More Than Two Book Blog

Companion for the More Than Two polyamory book

Help us get More Than Two into libraries


We have some great news! More Than Two is now available for pre-order through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, two major book databases. That means that libraries and bookstores can start ordering the book–but first, they need to know about it! And for that, we need your help.

Nearly all libraries allow patrons to suggest a purchase. If you’d like to see our book in your local library, please take a moment to let them know. Here’s how:

  • Google your local library and go to their website.
  • Look for a link that says something like “Suggest a purchase.”
  • Sometimes it’s hard to find. If so, try looking in the contact section of the site, or searching the catalogue for “More Than Two”–if it doesn’t turn up, you may get the link to a suggestion form. You may also need to just email your library directly.
  • Fill in the data and submit!
  • If you’re a student or professor, don’t forget to put in a request to your university library.

Here’s some of the stuff they might ask for:

  • Title: More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory
  • Author: Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
  • Publication date: September 2, 2014
  • Publisher: Thorntree Press
  • Format: Print book/paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-9913997-0-3

They may ask you to tell them why they should buy it. Here are some key selling points:

  • Timeliness: With polyamory emerging all over the mainstream media, from shows like Showtime’s Polyamory: Married and Dating to high-profile celebrity open marriages, demand is high for practical information on polyamorous living.
  • Author recognition: Franklin Veaux has one of the oldest and highest-ranked polyamory sites on the Web, with over 10,000 hits per month and a #2 Google search ranking. The Indiegogo campaign to fund the book drew 455 supporters and over $22,000.
  • Practical and comprehensive: From managing jealousy to coming out to the kids, opening from a long-monogamous couple to dating as a free agent, this book provides concrete, real-life examples of a host of poly problems and a toolkit for dealing with them.
  • Controversial and groundbreaking: More Than Two is the first book to propose a coherent ethical framework for polyamory, flying in the face of many established practices and overturning long-held beliefs.

Feel free to add your own!

Thank you for your help. Let’s get this book out there!

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More Than Two eBook for free? Not quite.


Our attention was recently drawn to YouTube spam advertising a free download of the eBook version of More Than Two. As you might imagine, this concerned us greatly.

Armed with a Web link tracer and a considerable amount of wrath, I checked out the eBook piracy site. What I found wasn’t a copy of More Than Two, but rather a complex scheme to defraud Web advertisers by promising free eBooks but delivering…something else. There is a full writeup on my blog here. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably Windows malware.

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From friends to lovers


Recently, my attention was called to a message in a polyamory forum about turbulence in a polyamorous relationship caused when one person wanted to start dating a friend, and that person’s existing partner wanted to impose a “No dating existing friends” rule.

I haven’t seen many examples, at least so far, of people prohibiting other people from beginning romantic relationships with anyone who was already a friend. Yet as I read this message, it seemed many other people on that forum had, or wanted, similar rules. And as I considered the prospect of such prohibitions on dating friends (with, I must say, a certain degree of head-scratching bafflement), I came to the conclusion that it might be wise to add a screening question to my list:1 “Do your partners prohibit you from turning friendships into relationships?” And if the answer turns out to be “yes,” I will likely take a pass on romantic involvement with such a person.

As I read the comments on the post, a common theme emerged: “I don’t want to deal with the drama that will result if I allow my partner to date existing friends, which will damage the friendships.” And that made me scratch my head, because–leaving aside for the moment the issue that it’s a little messed up to value your own fear of “drama” over your partner’s ability to choose romantic connections–it seems to me a huge vote of no confidence in the relationship skills of the person this prohibition is placed on.

Some folks prefer to keep their relationships and their friendships separate. That’s not for me; I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but I want my lovers to be my friends, and I’ve had many relationships that have transitioned from friend to lover, and some that have transitioned from friend to lover and back to friend…and some of these have been among the most rewarding relationships of my life.

But here’s the thing: when a person says, “I don’t want my partner to have relationships with anyone who is already a friend because drama,” that person is actually saying, “I believe my partner has such absolutely terrible relationship skills that their relationships are bound to fail, leaving a twisted, smoking mass of rubble where the friendship once stood…and I feel like I have the authority to demand my partner not be allowed to do that.”

