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master steward
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Most of the links go to threads with multiple study references.  

If you seek more information on a topic, you can always go to that thread and ask.
 
master steward
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I give this book 9.5 out of 10 acorns! Somehow I never managed to post my review here, though it was one of the first up at Amazon!

This book is full of ideas for cutting one's carbon footprint and saving money, and they're not the ones many of us have heard of before. They range from growing food (the most important suggestion) to community living, to heating more efficiently by heating the person not the place, to drying cloths on a clothesline, and a whole lot more! They're ways to save the word without having to battle the bad guys--we just starve them of their money and have a more awesome life in the process.

Paul and Shawn use the word "luxuriant" a lot. This isn't the kind of luxuiant that's had at other's expense, but rather just having a easier, more enjoyable life. I really appreciate the suggestions in this book--they're inspiring and there's something in this book that all of us can do right now, even if we can't do it all. Every little bit helps!

I had the honor of being one of the proofreaders of this book, and it is so awesome to see it "in the flesh," so to speak! The illustrations really pull it together! Being artistically inclined, I'm always a bit bummed when books are poorly illustrated and the illustrations distract rather than aid the book. The illustrations in this book add so much to it, keeping it fun and interesting and beautiful and helping explain concepts. I couldn't resist snapping a picture with a doll I'd made placed in the "put your face here" drawing!

 
paul wheaton
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Check out this lovely review!

https://www.ecolitbooks.com/2020/02/review-building-a-better-world-in-your-backyard/

 
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I gave the book to a friend of mine and today I got an email asking for another copy because...

B--- started leafing through it in my living room and couldn't put it down. I overheard her sharing with my dad all the things she learned in the book and how she was excited to work at decreasing their energy use. I believe that's what the writers intended.

 
paul wheaton
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Yowch!  Two one star reviews and several other poor reviews on goodreads has really brought the stars down.  And the most recent one I want to reply to and say "I think the problem is not with the book but with the reader."

 
paul wheaton
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I got an email this morning directing me to a review of the book.  Awesome possum!  And then I asked google if there has been anything else recently:  paydirt!

https://www.5acresandadream.com/2020/03/book-review-building-better-world-in.html

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/82839-new-titles-from-self-publishers-end-of-march-2020.html


Popped out to amazon ...   holding strong at 4.9 stars from 32 reviews!  Hot dog!

Audible is unchanged with 8 reviews and 4.5 stars.

Goodreads is down to 4.24 stars from 54 reviews.   A couple of recent reviews super HATED the book!  Wow!   I am comforted by the really good reviews and the fact that 4.24 on goodreads is REALLY good.  The Omnivore's Dilemma has 4.18 stars and Silent Spring has 3.97 stars.  



If anybody spots other reviews anywhere, I hope you will post a link here!

 
paul wheaton
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Several months ago somebody told me that I should pay for a kirkus review.  Apparently, once a kirkus review is done then other people can copy and paste that review knowing it is an independent review.  

I paid $375 on January 25 and got an email that said "Your Kirkus Indie review will be ready within 7-9 weeks".   I tried to check the status on March 20 only to discover that my account had been "deactivated".   A few emails to customer support ...  and then I get an email that says my review is ready to donwload ...   more emails to customer support "now my review is ready but I cannot see it."    On March 21 I get in, see the review, select the option for the review to be public and get an email with the link and a note saying "The cover for your book should appear live on our site in the next 24 hours. If it does not appear after that time period, please feel free to send me an e-mail with your cover, so that I may upload it on your behalf."  On March 23 the cover did not show up, so I sent an email with the cover attached.   On March 24 I sent an email "Is there anything else you need from me?"  On March 30 I sent an email "It has now been nine days and the cover is still not there." and two minutes later I get an email "Will you please send me a JPG of the cover and I'll upload it for you? Thanks!"  Two minutes after that I send the cover again.   This morning I send an email "Did you get my attached cover image?" and now it is finally up.  

