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On Book Sponsorships

Many people have offered to support my technology writing through programs such as Patreon. I appreciate every one of those offers.

Unfortunately, tech writing is not easily predictable–at least, not the way I do it. Projects that I expect to take three months sometimes finish in a month, while certain six-week projects balloon into several months. I do have a Patreon, but I’m not entirely comfortable with taking money that way.

I am comfortable with a per-book sponsorship. So that’s what I offer here. Sponsorship costs vary depending on how much I think I can squeeze out of people for a book on that topic the topic’s complexity.

Any rewards sponsors receive are gifts.

Ebook sponsors appear at the end of electronic versions of the book, as plain text. (I have been advised by folks who have done this sort of thing before that some people participate in sponsorships just to get links to dodgy sites included in reputable works, so it’s plain text only. As usual, a handful of jackasses ruin things for the rest of us.)

Print book sponsors appear at the end of electronic and paper versions of the book.

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PayPal only? Why no credit cards?

Tilted Windmill Press runs all its sales via PayPal.

I understand people’s concern with PayPal. Believe me, I fully get it. I regularly empty my PayPal account specifically because their practices don’t thrill me.

Tilted Windmill Press is a very small operation. Credit card processors, even Stripe, require that I provide a phone number where customers can call for service.

When I published my first technology book, my home phone number was public. I started getting tech support calls from random people who had bought my book.

Eventually, I had to change my phone number.

I’m not giving out my cell number. Yes, my audience is technically literate and Internet savvy, and can get my phone number from a variety of sources. But I don’t make it easy, and the overwhelming majority of you are polite enough to not abuse that information.

I could use something like Google Voice, but that adds another chunk of complexity to the business. Worse, it adds another type of interruption to my day.

I sell ebooks directly because it takes very little of my time or attention.

As things stand right now, the time and attention overhead of credit card sales would seriously cut my writing time. Until this changes, I’ll have to use PayPal.

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Meatspace addresses for ebooks… what the heck?

This site sells ebooks. You download them. I won’t physically mail them, let alone bring them to your house. Why the heck do I request your address and phone number in the checkout process?

Because the commercial, off-the-shelf software I use (WooCommerce) asks for it.

Yes, I can disable this. But that means maintaining local patches against WooCommerce. And every time there’s a WordPress or WooCommerce update, I would need to re-validate those local patches. And every time I need to open a trouble ticket with the vendor, I’d need to remove those patches to get support.

I don’t check either your physical address or your phone number against anything. I care about your PayPal transaction.

At such time as I decide to process credit cards, this will have to change.

Note that if you need an invoice for business or tax purposes, be sure that your address is correct. You can print an invoice for your order from your account.