The Raised By Turtles Book

The Raised by Turtles book includes updated and edited versions of posts from the blog and a handful that have never before been allowed off my hard drive.

I have gotten more fun out of this self-published book than out of all seven of my outlandishly expensive academic books put together. It also took a lot more courage to offer this much more personal book to people than it took to publish those scholarly books. Self-publishing without an editor and a press and peer reviewers, laying out personal essays, feels like operating without a safety net. It’s just me. Hang on!

If you want to buy a scholarly book that represents years of toil in each volume, Librarie Droz has those. If you want a book suitable for reading on the toilet, here are 10 reasons why you should buy Raised by Turtles.

10 reasons why you should buy Raised by Turtles

1. The cover is green

Need I say more?

Convinced? Great.

Buy Raised By Turtles on Amazon

Why only via Amazon? It turns out that I am willing to compromise my beliefs in order to make cheap shit nobody needs (e.g. this book) instantly available around the world. See why below.

2. It has pictures.

Not only does it have genuine public domain art stolen from the internet, but actual original illustrations such as this one of John Kennedy giving his famous speech about toilet bowl cleaner. I mean, the writing might be shit, but where else will you get drawings like this:

3. It’s cheap and it comes with a qualified money-back guarantee.

Of course, I could make it free by giving away an electronic version, but then it wouldn’t really be a real book. And because the InDesign files are pretty complicated and I no longer have a licensed copy of InDesign, I only know how to turn it into a PDF which isn’t very nice to read on most electronic devices.

Therefore it is not free and the only available version requires killing trees.

In order to get it this cheap, I have made a Devil’s bargain with a multinational monopolist who has made it their mission to kill the book trade, book stores and the publishing industry and several other types of retail. Sadly, they were the cheapest printers by a factor of three with the fastest delivery by a factor of two. This is how the Devil gets your soul. More on this below.

Beyond that raw cost, I have only taken 9 cents in author commission, mostly so that it would have a really official-seeming price that ends in .95 as all real books do (not .99 as electronic books content does or, even worse, .97 as bullshit huckster internet marketer content does based, by the way, on advice from one marketer who tested pricing ending in “7” forty years ago and despite the face that many subsequent tests have shown this does not increase sales, but I digress).

Regarding that qualified money-back guarantee, you may be asking, just what is the qualification?

The qualification is that I can only afford to refund the author’s royalty, that is, the 9 cents. Yes, you are correct, that is only 1.8181818% of the purchase price. If you are a good person and, unlike me (ipso facto, a bad person), have not paid $139/year to said monopolist to get free shipping on all manner of shit you don’t need, then it will be far less than 1.8181818% of the purchase price.

Why, you ask? Why don’t I become fabulously rich, and able to offer a much bigger percentage refund, by setting pricing so that the author’s royalty is not a mere 9 cents, but a massive 900 cents, more than any author would ever get from a Big Five publisher?

Here’s the problem. If I were to charge 900 cents author’s royalty and sell the 100,000 copies I plan to sell, my downside risk is huge. I could be on the hook for refunding 90 million cents. That’s nearly a million dollars. That would bankrupt me.

Now, you’re thinking, “But you’ll be refunding money you will have, because you will have just taken in that money in author’s royalties.”

But of course I won’t have that money. I will have purchased a 250,000,000 cent home in Chamonix and not only will I not have the 90,000,000 cents I earned in royalties, I will have a 160,000,000 cent mortgage to pay. If I have to refund the 90,000,000 cents, I’ll be bankrupt. It would be a disaster.

At 9 cents per copy, that’s only 900,000 cents which is enough to buy new skis, some climbing gear, a vacation and three boxes of planet-killing raspberries airlifted in from Peru in January at what seems like 100,000 cents per carton.

Perhaps you protest, “The math is the same, it’s still money you took in that you have to pay back.”