So I paid Kirkus to review my book.  And now I have a bit of a review of kirkus.   But the real review of kirkus will be "does it get the word out about my book?"  If it gets the word out, then all this will be worth it.   Of course, I have now received an email from the kirkus sales team offering to take more of my money to tell people about my book.  I just cannot help but think that they will need me to look over the shoulder the whole way - on stuff I don't know how to look over their shoulder.  

Here it is:  the official link to the official paid for review:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/paul-wheaton/building-a-better-world-in-your-backyard-instead-o/

I invite you all to review the review.
 
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Wow?  I suppose my reaction to this review sucks because... I was prepared for professionalism?  Not sure really.  However reading it felt like yuck so here's my yuck in response.

A guide to living a life kinder to the environment offers solutions to everyday challenges.

as the first and last line of text for the review might be okay if it didn't sound borrowed from other readers' reviews; and if it read like a complete sentence.  

After reading other reviews on that page, at least discrimination doesn't appear to be a factor.  Kinda looks to me as if every customer is a potential victim of ignorant disapproval unless their views align with those of this reviewer.  It's a snotty sounding read that doesn't even rate as well as good high school level writing.

The tone and choice of words used with "pizza boxes", " Wheaton advocates keeping a home cold in winter", and "'rocket mass heater' device" conveys to me that the reviewer didn't read your book.

Maybe the reviewer has COVID-19.  Sounds tired and sick.  Or maybe it's a skill level.  Or apathy.  Who knows?

Indeed.com states:  

The average salary for "book reviewer" ranges from approximately $39,461 per year for Editorial Assistant to $55,798 per year for Managing Editor.


A friend, who is an established journalist, gets six figures a year at $2 a word to write review and opinion pieces that include about a few hours of research, possibly phone or face-to-face interview(s) to obtain statements about topics on which he is already well versed, and has about 30-ish years of direct field experience.  There are 365 words in this review, including the repeated first and last line.  At $375 for 365 words, you paid .973 cents a word for a review by a non-expert who appears less than professionally motivated to write an objective book review.  I suppose this is how some individuals get away with feigning a profession.

If I put a great deal of effort into writing that was misrepresented like this, whatever the cause may be, I would politely ask the reviewer to remove their crud review and look elsewhere.  Thanks but no thanks.
 
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I really liked this book .... except my Galactic Title was erroneously excluded. There will be repercussions. Can I advise you something? Us living in the tropics feel mighty left out. We need air cooling and food preservation techniques during the Big Wet or the Big Hot. What alternatives are there for purslane substitutes and poop beasts. I sincerely hope these omissions can be addressed in BBWB 2.0 .
 
paul wheaton
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For anybody that wishes to help with the contemplation of getting the book in the hands of one million people (or, eventually, 100 million people):

https://permies.com/t/135904/permaculture-writing/art/book-hands-million-people


 
pollinator
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

We just had presidential elections (results are coming in today) so reading this book now is almost like a therapy to me. I really don't want to be angry at the bad guy. Or at the voters who were motivated by fear and insecurity. Or at the bad sides of the good guy. And, I need to adjust to the upcoming sitiuation, which is going to be difficult for many. Some reviewers wrote that "Building a Better World in your Backyard" is for people who are new to permaculture; and while it is a great read for them, it's also interesting for me, although I've read a number of permaculture-related books already. It's especially great as a preparation for talking to anyone who is new to this concept. Paul has a lovely conversational style. I bet he's more than welcome at the fireplace when he's telling people all these stories. A lot of this forum's vibe shows through the book; that all kinds of people are invited, the most difficult topics are discussed, and failure is inevitable every now and then. I think this book is not exactly about homesteading. If someone has land, that's great, they can apply a lot of ideas. But if they don't, or don't want to, there is still a lot of advice, from food choices to transportation to electricity use.
I think that if more people had easy access to healthy food, and were surrounded by clean air and water, and could freely express their identity and safely protect their body, they wouldn't make choices based on fear and insecurity. And maybe there wouldn't be that many bad guys to be angry at.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I just found out about this! For all of you who aren't tired of Zoom meetings, you can join in on a Zoom meeting with Paul the magnificent about his book, Building a Better World in Your Backyard. Come with all your questions! It's August 10th, 2020!

