I was deeply touched by the honesty of one of my readers, Jason, when he emailed in from South Korea offering to pay the full amount for one of my books (Drupal 7), he had downloaded for free.
Take a look at his email:
“Hello David,I have just begun working on a site in Drupal and wanted to learn how to use the system so I searched on Isohunt for resources. I downloaded your book Drupal 7 in PDF and printed it out.
I am currently living in South Korea and did not have access to the book here and honestly wanted to get started with it right away. Anyhow, I am really enjoying the book and it is immensely helpful.
I just wanted to send you a PayPal payment for the cost of the book since I believe you should be paid for it. If you can let me know where to send the payment, I will have a look at Amazon to get the price and send that to you directly. I know it’s not a big amount of money for you, but I just want to be sure you get paid for the value you are providing.
I have been involved in publishing technical books for about 13 years now, and in all that time, for what must be hundreds of thousands of free downloads (illegally made available through file-sharing sites and P2P networks) of my books, Jason is the first and only person to have made such an offer.
I was so excited by this, I immediately replied:
“Jason,I am really touched by this gesture. In over 10 years of writing books, you are the first person to offer to pay for a downloaded copy that has been made freely available – this, out of what must be hundreds of thousands of free downloads over the years.
The easiest way to pay me is via PayPal, and you can use the email address: ****@*****.***
With your permission I would like to write an article about your email, and I will donate the amount you send to an animal charity here in South Africa whom I know will be grateful for the money.
Please also feel free to keep me abreast of your progress – in particular, I would be interested to see your new website once it is live.
All the best,
The story gets better because once Jason heard that I was going to donate the payment to a local wildlife charity, he virtually doubled the amount and sent in payment of $60 immediately. My family and I are heavily involved in conservation in South Africa, and as a result, I knew exactly which local organisation to donate the funds to – Baboon Matters.
Run by Jenni Trethowan, the Baboon Matters Trust does advocacy, education, rehab and rescue for all things baboon in southern Africa.
Animal welfare and conservation people, in my experience, often work tirelessly in thankless roles, not for money, power or glory, but because its the right thing to do. They deserve everyone’s unwavering support, IMHO.
At any rate, today was an excellent day for me because I am:
- delighted by Jason’s honesty – my faith that there are principled people out there is somewhat restored
- glad that he had found value in the book I spent months researching and writing
- ecstatic to be able to help out a worthy cause at the same time
In closing, I wish to thanks Jason once again for his remarkable honesty. I wish him the best of luck in building his new Drupal website. I hope he’s able to go from novice to pro in no time at all. I hope that the money he donated to Baboon Matters, by proxy, will help those folks out a bit.
If you have any similar stories, or want to pass on any comments to Jason, just drop me a line or leave a comment on Site prebuilder.