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“Harry Potter and the methods of rational thinking”: to publish scientific fanfics collected more than 2.8 million rubles

The initiator of the campaign was the ex-head of the Russian Pastafarian Church, Mikhail Samin.

In the middle of July, a campaign for raising funds for the publication of the book “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rational Thinking” by Eliezer Yudkovskiy was launched on the Planeta.ru crowdsporting site . The authors of the project call their goal “popularization of sanity, ideas of rational thinking and effective altruism.”

For printing, the book was divided into three parts, pre-order of which will cost 1086 rubles. The authors of the campaign for the week collected more than 2.8 million rubles instead of the planned 1.09 million.

The campaign was initiated by the 18-year-old ex-head of the Russian pastapharyan church and the founder of AudD, Mikhail Samin.  talked to Mikhail about his new project and why he should ever read Yudkovskiy’s fanfic.

Michael, tell me, how did the idea of ​​publishing on paper come about?

First he printed ten books to himself and his friends – and suddenly he faced a huge request for copies. I decided to make a large circulation, at the same time distributing the GPiMRM.

In the description of the project on “Planet” it is said that you like the fanfic of Yudkovskiy more than the original “Harry Potter”. And why?

In addition, that the fanfic of Yudkovski instills critical thinking and teaches many things, it is perfectly written. Characters behave like real people with their experience and knowledge in their situations. The plot is thought out in advance, and it is interesting to follow it. Now, when genres such as LitRGG are popular in Russia (a genre of fiction based on the subculture of computer games –  ), this is especially true: bookstores are made up of “works” of so-called “writers” who simply take and write what is written, not trying to convey something to the reader, without thinking anything before writing.

The original “GP” – good books (especially since Rowling millions of children began to read), but no more.

Reader of this book – who is he? For whom are you doing all this?

I think this book will be interesting to all fans of science fiction, fantasy and science. For me, the project’s goal is to spread the rationality and ideas of the book, effective altruism in particular, and therefore I hope for the widest possible coverage.

I think the main value of this book is that it perfectly immerses in itself and is well read, while transferring the knowledge and values ​​of the characters, changing the reader’s view of the world.

And what about copyright?

Rowling and her agent were allowed to use her world for noncommercial use, so writing fanfics, publishing them and printing them is legal, if nobody gets a profit for it.

Therefore, the project – non-profit, printing costs will be no less than collected on the books on crowdfunding. The books will say that they are not intended for sale. Crowd-walking participants through me, who do not profit, order books for personal non-commercial purposes – it’s something like a joint purchase.

If someone after the end of crowdshipping decides to resell books with a mark-up, it will be a criminal offense.

How was the cost of the book formed? It’s uncommon to see not a round number in the price tag.

Within three months, when preparation for crowdfinding lasted, applications for books were collected. People indicated the number of copies and the acceptable cost. We decided the maximum size of the print run, which you can order, if 70% of the senders of applications, for which the resulting value of the copy is acceptable, will purchase books.

It turned out about a thousand copies and about 912 rubles for a copy. Taking into account the fact that it will be necessary to pay Planeta.ru commission and taxes, about 1086 rubles (912 / 0.84) turned out.

Since thanks to information partners and friends’ posts, people not only read “Harry Potter and methods of rational thinking”, but also participate in crowdfunding, we collected much more than needed for a thousand copies. But all the funds received for printing books will be spent on printing books, and the surplus books are sent to libraries and for educational purposes.

Have you got a big team?

There are artists who painted cover versions and helped with the layout of the page on Planeta.ru. There is a former glavred “World of Fantasy”, which made the layout. There are translators who participated in the translation of the GPiMR and helped with the translation of the preface written by Yudkovski specially for this publication. And many more people helped to make decisions in some technical moments.

The organization is only my business, but people who have great experience in organizing research projects are helping me.

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