Here's the link to Zero-Waste Chef who is hosting the Zoom meeting, She also wrote up a lovely review of Paul Wheaton's book.

And here's the direct link to get a ticket to the Zoom meeting

 
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I have a copy of the book. I noticed that Human Permaculture is at my local indy bookstore, but not Paul/Shawn's book. I'd already decided that I wasn't going to keep it. Most of the information is here and I'm here every day. I intend to "sell" the book to the bookstore and spread it around that way.

I owned a bookstore. I had we figured, approx. 100,000 books when I closed, 15 years ago. I've been shedding stock ever since. My support for this place and the ideas herein was that I ordered and paid for the book. I'd donate it to my local libary, but. But? My local librarian is known to not add books I give her for that purpose!

So, I have a suggestion, if you have extra copies or just want to spread the love? Ask your local library if they'd like a copy for the collection? Also, ASK the librarian to let you know when they do. Then you can talk about it with your neighbors and tell them about Permies and the book at the local library.

This has the happy consequence that it not only supports this effort, but the local library too.
 
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Rereading the book I noticed a potential typo today.  I thought I'd mention it, hopefully still in time before the second printing.

On page 98 in the section under hydro is the line "There is now less than 5% of the salmon remaining than used to be in the rivers in the Pacific Northwest..."  I'm wondering if that second "than" which I highlighted should perhaps be "that" instead?
 
pollinator
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TOTAL COST FOR "CANADIAN BUYERS"

For anyone wondering, as a Canadian who just purchased with the current preorder deal, paying with PayPal my 12 book order, including delivery is $166.67. That works out to less than $14 per book, WITH conversion to CDN funds.

I hope all my fellow Canadian will jump on this offer to not only support Paul and Permaculture in general; but to further spread the word by getting the book into many more hands.

I have obviously yet to receive the books so can offer no "personal" opinion on the contents... but based on others reviews, I can't wait for my order to be printed, shipped and delivered!

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
 
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Hello I'd like to buy 2 of your books for FRANCE. Is that 38$x2?Margaret
 
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From Book order at low price:

Hey Paul!!

Thanks for your info and enthused approach!!

I looked at the chapters review of your book:  It seems great for USA, Canada, Europe etc.  You know:  Where you can buy these things and have choices-

It just isn't like that where I live in Mexico.  

We live in masonry houses.  

If I could tweak your info to accommodate our local culture?  

We would help the world alot more, if we go permie NOW, instead of waiting until our incomes cause big companies to sell things to us.

We need devices to collect hot water for showers, passive heating, and gravity feed irrigation systems.

Could you help me adapt your materials for use here?

Big Plus:  Masonry homes, no zoning

Challenge:  Not always on water pressure, Don't want to use expensive electric, We don't spend out a bunch of money already.

Thanks!!

I am Tim

 
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Does purchases of e-book and audio book help with the bulk buy payment?
 
paul wheaton
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margaret charroy wrote:Hello I'd like to buy 2 of your books for FRANCE. Is that 38$x2?Margaret



I would have to say "yes".  Mostly because it is getting into an area that would require an hour or two of research to try and make it cheaper.   It is possible that amazon for europe would have a better deal.
 
paul wheaton
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Anne Cummings wrote:It just isn't like that where I live in Mexico.  



A lot of the book is geared for cold climate stuff - although one of our kickstarter backers wrote a bit of something for the book mentioning that she thinks it all applies in hawaii.  

To us, we felt that the worst offenders for global problems are in the colder climates.  
 
paul wheaton
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Alley Bate wrote:Does purchases of e-book and audio book help with the bulk buy payment?



Sorry, I don't understand the question.

Are you asking that if you buy an ebook, does it help me with the reprint?
 
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Hi there. I was trying to buy your book Building a better world via ebook and it says I can't because I already got it but I don't think I did. Is there a way to check and see if Stephanie Montalvo bought this book yet?
Thank you.
STephanie

 
Alley Bate
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paul wheaton wrote:

Sorry, I don't understand the question.

Are you asking that if you buy an ebook, does it help me with the reprint?



