I'm feeling kind of bad that yesterday's post, which was supposed to be a fun little commentary on our collective reading habits, seems to have pointed out a crystallizing issue that has led -C of Hack & Slash to decide to change from a free publisher to charging for pdfs. There's nothing wrong with being a for-profit publisher, but it was obviously a sort of wrenching decision for him which involved a bit of bitterness toward the way the community reacts toward free publications. And even though I wasn't the original cause, I apparently happened to make some observations that provided the last straw for him when they were set forth in the particular way I set them forth.
I do think, and I mentioned it in my earlier posts about Commercialization of the Old School, that our collective reading and posting habits tend to devalue free publications and their authors/artists. I'm as much guilty of it as anyone -- I think Chris Gonnerman, for example, deserves to be lauded to the skies for his free BFRPG project, and yet even though I've mentioned this in a couple of posts when free products arise, I don't think I've ever actually thanked Chris directly.
So I'm declaring my own "Thank a Free Publisher Day," and anyone who wants to join in with me, the more the merrier. I'm going to mention a couple of free publishers (note: this includes the people who have printed books up on lulu for cost only) and mention a place to say thanks.
1) Starting with Chris, I just created a thread over on Dragonsfoot HERE, for saying thanks for BFRPG. DF is where Chris mainly hangs out.
2) Then, Al Krombach for all the gaming resources he puts up at Beyond the Black Gate. I'm going to put this in a comment that will be totally off topic to his post, but I can't give out his email address, so he'll just have to figure it out. :)
3) Then, John Stater for all the Mu Pan free resources. (I also tossed this one in as a random comment for him to puzzle out if I'm in a 12-step program or wrapping up my affairs before going skydiving or something).
And there are a billion others, so if you don't have a blog, list them in the comments, and if you have a blog, post up the free publishers so people can go give them some applause, preferably directly! Make threads, name names, whatever. Lets make a day of it, or at least a few moments to either mention someone or to go to a thread/comment and say thanks for their work!
(I'll add more later, three is a good starter, and I'm hoping other bloggers will also be chiming in a bit on this, because it's a nice thing to do -- and remember, resource-heavy bloggers are free publishers, too!)