Which is a little…err, weird.

I understand and admire valuing friends and wanting to protect friendships. The path to doing this, seems to me, is to treat your friends (and your lovers!) with respect, compassion, and dignity. If I had a partner who wanted to date a friend–something that has happened many times, I might add–I can’t imagine telling her, “No, please don’t do that.” I believe relationships work best when we trust our partners to make good choices, rather than seeking to control our partners’ choices. If I thought my partner was incapable of making good choices or building healthy relationships, I would probably find it more beneficial to question why I was with her, rather than placing restrictions on her. (To be fair, it’s no secret I’m skeptical of any situation where person A tells person B who B can and can’t date. Indeed, I think the right to choose our romantic partners for ourselves is a core human right. But A telling B not to date C because B is already friends with C seems particularly odd to me; after all, if we are allowed to date only folks who are strangers, then it shouldn’t be a surprise when we end up dating folks we don’t know a lot about, which doesn’t seem like a good drama-reduction strategy to me.)

We are, I think, culturally conditioned to be very frightened indeed of romantic relationships, and to invest them with so many fears and horror stories that we all too easily forget how awesome they can make our lives. When we say, “I don’t want you to date a friend because it will lead to drama,” we speak volumes about how we think of romantic relationships–and we lead with our fears, not our hopes.

1 Among the things on my “screening list” are questions like “Do you have experience in polyamorous relationships?” and “Do you want or are you currently in a relationship that has veto?” I choose not to date people who are not already poly or who use veto.

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How to get your *advance copy* of More Than Two!


This post is the first by Cora Bilsker, who will be working with us on sales and book tour planning. She’ll be posting occasional updates her about our whereabouts and important book news. We’re excited – and relieved – to have her help! – Franklin and Eve 

Does the the September release date seem just too far away? Are you just dying to get your hands on a copy of More Than Two for your summer reading? Never fear, dear supporters, there is a way!

A select number of advance copies are available for your local bookstore, poly group, or book club to request. Groups must buy a minimum of 10 books; there’s no minimum for bookstores (but there’s a small handling charge for less than five copies). We’re offering hefty discounts, and international shipping is available.

Contact orders@thorntreepress.com to ask for more information. Pass this information onto groups in your area, or lobby your local bookstore to be one of the first to stock More Than Two. We don’t have many left, so get your order in soon!

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Backer e-books are out!


In case you missed it… we’ve just sent all $15+ backers an email with links to download the Kindle and ePub files for More Than Two. If you backed us and didn’t get the email, check your spam and promotional folders. If you don’t find the email, send a message to orders@thorntreepress.com to get your e-books.

And if you didn’t back us… you can still pick up an advance softcover copy at one of the bookstores that are carrying us, ask your local bookstore to stock advance copies (they can email orders@thorntreepress.com to arrange copies), or wait until September 2 for the official launch!

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Some thoughts on love and sacrifice


Note: This entry is crossposted from Franklin’s personal blog.

I recently encountered, during the normal course of my regular trawling across the width of this thing we call the Internet, an essay posted on the Psychology Today Web site. The article is a rejection of the notion that adultery is okay (an argument made by a different essay on a different site) and, as far as that goes, I have no quarrel with it. If you’re going to make a promise of sexual fidelity, keep it. If you can’t,renegotiate the relationship or end it.

But the problem comes near the essay’s end, where the author says:

More generally, the author doesn’t seem to appreciate that the value of commitment is based in part on the value of what is given up for it. Of course, sexual desire has a unique pull on most of us. But promises of fidelity would mean much less if we were promising to give up something we didn’t want! The fact that most of us want sex so much is why it means so much when we promise it to just one person…

And I find this argument to be very problematic indeed.

I reject this premise wholeheartedly. I do not–I cannot–buy the notion that in order for something to be valuable, we have to sacrifice something in order to have it.