Yes, that's what I'm asking,
 
paul wheaton
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Stephanie Montalvo wrote:Hi there. I was trying to buy your book Building a better world via ebook and it says I can't because I already got it but I don't think I did. Is there a way to check and see if Stephanie Montalvo bought this book yet?
Thank you.
STephanie



I see that you own nothing here.  

If it says that again, can you post a screen capture please?
 
paul wheaton
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Alley Bate wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:

Sorry, I don't understand the question.

Are you asking that if you buy an ebook, does it help me with the reprint?



Yes, that's what I'm asking,



If you buy anything of mine, it helps with all of my projects!  Including the reprint!

 
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I am interested in the pre order books ( 3.30/ book).  
Please reply to herbaljr@yahoo.com
 
paul wheaton
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Jedan Siroa wrote:I am interested in the pre order books ( 3.30/ book).  
Please reply to herbaljr@yahoo.com



https://permies.com/t/147624

 
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Hi Paul. I ordered ten copies but haven't received them. Didn't know how else to reach you. Can you please email me or text or call? Thanks so much. Rachel Cooke racheluk@gmail.com or you might have my work email because of how I placed the order. 510-205-6860 I'm in Oakland, CA.
 
paul wheaton
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Rachel Cooke wrote:Hi Paul. I ordered ten copies but haven't received them. Didn't know how else to reach you. Can you please email me or text or call? Thanks so much. Rachel Cooke racheluk@gmail.com or you might have my work email because of how I placed the order. 510-205-6860 I'm in Oakland, CA.



Rachel, this took me a while to try to get figured out.  Please let me know if I have made any mistakes.

First I tried to find your order based on your email address, but found nothing.   Searching for your name revealed an order with the exact same name, but a different email address.  But it was for 12 books instead of 10.  Sound okay?

The order I see is for the bulk pre-order as described in this thread: https://permies.com/t/147624/World-Book-printing-pre-order

If I found the right order and this is you, then those books are waiting for the printer to print them.  Current estimates are that the books will be in my hands just before thanksgiving.  If, however, your needs are to get those books immediately, I can figure out an upgrade price to dip into the few books I have left from the first printing.
 
David Huang
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I'd give the book 10 out of 10 acorns.  I finally sat down and finished writing up my review of the book for my blog.  If you are interested you can check out the entire review here.  Because I also think this is a surpurb book for discussion groups I also wrote a companion blog post offering up a series of discussion questions anyone else is welcome to use.  My library book group was going to be discussing this book and I promised our group leader I'd get her the discussion questions.  Then Covid hit and everything has gone on hold.  I'm assuming that as some point we will still do this.  I hope so as I was really looking forward to hearing how "normal" people responded to the book.

Here is a portion of what I wrote in my review so you can get a sense of whether you want to read more:

Sometime in my childhood I seem to have taken on an environmentalist bent. I’m not sure quite when or why. It just seemed like the right thing to do and support, and still does. Thus, in my time I’ve read a lot of books, and watched hours upon hours of movies relating to this general genre. Despite all this information that has been out in the public sphere these past decades I’ve also watched things continue to decline. Who remembers the days when any sort of serious car trip involved stopping occasionally to scrape bug guts off the windshield so you could see out? When was the last time you REALLY needed to do that, and what does that say about the health of insect populations? If you’ve got enough years under your belt I imagine you can think of plenty of other similar examples yourself. So it would seem that all these past books and materials promoting environmental ideas haven’t been effective enough to overcome the increasing tides of destruction. Now here I am looking to review another book. Is yet one more going to be any different?

Perhaps another question would be how has past material tried to enact change? There would seem to be a lot of effort defining the problems, telling us about all the horrid things that are happening until it feels hopeless and overwhelming. Usually there is also a “villain” in the story, some evil corporation or a group of “those people” causing all the problems. These are the bad guys to fruitlessly protest or be angry at. The calls to personal action so often tend to involve buying the latest “green” gadget, in other words consuming more stuff. Those that are being more honest acknowledge a need to consume less, generally suggesting you diminish your quality of life in some way. So to sum it up the common formula is to present a problem to emotionally upset and alarm, then direct you to be angry at “those people”, and do your part to fix things by either buying more products and/or lowering your quality of life. Laid out like this is it any wonder the messaging has had limited appeal with more limited results?

