Friday, 21 December 2012

Plotting and pondering…a games 4 libraries book.

Less than 24 hours after finishing work until the New Year I started pondering a possible project for 2013…

I’ve written a couple of books now via traditional Library and Information Science type publishers and get a bit depressed at how expensive they are – especially my first book which is essentially lots of practical active learning tips that can get dropped into a session when we’re teaching information skills.

I’d like to do a similar practical book for games that can help support information literacy, but I don’t want it to be expensive, plus I’d quite like it to have photo-copiable / printable resources in it.
So, was pondering creating quite a short book and self-publishing it through a service such as

There could be a free eBook version, plus a fairly cheap print on demand version in a format that is easy to copy. It would include an outline (in a standard format) of some games to enable people to adapt them to their own needs and create something themselves. In addition, it could include the print and play versions of any generic games I’ve already got ready to go (such as SEEK!) or could create in the next 6 months– so librarians could photocopy those pages onto card (or paper & laminate the card), cut out the individual cards / tokens / boards  / etc and be ready to go…

I could also include the prototypes from events like the workshop in Leeds, if I spent some time working through them and finishing them off – as long as people are happy their games being shared this way.

If I wrote the text, it’d cost a relatively small amount of money to get someone to titivate it enough to look prettier (i.e. proof read, typeset, design a cover, etc.) that would normally be done by a publisher, plus the cost of sending out a handful of copies to legal deposit libraries.

So, should I try and do this? Perhaps via a Kickstartercampaign to fund it?


  1. I think you should and that it's a great idea. There are so many library/IL related titles out there that I'd like to read which are too expensive to justify a purchase of all but a couple. A cheaper alternative would be welcome and it appears self-publishing is the way to go these days

  2. Cheers Sara - looking into it I could probably do a practical & short "game ideas" type book as described above for about £500.

    It'd need to be printed in colour for the photocopiable games to come out okay & be usable, which is fairly expensive. So, I could probably make it available to buy for between £30 & £40 (which would be printing costs plus retail mark-up, no profit) in the expectation hardly anyone would buy it (unless their libraries bought it for them) and hope people would use a free or dirt cheap ebook version instead. So could perhaps add a tenner to the price of the print book and hope to sell 50 copies (to recover costs) with the ebook free, or charge a token amount (a fiver?) for the ebook and hope to recover costs that way...

    Will definitely think about it more over the next month or so!