Sorry, Virginia, There Will Be No Book

After reading the frank discussion yesterday about publishing a book based on this site, I have decided not to invest the effort in writing a book. That’s not to say the response yesterday was entirely negative – it wasn’t, and it’s clear to me that even those who were negative support this site a lot. It became clear after reading through those comments, however, that a book might not be a good place to invest a lot of effort.

However, there were several comments and questions raised that I felt might be of interest to all of the readers, so I thought I would address some of those issues here. If you find this boring or self-serving, just skip this one – I won’t write on this topic again, but I will probably be active in the comments here.

On the future I write The Simple Dollar as a hobby, and it has gone far better than I have ever dreamed. My wife and I have both entertained possibilities on where it could go that could financially support me enough to focus on this and perhaps another blog as a full-time endeavor, but so far we have not reached such a point. That also means that we’re being creative with ideas – what can we do to actually carry it to that point? The book was an idea, but not one that looks like it would make sense to follow. If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them.

On writing I write a lot of content on here. Consider this: the time I spend researching, figuring, and writing for this site is compressed into about two hours a day, with about another hour for emails and “meta” tasks. That means that I write two or three lengthy posts every single day. Because of that, I have adopted a “blogging” voice that doesn’t reflect what my finished pieces of writing look like. I don’t sweat it too much if I repeat words or split my infinitives on occasion – it’s more important that I write things with passion and urgency and get them out there for you to read. What I’m trying to say is that if you ever read a truly finished piece from me, it will likely sound more … elegant … than a post at The Simple Dollar. The Simple Dollar is meant to be conversational and passionate, like a friend calling you up and chattering away – I think that’s why this site has worked. A book probably wouldn’t read like that – it definitely wouldn’t give you a chance to be a part of the discussion – and that’s another reason why it might be good to put aside the book idea for a while.

On donations Several people said that they would buy a book for no other reason than to give a “donation” to The Simple Dollar. While I appreciate the idea, I would feel pretty terrible if you spent $25 on a book, of which I would get $5 or so, and then proceeded to use the book as a door stop. If you really wish to donate to The Simple Dollar, there’s a donation button on the right menubar (you could donate $5 or $25, I guess, if you want an amount to donate), but I don’t expect or request donations from anyone. In fact, I only put up the button at the request of a few users who wanted to donate and thought that the button would be a good idea.

If you have any further thoughts, comments, or questions, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

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