For years people have asked us to write a book on offshore voyaging. Our answer has always been, “we already have”. After all, there are some 650 posts on this site averaging around 1000 words each—about the size of War and Peace!
But the problem with that answer is that no matter how well a web site is categorized and indexed, the blog style of writing that works so well for the day to day process of imparting information, inspiring debate, and just plain entertaining, does not result in a book that you can read serially to get to grips with our way of voyaging.
So about two years ago, as an experiment, I settled down to write an eBook condensing everything we know about anchoring. And, in fact, the first draft is just about finished.
The idea was that we would build a library of focused eBooks that would add up to one coherent whole. But as I wrote I discovered some major problems with that concept:
It’s a Moving Target
One of the most wonderful things about offshore sailing is that we never know it all. In fact, the more I learn and the more years I spend voyaging, the more I find that I have more to learn.
And that’s way cool, but it’s not great for an eBook. Not only will I almost certainly disagree with some of my own anchoring eBook within a few months of publishing it, I’m not even sure I can finish it, because I keep revising things I wrote a year ago—there’s just no end to it!
eBooks Are Static
Even worse, eBooks are static. If you read my eBook and don’t get the information you are looking for, you can’t easily ask me a question. Worst of all, if you are reading my eBook and realize you have come up with a better way, or maybe just a tweak to what I’m suggesting, there is no way for you to contribute that so that other readers can benefit, unlike with this web site where you can leave a comment. And since many of our best ideas come from those of you who comment on our posts, we don’t want to take the retrograde step of writing in a vacuum, as we would have to do with an eBook.
A Better Way—Online Books
We have a better way:
We have put the posts that address a given subject into a coherent chronological series that can be read as a book. Get to the bottom of a chapter—“flip the page” by clicking on a link to the next chapter. Get confused about where you are in the Online Book—click on the Table of Contents listing all the chapters in the sidebar (red background).
The key benefit is that we can easily add to and update these Online Books as well as host a debate in the comments to each chapter—they are truly dynamic.
An Incredible Value
We are calling the result of all this work the AAC Bookclub. And you can join for just Can$19.99 a year. That’s just three visits to Starbucks or Tim Hortons a year!
For this price you get access to all of our Online Books, all the updates, and all of the Online Books that we will write in the future, instead of paying us say $10 for each eBook we publish, and the same amount again each time we publish a new edition…wait a minute, what were we thinking? Oh well, too late now.
More to Do
We still have a lot to do, including editing the books to bring them up to date and improve their linking one to another, and editing the attached comments to make them even more useful. So, while we are doing that, we are offering access to the Library for half price, just Can$9.99 for the first year.
Please Join Us
We really hope you will join us, since after months of thought we believe that the AAC Bookclub is the best way to improve the information we provide, assure that the site has a reliable stream of income to keep it viable and ever improving, and provide the funds to properly compensate the great writers we already have and recruit new ones.
I want to add a sincere thank you to those of you who donated and to our advertisers. Between you, you provided us with the revenue to cover our out of pocket expenses while we developed the AAC Bookclub and at the same time kept posting on the site.
We will continue to accept advertising to fund the content that we provide to non-members as well as to keep the membership price reasonable.