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Market Research

The economy is tanking, and my family (like everyone else’s, I know) is suffering alongside. This blog and all content therein is (and will remain) free. The upkeep (domain name) is not free, however. This means that I am devoting a significant portion of my time to writing and maintaining fresh content on a resource from which I derive no income and actually costs me a nominal amount of money annually to maintain.

In order to keep doing this, I must generate at least some revenue from this venture. Although I have set up a way to receive donations, which has generated some interest, no donations are coming in. After careful consideration, I have decided that producing e-books is the best way to continue this ministry.

That does not mean that I’m shutting down the blog or that I will begin to charge for reading it. Far from. I will continue to update the blog, hopefully as much (or more) as I already do. I want this resource to remain free.

However, I would like to produce e-books in addition to what I’m already doing here. These e-books will both be original as well as expansions of past articles. I have numerous ideas, but I need to focus my efforts where they will do the most good. As such, I have constructed a poll. What follows are all of my ideas for e-books so far. I would like you, the reader, to vote on the ones that you would be most interested in reading.

If you have any questions, send me an e-mail or comment below for all to see.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on August 5, 2010, in Site News and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m sure that the most common reason that people would tick the final choice in this poll (which at this time is the most popular answer) is for reasons of credentials. I’m not a religious scholar, just a blogger with an opinion.

    However, all the nay-sayers who believe that I have nothing to offer since I have no academic credentials in religion probably have read The Christian Delusion, or are at least considering reading it. They believe that it is written by scholars–experts in their fields. Not so. That particular individual has written a scathing commentary about how the Bible doesn’t hold up under the scrutiny of modern scholarship. Interesting subject matter for an electrical engineer and MBA marketing manager!

    You’ll buy his stuff on religion. Why not mine?

  2. There are a few things that interest me about this post. Although I am not a strict follower or even a fan of your blogs, I stumbled upon this post. Your general statement that the economy is tanking is indeed true. However, it is illogical that your solution to this is to ask for donations and write ebooks. I’m presuming you ministry is already a 501c3 charitable organization and therefore registered to accept donations. However, if you are not, you could potentially open yourself to an FCC Fraud Litigation. Further, do you understand how ebooks work? They are already published books that are put into electronic form, and thus able to be accessed and sold via the internet and the ever popular electronic book readers. Therefore, you need a publisher and some interest before you can just write something. I think maybe the more logical solution to the economy issue and resulting lack of income that you face would be to pursue an additional job, wouldn’t you?

    • First, I am enrolling in classes to become an STNA, which makes almost three times my current wage. That is my first solution to the problem of not having enough money. Marketing e-books is my secondary solution. As the STNA idea wasn’t particularly relevant to this post, I didn’t mention it.

      Second, it is you who do not understand how e-books work. Undoubtedly, the e-books that you are most familiar with are electronic versions of existing published material, but it is possible to market an e-book without a traditional publisher behind you. There are numerous ways to do this. This type of e-book generally sells for a higher list price than a typical hardcover book of comparable value and content, and thus the author receives a much higher royalty. Additionally, there are print-on-demand sites that assist with marketing, converting a standard PDF e-book into formats compatible with most e-readers and allowing you to sell bound hardcover or paperback book versions should the customer desire one.

      Familiarize yourself with Bob Bly (“America’s Top Copywriter”), Shaun Fawcett, Steven Schniederman, Scott and Andrew of E-book Developers Association, and others. These guys all sell e-books that were never traditionally published.

      I’m realistic enough to know that the e-books may not sell, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least give it a shot. I’ve been running this blog and putting out other free apologetics resources since 2006. My websites have some degree of popularity and have generated a fair amount of conversation, both here and on other sites.

      You, and others, have no problem consuming and discussing my information when it’s free. Why does everyone suddenly throw ten fits when I contemplate charging for some material? I’m only considering this as one possibility. I’m not even for certain that I’m going to do this. Right now, I’m just seeing what topics interest people!

    • One additional thing, and I’m sorry if this comes off as rude or defensive: You are a stranger; you don’t know me, my life, or my family. Don’t you ever come on my blog again and tell me to get another job, or (to steal a line from Harry Potter) I’ll ban you faster than you can say Quidditch. As I said in the previous comment, I am pursuing other options right now.

      And yes, the final sentence of your comment did offend me. It is especially annoying when, in the body of your comment, you proved to me that you have no clue what you’re talking about. I’ve researched the publishing industry for many years, toying with the idea of becoming a freelance writer. You obviously have not; you don’t even know that an e-book can be a separate entity from a traditional print-and-bound book.

      Am I a 501(c)3 nonprofit? NO, but I know of at least one organization that isn’t but they have no shortage of donations. Last I heard (November 21, 2009), the Rational Response Squad hadn’t registered as a nonprofit, but they directly accept member donations as if they were such an entity. Why don’t you jet over to their forums and give them some of your free legal advice, too?

  3. First off, in your initial post you made your financial situation seem urgent, and the process of getting books published is a lengthy one. You also made no mention of other paths that you are pursuing towards ending your financial burden. My constructive solution was taken out of context and you became defensive in your response.

    Secondly, I am in no way “throwing a fit” about you placing a charge on your website. I say go for it and see what happens.

    Furthermore, I do understand how ebooks work, and without notoriety or credentials, your books will NOT sell. A blog or 12 is not enough to gain any recognition or even true interest in the realm of literature. Everyone toys with ideas such as becoming a fireman or the president, or in your case a freelance writer. But eventually the “toying” needs to be changed to “educating” oneself and being more constructive with their time, as opposed to wasting it on a blog.

