Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We have concluded ...

We've concluded that there is simply not enough interest in Watch Tower history to continue this project. We may continue to work on volume two in a very low-key, desultory way. But this project is dropping off our list of priorities.

This may upset a few people, but not many. We've based this on book sales, lack of comments on this blog, and some issues we wont address here in detail. If people cared about our work, they'd comment on this blog. Except for the same four or five people, no one does. I've worked to keep this blog interesting, but the return on that has been very poor.

Perhaps I've expected too much. But it seems to me that a few informed comments and questions are not an unreasonable expectation if there is real interest.

I note that an ebay seller is trying to sell our book for eighty dollars. She has four watchers. You can buy A Separate Identity new for $27.50. It seems a waste to buy for eighty dollars what you can buy for thirty. Life is interesting, no?

We won't publish an ebook at this time. If you were waiting for one, I'm sorry. Publishing it for sale on Amazon and the other ebook sellers takes formatting stills neither of us have, and, given the lack of interest, it is a waste of time to learn the skills.

Over the course of this project we've met some lovely people and some I could have lived forever without encountering and be happier for it. We had one person try to take control of the project. He maintains his interest but goes back-door to contact us. We had three or four gain access to our private blog and steal photos and text from it. We share our documentation freely (with the exception of a few items we promised the owner not to share), but some of those who've taken from us refused in turn to share. I can't account for that. But mostly those who have commented here have been really nice to us. I'm pleased.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

When writing this, possibly you are in the Slough of Despond?

It is not pleasant to devote so much time, effort and thought (maybe to the detriment of other obligations) to a project and feel unappreciated. But remember that the comments on here are the tip of an iceberg - and that a huge but hidden iceberg of gratitude DOES exist.

Is it perhaps time for a change of direction?

Instead of the minutiae of Russell's life, why not home in on say a dozen episodes of his later life - times that engage the interest of Russell-watchers - and examine these with the same dedication and enthusiasm you have brought to 'A Separate Identity'?

The interest of potential readers has to be engaged - a fact of writing. There has to be a demand for your work. A change of emphasis might catch the interest of the book-buying public who vote with their cash.

I, for one, have bought both your books and enjoyed them. But maybe the subject is a little specialized? And one doubts that you would have got as far as Russell's death using the present format anyway.

roberto said...

I think there is a real interest in your book. Give us time to advertise it in a right manner. My humble hint is: don't be in a hurry in taking a decision, wait a whole year. See how many books you will sell in 12 months, and then decide the future of this research.
Don't expect many comments on this blog. Some people are logorrheic ad nauseam (me for example), but the greater part of the readers don't like to write or don't know what to write. But they like to read. You can see their number in the counter.

Yes, the sale is important, not for the money, but because you can measure the interest. But how many people know this blog? And the book? How many people know your book? Surely thousands and thousands of potential customers don't know the existence of this blog and your book. We must advertise it, sure, but we need time.

"A Separate Identity" is the best Watch Tower History I have ever read. I deeply doubt there will be something better in the future. And every serious historian will follow your track.

So, be patient, and give us time to help you.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Anon:

There are a number of generalist Pastor Russell biographies out there of mixed worth.

We don't see a need for another of those.

Anonymous said...

Dear Princess,

I haven't made myself clear.

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Hello, I have also bought your both books. I quoted one of them at my thesis and also several of your blog comments and articles... they were really very interesting and one of few serious places to obtain serious research. What I can say you is "Thanks" and that I have tried always to quoted you (all of you) properly.
I am still reading your second book... and what I can say is.... again... excellent!
Thanks
Miquel Angel (Spain)

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Hello, I have also bought your both books. I quoted one of them at my thesis and also several of your blog comments and articles... they were really very interesting and one of few serious places to obtain serious research. What I can say you is "Thanks" and that I have tried always to quoted you (all of you) properly.
I am still reading your second book... and what I can say is.... again... excellent!
Roberto offered you a good reason... please, wait some more months. I think that in academic o scholar publishing you can not expect to be quoted before the first year of life in humanities areas... Wait several more months and then decide.

Thanks
Miquel Angel (Spain)

Ton Hollander said...

I'm sure there is a life apart from the blog and the second volume. That's true for the writers, that's true for the readers. Writing volume two should not be exhausting for you two, nor should it be a burden. I don't say it should be just a hobby, but it should not absorb your life, nor your resources. For us it may be just a hobby, and it is free of charge. Apart for buying the book.
We (the faithful I shall call them) who regularly reacted, enjoyed your work, and we shall enjoy whatever will follow, and whenever.
I think shorter, more regular, postings on the blog (once a week?) keep interest alive. The problem is most people never heard aboout John Shellenberger Lawver, that's why I suppose shorter blog articles. How should they contribute?
I will go on researching myself, and send you things, as long as I heaar from you things are "a good find". It's my hobby.

Ton

Ton Hollander said...

Only SEVEN reactions here? Is Rachael right?????

Ton

Semer said...

When I first read Bruce's posts on another forum devoted to our history I was totally enthralled. It was a very gratifying surprise to learn there were people with so much interest -along with expertise- in a topic that has always fascinated me. When I begun reading this and the other blog and when I read Bruce and Rachael's first book I felt this was something tailor-made for me. I wish I could help with something more than my admiration, my gratitude and my modest efforts to give you publicity.
I think Ton's suggestion for the posts is interesting and might be a good idea.
If you let me express my most selfish desires, I wish you wouldn't have a life and you devote yourselves only to writing the next book and a lot after that.