Why I Have Added a Donation Button to My Website
Pursuing a career as researcher in this subject area is not quite as difficult as trying to be a rock star or a Hollywood actor, but it's close. A lot of people find this surprising, but it's not uncommon for a scholar to study for many years, earn degrees and undertake postdoctoral research at prestigious universities, and publish articles in scholarly journals and books with high-profile publishers....only to wind up unemployable!
Some of us write and research out of passion, and because we have original ideas we want to pursue in depth then share our results with the world. But if those passions conflict with what is currently fashionable at universities and with their funding priorities, things become very difficult very quickly.
And if those passions happen to be considered "fringe" subjects - such as near-death experiences and the cross-cultural comparison of afterlife beliefs - well, let's just say it's best to start looking for income outside the university system! Hence the Donation button above, linking to my new Patreon page and to a PayPal portal.
People outside the academic world are also surprised to discover that scholars are paid nothing for the articles we write. We are lucky if we receive a copy of the book or journal it appears in. We're almost never paid for lectures and interviews, either, not to mention the endless "extra" work we are expected to take on - such as book reviews and editorial tasks. Some academic publishers do pay royalties for books, but even when they do it will likely add up to a couple of months of grocery money.
Not that I'm complaining. I love my work and am dedicated to continuing my research and producing original, innovative publications that are not constricted by the trends of academia. Academics usually identify more as teachers or as researchers, and I am definitely in the latter camp. My silver lining is that my time goes almost entirely to my research, and not to teaching and all the classroom time and paper grading time it entails. Teaching is not where my strengths lie, and I know that my writing is my best contribution to the world. So as the song goes, "je ne regrette rien."
So if you'd like to support my continuing research and future projects - or just say "thank you" for my work and the free downloads provided on this website - just click the Donate button above. You can set up a monthly pledge, or just a one-off donation, in any amount.