About Me

My photo
Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What you can do to support this site...

... or other sites where I post (given that I'm now posting a lot of my lengthier thoughts at Talking Philosophy these days).

I'm very loath to do anything to commercialise this site and to make you put up with advertisements. Yech! Also, I am loath to ask for monetary contributions from readers. There's no "Donate" button here and there never will be. Given the relatively unimpressive amounts of money that I actually make from writing and editing, I wouldn't feel too much compunction about asking for donations to support my work, but fuck that. It's too much trouble all round.

Here's a couple of things you can do. 1) If you have any influence at all on publishers, get them to send me review copies of books that I would probably want to read and review. This definitely applies to authors who read this site.

That doesn't mean barraging me with books that are self-published or from vanity presses. Sorry, I probably won't be able to get to them. But I'd love to receive review copies of the important new books that come out in the fields that I'm interested in, and help shape the relevant debates. E.g., the new Sam Harris book on free will or the latest book by Richard Dawkins or A.C. Grayling or, on the other hand, Alvin Plantinga. My local (council and university) libraries are unlikely to want to get in all the stuff that I want to read, which means that I end up buying most of it myself, which becomes quite a big expense even if I were to get everything on Kindle.

Anything that is sent to me as a review copy is likely to receive a thoughtful review ... and probably somewhere with a bigger profile than this blog.

2) If you do read one of my books - any of them, whether it's 50 Voices of Disbelief, Freedom of Religion and the Secular State, or Kong Reborn, or something else - and you enjoy it, please consider saying so and spreading the word. One good place to say so is on Amazon, where you can write a review and give a ranking. But anywhere on the internet really helps.

I do have an academic research position, but it's an honorary one. I basically live on some very modest investments, plus whatever I can make from writing and editing. This generates some actual money but nowhere near enough to live on (to be blunt, we're talking about maybe thousands of dollars per year from my writing and editing work, but not tens of thousands, except for one year nearly a decade ago now, let alone hundreds of thousands).

So ... I can brush up my skills and go back into legal practice or alternatively I can do a lot more university teaching (I've avoided doing any for the last two and a bit years, but I'm competent at it). Or I can sell enough copies of these books to make something more like a real income!

Please note that I haven't asked you to buy the books if you weren't going to, anyway. People can afford what they can afford, and everyone has financial priorities - and times are pretty tough for lots of people (much tougher for a lot of you, I'm sure, than they are for me). But the above will make some real difference to the viability of this site and my activities more generally, without me pestering anyone for donations.

Please consider.

1 comment:

Steve Zara said...

"Please note that I haven't asked you to buy the books if you weren't going to, anyway."

I don't care. I have purchased an additional Kindle copy of "50 Voices", for convenience, and I have pre-ordered "Freedom of Religion". I would "donate" to this site if such a thing were set up. I could say flattering things about why, but I'm sure you know all those!