Sometime back I helped promote the Kickstarter to raise money for printing and publishing the book, “Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys” by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop. At that point I hadn’t actually read the book, it just sounded like a really good idea. Quite a few of you agreed, supporting the Kickstarter along with me. The book did get published some time ago so it’s high time I wrote my personal review of it. Is it a good book or not? Did it really end up fundamentally different than all the ones that came before?

Well, the title alone should tell you that it’s not about “being angry at bad guys”. Are they instead just trying to sell you the next “green” thing? Well, I suppose you can say they are trying to sell their book. It’s kinda hard to publish a book and not seek to promote and sell it, especially if you really believe in its message and want to get it out to a wider audience. Still my take after reading this is that they are much more about helping you save money. In fact one section of the book is all about finding ways to generate wealth that would let you retire early. This is right along the lines of things I have written about here in some of my blog articles about reducing your needs so minimal income streams can easily meet them.

That probably sounds a lot like diminishing your quality of life doesn’t it? Well the authors actually like to call their approach luxuriant environmentalism. They even recommended turning UP the temperature on your water heater!! They aren’t suggesting you be cold in winter either, or give up having a car. They’d like you be able to have a swimming pool, a lush lawn you neighbors would envy, and tons of fresh nutritious food grown with a fraction of the effort normally spent on gardening. Combined with ample free time and a steady stream of income ample enough to meet your needs hopefully this is now sounding more like a luxuriant lifestyle rather than deprivation. Is this sounding like a book fundamentally different than most environmental books now?

At this point you might be thinking it’s really a crappy book as far as helping the environment is concerned. Sort of like how a chocolate chip cookie diet sounds wonderful to be on, but really fails if your goal is to actually lose weight. I promise you this book really is focused on trying to not just reduce our global problems but to actually solve them. In fact, on the back cover they state, “If 20% of the population implemented half the solutions in this book, it would solve the biggest global problems.” It’s hard for me to say if this is really true or not, but seems it would certainly have a reasonable chance...
 
David Huang
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I wanted to post the discussion questions I made up for this book somewhere here too in case others are interested.  This thread seems like a good enough place.  Here they are.  If you don't like them feel free to make or add your own!  :)  

Here are some of the reasons I think this would be great for book groups too.   It is relatively short, easy, and entertaining to read. The authors prime intended audience are those with little to no experience with ecological/environmental matters though I feel it would of useful interest to those more versed in the subject too. This should help make it appropriate for all that might be a part of such book groups. The material covers a wide range of subject matter offering many ways for everyone to connect to it. I would anticipate lively conversations sparked by the book. As an added bonus the book can be bought by the dozen for a discounted price, perfect for groups!

Ok, here are the discussion questions.


1. – In the first chapter the authors state, “This book is one massive, steaming pile of my opinion. Well, our opinion.” Were there parts where you strongly disagreed with them? Did you strongly agree with them in other areas?

2. – They present a case that for lighting in cold climates if you look at the broader systems beyond just electricity consumption such as embodied energy in manufacturing, home heating, and the toxic materials involved, incandescent bulbs can be “greener” than CFLs or LED bulbs. What do you think about this? Can you think of other instances in the book where broader systems thinking was applied?

3. – In the section on the Wheaton Eco Scale they observe, “that most people find folks one or two levels above them to be pretty cool. But people three levels up seem a bit nutty. People four or five levels up seem downright crazy. And people six levels up should probably be institutionalized for their own safety and the safety of those around them.” Does this observation ring true to you? Can you think of anyone in your life this might apply to? How many of the ideas they presented seemed “nutty”, “crazy”, or worth being “institutionalized” for?

4. – The authors present a lot of different ideas of things people could do throughout the book in a wide range of areas. Are you already doing any of the things mentioned in this book? What idea surprised you the most? Is there something new you are inspired to try after reading this book?

