How to pay for this book

this book is partly an experiment in taking the web seriously as a book-publishing medium. I have a role to play in making the experiment work. And so do you.

Dur­ing its sec­ond year on­line, only about one in 1000 read­ers paid for this book. For the full re­port, see Ef­flu­ents in­flu­ence af­flu­ence. Se­ri­ously, folks—this ex­per­i­ment can’t work with­out your participation.

For my part, I wanted to deliver a level of writing and design quality that you’d find in a printed book. Not that print will always be the gold standard. But today it is. Because so far, web-based books—nice ones, anyhow—have been slow to emerge.

Yet these books can’t emerge until writers put in the effort to make them. So I did. I wrote the text. I designed the fonts. I made the illustrations. I created a book-publishing system called Pollen. I paid for the web servers. It was, in short, expensive. Not that I’m complaining. But I wanted it to be worth your time.

Why? Because your time is expensive too. This is a fact often overlooked in debates about how much a digital book should cost. Reading a book is a big undertaking. What you spend to buy a book—whether $5 or $50—is small compared to the hours you’ll spend reading it. Every great book is underpriced; no bad book is cheap enough. So to minimize your risk, you don’t have to pay before you read this book.

But that doesn’t mean the book is free. If you like the book, I’m relying on you—yes, you, not the guy over there—to help sustain the effort. I want you to enjoy the book, learn from the book, but also support the book. How?

  1. Buy my fonts Equity, Concourse, or Triplicate. ($59+)
    Equity is the text font you’re reading now. Concourse is the sans serif seen in the headline and elsewhere in the book. Triplicate is used for code samples. I designed these fonts. They’re only available here.

    Triplicate $59 and up

    Concourse $89 and up

    Equity $119 and up

  2. Just send money. ($5–20 suggested, though more is welcome)
    Use your credit card to quickly send the payment that best reflects your appreciation. Get your mouse-clicking finger ready—

    Pay $5 Pay $10 Pay $15 Pay $20

    (Just to be clear, this is a payment for the online book you see here. You won’t get a link to download an e-book or PDF, because there isn’t one.)

  3. Buy the Typography for Lawyers paperback. (about $25)
    You can get it from either my publisher, Jones McClure, or Amazon. Much of the material here was adapted from TFL. So if you’re a lawyer, you’ll love this book. If you’re not a lawyer, give it to your favorite lawyer, who will love the book, and by extension, you.

    TFL at Jones McClure

    TFL at Amazon

  4. Buy the Typography for Lawyers Kindle edition. ($10)
    This is only available from Amazon. It may be the best-designed Kindle book available. Which would still make it one of the least impressive achievements of my career. But if you’re a Kindle diehard, there it is.

    TFL Kindle edition

  5. Tell peo­ple about it. (free)
    Ex­po­sure is not a sub­sti­tute for money. But money plus ex­po­sure is bet­ter than money alone. So in ad­di­tion to the op­tions above, tell your friends. Your col­leagues. Fren­e­mies. Strangers. All are welcome.

Please also note that there are no ads on this website, and as long as readers are taking suggestions 1–4 seriously, there won’t be. I believe that reader-supported publishing can work on the web. But I also dislike paywalls. Don’t you? So let’s skip it. I’ve done my part. I trust you to do yours.

—Matthew Butterick