related to length. The non-fics will not be dry and boring. My voice will be apparent. I am extremely enthusiastic about writing this and that will come through.
I don't know if this will work well or not. I've never seen an author tie his/her non- fic books so closely with a series. I think Tom Clancy wrote a non-fic on submarines after he wrote, 'The Hunt For Red October.' Don't know how well that one sold.
This is an opportunity for residual sales. Both the series & non-fic manuals can be advertised at permaculture, preparedness/survivalist, gardening, and book review
sites. YouTube videos will also be made to push the books, so the advertising will be automated and working as the years pass to hopefully continue driving sales.
There is no reason you can't go ahead and write other non-fic manuals or books of your own, as well. We'll mention your other books in the book you co-author with me, along with my series, of course. Set up your own author page and we'll invite readers to visit you. If you have a product to sell, put it on your page.
No, I'm not sure exactly how to get half the profits to automatically deposit into your bank account. But, many books are co-authored, so there has to be a way. Amazon can be set to automatically deposit into a bank account each week or when a certain amount of $ has accumulated. We'll just have to figure out how to get half into each account.
I will handle putting it up for sale on Amazon.
I see folks here bitch about society not understanding the importance of sustainability and careening toward big problems from using oil & coal, depending on foreign crops delivered to grocery stores, GMO crops, mono crop farming, ect. I am one of them at times. If you want to actually do something about it, here's your chance to educate people.