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A reader survey

I've now finished the new book - a history of Climategate and the inquiries. I'm in the process of sending it out to various people for review.

This one is going to be self-published - Donna Laframboise has sold me on the benefits of DIY publishing and it really seems a bit of a no-brainer these days.

My mind is turning to whether to print a load of copies off or whether to go down a strict print-on-demand path. I'm reasonably confident that I will sell enough copies to make a print run worthwhile, so provided I can distribute them I think this may be the way to go. To help me in the decision, however, it would help if I could get some idea of how many people might buy a paper book versus the ebook versions. To this end I've put together a brief survey which I hope readers who reckon they might buy the book will complete for me. If you are a one of the recipients of the Bishop Hill newsletter (for subscribers and major donors) please don't complete the survey. I will be sending a signed copy to each of you.

The book is very similar in length to the Hockey Stick Illusion, so one should assume pricing that is roughly in line with last time round.

There are some new revelations too.

Click here for the survey.


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Reader Comments (41)

Can one read an ebook in the bath?

May 11, 2012 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie F

Charlie F: Can one read an ebook in the bath?

With or without water?

May 11, 2012 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

Can one read an ebook in the bath?

Yes. Just don't put any water in.

I'll be buying the print version.

May 11, 2012 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRalph Tittley

I will definitely buy a print copy. THE HSI was great

May 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered Commentersankara

Put me down for an e-book version please.

Look forward to the release.

May 11, 2012 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

MY friends in the print/ebook game tell me that over 30s definitely prefer hard copy books. I've seen university book lists shrink and textbooks halved and halved again in the last decade. For those in their 20s, the book" world has already changed to electronic formats.

I hope this helps.

May 11, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Before answering, will there be much in the way of illustrations - graphs, charts, photos etc; if it is mostly text I would be happy with the e-book but if there are illustrations traditional print is the better approach.

May 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex. Sinclair

Print for me. I am over 30.

May 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I will buy a copy in the form of a traditional carbon sink.
Listen to all these bathers - only dirty people wash.

May 11, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

I seal my Kindle in a waterproof plastic wallet when I want to read in the bath. It works well. Search Aloksak on Amazon.

May 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

I'd get the paper version...what kind of price range are you looking at your bishopfullness?



May 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

If you need any help reviewing it... Let me know..

I could perhaps check for typos... ! ;-) ;-)

May 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

ebook, in Hungary there would be no other way. I got the HSI on ebook.

Just from travelling in airports and the like, I think "people that matter" often have an ebook reader. if not they certainly can read it on a PC or Pad or telephone.

What you might consider is having a "back channel" subscription for the ebook. Free by invitation.

It is not the sort of book that people are going to make the effort to order in print unless they are REALLY motivated. A free ebook version to selected of the "the great and good" could make a difference in exposure, and also help the main sales channels.

That is the beauty of ebooks for this subject. Pick a selected 100 or so and give it to them for free. No cost to you in supply, and they would have been unlikely to buy it anyway.

Just my thoughts.

May 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Both for me, personally being under thirty I prefer electronic, while the other geronimo being over sixty prefers paper.

May 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Definitely print for me - so much better when there are illustrations etc.. Kindle is fine for straightforward novels.
Also, being a technonumpty, I find it much easier to hold open a key diagram (for example) while reading another page.

May 11, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeH

For reading on the train - so that other passengers can see what an erudite and educated guy I am - then print is the only acceptable format.

Any indication of when we might see it? Various kind friends and relatives are always trying to find things to give me for my birthday and/or Christmas. What could be better than a copy?

May 11, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

If I can get it from Amazon I'm happy to buy a copy.
As I've said before, PayPal -- 'fraid not.

May 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

your Grace,
Price point for the e-book is an interesting issue which you might discuss with Donna. It may be that within a range, a lower price will not increase sales, but will reduce revenue. I found the price of Delinquent Teenager especially well chosen because it enabled this 69 year old to purchase online without submitting a request and justification to the local Chancellor of the Exchequer otherwise known as SWMBO.

You might also want to provide a name for this work now so that those who review without reading can get started with their attacks.

