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 first year on­line, only about one in 650 read­ers paid for this book. For the full re­port, see The eco­nom­ics of a web-based book. 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. ($60+)
    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.

  2. Just send money. ($5–20 sug­gested, though more is wel­come)
    New & im­proved: you can now use your credit card to quickly send the pay­ment that best re­flects your ap­pre­ci­a­tion. Get your mouse-click­ing fin­ger ready, be­cause here come the links—$5, $10, $15, and $20.

  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.

  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.

  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 1–7 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.

—MB