While I have made good progress on many of my Debian goals for this year, it’s not the case for the goal number #1: translating my Debian book into English. The picture on the left is the cover of the current French version based on Debian Lenny (450 pages). But the translation would be based on the next edition that we’re currently preparing and it’s based on Debian Squeeze of course! We have already translated the table of contents so that you can get an idea of what’s in the book. Note that many parts of the book apply to Ubuntu as well.
It’s quite difficult for Roland and me to allocate several months of our life to such a huge task without any income in that period and without knowing if our book will sell enough to cover for the time invested. For those reasons, we’re considering using a service like kickstarter.com or ulule.com or yooook.net to get this project funded.
If you don’t know those services, they allow you to present your project and to collect pledges so that you can safely complete your project. The money pledged is distributed only if the total amount pledged exceeds the minimal funding level (set by the project creator). Furthermore you can select nice rewards depending on the amount of money pledged.
To make things even more exciting we are ready to publish the book under a DFSG-compatible license at the sole condition that we reach 25 000€ of donations. That might look like a lot but in fact it’s only 5€ donated by 5000 persons and then everybody benefits! And for the authors, you have to remove ~10% of fees taken by the funding service (including card processing fees), 16.4% VAT, 9% social taxes and if you consider that the project represents a minimum of 6 months of work, that ends up to at most 2850 €/month. We believe this to be reasonable.
The next step for us is to pick the service to use and setup the fundraising. We need your input. Please answer a few questions by filling this form.
In all cases, we will have those rewards and probably more:
- the book in digital format (PDF, HTML, ePub) (between 5€ and 10€, price not fixed yet)
- the book as paperback (between 35€ and 50€, price not fixed yet)
- the paperback book with a dedication by (one of) the authors
A few considerations about the various services: Kickstarter.com is a great service but it’s restricted to US-residents so it’s complicated for us to use that service since we’re French (and live in France) and the supporters need to have an Amazon (payments) account. Ulule.com is open to anyone for project creation but uses a paypal API to deal with the pledge mechanism and thus imposes that all supporters have a paypal account. Is that requirement likely to scare you away? Yooook.net is specialized in liberation fundraising but the interface is not very polished, they don’t offer (many) social features nor do they give a public listing of the projects hosted.
The choice is difficult and thus we’re seeking your feedback to make the right one, take a few minutes and answer our questions: click here to go to the form.
Thank you for your help and please spread the word so that we get enough answers to have meaningful results.
Update: it has been brought to my attention that kickstarter requires an Amazon (payments) account. I fixed my article and the form to document this.
I have also been asked what license we’re going to use. It’s likely to be dual-licensed GPL2+ / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Update: The crowfunding campaign is now running on Ulule. Click here to see its project page.