SUMMARY OF RON PRICE’S INTERNET PUBLISHING
HIS CUP OF PUBLISHING TEA
Most of the following went onto the internet in the eight year period: 2001-2009. Most of it is free of any cost, although some self-publishing, ebook material costs from $3 to $20 per book including postage. I have published at lulu.com and/or eBookMall among other self-publishing locations on the internet. But I do not post at these internet sites for the sake of making money. I have never had a great deal of interest in making money; perhaps that is one reason at the age when men retire in the west, 65, I have just enough on which to survive. In the first six years(2003-2009) in which my published ebooks have been on the internet I have received an average of 25 cents per annum. I could have bought a pack of gum to chew when I was pitching ‘on the mound’ back in the fifties but now, of course, that 25 cents will only get me some penny candy, if that. Fame and wealth, I have little doubt, will elude me before I step into the place there men speak no more, at least not speak in the form it would appear in which they now do, the place some call the afterlife and others simply call death.
There are three general categories of printed matter I have placed on the world wide web since 2001. I outline my work on the internet in this 2000 word summary which I invite you to read to give you an overall picture of my work and the immense value that has resulted in the teaching work.
1. Books and Self-Publishing:
1.1. The Emergence of a Baha’i Consciousness in World Literature: The Poetry of Roger White. This 300 page ebook is available at Baha’i Library Online(BLO) and type the word “Price” into the ‘By author’ section at the top of the access page. This will give readers access to 46 items or documents as they are called at : two books and 44 articles. Some 120,000 hits have been registered in total on these documents at BLO.
1.2. A paperback edition of the above book is available at Lulu.com for $11.48 plus shipping costs from the USA. This self-publishing site also has a five volume work, a study in autobiography, entitled Pioneering Over Four Epochs which is 2600 pages long. It is available as an ebook and in paperback for $10 to $20 per volume and has been reviewed by the Review Office of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. I have been given permission to place parts or all of it on the internet. The charges are set by Lulu.com and eBookMall. Self-publishing, then, is one thing I do but, as I say, this exercise is not about making money. If it was I think I could only buy, as I say one small sweet per annum with the royalties.
1.3 My internet site, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, with its 450,000 words amounts to at least six books, using one of the quantitative definitions of a book on the internet: 75,000 pages. My website has 42 hyper-links, links to 42 sub-topics of prose and poetry. This site also contains several hundred pages of my autobiography or memoir and has attracted an average of one hit/day in the last 2 years—not that big a deal in the world of internet site hits.
2. Internet Site Postings:
Many of my essays, poems and a myriad of different kinds of postings and writings in smaller, more manageable, chunks of an A-4 page or less in size--or a little more in size--are all free and can be accessed by simply: (a) going to any one of approximately 4000 sites on the WWW or (b) typing some specific words into the goggle or one of many other search engines as follows:
2.1 At Approximately 4000 Sites:
I post at a wide range of poetry, literature, social science and humanities sites across a wide range of subjects, topics and intellectual disciplines in both popular and academic culture. The list of these sites, some 120 pages of them @40 sites per page on average, is available to anyone interested by writing to me at: email@example.com
. But a simpler method of accessing my postings is to:
2.2 Type Various Sets of Words At Google:
There are literally hundreds of sets of words now that will access my writing and a host of internet sites where my writing and my interaction with others can be located. If you type, for example, RonPrice or, better, my name followed by any one of the following words or word sequences: (i) poetry, (ii) literature, (iii) religion, (iv) Baha’i, (v) history, (vi) Shakespeare, (vii) ancient history, (viii) philosophy, (ix) Islam or (x) Australia Baha’i, among other words--you will get anywhere from a few sub-sites to over 700 sub-sites arranged in blocks of ten.
The main problem with this way of accessing what I have written when posting my name, Ron Price, with no word after my name is that: (a) you will then find my work side by side with dozens of items from other writers and posters who have the same name as mine. I have counted over 2000 other Ron Prices. There are some wife bashers, car salesmen, evangelists, media celebrities, a pornographer or two, a fascinating array of chaps who have different things to flog/offer, so to speak, than my offerings. Some names in the world seem very common; mine is certainly one of them.
3. Specific Sites With Much Material:
Some sites have hundreds of pages of my writing and these sites are a sort of middle ground, a different ground, between the above two major categories. The Baha’i Academics Resource Library(BARL) or Baha’i Library Online(BLO), as I say above, for example, has more of my material than at any other site. My writings can be simply located at BARL by clicking on the author box at the top of the access page. Then type the word “Price” into the little box and click on the word “Go.” This will give you access to 46 documents. My writings are also listed at BARL under: (a) books, (b) personal letters, (c) poetry, (d) biographies and (e) essays, among other categories/listings. My book on the poetry of Roger White book is here under “Secondary Resource Material>Books, as is a lengthy slice of my autobiography, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, in two separate documents, Parts 1 and 2 among the 46 documents.