This idea is one of the malignant gifts bequeathed on us by our Puritan ancestors, who believed it so passionately they never saw the hypocritical self-contradiction in it (they yearned for an afterlife in which there is no want, no suffering, and everything is perfect forever, and they thought the way to get there was by rejecting what you want, by suffering, and by working against basic human happiness…something they regarded with suspicion at best and hostility at worst.)

I think, rather, that the value of a thing is not what we give up in order to have it, but instead whether that thing is an authentic expression of who we truly are.

There is nothing noble in denying who you are in order to get something you want. Just the opposite: that is the most craven sort of commerce, exchanging truth for gain. We rightly deride dishonesty in politicians and businesses; we understand that pretending to be something you’re not in order to get votes or money is a perfidious act. Why don’t we understand the same thing about love?

There is no virtue in exchanging your true self for the affections of someone else. Love admits no such cynical transaction. Love is most meaningful when those who love us know who we truly are and love us anyway. It is not about what we can make those we love give up; it is about how we can help those we love be the most genuine, the most honest versions of themselves.

We do not make an act of fidelity meaningful because we don’t want to do it. We make an act–any act–meaningful when it most truly represents who we are, when it most honestly shares what we actually desire. Believing that sex is valuable because we pledge it to one person when we really want to do just the opposite is the most crass kind of commoditization of both sex and love. Matters of the heart are not about artificial scarcity and transactional gain.

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Book update: Publication and pre-release dates


Please be sure to also read our book FAQ.

Well. It’s been quite a month.

We’ve been busy (very, very busy) getting the book to press, trying to avert disaster at our printer, planning our launch parties and subsequent events, and speaking with publishing industry professionals about our marketing and distribution plans.

And we’ve learned something. We’ve been doing it wrong.

The support we’ve had from all our backers has been amazing, and the Amazon pre-sales have been amazing, too. We’ve had incredible grassroots success. But we want to be more than a grassroots success: we want to push this book into the mainstream. We want to be in brick-and-mortar stores and libraries; we want people to stumble on us who may never have heard of polyamory before.

And to do that, we need more time. There are certain steps that need to be followed, you see, before members of the stodgy old-school book industry will pick you up. You need advance copies, and need reviews. Bookstores want to have your book before it’s available online.

So we’ve made a new plan.

The launch parties are happening as scheduled, and so are all our events in Atlanta and North Carolina. All our crowdfunding backers will get their softcover books as scheduled [EDIT: and your e-books, too]. Folks at our events will be able to pick up softcovers, too, and the bookstores who hosted us will be carrying them, as well. But those copies will be special advance copies. For this summer, only a few people will have them–the people who backed our campaign and those lucky enough to attend one of our events (or live in one of the cities where an indie bookstore is already carrying advance copies).

Official publication is now September 2. This is just before the start of our fall book tour, and gives us just enough time to get those all-important critical reviews–as well as get a bigger print run lined up at the distributor to go out to fill the first orders.

The people this mainly effects are those who have pre-ordered the book on Amazon. You’re still getting your book, but it will be delayed (as we understand pre-orders, though, you won’t be charged until the books ship). And Amazon pre-orders will stay open throughout the summer, so please do continue to share the link!

Here are the early events where you can pick up a book:

Books will also be on sale through the summer at Charis Books in Atlanta, GA; Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC; The Art of Loving and People’s Co-op Bookstore in Vancouver, BC; and She Bop in Portland, OR.

We’ve released a video update explaining all this, in which we also introduce our awesome new sales associate, Cora:

Questions? Put ‘em in the comments! Thanks everyone for all your support and understanding.

*Indiegogo backers who contributed $25 or more get a free ticket to the launch parties. We emailed links to register–check your spam/promotional folders if you didn’t get them!

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More Than Two book: FAQ


Please be sure to also read our publication date update.

Since we started taking Amazon pre-orders for More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, we’ve gotten a bunch of questions about it here, on our Facebook page, and on my and Franklin’s Twitter feeds. I decided it would be a good idea to post a little FAQ here to answer the most common ones.

Will there be an e-book?

