Last year The Friday Project published The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas and enlisted the 350,000 followers of the 42 contributors to help define the content and shout about it to their friends. The result was that on the hottest day of the year, two months before publication, it jumped into the Amazon Top Ten bestseller’s list. This year we decided to take the reader’s involvement in a book’s publication a step further. What would happen if we asked people to contribute to a book of their own?
In the midst of the current election fever one of the most contentious issues is the mess that the Baby Boomer generation has left for the Facebook generation of first-times voters, as pointed out by everyone from India Knight to Jeremy Paxman. Into this perfect storm The Friday Project have published It’s All Their Fault: A Manifesto.
This is a terrible time to be young. Every baby in the UK is born owing £22,500, a share of the £1.4 trillion credit crunch bail out bailout. The average student graduates £20,000 in debt. The prospect of paying off that debt and saving for a deposit for a one bedroom flat is remote, and it is all the fault of our parents. Anyone under the age of 35 is living in the shadow of the baby-boomer generation who grew up in an era of rapidly growing prosperity, drew wages from jobs for life, got their education for free, and bought multiple cars and TVs that they didn’t need. There are roughly 650 days left until the Boomer time bomb goes off and they reach retirement, cease to pay taxes and start drawing pensions. We can not cannot stop the bomb, or undo the debt, but we can remove the Boomer politicians from office.
The first edition of It’s All Their Fault was published the minute that election was called with Vice Magazine Online and Don’t Panic Media, who have a combined their reach of nearly a million target-market readers. At www.itsalltheirfault.com readers are able to can read the entire text for free, and download, for free, a sample chapter to share with their friends. They will also be able to can also buy a print-on-demand edition for £4.99 or the eBook for £3.99 which will be is the first eBook in the UK to feature author-curated hyperlinks to videos, audio clips and other multi-media content. They will find details of every single MP and PPC from the three major parties – including information about their age – and will be invited to email a letter to them raising their concerns. Readers will then be invited to add their own comments, respond to the manifesto’s agenda and the best of these comments will be added to a second edition of It’s All Their Fault that will be published the moment the election result is announced. This will truly be truly a manifesto written by the people, for the people.
Publishers have talked for a while of bringing authors and readers closer together – but what about turning your readers into your authors, and make making them integral to content creation? More and more often we are hearing that readers are expecting to get involved in content creation. This is their chance.