Wil Dubois (aka Lee) is a fabulous resource. He's a D-blogger, diabetes educator himself, and author of a bunch of very cool and down-to-earth informative books about living with diabetes. However, his experience with his publisher was the same as ours: Not enough marketing! Not enough help getting these useful books into patients' hands! So Wil has decided to go rogue, by offering his Taming the Tiger book, a tiny pocket first-year survival guide for type 2s in particular, on the internet — for free!
Wil writes to me:
"We've got over 4,000 Americans being diagnosed every day. I know most of those people don't get connected to the resources they need, a fact that literally keeps me awake at night. Of course, when I wrote Tiger, I knew that most of these folks are not going to run out and buy a book. I had thought I could get some grants, but no luck...
Only a few hundred copies got into the hands of diabetics, some from micro-grants, many out of my pocket. But now my pockets are pretty much empty. BUT, the feedback I got from this small number of books was amazing. It really, really, really helped make the diagnosis experience easier. It got people started off on a path to better understanding and better health.
One day a couple of months ago, after banging my head on the wall until it felt better, it occurred to me: An e-book can be a free-book.
So I jumped through all the hoops, got all necessary permissions, and created a low-res PDF versions of both English and Spanish versions for free distribution. It came out pretty cool, side-by-side paging like the paper book and some special effects to make it feel as book-like as possible.
The project is public service. I get no royalty and am not really interested in personal publicity. I just want the info out there, 'cause I know the book works."
You can download the English version right here and now by clicking on this cover shot:
For some reason, I had trouble capturing the Spanish version, but you can find both versions for your own free download at this link:
I'm telling you it's worth the few minutes. Oh, and gift idea: download this little book and assemble it yourself for somebody you love this Holiday Season.
Wil, ever the socially conscious Samaritan, wrapped up his message to me by saying:
"My only regret is that I know I've added to the health disparities of the world. An e-book can only be read by folks with computers. The poorest of our citizens don't have them. But still, everyone we can reach and help is a victory, even if some get left behind. I continue working on ways to get the paper copies into poorer areas."
No worries, Wil! You get my vote for being a person who's contributions far outweigh any "environmental footprint" drawbacks. Thank you for all you do!