I’d like to try to answer the unspoken question that comes up when I explain to people I know that I am doing a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to complete and promote my new book, The Raw Milk Answer Book: What You REALLY Need to Know About Our Most Controversial Food. 

It’s a natural question: Why should we give you any of our hard-earned money to sell a book that you will profit from? After all, there are so many desperately needy causes out there that I can contribute to instead.


Even if you haven’t been asking the question (and not everyone is—more than 30 people have already backed the crowdfunding campaign for my book, and it has raised close to half the target funding in the first few days), I’ve been asking it of myself: Should I be asking people for money to help me publish a book I could wind up making money on?  Actually, it’s worse than that: Should I be asking people to help me publish a book I very well could have had a commercial publisher put out? 


Even as I pose the questions, I wonder, am I crazy? I could very likely have had a commercial publisher take it on and escaped all the expenses and hassle associated with putting a book out myself.  Like the hours of my time and hundreds of dollars in expenses to format the book so that it will be acceptable to Amazon’s Kindle site….and I’m still not done. The $500-plus to buy ISBN numbers (those little numbers and bar codes on the back of every book). Finding and interacting with a cover designer, page designer, proofreaders, indexers, etc., etc. The tedious work of setting up and developing the prizes and answering the questions required for the crowdfunding campaign.


So I’d like to try to answer the main question I posed at the start, for myself as much as for you.


It begins with the idea of gatekeepers. America’s mainstream media (New York Times, “Good Morning America”, Fox News) have long acted as gatekeepers, in terms of who gets access to their huge audiences. By and large, it’s the privileged and influential—the big corporations and celebrities like sports and movie stars, the medical and scientific establishment, and the government, via its various rulers, whether at the State Department or the White House or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 


We have seen how the government, with backing from corporations, uses the mainstream media to explode various powder kegs in timely ways for its advantage. The current measles-vaccination “crisis” is just the latest powder keg. The media are fanning the flames each evening on the national news, demonizing parents who have chosen not to vaccinate, along with intensifying the campaign to force all children to be vaccinated for everything the government, and medical establishment, decide are essential. 


Raw milk could well be the next powder keg. We are getting a vivid look into one possible future, in Australia, where the government and media are using several recent illnesses to fan the flames for a ban on raw milk. 


When those powder kegs go off, no one is the least bit curious as to the important details about raw milk’s nutritional value or how the government-enforced absence of farmer education may have helped lead to the illnesses, as just one example. 


No, education and accurate information dissemination are not part of the agenda when the powder kegs go off. Then it’s too late. I’m afraid one of those powder kegs could easily go off in the U.S. 


We know that the CDC-FDA misinformation campaign against raw milk over the past decade, in particular, has made many people receptive to a ban on raw milk—some 56% according to a recent Oklahoma State survey. The spark to set off that powder keg of receptivity to a ban could be a serious illness or two. Don’t doubt that the dairy cartel and its henchmen at the FDA and CDC haven’t thought of that, aren’t watching Australia closely, and aren’t ready to get their propaganda fans operating at full blast. 


Getting back to my book and crowdfunding campaign….I concluded that by retaining control of my new book, I could do some things to disseminate it to a wider audience than might otherwise be the case, without relying so heavily on the gatekeepers. For example, a commercial publisher might well insist on publishing the ebook version at $14. Now I can decide to do it for half that, to encourage more people to buy it. 


A commercial publisher is always trying to balance publicity and promotion among a dozen or more books, leaving any particular book (like mine) with very little PR effort. On my own, I can engage experts to expend more effort on PR than the publisher could. Or at least I can if I have some funding.


In the end, I concluded that the revolution that is overtaking publishing–via new self-publishing options, social media, and crowdfunding–creates opportunities for opening up new options for educating people about the importance of food choice. For example, this campaign will create advance book orders that, in turn, will hopefully influence Amazon and other distributors to give the book more prominence.


The reality is that, even if I make my funding goal with the crowdfunding, I’ll be lucky to break even after I pay the crowdfunding site its commission, pay all the costs associated with publishing and promoting the book, pay for some of the “prizes,” and make the charitable contributions I’ve committed to.  


But making money hasn’t ever been the goal here, in this crowdfunding campaign or in my eight years of writing about raw milk and food rights. The goal is to expose government and industry abuse and educate people about the misinformation campaigns designed to reduce our freedoms. The reality is that it costs money to amplify your voice, get a more prominent place in the marketplace.


So as you consider whether to get on board this crowdfunding campaign, remember that it isn’t about charity. It’s about activism. It’s about sending a message to the gatekeepers that there are people who care. It’s about creating a cadre of supporters who will get my book into the hands of those who need it.  

I just want to say that I have been deeply touched that among those who have already committed to my campaign are a number who have had a make a financial stretch to do so. I ask those of you who care about the issues we talk about on this blog to make your commitment as well. Help keep that next powder keg from going off. Every little bit helps.