[FM Discuss] books and fm - need your thoughts!

Joshua Facemyer jfacemyer at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 15:16:58 PDT 2008


A question I have is how possible book sales can help FM to not only 
stay in existence but also continue to develop to better support users' 
(writers') needs?  I personally would want some profit to go directly to 
FM from anything I was involved with if it will help FM to be the best 
it can be.

The second question I have is whether we couldn't do something of a 
combination, such as 1&3.

More after the answers.


adam hyde wrote:
> hi,
> I just wanted to pitch-in with a few questions about how people would
> like to manage books in FM. This is a pretty important moment for FM as
> we are really about to enter into a very interesting new phase - book
> publishing. Its especially interesting as I don't see anyone on the map
> able to go direct from 'wiki' (FM is at its heart a wiki) to polished
> books as easily as we can. So...discussion on this is really important
> for the shaping of what we are doing as we are cutting new ground and
> there are no established models that we can follow. 
> So please chime in with your thoughts, small, big or otherwise!
> A short update first...It seems like the automated PDF generator
> (Objavi) is working nicely. Brianna made a Wikimedia Commons manual in
> FM and then uploaded this to lulu.com and its looking lovely. Its the
> first book made using Objavi and I got the thumbs up from FMs designer
> (Lotte) so it passed the FM good-design certification process :)
> There is just one undocumented feature (ah, yes, Joshua we might even
> call this one a bug ;) to sort out with the generator and how it manages
> embedded fonts, but when this is done then I think we have a pretty
> astonishing mechanism in place for producing books straight out of FM.
> The question that needs to be addressed now is how are books to be
> managed. 
> The first thing to remember is that all the sources in FM are GPL so
> anyone can make a book out of FM and do what they like with it. The
> first question to answer then is what exactly is a FM book? Is it
> something made in FM and sold in FM, or is it something broader? I can,
> for example, imagine several scenarios, none of which are exclusive (nor
> is it an exhaustive list of possibilities) but we may wish to prefer
> some approaches more than others.
> So... here are three of the main possibilities I have thought of, please
> critique and throw in other possibilities...
> *FM Book Shop*
> This is the most traditional model. FM produces a series of books and
> sells them online or possibly strikes up distribution deals with book
> shops. This would be managed 'by FM' (in this case me really unless
> someone puts their hand-up as we don't have anyone else working fulltime
> for FM). Profits (if any) are managed by FM (me again unless someone
> else wishes to take charge of book sales).
> *Maintainer Seller*
> What books are made and sold are determined by the Maintainer(s) of each
> manual. How they are sold is also determined by the same person(s).
> Profits (if any) are managed by the Maintainers.
> *Independent Seller*
> Possibly the least traditional - we endorse _anyone_ to make and sell
> the books. In this case we provide the sources for the book and if
> someone wants to sell the books using any method and at any price then
> we say go for it. Profits (if any) go directly to the seller.
> There are questions associated with each model. I have some thoughts on
> these already but I would rather not shape the discussion with questions
> about each here. 
> ok... _your_thoughts please!
> :)
> adam
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