I have two basic ideas on how to allow people to improve on/expand/republish this book:

  1. The first is to allow members of the channel to take a copy of the ebook and modify the content to suit their own climate, micro-climate, growing philosophy etc. I've provided a long list of reasons why this might make sense
  2. The second approach is to invite other people to contribute to the content of the book. This contribution might take a number of forms - which I explore below - but the main objective is to offer up guides, hints, tips and 'alternative views' from experts in particular approaches or niches that I'm not familiar with.


With that background in mind lets look at these two options in a bit more detail.

Contributing to the eBook

Having a single author for a book, written from experience, has a lot of advantages. It offers a coherent philosophy, reduces duplication and conflicting advice, is practical and evidence based.

It also has disadvantages though: it can give the impression that there is only one way to garden, provides advice that's skewed towards the authors growing conditions (soil type, climate) and the subset of plants and varieties that the author grows.

To mitigate some of these disadvantages I think it would be useful to offer content from other authors that goes beyond just linking to their existing content.

My suggested approach is as follows:

  1. To include content from other gardeners who know and understand my approach to gardening (even if they follow a different approach) and as such can contribute content in that context
  2. To include that content in a consistent way, ie following the same page templates and style, with lots of video and other embedded media
  3. For that content to be edited by the author, if needed, to ensure it feel like part of the same book

There are several types of contributed content that I think would be of value:

  1. Content that covers topics that I have no experience of, ie that expands the scope of the book
  2. Content that presents an alternative view
  3. Content that offers relevant hints and tips

Let's 'dig' into these a little.

Expanding the scope of the book

I wanted this book to be written from experience, rather than complied from reading lots of other books and just regurgitating their content. As a result I'm only ever going to write about a subset of the topics that people might expect in a gardening book. The advantage of this though is that rather than reading a book that feels like a compilation: drawn from the back of a hundred seed packets; the book should feel real, honest and practical.

However there are lots of topics that I would like to include, that would naturally fit into this book, but that I'm not able to provide content for. Here's a good sample of such topics:

  1. Advice of growing types of fruit, veg and flowers that I don't grow successfully