UPDATE 2: As of 2 pm, we’ve sold nearly $200 in sponsorships. Get yours today!
UPDATE: As of 1:oo pm, we’ve sold $150 in sponsorships.
Commodification is a hot topic in recent philosophy. There’s a limitless market for books about the limits of markets. The question: Are there some things which you permissibly may possess, use, and give away, but which are wrong to buy and sell? Most authors who write about this say yes. Peter Jaworski and I say no. There are no inherent limits to markets. Everything you may give away you may sell, and everything you may take for free you may buy. We defend that thesis in our book Markets without Limits, which will be published by Routledge Press, most likely in late 2015 or early 2016. As of now, we have a completed first draft.
We plan to commodify the book itself. We will sell acknowledgements in the preface of the book. (Thanks to Chris Nelson for suggesting this idea.) Our friends on Facebook showed great enthusiasm for this. Our editor likes it and has okayed it. So, here goes.
1. We owe free acknowledgements to certain people, research centers, and universities.* These will all be acknowledged for free.
2. There will also be three tiers of paid acknowledgements. From highest to lowest: Silvermint Tier, Platinum Tier, and Gold Tier (The Silvermint Tier is so named because philosophy and women’s studies professor Daniel Silvermint is paying to have the highest tier named after him.) These will be clearly demarcated as paid-for acknowledgements. We might not mark them as such in the preface, but might instead only reveal that they were paid acknowledgements in the introductory chapter.
3. Gold Tier status costs $1. In exchange, you get our paid thanks and your name printed in the Gold Tier Acknowledgements.
4. Platinum Tier status costs $10. In exchange, you get our paid thanks, your name printed in the Platinum Tier Acknowledgements, and an advanced copy of the introductory section of the book emailed to you one month before the official book release.
5. Silvermint Tier, the highest and most noble tier, costs $25. In exchange, you get our paid thanks, your name printed in the Silvermint Tier Acknowledgements, and an advanced copy of the introductory section of the book emailed to you two months before the official book release. In addition, we will allow you to print a short phrase (about 10 words/50 characters) by your name, provided the phrase is not overly distasteful, not libelous, not racist, etc. (Consistent with our thesis, we can only sell what we could give away for free.)
6. If for some reason the book doesn’t get published, we will refund all money we collect, without interest.
7. All payments via Paypal, or cash if you see us in person. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org, informing us of who you are and what tier you’d like to buy. We’ll send you the Paypal address.
8. We both give money to charity monthly, so any money in our pockets has some chance of going to charity. However, we plan to keep this money for ourselves, split 50-50.
So, the acknowledgements might look something like this:
We’d like to thank our colleagues blah blah blah, the University of Toronto for hosting Brennan, the College of New Jersey for hosting Jaworski, blah blah blah…
In addition, we’d like to thank each of the following… (There will be some brief explanation of the tiers.)
Silvermint Tier: Johnny Appleseed (“Thanks, dad, for showing me how to fish!”), Tom Sawyer (“Who wants to whitewash this wall?)…
Platinum Tier: Bob Marley, Lita Ford, Trent Reznor, Mike Akerfeldt, Jack Bruce…
Gold Tier: Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek, Steve Harvey, Chuck Woolery…
In case it matters to you, Routledge Press is one of the very best, most prestigious publishers in academic philosophy.
Later, we might also sell the dedication page. We’ll post details about that when we’re about to pass in the manuscript to the publisher.
However, we’re not going to sell chapter titles or anything else in the body of the text. We considered doing things like, “Chapter 18 — Baby Buying — Sponsored by the Center for America Progress,” but we decided against it. We’re also not planning to sell any parts of the cover. Sorry.
*You might object: “But are all those free acknowledgements really free? Brennan and Jaworski have gotten thousands of dollars to speak about commodification at various universities. There’s an expectation that if you invite someone to speak at your university, he or she will acknowledge you in the book or the article when it’s published.” Good objection!