Fieldwork Fail: When Science Goes Messy by Jim Jourdane

You can buy this book for 75% off. See details below.

This is the end – I’m stopping selling Fieldwork Fail !

The book « Fieldwork Fail » was a huge success. Hundreds of people from more than 50 country – you – made this beautiful project happen. Word to mouth is excellent and many people from dozens of countries told me they love the book.

Still I have an issue right now :/

I need to close my shop, where I was selling the book. With my books still in it.

After the crowdfunding, I wanted the book available later on for more people.

To distribute them, finding a publisher could have been a choice. But talking with them made me remember why I had avoided them in the first place…

Another possibility could have been to sell directly on Amazon. As a customer, Amazon makes things easy, reliable and fast.

But there were some points I had issues with: Amazon is in monopoly situation and strangle independant book stores, the company doesn’t even pay its taxes, the working conditions of employees are poor, and as a seller Amazon is complex and bureaucratic.

So, that wasn’t my favorite model either. Was any alternative possible? Amazon seems to be difficult to avoid when you talk about selling books, but I decided to run an alternative anyway, « for a couple of months ».

I opened a website,, and connected the store to an independant fulfillment company. I shipped a palet of books in USA and in UK so that people there could get the book faster in these countries, but with also the possibility to ship the book anywhere in the world. So when you ordered a book in my store, a guy in USA or UK was shipping the book directly to your address, and I could focus on other projects instead of having to ship myself books every two days.

This alternative that was just an experiment worked actually for one year and a half! Hundreds of people bought the book in this shop.

Ok, it worked with the exception that for many other people, there is nothing outside Amazon. Your book doesn’t seem to even have an existence if it’s not listed in their platform.

So, after this experience, is it possible to make a book ignoring Amazon?

It is but it’s difficult. This independant distribution worked well for selling the book “word of mouth” but killed the idea of promoting it outside this word-of-mouth area.

Still, this independant distribution was effective, and allowed to hundreds of people to order the book !

…Just enough to make me do a second print.

A few months later, the sales of the store were just covering the storage fees.

I could live with the status quo, but the fulfillment company contacted me two weeks ago.

What is worse than having a huge pile of books on your hands ?

Having a big pile of books on your hands… thousands of miles away, without any places to store them. And with a countdown!

Sure, there are others fulfillment companies, but in the long term, I’m not sure that the sales will cover the storage and others fees anyway.

I contacted again publishers.

Printing wasn’t that expensive but it was great quality, printed in Belgium – the specialists of comic books in Europe. As the Kickstarter was successful, I made sure to have the best printing quality I could get. And I don’t regret it, they made an awesome work!

The only conclusion right now: I have the urgent need to reduce this huge supply of quality-printed books to make everything easier to handle!

To do so, I will sell the english version of Fieldwork Fail, during the next 10 days, with a 75% discount, on my store.

Thereafter, I will close my shop, end international shipping, and will just keep some copies (at the regular price) in (not many alternatives – I want to keep the book available and show that it does exist! If you have an Amazon account, of course don’t hesitate to leave a comment about the book.

So, if you know colleagues, friends who could be interested, if you have a point of sale and want to sell the book, if you want to offer a copy to your school’s library or at the cafeteria of your university… The book is available for 10 days for just a quarter of the original price.

Shipping won’t be free but will be the same whatever the number of copies.

I want to finish with better news 🙂

I may have been a bit too optimistic or ambitious on the English version but all other versions of the book are doing great!

– The book in France is simpler to manage! Here too, I printed a lot of copies, but as they have been distributed in book stores with a proper release, unlike his English-speaking cousin, new readers are buying the book over time, month after month, thanks to a great media coverage and excellent word of mouth. It’s the opposite: I arrive soon at the end of the stock and need now to make a new print!

The book has even been selected for two French awards: La Science se Livre and Le Gout des Sciences. Ok, eventually I didn’t get these awards but it was already awesome to be selected – the book was even finalist in these two prizes!

– The book is now in german and portuguese! Published by Verlag Ludwig in Germany and Blutcher in Brazil. That makes an happy family of books!

Also, I have several ongoing projects that I will likely talk about in the next news.

