Folks, this is a serious matter. Our colleague Richard Wiseman explains:
My latest book is called Paranormality. It follows in the footsteps of one of my all-time favourite skeptical books, Randi's Flim-Flam, and examines what seemingly supernatural phenomena tell us about our brain, beliefs and behaviour. I explore lots of topics, including psychic readings, out of body experiences, mind control, ghosts and dream precognition. I made the book as interactive as possible, and Richard Dawkins was kind enough to provide an endorsement, writing “Wiseman shows us a higher joy as he skewers the paranormal charlatans, blows away the psychic fog and lets in the clear light of reason”.
The book has done well in the UK and has been bought by publishers in lots of other countries. However, the major American publishers were reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed! We didn’t get any serious offers and so it looked like the American public (around 75% of whom believe in the paranormal) wouldn’t get the opportunity to read about skepticism.
Then I had an idea.
I am going to self-publish an unashamedly skeptical book in America and see what happens. I have launched the book on Kindle and my UK publisher will ship physical editions into America. It all feels like a scary but exciting experiment. This is the book that lots of people don’t want Americans to read, and I hope that skeptics and scientists will support the project. In the USA you can buy the Kindle edition by visiting http://www.amazon.
This refusal of U.S. publishers to accept a book – they were “reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed!” – offends me, and I hope that it strikes you the same way. Now that we know Paranormality is available, and how to purchase it, please do so – either in solid form (available next week at TAM), or on Kindle. The only way that publishers can be reached is through their income, and I want this book to show them that the American public really does have an interest in the skeptical viewpoint!
Please, let’s support Richard’s book!