5. – Dandelions keep popping up throughout the book. In particular when discussing the different levels of the Wheaton Eco Scale. How would you describe your relationship with dandelions? Do you think this will change after reading the book?

6. – Chapter 10 – Radically Deviant Financial Strategies starts with the line, “You have my permission to cackle wildly if you happen to implement any of these techniques.” Was there any wild cackling in the room after reading it? If so, what strategies do you already use? Are there any you’d like to try?

7. – In chapter 14 – More People Living Under One Roof Without Stabbing Each Other they note that this “has the potential to have the largest, most positive impact”. There could be many large benefits to community living both for the larger environment and for ones personal life. However, the authors also recognize that there are many potential downsides too, noting that if your approach “is dependent on people in the house being decent, you will learn the ugly truth: people are human.” Have you ever experience any sort of community living through dorms in college, having roommates in an apartment, living with a large/extended family, being part of an actual commune, or some other variation? What are some of the potential benefits of living with others? What have you experienced the downsides to be? Do you have any ideas of how to “turn the volume up on the benefits and down on the drama”?

8. – Chapter 19 lists twenty things to do with sticks that fall in your yard besides feeding them to “a wood eating, fire breathing monster named Chipper” or putting them out on the curb to be hauled away. How many of the 20 have you done? Did you see any new uses that would work in your specific situation? Can you think of some other good ways to use such material to transform it into a resource instead of a waste stream?

9. – The book talks quite a bit about “wrestling with poop beasts,” presenting and comparing many of the different approaches to dealing with the everyday reality of urine and fecal matter. How many of the different “poop contraptions” listed on page 119 have you used? Have you ever used any of the ones they rated highest in their chart on page 120? If so, what was your general experience with them?

10. – A substantial portion of the book deals with food production in some way. Did you get any new insights from all these ideas and observations? If you already grow/raise some of your own food are there any new techniques you want to try? If you don’t already grow/raise any of your food are you inspired to start?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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I am currently awaiting my shipment of 12 books. I have many thoughts for distributing them, one being to appropriate members in the community that might be able to present the ideas to the greater community - such as elected officials.  

Any ideas on whom in a community development or elected official capacity would be the most appropriate?

Secondly, would providing copies to local media be appropriate - perhaps allowing for broader distribution of the concepts within the book?

Does anyone have ideas on which parties would be most beneficial in promoting either the book or it's concepts to a broader audience?

I believe the book was said to be available on Amazon. When distributing the books should purchasing options be offered, and if so is it better to have them pursue membership in Permies, or better to show a link on Amazon?
 
paul wheaton
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Any ideas on whom in a community development or elected official capacity would be the most appropriate?



I tried to give a lot away in missoula.  I have heard nothing back from any of those peeps.  Not sure what came of it.


Secondly, would providing copies to local media be appropriate - perhaps allowing for broader distribution of the concepts within the book?



Shawn did that with GREAT results!  I think it is a great idea.


Does anyone have ideas on which parties would be most beneficial in promoting either the book or it's concepts to a broader audience?



I would also like to hear answers to this.

One thing that I thought was kinda fun - was going to several micro libraries and putting a copy in there.  You can get a list of your local libraries here:  https://littlefreelibrary.org/


I believe the book was said to be available on Amazon. When distributing the books should purchasing options be offered, and if so is it better to have them pursue membership in Permies, or better to show a link on Amazon?



100% of amazon income (and headaches) go to shawn.   100% of direct income (and headaches) goes to me.  Amazon offers a rather dodgy affiliate program which used be reliable and substantial - at around 5%.  Permies has a transparent affiliate program wired for a 50% affiliate fee:  https://permies.com/bwb


 
Lorinne Anderson
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Would one have to join Permies, to purchase the book? Would one use that link you left, Paul, to steer a book buyer to permies
 
paul wheaton
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Would one have to join Permies, to purchase the book? Would one use that link you left, Paul, to steer a book buyer to permies



If they buy the ebook or the audiobook here on permies, then, yes.

I am not absolutely certain, but I think a person can buy the physical book without creating a permies account. So in that respect, we would be better than amazon.
 
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