My Dissertation: $1

So, a couple of days ago I got a royalty check from ProQuest for my dissertation. Not many people had purchased it through ProQuest: one person got a hard copy and a number had gotten it in another form. There several couple of reasons this surprises me:

1. The softbound print version is a whopping $50. That’s like $10/hour for my writing time, or something like that. It’s not a very good dissertation–if any of my students produced a dissertation of this quality, I would fail them. And it certainly isn’t worth $50. I wish they would tell me who spent this for the diss, as I would like to send a personal letter of apology. As for the others, I don’t know if there is a place to download it electronically (I can’t find it), so I guess they ordered it on microfiche/microfilm? Do people still order things on fiche? How very memex of them.

2. It’s been available for free on the web forever. Hundreds of folks have downloaded it, I am sure, by mistake. And a PDF is freely available through most people’s universities, using ProQuest. Since my degree was largely paid for by the state (doesn’t mean I’m not still paying hundreds of thousands in school loans, of course–beer is only free as in speech), it makes sense that it should be freely available.

My only conclusion is that, like software, people only value what they can pay for. So, noticing a new service called “Payloadz,” I have decided to offer a download of my dissertation for the whopping good value of $1. That’s right, 98% the original cover price. Just click this button to download your own copy!

But wait, that’s not all! Let’s say you read this dissertation and realize that it is better than peanut butter, and that there is a real sales opportunity here. If so, you can become a “Halavais Dissertation Selling Affiliate,” by becoming an affiliate and using the following link:

I pay an unprecedented 25% commission on all sales of my dissertation. It’s all about sharing the wealth.

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  1. Posted 6/12/2006 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    How many do I have to sell to get my free iPod?

  2. Posted 6/12/2006 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “I’d buy that for a dollar!” – crappy sell-o-vision on Robocop.

  3. Posted 6/14/2006 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I think universities may have different deals with ProQuest. I’ve seen places (academic institutions, I’m quite sure) where it costs quite a bit to get an e-copy through that service.

  4. Posted 6/14/2006 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    OK, I guess that makes more sense, then.

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