I’ve been publishing sourcebooks for homeschoolers since 1998. Every year my team of coaches and debaters pull together the highly anticipated Blue, Red, Gold, Silver and Bronze books — just in time for the start of the school year. They have their advantages, but there are some unfortunate disadvantages.
Let me first explain the shortcomings. If your club/class/co-op starts in mid August, you just have to be patient. We try to get the books published before September 1, but we sometimes miss the deadline. Same with camps, which I run some of the most popular (see Training Minds Events Page). Many of my coaches who teach at the camps are contributors to the sourcebooks themselves. Our summers are spent preparing for our camps and getting the sourcebooks out the door.
Probably worst of all, we don’t get to go too deep into the sourcebook topics. At least as much as we’d like to. Blue and Red (our debate sourcebooks for team-policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate), for instance, has at least a dozen cases and briefs, but we never have time to get into basic strategies and lessons for the debaters. Same with Gold (extemp), Silver (apologetics), and Bronze (interps and platforms).
We’d like to go deeper, but we’re too busy trying to get the books out the door to accomplish that.
Well, I’m happy to say that we came up with a solution to (1) release the sourcebooks earlier than ever, and (2) go deeper into learning material than we ever have before.
I’m so jazzed about this that I can hardly stand it. Let me explain how we’re going to make this magic happen…
1. We Release August 1, 2014
This is the earliest we have ever released our sourcebooks. We’re doing this by reducing the number of league-specific cases and lessons and sticking with what we’re calling “showcase” cases and lessons. We then are able to load up the August 1 release with more theory chapters and how-to’s, all ready for your class/club/co-op.
Blue Book, for instance, is our bestselling sourcebook. Vance Trefethen, my coauthor, writes a dozen solid topical cases along with 2A and negative briefs. If you know team-policy debate, you know that this is an enormous amount of work, saving an individual debater prehaps hundreds of hours of work. Vance barely gets it out the door in time for publication, but this year he is focusing on three cases for the August 1 release. This allows me to pad the book with more theory and teaching resources.
Who actually needs all 12 cases by August anyway? Nobody. This gives Vance more time to dig deeper and provide more cases and briefs for the finished product later in the year. Essentially, sourcebook owners will get a bigger book for the same price.
This goes for all the editors of all the sourcebooks: they are pumping out the showcase book August 1st, then fleshing out the content for later in the year.
Not too much later, though…
2. We Release the Digital Addendum October 1, 2014
All sourcebook owners will receive the digital addendum October 1, just two months later. This is perfect timing, really, allowing speakers and debaters to focus on the showcase and theory material before really diving into the extra sourcebook material.
This is perfect for all our sourcebook authors as they get to showcase the best and dig deeper in for the rest.
Take Silver Book, for instance, our apologetics sourcebook. The leagues often release rule changes and new apologetics questions August 31. That has been a royal pain for a publisher like me who has tried to provide up-to-date curriculum suitable for classes beforehand.
Problem solved with the October 1 addendum! We will be releasing all league specific differences in the addendum, keeping the common apologetics core in the August 1 coil-bound sourcebook.
See how this works? The advantages are incredibly helpful when you think about it:
- Teachers will be able to get their materials before the first day of club/class/co-op. Happy teachers!
- Camps unassociated with Training Minds will be able to get their sourcebook material ahead of time to start right there at camp. (Are you one such camp? Make our sourcebook your main training material.) Happy campers!
- New speakers and debaters will get solid how-to chapters to set them straight as they start the speech or debate event. Happy speakers and debaters!
- Authors and coaches are able to pour more energy and time into deeper, more extensive case material, pushing their release to October 1. Happy authors and coaches!
I’m working with the best of the best on these sourcebooks. I’ve got champion speakers and coaches working on this material right now, and they will till the release of their sourcebook. Seriously, if you are a beginning or a veteran, you will want to own the appropriate sourcebook to your preparatory arsenal.
And I’ve got a great deal for you if you preorder…
Nationals Celebration: $10 off Per Sourcebook
Better yet, come by to get $10 off each sourcebook! I have a special order form that gets you ten bucks off each one if you order at Nationals. But you can get this deal, too, if you order by June 21.
See, June 21 is the official closure of the 2013 debate season. Both national tournaments will have ended and the new year will have begun. Summer camps and fall classes will roll into session…and you’ll have your sourcebooks at your hip!
So, preorder today. And I’ll see you at nationals soon…or in 2015 because of your early preparation with Monument Publishing sourcebook material. Glad to help!