I have been slowly working on a large-scale writing project over the last few months. Inspired by all the people who have contacted me through the blog, I have begun work on a free eBook to distribute to potential Dublin visitors.
I originally thought to complete the book before making any kind of announcement or material available, but if the goal of the project is to get as many Dublin tips out to as many Dublin visitors as possible, it only makes sense to get things out as soon as they are finished(ish).
The main focus of the book will be free and cheap activities in Dublin. I hope to include essays with general Dublin and Ireland money-saving information and step-by-step walking tours. The book will not be written as the only book you'll ever need to visit Dublin, like so many other commercial guides. These books require regular research and up-to-date information on things like hotels, transportation, and the latest tourist activities. This research is time consuming, costly, risky, and just not fun.
My book will hopefully be entertaining, informative, and useful for the potential Dublin tightwad visitor. If someone finds it funny and/or useful, I might set up a PayPal donation button for readers to voluntarily buy me a pint for my trouble. If someone finds it unfunny and not useful, they can simply go on their merry way.
Publishing the book in pieces will also help me get the hang of this whole e-publishing thing. I am planning to protect my work with Creative Commons licences, which are meant for freely-shared material. I won't have to endure the trouble and expense of copyrighting material that I plan to give away, and people who use and share my work can do so as long as they credit me and don't sell it.
I'll be setting up a Free Dublin eBook page on the blog on which to post each piece as they are completed. As each piece is edited and completed, the library will change and build. Each new piece will also get a unique post with a link for download and to the Dublin eBook page. Hopefully, the completed book will be available in a number of formats in individual chapters and as a complete book for people to pick and choose the content they want. Inklings of future audio and video content are also swimming around in the back of my mind, so stay tuned.
The first piece, Dublin's Urban Park Scramble is a guided walk through Dublin's three City Centre parks. Right now, the piece is only available in PDF format as I experiment with publishing choices and the look of each piece on computer, print, and mobile platforms. Bear with me as we learn the free publishing game together.