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Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide - Kickstarter Straw Poll  RSS feed

 
Erica Wisner
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Hi all,
After an exciting summer of therapeutic progress, we are putting our heads down to finally get the rocket mass heater Builder's Guide printed.
(Thanks for everyone's patience - seeing Ernie walking without crutches is totally worth it.)

This is a straw poll to estimate numbers, as we gear up for a Kickstarter funding campaign.

I am putting several posts below.
The idea is to indicate your plans by "liking" the relevant post.
This gives an automatic rough count for preliminary estimates, so we can be sure the funding goal would allow for a print run at least that big.

If you just like the idea in general, but don't want to commit to a purchase yet, you can "like" this post instead.

yours,
Erica W

The book is currently running about 260 pages, including thorough and detailed step-by-step chapters on building and operating an 8" J-tube rocket mass heater, and appendices that cover other technical details that may be relevant to some projects but not others. It's basically a complete summary of our knowledge in this field to date, at least all of it that can be put into words and pictures.

You can preview some pages on Scubbly.com, and even purchase the draft version there. If you're not in a hurry, though, the Kickstarter price will be better and you'll get a product that has been edited to its final form.
 
Erica Wisner
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PRINTED BOOK

Please "like" this post if you intend to get a printed copy of this guide during the Kickstarter campaign.

 
Erica Wisner
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DIGITAL BOOK (PDFs)
Please "like" this post if you intend to get a digital copy of the Guide during the Kickstarter campaign.
 
Karl wi
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Tablet won't let me like so im having to type my " like"
 
Steve LaValley
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I have the DVD's and although I love them and plan to use them when I build my "sneaky heat" version, I am delighted to be able to get a hard copy of all this wonderful info!
Please inform when the kickstarter campaign begins!
Thanks
Steve
 
Maura Will
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Hi Erica,

I have no idea how to "like" a post but I would like a copy of the final product.

Maura
 
Dave King
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Hi would be interested in purchasing the book when available.

Dave
 
harry kaneer
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I will likely buy the book but what is the cost?
 
M Johnson
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Are you going to have an option for book and X amount of consultation time?
 
Alan McGill
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This post makes me happy on two counts: first, Ernie walking without crutches is cause for jubilation, and second, the news of the upcoming kickstarter campaign and ultimately the book. Yay for both!
 
Ron Clerk
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Hi Ernie and Erica

I would like a printed book mostly because I want a signed copy!!!
 
Chris Smaglick
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I would definitely be interested in the hardcopy. Thanks so much for all your hard work.
 
Jake Van
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oooh me me! Does it have info on the batch style?
 
Deagen Demientieff
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Hey hey. A hard copy I hear they last longer
 
Jaime Orpinas
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A printed copy would be awesome!!
 
Robert Mammone
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I want a copy. I may want a few copies for gifts.
 
Lance Day
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Bought the draft on Scubbly to start reading now and will also buy the printed version from the Kickstarter campaign ...if I can catch it while it's active. Any idea of a timeframe in mind at this point so I can put it on the calendar?

I think I've missed at least one of Paul's Kickstarters (wood burning stoves 2.0 for sure) thinking that'll be great ...then seeing that it's over by the time I remember.
 
Bill Erickson
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I "liked" for a Dead Tree version, to go with the DVDs from wood burning stoves 2.0 - and I'll probably want to get a couple of copies for some of my family and friends who are interested.
 
Hans Quistorff
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So glad the therapy is working. Often had the thought when watching the video " Wish I was there to help his limp."
 
Michael Moreland
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Erica Wisner wrote:PRINTED BOOK

Please "like" this post if you intend to get a printed copy of this guide during the Kickstarter campaign.

Can't wait for the book to come out.
 
Nelson Thompson
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Erica Wisner wrote:PRINTED BOOK

Please "like" this post if you intend to get a printed copy of this guide during the Kickstarter campaign.

Don't know how to like this but I will want two printed copies when they come out
 
Glenn Herbert
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Click the little "thumbs up" /+1 box at the top right of Erica's post in this thread.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Erica and Ernie, I too think I want a copy and I have a friend that is a little too, dare I say Pyromaniacal? Anyway this would be good wood therapy for him, I can picture him playing with red hot pieces of steel already.

I see you plan on doing a kickstarter to fund this but the self-publisher in my DNA doesn't know why you dont do a http://lulu.com or http://createspace.com ? It is interesting to do a "lulu versus create space" google on them. Create Space is cheaper, maybe better?

I participated in a kickstarter for the wild edibles, was totally bummed the material could not be shipped till the end of season. May be a good point to ship fast no matter who orders.

