The purpose of the 99 Books 99 Cents project is the publication of 99 eBooks priced at 99 cents each. The books will be divided roughly between my main writing interests: tabletop gaming and philosophy.
While I am a professional philosopher, I hold to the view that philosophy should not be locked up in the safe confines of the ivory tower. As such, one of my main goals is to create philosophy books that are interesting, approachable and valuable to those outside of academics. You know, people.
Having been a GM for over three decades, I know well the common pain of the GM-having to come up with yet another adventure to appease the blood and loot lust of his/her players. So, I endeavor to provide my fellow GMs with numerous adventures at a low cost.
Way back in the 1990s I created a Macintosh program called “Fallacy Tutorial” which, surprisingly enough, taught people about fallacies. After the program had been circulating the internet for a while, I started receiving requests to make the content available as text, then as a PDF file. Long after that, I started receiving emails asking me to make the book available for Amazon’s Kindle and this led to the publication of my first Kindle book, 42 Fallacies. This generated email asking me to make my work available for the Barnes & Noble Nook and I did so.
The recent budget cuts to education in Florida provided me with extended (and unpaid) summer vacations and I used this time to write numerous books. Since my two main interests in writing are philosophy and gaming, I wrote a mix of philosophy works and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventures. Seeing the volume of volumes I was producing, my father asked me how many I planned to write. Jokingly, I said “I’ll write 99 books…99 books for 99 cents.” I continued to produce books and when I had over 20 books published I realized that I could actually make good on what started as a joke. That is, I could write 99 books and make them available for 99 cents each (which is the minimum price for the eBook sellers such as Amazon).
Just as I had received requests to make my work available via the Kindle and the Nook, I received requests to make my work available via iBooks. I looked into this and learned that publishing directly through Apple and using their excellent software requires having a Mac and an iPad (to preview books). While I learned I could use a third party to distribute my books, I rather prefer direct control over my own work. Also, I tend to think that the main point of the iBook format is to take full advantage of the special features of this format rather than just distributing a chopped down, generic text file to all platforms.
Sadly, my faithful G4 iBook proved to be unsuitable for the task of publishing books through Apple and my main writing laptop, an Asus Netbook running Windows XP, is starting to really show its age. I also learned that Apple requires authors to have an ISBN 13 for each book sold through their store. While this struck me as bit odd, what really struck me was the extremely high cost of ISBN 13s. So, I decided to attempt a Kickstarter project to secure the funds needed to complete my project properly.
The Funding Goal
The breakdown for the $2500 goal is as follows:
• 100 ISBN 13 for $575 (a single ISBN 13 is $250 but there are massive discounts for “bulk” buying).
• One 13 inch MacBook Pro for $1199
• One iPad for $499
• The “cut” for Kickstarter & Amazon Payments (approximately $250)
The Need for Funding
One obvious point of concern is why I need funding for my project. After all, one might reason, a fat-cat professor is no doubt teaching from a throne made out of stacks of $100 bills. Or golden plated skulls. Or both. Surely such a person can buy his own damn ISBN 13s and writing laptop.
While I would certainly love a tastefully made throne of gold plated skulls, the professor gig does not pay quite as well as people think. And, of course, "summer vacation" is essentially "summer unemployment." If this project succeeds, I can devote more time to writing the books and, most importantly, have the equipment that will make it possible to complete the entire project.
The Project Timeline
I have been publishing one book each month and plan to stick to that schedule until the start of summer. During the summer, I plan on publishing one book per week, just as I did last summer. Now you know what I did last summer.
At this rate, the project should be completed in approximately three years. My Amazon Author page shows my publishing history and should provide convincing evidence that I can complete the project.
In Progress Gaming Books
The following Pathfinder role playing game compatible adventures are in progress. These adventures have been play tested-what remains is editing and preparing them for publication.
- Curse of Glyarnd
- Swamp Secrets
- Jocann's Island
- The Island of Wetelen
- The Upper Complex
- Barrow Drinker
- D'Sashem Lelt
- Castle Gelleth
- Burning Ice Mountain
- The Tiger Prince
- Redeemed Sage
In Progress Philosophy Books
The following philosophy books are currently in development.
- Philosophical Provocations Volume 3
- Rhetorical Devices
- Aesthetic Methods
The Stretch Goals
In the event that the funding is exceeded, the stretch goals will focus on funding for page layout and graphics software and, perhaps most importantly, hiring people with talent to do the covers and (for the game books) interior illustrations and maps.
Latest Gaming Book
Latest Philosophy Book
Risks and challenges
One main challenge that I could face is being employed to teach classes during the summer semester. Because of the budget cuts in education, I have not been teaching in the summer and have been spending these three months engaged in intense writing, producing one 99 cent book per week. While teaching a summer class would reduce my available time, the summer class is a single class and would most likely be an online class. As such, my productivity would be minimally impacted.
A second main challenge is that my workload as a professor could continue to increase (I am currently teaching four classes, serving on eight committees, running the seven year program review, serving as the facilitator of the Philosophy & Religion Unit, advising and serving as the department web master). However, I have managed to produce one 99 cent book per month even under those conditions (plus I am always training for races and running or playing in a Pathfinder or Call of Cthulhu campaign).
A third challenge is coming up with ideas and topics for 99 philosophy and gaming books. However, I currently have material from an entire campaign and I will be running a new Pathfinder campaign shortly-and I always write my own material. In regards to philosophy, I have several books already planned as well as two books already in progress (Rhetorical Devices and Philosophical Provocations Volume III).
Those concerned with my ability to overcome obstacles can look to my Amazon Author Page as well as my blog to see evidence of my past productive. An inductive generalization from that should ease any doubts about the depth of my obsessive compulsive ways.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)