Oh naive reader, of course it’s not the same. The money I will take in will already have been spent on skis and climbing gear and plant-killing raspberries that cost what seems like 100,000 cents per carton. I won’t be able to get that money back. I will pay that back out of my retirement savings, which I can afford, precisely because it’s not 90,000,000 cents. It’s just 900,000 cents and, at 60 years old, I have managed to salt away that much in my savings.

But won’t my wife be mad? Another foolish question. I’m no idiot. Obviously my wife will have also gotten new skis and climbing gear and she will have eaten half of the planet-killing raspberries airlifted in from Peru in January for what seems like 100,000 cents per carton. She’ll be thrilled. She gets the new skis and the raspberries, while the refunds come out of my retirement accounts.

So at 9 cents author’s royalty, I get skis, climbing gear, planet-killing raspberries airlifted from Peru and a happy marriage. At 900 cents author’s royalty I get bankruptcy, unhappiness and divorce.

Thus, Raised by Turtles sells for $4.95 at the time of this writing.

That is subject to change as printing costs change. This page will not get updated because, as you can see, it’s already been printed here on the web. We won’t do another print run just to fix the pricing. The web just doesn’t work like that.

Thus, this page will not get updated as prices change, because the logic, the iron-clad logic I might add, is the same even if the price changes somewhat or they develop some mad technology that allows web pages to be edited after they have been printed on the web.

4. The individual pieces are short enough to read on the toilet.

This magnum opus has been scientifically and artfully crafted to be sure that no piece exceeds the length that a reasonable person could read in the course of one good dump. It is one of the most toilet-friendly works of literature ever produced.

5. You would be supporting a massive corporation that is destroying our way of life me

Yes, that’s right. The entire 9 cents in profits will go straight to ME. How does this benefit you, you ask? I don’t know, but if you become my friend and I sell those 100,000 copies and make those 900,000 cents in profit, I might buy you a cup of coffee. Maybe even at a cafe or restaurant. Most likely it will be Sanka at my house.

6. If you buy this book, you could become fabulously rich and save the world.

That outcome, should it come to pass, will almost certainly be unrelated to the fact that you bought this book. But it is possible that buying this book will be THE thing that will make you rich and save the world. So, sure, you could pass on it and not buy the book, not become fabulously wealthy and not save the world, but ask yourself: can you afford to take that risk?

7. PF Flyers are prominently featured in one story

Obviously, that should clinch it. PF Flyers were, after all, the shoes that made kids run faster, even on the moon. Any story with PF Flyers is obviously worth 495 cents.

8-10 [omitted]

If it means nothing to you that PF Flyers figure prominently in one story and you do not think that alone is reason enough to buy a book, you are probably beyond persuasion. Therefore, I am keeping reasons 8-10 (which are very good reasons) to myself. Clearly, nothing can persuade you if the PF Flyers didn’t do it. As we have established beyond any reasonable doubt, that is already plenty of reason in and of itself to buy this book or any book with PF Flyers.

So I don’t need to belabor this with three more reasons. I already know that you are either beyond redemption, or you are desperately asking…

… please take me now to the evil corporation that sells your book.

Why Amazon?

Simply put, I originally did this via a different print-on-demand service, one that I do not believe is a threat to humanity as we know it, and it ended up being almost $20/copy delivered and the quality was atrocious. I did not expect it to match the acid-free paper, archival grade inks and sewn bindings that Droz uses for my $156/copy scholarly works, but I have a minimum standard to be willing to read a book. Text should not bleed through the page for example. Pulp fiction is better as movie. My tired 60-year-old eyes can’t read those books anymore.

So, I have allowed myself to give in to the Borg and, thus, your only option is to

Buy Raised By Turtles on Amazon

or not buy it at all. I have a good friend who refused a copy because it is fulfilled by Amazon and who also refuses to fly because of climate change. I respect a person with principles and support those choices. I wish I were as good a person as him. I’m not and I hope you aren’t either.

And in any case, you can read the earlier drafts here on this very website for free. Enjoy!

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