Paying for this book

Inspired by Matthew Butterick’s experiment1, I am publishing this book online using an honor payment system. Here’s how it works. The whole of the book is available to read here on this site, without any paywalls or ads. Feel free to browse and read. If you’ve enjoyed the book I ask that you make a payment of $5 (excluding VAT2). You will get access to e-book versions for offline reading (.epub for iBooks and most e-book readers and .mobi for the Kindle) and you will support the web version of the book. Payments and downloads are handled by Gumroad, a popular and reputable self-publishing platform.

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But isn’t the online version free?

There are no paywalls here to get in your way or ads to distract you, but the book itself is not free. This is an experiment to see if a novel online self-publishing method could work for a work of literary fiction. There are a couple of unique benefits to publishing a book as a website. First, the book is accessible at any time on an Internet connected device. Second, you can read the book before having to commit to buying it. You don’t need to download any software or register any accounts to read the book, and you don’t have to pay unless you’ve enjoyed it. Don’t like it? No problem. If you do: please buy it.

The disadvantage of this method is obvious—yes, some people won’t pay—but open distribution like this could make up for the free-riders through volume, and while I want this to be commercially viable I would prefer it if more people read the work and I made less money than I made more money but less people read the work.

So please buy the book if you’ve enjoyed it by using the link above (or click here). Even if you don’t plan to read the offline versions, please make this payment as it covers the website as well. If an honor system like this proves viable then we could move the web away from cheap, sensationalist content to something deeper and more meaningful.

Can’t pay? Please share

If you’ve enjoyed the book but can’t pay, please consider sharing a link to a story you liked. An honor system like this only really works at scale, so every single shared link is very, very appreciated. Thank you.

— Dmitry Fadeyev (Translator)

  1. Matthew Butterick started an honor payment experiment with his publication of Practical Typography. The method worked and you can read a detailed account of the results here

  2. VAT (Value Added Tax) will be calculated and added automatically (if required) by Gumroad on the checkout page. 

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