You guys do great work and like Paul Wheaton seem like you have been videod your whole lives.

Congrats Ernie.

Mike
 
Erik Little
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A couple months notice before the kickstarter starts would be great. There were a lot of Kickstarters this past year so having knowledge of when this one is coming will allow the people that want to support it the time to save up some $$$ to really help it out and make sure it is a rousing success.

 
Linda Myers
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Lance Day wrote:Bought the draft on Scubbly to start reading now..........


I am probably being dense, but I can't find it on Scubbly...
 
Lance Day
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Linda Myers wrote:
Lance Day wrote:Bought the draft on Scubbly to start reading now..........


I am probably being dense, but I can't find it on Scubbly...


Hi Linda;
Here's the link I used: http://www.scubbly.com/item/93600/
 
Linda Myers
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Lance Day wrote:
Linda Myers wrote:
Lance Day wrote:Bought the draft on Scubbly to start reading now..........


I am probably being dense, but I can't find it on Scubbly...


Hi Linda;
Here's the link I used: http://www.scubbly.com/item/93600/


Thanks, Lance, got it.
 
Erica Wisner
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Thanks for all the good questions and interest!
My first attempt to reply got eaten by the Internet, so I'll try to make it briefer this time.

1) Time frame: I'm hoping to get the Kickstarter happening this week, so that it runs through November. That lets me deliver at least the digital rewards in time for Christmas. I'm looking into whether I can also offer books in time for Christmas - the timing looks somewhere between tight and impossible, depending how we do it, so no promises.
2) Cost: Based on the printing estimates I've seen so far, it looks like the retail price will be about $35 for a greyscale interior (color cover), or more like $85 for full color. The Kickstarter price would be at least $5 to $10 less. I'm looking into options for printing larger volume and reducing those costs, or being able to do color printing for a more affordable cost.
3) Autographed / bundled / premium versions: Sounds great to me. We may also be able to offer other books and videos at discounted prices.
4) What was the question?

Oh,
5) Batch burner: That's not our design, but we love it. With Peter van den Berg's permission I'll include some details in the appendix, ideally enough that a person with relevant skills could re-create it without needing to do further research online. But I will definitely link to his online resources as well. Did you notice that he's put a lot of detail up here on some recent threads, and on proboards.com?

I will now post these answers, and if I've missed anything or you think of something else, please feel free to post, PM, or email me (see my profile for email address) and I'll get right on it.

Thanks bunches for all the support. This is very helpful. If you can make sure you're getting updates on this thread, I'll post as soon as the Kickstarter is live.

Yours,
Erica W
 
Lance Day
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Erica Wisner wrote:
At 10/31/2014 8:03:17 PM, Erica wrote:
[...]
1) Time frame: I'm hoping to get the Kickstarter happening this week, so that it runs through November. That lets me deliver at least the digital rewards in time for Christmas. I'm looking into whether I can also offer books in time for Christmas - the timing looks somewhere between tight and impossible, depending how we do it, so no promises.
[...]


Erica, hope everything's going well for you and Ernie; any updates on the Kickstarter campaign?

 
Erica Wisner
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Thanks for checking in.

We are doing fine, thanks.
We got most of the Kickstarter campaign set up, but the process of making a decent video for the Kickstarter is taking longer than I realized.
Because Paul Wheaton is planning to launch his Kickstarter for the Innovators' Gathering videos on Jan. 2, and we don't want to compete with him for people's attention, we are looking at postponing our launch until February.
That also lets us improve the accuracy and logistics of the editing, mailing, digital content delivery, etc.

Re: Lulu or other print-on-demand options:
I like what I've seen of lulu, but the per-copy printing costs are of course higher than with a larger print run through a print house. I'm thinking that we do the biggest initial print that we can manage for a good price break, and then set things up for some kind of POD or publisher to carry the books beyond that initial print run. Best compromise between pricing and convenience, although perhaps I'm just overcomplicating things again.

I'm open to other suggestions from self-publishers, or for that matter, published nonfiction authors who are willing to share the benefits of their experience. If you'd like to talk more discreetly, feel free to PM or email me. I'm all ears.

Yours,
Erica W

 
Erica Wisner
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My goodness, but Kickstarter is an entire thriving subculture.

I'm starting to have fun with the prep and research again, after some frustration over the initial delays.
Paul's kickstarter is slightly delayed too, and he has a lot more experience, so I'm not feeling so bad about my stumbles so far.

Tomorrow we'll be filming some video for the campaign here at wheaton labs (they have the lovely Tipi Rocket and some other candidates for charismatic backdrops).

