When I lived in Israel, I wrote my first book, and to my delight, I found a publisher. I author, or co-authored, five traditional books. It was a great learning process. There were two big problems caused by the long publishing process. In a fast changing field, technical books had a very short shelf-life. The first revision had to be started before the first book hit the bookstore shelves. As much as I enjoyed seeing my books on a bookstore shelf, it was not profitable.
Writing books led to an opportunity to write course material for instructor led seminars. Until the training industry took a nose-dive, it was a profitable adventure. For custom course, I received as much as $50,000 for a course. For courses sold on a royalty basis, I received around $65 per student guide, even I didn't teach the course. Customers preferred to have the author teach the course, so I was paid both for teaching and the course material. As the industry declined, many instructors turned to writing their own courses, and the the great ride come to an end. Writing courses for a small market at high prices was not paying for the time to write a course, even at minimum wage. Being a starving writer is not part of the plan.
I actually started this site almost two years ago, with the idea of offering courses to a larger market at a lower price. Life events intervened and the site lay dormant. I just didn't have the time, or energy, to think of a business model that made sense. Another change in life brought me to Costa Rica. While I have been interested in eBooks for some time, the purchase of a Nook Color led to a new idea. A new life and a new idea. I now have the time to pursue writing once again.
Using the Book module of Drupal, I am going to write a series of courses on Linux. One of the hard parts of writing is finding reviewers who can help improve the qualify of the material. In traditional book publishing, this often comes at the end of the writing phase. For course material, the corrections are made through teaching the class. With this site, I hope reader's comments will lead to faster corrections and a better presentation. The material on this site shall always remain free. It will be copyrighted, but only to keep others from making a living without having to invest in the effort of writing. So, how I am I going to make a living.
I am going to put a "Please Donate" block on each page, but I don't expect to make a whole lot from it. Once I finish a course, I will publish it as an eBook. I am going to self-publish and market the eBook for a very low price. My current thinking is a price between $1.99 and $4.99. For instructors wanting to use the course, I will market a separate instructors package.
Will this idea work? I don't know. My crystal ball stopped working many years ago.