Yes! There will be both Kindle and ePub editions. Unfortunately, it’s hard to impossible for micro-publishers like us to take pre-orders for e-books, so you’ll have to wait for May 30 to buy it. A couple of details:

  • We haven’t settled on pricing yet, but it’s looking like it’ll be around $9.99.
  • Anyone who backed our Indiegogo campaign at $15 or more will be automatically getting an e-book. Check your email on May 30 for the link to download it–be sure to check your spam and “promotions” folders if you don’t see it. That link will only work for a limited time, because…
  • We’re probably going to be signing up for Amazon’s KDP Select, a program that substantially boosts Kindle royalties and sales rankings, but with the trade-off of giving Amazon exclusive distribution rights to digital versions of your book for 90 days. That means that once we enroll in KDP, we have to stop distributing e-books through all other channels. So what we’ll probably do is make the backer and ePub editions available for 10-14 days before starting the 90-day exclusivity period with Amazon. Come fall, we’ll launch a wider ePub distribution campaign.

Can I get your book if I’m not in the United States?

We’ll be making the book available via print-on-demand on Amazon UK and EU on or shortly after May 30. At that point you’ll also be able to buy POD copies directly via the Createspace e-store, which has fairly reasonable international shipping rates (around $6).

In the month or two after publication, we’ll also be distributing the book into other international markets, including Canada, Australia and Brazil. We will make announcements here and on our Facebook page as that happens.

In the meantime, if you live in one of these other countries and don’t want to pay full retail + shipping for a book, you might want to consider encouraging your local bookstore to put in a wholesale order directly from us, or get your local poly group together to buy a carton at wholesale + shipping. Which brings us to…

Are you taking wholesale orders?

Yes, we are taking wholesale orders for the book. Poly groups, bookstores, university professors and others interested in bulk purchasing can send an email to orders@thorntreepress.com for information. We will also provide complementary desk copies to accompany wholesale academic orders.

Eventually the book will be available through a distributor, but we’re still working on choosing our distributor and establishing a relationship.

Are you sending review copies?

Members of the media, including high-profile bloggers, may write to press@thorntreepress for review copies. (We reserve the right to decide what constitutes “high-profile.”)

What else can I do to help?

The most important thing you can do right now is to share our pre-order link: http://amzn.to/ReG10R. (If you tweet, please use the hashtag #MoreThanTwo.)

The more orders we get through Amazon, the higher our sales ranking goes and the more early exposure we get.

Here are some other things you can do:

Other ideas? Other questions? Share them in the comments!

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More Than Two is now available for pre-order!


Aiieeee it’s almost here!!!

Amazon has More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory, up for presale at a discounted price of $17.75. If you pre-order now, your book will come from the first printing.

So reserve your copy now–plus a few for friends!

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All the news! And a teaser from the book


It’s done! The copy-editing is complete, and the book has gone to layout. In just a few short weeks (eep!) we’ll be sending the file to print. Our publication date is… drum roll please…

May 30, 2014

If you haven’t signed up for our mailing list yet, you can do so now and to be notified by email when pre-orders open (which will be soon).

We sent out a survey to all our Indiegogo backers asking you how you want to be credited on the website, e-book and print book (depending on what you’re eligible for). The survey went out on our Facebook, by email and as an Indiegogo update, but a few people still haven’t responded. If you don’t respond, you won’t get your credit. We’re leaving the survey open for a few more days–until midnight on Monday, April 14–so if you haven’t filled it out yet and you want your credit, please go do it now!

We’re having book launch parties back-to-back, on May 30 in Vancouver, Canada, and May 31 in Portland, Oregon. Then we’re headed out to Atlanta Poly Weekend on June 6 to 8, where we’ll be leading workshops and Franklin will be giving a keynote. We’ll be sending out launch party info by email shortly.

If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you’ve been seeing snippets of what’s been cut from the book. For the first time, we’d like to share with you a teaser of what’s actually going to be in the book. Below is a short excerpt, and below that is the complete table of contents.

