THE HONESTY BOX – my readers are not thieves.
This book was published in late 2009 as a serial, story-teller’s bowl tale to help with the astronomical expense of moving (and putting in quarantine) our dogs and cats from South Africa to Australia. I am of the belief that there is an unwritten but absolutely binding contract between me and animals: they give me their unconditional love and loyalty. I can do no less than try to do the same. Sometimes that means hard decisions about what is best and kindest for them. All of our beasties were, in some way, totally unsuited to being rehomed. Moving them cost us in the end around $26 000 – money we just didn’t have. The Save the Dragons fundraiser brought in just over $10600 – which made it possible. Thank you all so much. The end result left us broke, but at least I remained me, and we brought the beasties home.
I owe my deepest thanks to Walt Boyes who helped me believe I could do this, and who did a great deal of the promotion and organising. It would also never have happened without the vast amount of help and computer-side skill and knowledge of Francis Turner, who made the website, put up the chapters etc. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Many friends in the writing world helped publicise it, and donated to it. As I know how hard just pushing your own work can be, and how broke most of us are, I appreciate this no end and will always treasure it.
We had hoped, after seventeen thousand readers had visited the site, to get a publisher to print it, with me taking my advance in copies (and thus it being a lot cheaper for the publisher, who makes a profit on those copies), which would then be shipped to all the people who gave $25 to the fundraiser. To date, despite doing a round of all the publishing houses, we have no takers – there are no electronic rights to sell (as it has been available for free) and the sure-sales hard-cover customers would mostly be getting a free copy.
We will continue to try.
In the meanwhile the book will be available for download, on an honesty box system. If you gave to the original fundraiser, please help yourself to a copy, and be sure I and my beasties remember your kindness with appreciation and affection. If you didn’t: this is still my book, my livelihood, my months of hard work. Stealing from authors (who earn about on average 1/2 minimum wage, and I am pretty close to average) is not far off pinching granny’s pension money on the Robin Hood scale. If you’re the kind of person who nicks stuff just because they can from someone who has trusted you, you’re not going to enjoy my work anyway, as I have a fairly low opinion of your ethics and values, and that shows in my writing. There is a donation button on the front page. It’d be a help if you gave what you’d have spent on an e-book from another widely published author – between $3-$5 is what I would have got if I put it up on Amazon, would seem pretty fair to me.
But it is up to you.
Unfortunately, with worpress, I cannot put it on this website except as a .pdf. So here are links to where it can be downloaded as an .epub, .mobi, or in web format.
Save the Dragons! mobi (kindle reader)
Save the Dragons! epub! (most other)
Save the Dragons! web format