As readers of Libertarian Papers know, all LP articles are published free and in PDF and in the original Word source file. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License so people are free to do what they want with our articles–reprint them, incorporate them into new works, include them as chapters in books–just grab the Word file and you’re good to go, with our blessing. (I discuss the origins of the journal in “Fifteen Minutes that Changed Libertarian Publishing.”)
Still, we often get requests for print and kindle/ebook versions. When we started LP in early 2009, we published the first few articles in Kindle format–I simply uploaded the Word files as individual “books,” and priced them at the lowest price Amazon would allow, $0.99. They sold, even though Kindle owners can easily put the Word version of the article on their Kindle for free. People like convenience, it turns out. But I stopped putting up Kindle versions after a while due to lack of manpower and resources. Gil Guillory helped with some early podcast mixing and with two LuLu print-on-demand versions of Vol. 1, but this was a volunteer effort and could not be sustained. I intended to figure it out myself–I bought a book on Kindle formatting–but I just could not find time to do it. It was time to outsource. (The Mises Institute hosts and publishes the journal and generously provided website design and technical resources. I could have asked them to do the print and ebook publishing, but I knew they are swamped with so many publishing and other projects and their resources, plus I wanted to try this on my own to learn more about this type of publishing.)
After some digging, I found Mark Stanley (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), who did a great job for me converting the files into “books” for both print and ebook purposes (PDF files for the former, and epub and .mobi files for the latter). The first two volumes, for 2009 and 2010, were each over 800 pages (each including 44 or so articles). I decided to split each volume up into two parts, Part 1 and Part 2, similar to a conventional journal’s “issues,” each Part having 400+ pages and 20+ articles. And there are corresponding ebooks.
As can be seen on the journal’s Paper and Ebook Versions page (see information pasted below), the first two volumes are now available in print and ebook versions. The print versions are available from Amazon and CreateSpace (the Amazon subsidiary I used for the print-on-demand books; one advantage of CreateSpace over LuLu for print-on-demand is that they automatically list the book on Amazon). And the ebook versions are now available on the Kindle, Nook, and iBookstore platforms (Sony Reader versions should be up before long). I used BookBaby, an ebook aggregator, to publish on all 4 ebook platforms, for convenience. CreateSpace assigns an ISBN for the print version for free, and BookBaby assigns an ebook ISBN for a small fee.
I priced the print versions a bit above cost and the ebooks at $9.99 to make a few bucks per copy. I could price them lower, but I would like to recoup my costs (paying Mark for his formatting work, the CreateSpace “pro” charge and the BookBaby charges, and a few other incidental costs). I figure if I sell maybe 70-100 copies per “issue” I will break even and will be able to continue doing this going forward. If I sell more, I can use the extra funds for a few other little things to improve the journal, and/or lower the price going forward to fine-tune it to break-even.
Links for the various versions of the first two volumes are below. I intend to release Vol. 3, Part 1, shortly, rather than waiting to the end of the year; that means Vol. 3 will probably have 3 or 4 smaller-sized Parts (say, 200-250 pages) instead of two big ones. If anyone orders any of the ebooks or print versions, please feel free to send me any feedback, comments, or suggestions (here in the comments or by email).
Libertarian Papers articles will occasionally be collected into Parts (like issues) and offered for sale in print versions and epub versions on the major epub retailers. Epub versions for the first four issues are sold at $9.99, and print versions sold a slightly above the print-on-demand cost (with a discount at CreateSpace if you use the discount code TV6PLDNW).
More information may be found at the links below:
- Vol. 1 (2009), Part 1: Articles 1-25
- Vol. 1 (2009), Part 2: Articles 26-44
- Vol. 2 (2010), Part 1: Articles 1-22
- Vol. 2 (2010), Part 2: Articles 23-45