Open Sourcing Mental Illness Handbooks

One of the most important objectives for the Open Sourcing Mental Illness project is to help people get the support they need for mental health challenges in the workplace. I’m so proud that we’ve had our Mental Health in Tech guidelines available as ebooks from our website for the last six months, but today, we’ve released these handbooks on the Leanpub platform.

It’s been a time-consuming operation (and not only because I said I’d do it then forgot all about it) — the books were already in Markdown, but there were a few rendering errors in each book that needed tidying up. We also couldn’t have timed the efforts worse, with Leanpub announcing that they are charging $99 per book regardless of what price you intend to charge to your customer. Thankfully, the people at Leanpub are amazing, and they quickly responded to our Tweet of complaint to put things right.

Here, Peter Armstrong, co-founder at Leanpub earns my lifelong respect for him and his company by immediately making our books free after no more than a Tweet from Joe Ferguson (an OSMI board member). Whoever said Tweeting isn’t a compelling way to get customer support is wrong!

So why bother with the move to Leanpub at all? Well, Leanpub already has a comprehensive ebook publishing platform that we can leverage to take care of complicated stuff for us, like format conversion and delivery. They also give us the ability for people to purchase the books for an entirely optional fee. The books are still free (as in beer) and will be forever, but some kind people wanted to buy the books, and this gives those people that option.

Personally, I also feel that being on Leanpub gives us more of an air of respectability in a weird way. Obviously, that point is entirely subjective, but it works for me.

We currently have published the three Mental Health in Tech  books, the Guidelines for Employees, the Guidelines for Executives and HR Professionals, and Guidelines for Mental Wellness in the Workplace. They are all free, and they are all massively useful in helping to foster a healthy, friendly workplace for all. Get them.

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