Thank you for reading me this far!


4 Mistakes I Made Trying to Raise a Middle School Reader by Kari Ness Riedel

As a self-proclaimed book lover, raising kids who love to read is a high priority. As soon as my son, Gabe, was born, snuggling up with a book at bedtime became an important ritual for us. He was an early reader, and throughout elementary school, he spent hours poring over books every week. When he entered middle school, however, his interest in reading for fun declined dramatically.

Here are a few mistakes I’ve made in my efforts to ensure he continues to read for pleasure as he gets older — and some adjustments that our family is making together to correct them.

Mistake #1: Not making time for reading.
Like many kids today, Gabe is busy. He plays competitive baseball, he’ll soon be a Kuk Sool Won black belt, and he has a considerable amount of homework every night. These passions and interests make him happy, but they’re time-consuming. It seems like there’s little time left for reading, especially since “read for 20 minutes” is no longer in his evening homework assignment as it was in elementary school.

My mistake was in accepting this busyness and not encouraging him to find the time to read. Recently, we did a family assessment of what we value and compared it with how we spend our time. Reading and learning about the world were at the top of our values list, so we looked more closely at Gabe’s schedule to see where he could find extra time to read. Those 15 minutes on Instagram, the 45 minutes watching baseball videos on YouTube, that half-hour waiting for his brother to finish practice — all were potential opportunities to read. We now help Gabe identify those windows of time and use them to work in additional reading.

Mistake #2: Pushing my literary interests instead of his.
Gabe and I shared a love of the Harry Potter series, so I assumed he would jump on my recommendation to read The Mysterious Benedict Society. Um, no. He became interested in that book only when his friend told him about it. For a while, I pushed classics and other books I wanted him to read, but was continually met with disinterest and even opposition in return. Wrong approach. What does work is making time for him to browse the shelves at our local bookstore and library and encouraging him to talk with friends about what they’re reading. Also, honoring his interests and what he wants to read — dystopian sci-fi and magazines like Sports Illustrated Kids, for example — has gotten better results than my pushing him toward books I think he should read. Seeing the power of peer recommendations even led me to create Bookopolis, a digital platform where kids can swap book recommendations with friends and explore peer reviews to find books they are excited to read.

Mistake #3: Not reading aloud to a child who knows how to read.
Before my son could read independently, read-aloud time with Mom was as important as tooth-brushing to our evening routine. We went through hundreds and hundreds of picture and chapter books. As Gabe learned to read, I initially rejoiced in my moments of freedom while he read alone. But when he stopped choosing reading as an activity to do on his own, I realized that, in addition to giving us precious family bonding time, reading together had actually increased his personal enthusiasm for books. Starting a book together was often the hook he needed to get sufficiently interested in the characters and the plot to then read the rest of the story on his own.

Mistake #4: Valuing tidiness over access to books.
I hate clutter. A couple of years ago, in an attempt to clean up, I moved every “kid book” in the house to one bookshelf in my children’s bedroom. The living room and the dining room were neater, but I found this actually reduced my kids’ reading. The “a-ha” moment came when I was running a used book drive for our school. We had several messy, overflowing boxes of books in our living room. My son would plop down on the couch, peer into the box, pull something out … and start reading!

We know that access to books is crucial for children’s development, and getting books to lower-income families who can’t afford them and to rural kids who live far from libraries should be a major public priority. But we can also make “access” to books a priority within our own homes — and this was a form of access I could influence. Needless to say, reading material is no longer limited to one room, but instead lives in every corner of our house so that my kids can find it and peruse it whenever (and wherever!) the mood strikes.

Top 10 Educational Websites for Literacy of 2018

Homeschool Base is excited to announce the Top 10 Educational Websites for Multiple Subjects. The annual awards list recognizes exceptional and innovative websites and apps. All 10 websites were nominated and recommended by multiple independent home educators, teachers, and parents. Each resource receives Homeschool Base’s Purple Stamp of Approval, a personal endorsement from Homeschool Base and the homeschooling community. Websites cannot pay for a spot on this list.

We sincerely hope you enjoy browsing through the various categories and will discover new resources to use throughout the new year.