I posted some questions on my blog here: ernieanderica.blogspot.com

The biggest one might be:
Are there rewards you think would be fun to tell your friends about, even if they would not be likely to buy the book or build a rocket mass heater right now?

Maybe some how-to on simpler projects like cookstoves or campfires or fireplaces.
Maybe a low-res download of the Fire Science clip from Paul's DVDs.
Maybe a DIY home energy audit (wow that sounds boring, but so many people ask questions where this seems to be what they need!)

Maybe just a stand-alone chapter of the book, like the O&M manual (chapter 4), or the fun supplemental fire activities from Appendix 6.

The rewards we've already thought about are on the Kickstarter campaign preview.
Like I implied above, we're working on the video, so don't put too much effort into critiqueing the place-holder first attempt that's there.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rmhbuildersguide/1048785879?token=9ef0237d

Thanks again!

-Erica W
 
Byron Campbell
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Erica, your video looks good, though I'm sure you all will be polishing it up a bit. May I suggest some better audio, easily achieved from using something like a lapel microphone. In the video's "money shots" of the rocket mass heater in operation, do include the rockety whooshing sound emanating from the feed.

For the book format, personally I'd be very happy with a book in the range of 7" x 10" size like that of RMH, 3rd ed. by Evans & Jackson, or maybe the common larger size of 8.25" x 11", paperback I'm thinking for sure. Anyway, keeping the book in a very affordable format would insure selling 10 gazillion copies worldwide in the first few years of publication:-> Maybe cob cottage co. could advise on a publishing house and etc?

Probably you all have already mulled over this stuff. Just thinking out loud. Best success!
 
Sean Kibler
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I understand and agree with the point Bryan made on the audio quality. I also understand that the wireless lapel mic systems are pretty expensive if you are not going to use them all the time. There has to be a bluetooth transmission lapel mic that can work with smartphones, I imagine those would be much more affordable.

Erica what are you using to record the video? Smartphone or some type of camera? Maybe we could help you select and purchase a lapel mic. And by purchase I mean contribute funds.

If you are already using or have any experience with video editing software you could do it this way for cheap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nITukcOL44M

I would be more than happy to do the necessary editing to match the audio with the video, for free of course.
 
Erica Wisner
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Byron - thanks for the thoughts.
We definitely want to improve the video sound quality, and are getting some great advice from Paul and others familiar with the Kickstarter process about how to make the whole video outline tighter, more interesting, better.

Cob Cottage Co. has done self-publishing, and has published several books through Chelsea Green. They seem to be a prolific publisher for this "alternative living" niche, at least in the Pacific Northwest: one of the more frequent names to see on the spine of this type of informational / how-to / project inspiration books in our friends' homes. Cob Cottage did have some complaints about working with them, which is why the current book is self-published with writer Leslie Jackson acting as the main publisher for logistical purposes. I don't know whether their complaints would be a good predictor of my satisfaction, given our fairly different situations.

The other press that approached us a while ago was Countryman Press, also from Vermont. They published "The Granite Kiss" which is a nice piece of work in a relevant field, though they are not as prolific in their distribution across the continental divide.

I have heard from vanity press/self-publishing services, and from 'hybrid' publishers who do something in between with a mix of up-front and per-copy costing. The big advice five years ago was "money flows towards the author," meaning that if anyone is offering to publish your book while charging you money for the process, they are more likely earning their money off the authors rather than by effective distribution and book sales. However, self-publishing and the whole Kickstarter thing has really taken off, and all the rules are changing. again.

It is very weird to be working at the junction of a movement whose aim is "permanent" culture, and trying to take advantage of these ephemeral new communications and economic methods in a rapidly-changing culture.

Paperback is what we are thinking too. No problem offering PDF as well, of course. But for working with mud, it's nice to put the electronics away someplace safe, and be able to mark up or dog-ear something that stays open all day. For the bookshelf, a nice paperback binding with the name on the spine is the level we'd like to hit.
 
John Weiland
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Hi Erica,

I decided to drop some suggestions here as a complete newbie to RMH's. There seems to be great enthusiasm surrounding this project to get the how-to manual published in both print and digital mediums and this would be a great addition to all of the web-based information on these designs. It is because I've been neither steeped in RMH's nor the very active community that is enthralled with the technology that I'm hoping you might modify your pages a bit with that in mind. For example, it took me a bit to find some description that simply states "These are RMH's....they are an alternative to home, shop, greenhouse (etc) heating that have been used for centuries the world over. It is our hope that they become an accepted, cost-effective, ecologically superior heating solution as compared to standard petroleum-based technologies....." Something to that effect that would be located on a primary page when someone Googles "rocket mass heaters" or even "alternative heating".