    Your inflated ego is making you respond to this comment in a very defensive and irrational way. I’ve seen other comments you’ve left, telling others that their comments are just plain wrong and even stupid. If you are actually considering entering the field of literature, there needs to be at least a slightly humble edge to you. As you stated, you lack credentials, and therefore are an amateur. I will pursue information through people who have actually obtained the required credentials and earned notoriety.

    If you were to ban me from this website, you’re proving that you only want comments on this site that agree with you as opposed to any comments that just may indeed challenge you. I wish you luck.

    Jonathan

    • First off, in your initial post you made your financial situation seem urgent, and the process of getting books published is a lengthy one. You also made no mention of other paths that you are pursuing towards ending your financial burden. My constructive solution was taken out of context and you became defensive in your response.

      Your “constructive” solution was both unwelcome and offensive. I am pursuing other options. I only put information that I deemed relevant to the blog in my post.

      Secondly, I am in no way “throwing a fit” about you placing a charge on your website. I say go for it and see what happens.

      I’m not putting a charge on my website. I’m considering charging for some supplemental material. I think that it is only fair, since I do spend quite a bit of time preparing material. Other lay apologists with no relevant degrees do the same thing and money doing it. J.P. Holding (master’s degree in library science), Dave Armstrong (BA in sociology; openly admits to no formal theological training), and James White (unaccredited theology doctrorate–worth essentially the paper it is printed on) are all prime examples. White actually has 28 traditionally published books and a LOT of moderated debates with scholars that do possess accredited degrees.

      I have the utmost respect for each of the men I mentioned. I read their material. I reference Holding and White liberally. Armstrong has an upcoming blog series that I’m anxiously awaiting on the dependence modern science has on Christianity. Bottom line, these guys all have something intelligent to offer in the debate over the existence of God. I am so not trying to sing my own praises, but I think that I also have something to offer in that department, and I see nothing wrong with trying to make some money in the process.

      Furthermore, I do understand how ebooks work, and without notoriety or credentials, your books will NOT sell. A blog or 12 is not enough to gain any recognition or even true interest in the realm of literature. Everyone toys with ideas such as becoming a fireman or the president, or in your case a freelance writer. But eventually the “toying” needs to be changed to “educating” oneself and being more constructive with their time, as opposed to wasting it on a blog.

      You don’t understand how e-books work. Quit pretending that you do. You didn’t bother following up with the book marketing gurus that I told you about. Selling books relies a lot on the author’s ability to market them effectively, something that I’m looking into with great interest. I’ve been educating myself for quite some time to become an effective freelance writer without being serious about it. Now I’m getting serious about it, and the first thing to do is to try to sell writing, instead of giving it all away for free. I’m looking at services that offer pay for web content, I’m checking out the legal requirements to set up a freelance business in my state (e.g., do I need a license?), and I’m looking into what professional organizations that I should be a member of.

      A blog isn’t enough to gain enough notoriety for selling books? Really? Now you’ve shown me that you’re clueless about publishing. To name but a few, Nick Douglas, Pamela Slim, Walker Lamond, Matthew Gasteier, Jessica Amason, Christian Lander, and Jennifer Fulwiler all received book deals solely on the strength of their blogs. It is quite common for literary agents to look for new talent by trolling blogs.

      Your inflated ego is making you respond to this comment in a very defensive and irrational way. I’ve seen other comments you’ve left, telling others that their comments are just plain wrong and even stupid. If you are actually considering entering the field of literature, there needs to be at least a slightly humble edge to you. As you stated, you lack credentials, and therefore are an amateur. I will pursue information through people who have actually obtained the required credentials and earned notoriety.

      I agre to being defensive, but I’m not acting irrational. Your comment was very unwelcome, not to mention highly offensive. I don’t need career advice from you. You are not in possession of the full picture, so any advice you have would be, at worst, counterproductive to my situation.

      I am trying to get away from being a complete ass when I respond to comments left on my blog, and I think that I have gotten considerably better recent exchanges. However, I see nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. If someone makes a stupid comment, or is indeed wrong, why am I the bad guy for saying that the comment was stupid and/or wrong? Am I wrong because I’m a Christian? I don’t think I am. As a Christian, I’m supposed to wage war on sin and deceit, and that may (occasionally) require harsher words. Especially if my point obviously isn’t getting across by being nice.

      A perfect example is the issue of law and grace, which goes right over the head of most critics of Christianity. That is why I get really stupid arguments, like the ones that Ray Garton forwarded in a recent post. I told him that I take Jesus’ commands in the Bible seriously. He said that I obviously don’t, since the Bible commands us to keep slaves, allows me to sell my daughter into slavery for extra money, or stone disobedient children. I mean, really, how the “Gehenna” many times am I supposed to cordially respond to that “feces” before I have permission to get mean? That argument shows me that its user is totally clueless about basic Christian theology. I don’t think that I’m being an ass to point that out. I’m being truthful.

      I certainly get my source material from respected philosophers and theologians, some critical thought on my own part, as well as actual study of the Word itself. So I agree with your position on pursuing information through people that have obtained the proper credentials.

      Thanks for wishing me luck. The more naysayers (like you) that I get, the more determined I get to become successful in this venture, and the harder I will work to make that happen. If nothing else, you’re providing me with serious motivation.

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