May 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Dear Bishop,

Have you used a copy-editing service for your manuscript (I ask because you spoke of "self-publishing")? If not, you might consider consider crowd-sourcing your final editing, drawing upon the willing community of Bishop Hill readers. I would be happy to contribute. RS

May 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Registered Commenterramspace

You've missed one important option: print on demand, e.g. through Amazon's Createspace service.

May 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commentereric blair

Put me down for a print version.

May 11, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Registered Commenterwoodentop

We're currently running at about 40% ebook.

May 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

"40% ebook"

Is there a tipping point..?

May 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

There is no downside to PoD via CreateSpace, as has been pointed out above.

You format and upload the book, then do nothing except open cheques when they send them. Forget about print runs, warehousing, distribution, bookseller shelfspace and all those headaches.

I'd buy eBook rather than print, as the chance of a hard copy getting to my address intact is virtually nil.

As my job has involved proof-reading for a long time, I'd be happy to add my name to a crowd-sourced editing effort.

May 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I'll go for print also; I like having with global warming scepticism books on display in my living room!

It annoys the hell out of my warmist family members!


May 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I'm 62. I stopped buying paper books a few years back. One thing I particularly like about Kindle is that I can download a taster to assess whether I want to buy the whole thing. Okay, maybe you don't want to go with Kindle, but one can put non-Kindle format books into the Kindle library, and you could make available a taster. A well-written taster that grabs attention can sell a book on the back of it.

May 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Larkin

After your recent article about the tree sampling, written with your usual lucidity and entertainment value, explaining things clearly to a bear of very little brain like me, I can't wait. (Print copy preferred as I said on the survey).

May 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

At 60 with poor eyesight, even Kindles are a trial. Indeed, any paper or article that is more than four or five pages long, I will print in ortder to read it, rather than struggle with it on the screen. All the more so since Blog designers decided that a pale grey type face on white was cool. There's a reason books are printed in black and white...

Good news. Looking forward to this greatly.

May 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I clicked for e-book on the survey but I still read plenty of paper books as well, so I'm on the fence. I'll be eager to get it either way!

May 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

I am astonished. Your "brief" survey was in fact brief - two questions! Outstanding.

May 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Hey, I'm way over 30 and even dirty sometimes. I do read books on my Kindle in my bath. Wet hands are way less troublesome for a Kindle inside a ziplock bag than for a paper book. Handier too.

May 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I abandoned the survey, because I couldn't select the correct option for me: BOTH. I'll buy the eBook for my own use, and 1 or more paper copies to give away to assorted family members.

May 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterXenophon

Although I shall get a signed copy as a subscriber, I shall purchase two more paper versions to send to my friends in Australia, both of whom are irregular readers of this blog.

Having read HSI three times cover to cover and dipped into it regularly to check something, I am fairly sure that I will be doing something very similar with the new book.

Hope sales go really well!

May 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt


Good news at breakfast is always welcome. I look forward to your new book.


May 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

Good stuff Bish. PDF or otherwise is all good.

May 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

As several of the comments implied, you missed an opportunity by omitting a choice of "both". I have friends and family who are interested in the subject but don't follow the climate blogs as avidly as I do. (e.g. one friend is a skeptic climate scientist (included in the list with the Gore/Pachari Nobel Prize !?!) and one of my sons is a Prof at a large US university).
I will purchase both because the print version will travel, as had the HSI.
Bish. thank you for your effort and I sincerely hope that eventually you are economically rewarded for all the time you put in for your Quixotic quest for the truth; (fighting windmills pun intended). Beyond your monthly checks from "big oil" of course.

May 12, 2012 at 1:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Daddis

Survey answered, but there's another question you didn't have. How many? I'll take two of the hardwired version, please...

May 12, 2012 at 5:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrewSanDiego

Both is my answer.

May 12, 2012 at 5:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I prefer ebook, but I'll buy a paper version if no ebook version is available. Anyway I have HSI in both versions.

May 12, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter B

Add another vote for BOTH. Paper is best for the first reading, but having it handy in ebook format makes it easy to take with you in case you want to refer to something later.

May 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonasM

I went for print - not because I don't like Kindle, but because I cannot read certain books without a pencil clamped to my right hand. it's not just about underlining - its about writing in the margins: engaging my bran (or what's left of it) in a dialogue between me/reader and author.
Can't do this properly on a Kindle ...

May 13, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

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