I find the BARL site useful personally and this for many reasons one of which is the freedom it gives to a writer to edit his own material any time he wants to do so. On the downside at BLO, some of the poetry is not arranged in as pleasing a form visually as it is at many other internet sites. There are some sites at which my writing is found in a very attractive form with photos and pictures and general settings to catch the eye. Some site organizers have their location/internet site beautifully arranged and packaged for people like me who post their work liberally across the internet. I leave it to readers to read what pleases them and leave what doesn’t. It goes without saying that readers are free to go to sites and interact on the basis of their own interests and talents.
I had no idea when I retired from full-time employment in 1999, from part-time work in 2003 and from most volunteer work in 2005, to devote my time as much as possible to writing and promoting various causes, especially the Baha’i Cause, that the internet would be as fertile a base for my offerings as it has become. There are literally millions of words that I have written and posted on this international web of words in the last decade and in the years since I stopped giving my time to FT, PT and casual work and teaching in post-secondary education in Western Australia in the first week of April 1999. And there are 1000s of people with whom I interact on occasion in one way or another in connection with the Baha’i Faith, its history and teachings.
I have had to deal with illness in my household and it has kept my internet work in small time-frames of 2 hours or less, but I can usually fit in at least 8 hours out of every 16 doing “the work.” From the early eighties to the early years of this new millennium I tried to get published in a hard or soft cover with traditional publishers or in a multitude of magazines and journals in the periodical press. I also tried to teach this new world Faith during these years and decades before, but always with little overt success—a common experience Baha’is have had in the decades I have been associated with this Cause.
Publishers had no interest in my writing and people to whom I tried to teach this global Cause were for the most part: (a) indifferent, (b) very cautious and (c) rarely, if ever, sufficiently interested to actually join and work in its network, a network that is the very nucleus and pattern of a new World Order.
My guess is that in the years ahead the world will be awash with books and postings from thousands if not millions of people like me. The world is already awash with internet sites and people interact in the content areas at those sites where written interaction is possible and where their interests lie. What I write may not be your cup-of-tea and my approach to internet teaching may not be your approach. In that case: (a) drink someone else’s tea from someone else’s cup and (b) chose your own internet MO or modus vivendi, as it were.
But for those who may enjoy my writings and for others who just want to get their works read, their photos online, their artwork published and available and/or have a chat about some topic or other--I hope the above is a useful outline.
MY TAPESTRY OF INTERNET WRITING
There are now several hundred thousand readers engaged in parts of my internet tapestry, my literary product, my creation, my immense pile of words across the internet--and hundreds of people with whom I correspond on occasion as a result. This amazing technical facility, the world wide web, has made this literary success possible. If my writing had been left in the hands of the traditional hard and soft cover publishers, where it had been without success when I was employed full time as a teacher, lecturer, adult educator and casual/volunteer teacher from 1981 to 2001, these results would never have been achieved. When one writes one likes to have readers; it’s a little like talking and having listeners to make the exercise meaningful.
I have been asked how I have come to have so many readers at my website and on my tapestry of writing which was created across the internet in the years 2001 to 2009. Let me briefly describe the process of developing this tapestry of writing, a tapestry which for millions of internet users is just another form of ‘published’ writing in addition to the traditional forms. Perhaps the metaphor for the product, the result, of all my internet writing would be jig-saw puzzle rather than tapestry. If a publisher were to attempt to put all of my internet writing into a book, it would take him months and the product would be an irregular bundle of pieces that would require great skill in order to put the puzzle together.
The literally hundreds of thousands of readers I have at locations on my tapestry, my jig-saw puzzle of prose and poetry are found at over 4000 websites where I have registered: forums, message boards, discussion sites, blogs, locations for debate and the exchange of views. They are sites where I place essays, articles, books, ebooks, poems and other genres of writing. I have registered at this multitude of sites, placed my literary products there and engaged in discussions with literally thousands of people, little by little and day by day. I enjoy these results without ever having to deal with publishers as I did for two decades without any success. This tapestry, I have sewn in a loose-fitting warp and weft across the internet; indeed, it is so loose the garment would probably be so big that only the great hulk would find the piece of clothing useful—and even then?
The last eight years of internet posting have been immensely rewarding. As I say above, when one talks one likes to be listened to and when one writes one likes to have readers. It is almost impossible, though, to carry literary torches as I do through internet crowds or in the traditional hard and soft-cover forms, without running into some difficulties. My postings singe the beards of some readers and my own occasionally. Such are the perils of dialogue, of apologetics, of writing, of posting, indeed, I might add, of living. Much of writing and dialogue in any field of thought derives from the experience each of us has of: (a) an intimate or not-so-intimate sharing of views in some serendipitous fashion or (b) what seems like a fundamental harmony or dissonance between what each of us thinks and what some other person thinks. In some ways, the bridge of dialogue is immensely satisfying; in other ways the gulfs over the valleys of life are unbridgeable. When the latter is the case and when a site is troubled by my posts, I usually bow out for I have not come to a site to engage in conflict, to espouse an aggressive proselytism but, rather, to stimulate thought and, as I say, share views.
The above summary of my internet activity certainly indicates what I do and gives you some idea of the teaching potential on the internet. I leave this information with you for whatever purpose it serves, for anyone who is interested. -Ron Price, Tasmania, 21 September 2009.