When I started A Radical Guide the motivation for highlighting radical history, radical locations, collectives, and places where people are working to change how we live and work together came from two major areas of thought. As mentioned in, ‘A Radical Guide: The Story‘, one area was to expand on something that I was already doing for myself – creating a list of radical locations and visiting them as I traveled – and wanting to collaborate with you to expand this idea. The second area is a strong belief that, for the most part, it is hard for us to find new ways of living that is not rooted in capitalism, hierarchy, and toxic competition, without being inspired by seeing what others are doing. This doesn’t mean that we are not creative and intelligent, this speaks to the fact that we are over-loaded with teachings and messages that, for example, capitalism, as it is now, is the only system there is and there has never been another way of doing it. This thought is usually grouped together with the words, “This is the best we got”.
With those two motivations behind A Radical Guide, I, with your input and submissions to the site, began ‘mapping‘ the radical world –Thank you for all your submissions, keep them coming. I found myself reading about these locations and wanting to explore more of the local history, for example the Collectives and Anarchists in South Africa. From these deeper dives I was researching radical current happenings, I decided to open A Radical Shop to provide materials and resources that go deeper than the location listings on A Radical Guide.
As I visit Anarchist bookfairs, radical stores, etc to find materials for A Radical Shop with the goal to help raise awareness of radical thought and actions, I kept struggling with the cost of these materials, not because they are way too expensive –some are and it is absurd, for example a ‘radical’ book for $130 and the corresponding ebook for $52 — but the thought of how can we build and grow something new together, if we don’t share our resources. As I mentioned in the blog post link above, “Being together is something that is so central to everything you will see on A Radical Guide. It is about people coming together to create a better world. ”
I started with offering all ebooks for $5.00, but I still struggled with the thought that this only makes ebooks accessible to those who have have access to e-readers. So now, I am exploring how to offer ‘Name Your Price‘ for all products on A Radical Guide. The current thinking is to list the ‘Suggested Price’ which reflects the price we would offer it and you can then add the price you feel you can afford. If it is less than the ‘Suggested Price’ great, if it is more because you want to support the site, thank you!
If you visit the ‘Name Your Price‘ section of A Radical Shop, you will see that we, at the time of this post, only offer an audiobook and several ebooks. The goal is, as mentioned above, offer this for all products and there are some details I need to understand and work out before I move forward in offering this for all products.
Those details are:
1. Are you interested in this offering – would you support this direction and share it with others so it can be successful.
If this is something you would support, please let me know and share it with people you know as we add new items to the list.
2. How can I afford it.
When it comes to offering something like this there are a couple of things to take into consideration.
One consideration is the fact that I fund this site out of my own pocket. I am not looking to become rich from this project, but I do need to be able cover the costs of maintaining the site and providing material for A Radical Shop. In full transparency, here is an image of my profit/loss as of the writing this post. What you see in this image is the income for A Radical Guide (sales from A Radical Shop) and the expenses for A Radical Guide ( domain names purchases, materials for site, promotional items, ie: A Radical Guide stickers, etc). This is where detail number one becomes an important item. If there is not interest and people not supporting (sharing, raising awareness, etc) this direction, it makes it hard to maintain making sure we have radical material available to all.
3. Support Radical and Independent Publishers/Writers/Artists
The other consideration is not undermining great radical publishers who create the materials. This means, I don’t want to take away business or harm radical producers/publishers/writers/artists. The current solution is making sure if I am offering materials from independent publishers that I am paying those publishers and attempting to create a partnership that supports everyone. What that looks like is buying directly from radical publishers and risk taking a loss in sales on my end. Yeah, I know people tell me this is a crazy business model. I think that partnerships will be the key to show, by example, that we can create a new system of ‘economics’ that allows access to everyone and supports the creators and publishers of radical content. I am exploring how to make this happen, so the model used today may not be the model used tomorrow, this will grow as I learn. If you want to help, have ideas, products, or anything else, let me know.
What You Can Do To Support
There are several ways to support this A Radical Guide and to help get radical materials in the hands of all. Here are some ways that we have recommend, but are not limited to these, so be creative.
- Financially support A Radical Guide. We offer one-time, monthly, quarterly, and yearly ways for people to support A Radical Guide.
- Share our posts/locations/products on social media. Helping to spread the word to your friends, networks, and social feeds helps this reach other people we may not have access to. Here are our social networks if you want to connect there: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube – We also have a newsletter.
- Radical Media Outlets. Do you know a radical news publisher (online and print), blogs, radio? If so, let them know about A Radial Guide and help set up an interviews with us and that media outlet.
- Contribute to A Radical Guide. Post locations you know about to A Radical Guide. Do you have radical materials (books, pamphlets, games, music, art, etc) you want to offer on the site, contact us
Thank you for your support and interest in A Radical Guide!