Secondly, with regard to the Kickstarter campaign, that was a term that I was not familiar with and it may be that others are not as well. In addition and along with that, on the Kickstarter web-page, it might be good to really spell out the goal(s): Book publishing, intrumentation purchases, additional research, etc. and give some idea of prioritization: Clearly book publishing is first on the list since the publishers likely want some up-front cash before the presses roll. But what would be the top priority if you have excess funds from the campaign? And it doesn't have to be locked in stone (....not even Perlite..har, har)....but just some idea for the reader as to what the next step might be.

The way I found out about RMH's was that I was looking for information on tapping box elder trees! [....you know, blood from a turnip!? ]....and I scrolled down on the Permies website and saw these weird categories of Rocket Stoves. So anyway that a Google search would snare your book-promotional web-page would probably be really helpful for someone looking for alternatives. As an aside, I have not looked closely enough to see how often home RMH implementation versus greenhouse implementation has been indicated either in the book or on this or other web-sites, but I'm thinking one could really push the fusion of the two. Many of the RMH photos show the cozy warm bench housing the horizontal piping, but I've not seen examples where this bench, in the home, has been deliberately placed next to the sun-facing window (winter climate) and used for plant production. Again, as a newbie, probably just missing these examples.

FWIW, I'll just post two links here that were used for a single amazing fund-raising campaign and many here may already recognize the cause: The Happily Ever Esther animal sanctuary based on the need for a larger home for Esther the Yorkie (pig). Note the "Store" and "Donations" links that may have a layout and merchandise that might provide ideas for helping to finance your book and additional research. The first link is to the background info and the second one to the sanctuary and store.

https://www.facebook.com/estherthewonderpig/info?tab=page_info

http://www.estherthewonderpig.com/

RMHs just look like such a great solution on many levels that I hope this effort jump-starts their popularity here in the US and elsewhere. Again, just observations from one new to the concept. Good Luck!

 
Chris Kay
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Erica Wisner wrote:
If you just like the idea in general, but don't want to commit to a purchase yet, you can "like" this post instead.


Hi Erica
I'm a general liker ...
I've issues with both publishing formats.

On the one hand roughly ten percent of global electrical energy production goes into powering the inter-webs and subset e-publications, so if the internet goes tits-up and we need to access your vital information to re-build we're out of luck.

On the other hand, the embodied energy a printed book represents is a significant investment in physical work which will be knocking around and getting underfoot long after the information contained is obsolete.

You may consider leanpub.com https://leanpub.com/manifesto (https://leanpub.com/help/author_faq) which is a technically brilliant hybrid system of getting knowledge out of your head (and making monies) early so it is not lost to meteor falls and lightening strikes - God forbid.
Or maybe make the physical book multi-purpose, i.e. a potential insulation material for the RMH - dunno, talking out of my hat, but you get the idea.

You can call me "chiefly sitting on fence", because I find most decisions to be some subtle shade of grey.

Wishing you all the best.
Chirs K aka quandry247
 
Glenn Herbert
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One thing to think about re paper vs. online formats is that, aside from it being easier and safer to have a paper copy floating around the build site than electronics getting wet or muddy, you can hand a paper copy to someone to leaf through instantly no matter where you are; it can help to spread the word if you have something solid to look at and pass around rather than just pixels on a screen... you can always direct people with real interest to the internet for more diverse information.

Also, obsolescence is a relative term. Anything related to internet learning will be useless in five or ten years at the longest, but practical information on tested and relatively mature physical technologies can still be worth having and using a century later.
 
Jeffrey Pardo
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The 4 DVD set was really good.
Count me in for the Kickstarter on the RMH Builder's Guide.
I'm hoping that there is a section on constructing the switch/flap to direct your exhaust one way or the other.
I'm also hoping that you have a temperature gradient for each part of the RMH system running at max so we know the limits of the system.
Finally, I'm hoping that you provide some guidance to your readers on the different ratings of fire brick so they can source the proper product for their systems [at least until your shipable core becomes the uniform standard...].
Thanks for your dedication and hard work.

Jeffrey Pardo
Abi Gezunt Farm
 
Geoffrey Levens
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Jeffrey Pardo wrote:...[at least until your shipable core becomes the uniform standard...].

Erica,

I have seen mention of this elsewhere, original thread I think, but nothing else and can't find it on your site. Is it available yet?
 
nancy sutton
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I'm assuming this book's Kickstarter is still on the back burner... waiting to 'buy' ;) But, so excited to hear Ernie's walking independently... joy, oh joy!! Redoubling the prayers... or whatever you want to call them :) ox
 
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