From Chapter 1: Starting the Journey:

It’s a story as old as time: Boy meets girl (or perhaps boy meets boy, or girl meets girl), they date, they fall in love. They pledge sexual and emotional fidelity, start a family and settle down to live happily ever after, the end. But the story often proves to be a fairy tale. All too often it continues on into misery, breakdown, separation, divorce, boy meets new girl. Lather, rinse, repeat.

In one common variant, boy meets girl, they settle down, one of them meets someone new, things get messy, dishes are thrown, hearts are broken. Or perhaps you’ve heard this version: Girl meets two boys, or vice versa. A tragic choice must be made. Someone is left heartbroken, and everybody is left wondering what might have been.

We propose that there is a different way to write this story. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, girl meets another boy, they fall in love, girl and boy meet another boy, girl meets girl, girl meets boy, and they all live happily ever after.

The word polyamory was coined in the early 1990s from the Greek poly, meaning ”many,” and the Latin amor, meaning “love.” It means having multiple loving, often committed, relationships at the same time by mutual agreement, with honesty and clarity. We know what you’re thinking: “Who does the laundry?” We’ll get to that in a bit.

Polyamory isn’t about sneaking off and getting some action on the sly when your girlfriend is out of town. Nor is it about dating three people and keeping everyone in the dark. It’s not about joining a religious cult and marrying a dozen teenage girls, or about having recreational sex while maintaining only one “real” relationship, or going to parties where you drop your keys in a hat.

Poly relationships come in an astonishing variety of shapes, sizes and flavors, just like the human heart. There are “vee” relationships, where one person has two partners who aren’t romantically involved with each other; “triad” relationships, where three are mutually involved; and “quad” relationships of four people, who may or may not all be romantically involved with one another. A relationship might be “polyfidelitous,” which means the people agree not to pursue additional partners. Or it may be open to members starting new relationships. A poly person might have one or more “primary” partners and one or more “secondary” partners, or recognize no rankings. They might have a “group marriage,” sharing finances, a home and maybe children as a single family.

Some people imagine that polyamory involves a fear of commitment. The truth is, commitment in polyamory doesn’t mean commitment to sexual exclusivity. Instead, it means commitment to a romantic relationship, with everything that goes along with that: commitment to being there when your partners need you, to investing in their happiness, to building a life with them, to creating happy and healthy relationships that meet everyone’s needs, and to supporting one another when life gets hard. Unfortunately, society has taught us to view commitment only through the lens of sexual exclusivity; this diminishes all the other important ways that we commit to one another. People who can’t commit to one person sure as hell can’t commit to more than one!

Polyamory isn’t the same thing as polygamy, which means having multiple spouses (most often in the form of polygyny, or multiple wives; sometimes in the form of polyandry, or multiple husbands). It’s not about keeping a harem, though we know some of you there in the back row were kind of hoping we’d go that way. It’s not the same as swinging, though some poly people also swing (as we discuss in chapter 17, on opening from a couple). And finally, it’s not about rampant promiscuity. Polyamorous relationships are relationships—with good times, bad times, problem-solving, communication…and, yes, laundry.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Janet W. Hardy, co-author of The Ethical Slut
Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part 1: What is polyamory?
1 Starting the journey
2 The many forms of love
3 Ethical polyamory

Part 2: A poly toolkit
4 Tending your self
5 Nurturing your relationships
6 Communication pitfalls
7 Communication strategies
8 Taming the green-eyed monster

Part 3: Poly frameworks
9 Boundaries
10 Rules and agreements
11 Hierarchy and primary/secondary poly
12 Veto arrangements
13 Empowered relationships
14 Practical poly agreements

Part 4: The poly reality
15 How poly relationships are different
16 In the middle
17 Opening from a couple
18 Mono/poly relationships
19 Sex and laundry
20 Sexual health
21 Poly puzzles
22 Relationship transitions

Part 5: The poly ecosystem
23 Your partners’ other partners
24 Finding partners
25 The rest of the world

Last words: Love more, be awesome

Glossary
Notes
Resources
Index
Backers

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