So, LibriVox has been running for over four years, on a budget of $0 … everyone at LibriVox is a volunteer, reading, listening and supporting audiobook production for free, because they think it’s fun in some way. Behind the scenes, all the costs have been taken care of by a few individuals, along with some generous donations from partners. We’ve made thousands of free audiobooks that have been downloaded by millions of people; our site gets 400,000 visitors every month. However, this success has a crappy downside — the costs have become too big to carry on managing in this way.
Hence, a big ol’ fundraising drive. There’s a specific target – $20,000; and in the first three days of the drive, we’ve raised about half of that! So, we still need a few more pennies in the pot. If you’re a satisfied LibriVox listener, please consider sending a little something to the Internet Archive, stating that it’s a “donation for LibriVox”. LibriVox is not an official entitity, doesn’t have a bank account or any kind of formal legal status … hence the Internet Archive (who host our files) managing the money side of this for us.
Here’s how the money’s going to be spent:
- to cover hosting costs for our website (about $5,000/year)*, which includes:
- the main LibriVox website & blog;
- the forum;
- the wiki;
- the catalog;
- a whole lot of back-end software to host and process audio before it goes to the Internet Archive
- but does NOT include hosting our finished audio files which is done by The Internet Archive at archive.org
- to redesign the site and improve its accessibility
- to make the LibriVox catalog easier for listeners to use
- to make the management software easier for admins to use
We are sincerely hoping that $20K will keep everything running for three years at least, including some room to keep on growing!
* See the main donation page for more information on how this is being spent, and why this probably ISN’T something that we can get “much cheaper somewhere else”.
I have donated already, and if you haven’t, and would like to — just click through to the LibriVox page that explains the process. The most important thing is to note, somewhere, that it IS a donation for LibriVox! Not that the Internet Archive in itself is not a worthy cause, but that’s for another day.
P.S. Neither LibriVox, nor the Internet Archive, will store the emails of those donating: no spam threat there!
P.P.S. LibriVox’s Official Announcement, read by Ruth Golding: [audio:librivox_needs_your_help_rg.mp3]