Free Literature

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Free Literature

Postby Slowtime » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:05 am

So I'm frequently asked why newcomers have to pay for literature. Why don't we give it away?
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:17 am

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Re: Free Literature

Postby Slowtime » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:35 am

Spirit Flower wrote:http://www.e-aa.org/about_aa.php

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/aa-literature


Hard copies.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Brock » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:53 pm

The GSO guidelines give what they feel should be done with 'excessive group funds,' the group holds a prudent reserve for emergencies and the rest is given back something like this - 10% to district 10% to area committee 30% to G.S.O. 50% to intergroup or central office. OR If you have no intergroup/central office. 40% to district 30% to area 30% to G.S.O.

Now most groups get a little something back by way of free literature handouts, like welcome pack leaflets, other than that the money is used for operating expenses at each level. In the past I have seen complaints about the apparent high salaries and rentals at GSO, and some say they are a pretty rich bunch of folks. Anyhow if the group put funds these others depend on into buying books, they would suffer.

But all that aside, if an individual group wanted to give away big books and such that is their own business, once they can afford it. I wouldn't vote for that at my own group, because it would place a burden on the groups finances and everybody would have to put more in the hat, and as often happens only some will carry most of the load, also people don't take half as much care of something they get free. I think it's far better that those who can afford it, choose new members who they feel are serious about the program and might lack funds, and give privately to them, this is what happens in my area.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:05 pm

Whenever a new person comes to our group and it is their very first EVER meeting (not a treatment center person); someone always gets up, goes to the book store (in the alano club) and buys a Big Book. That book gets passed around. People of similar gender put their name and phone number in it and then it is given to the new person.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:50 am

The problem is some groups believe that the new comer has to be serious enough to be gifted a big book. I have been there. There are so many people that I have given books I have bought of the used book stores never come back. For me the cheapest way to carry the message is a 15 cent CD and few minutes to burn them. I have been doing that for the lifespan in sobriety. This way I don't feel bad. I just lose 15 cents.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Db1105 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:56 pm

My Homegroup has literature for the taking, meeting list, and all newcomers receive a copy of The Big Book.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Noels » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:30 am

Spirit Flower wrote:Whenever a new person comes to our group and it is their very first EVER meeting (not a treatment center person); someone always gets up, goes to the book store (in the alano club) and buys a Big Book. That book gets passed around. People of similar gender put their name and phone number in it and then it is given to the new person.


Wow Spirit that's a great idea and marvelous gesture! Not only do the new person get the BB he/she also have contact details immediately. Excellent idea thanks for sharing this.

avaneesh912 wrote:The problem is some groups believe that the new comer has to be serious enough to be gifted a big book. I have been there. There are so many people that I have given books I have bought of the used book stores never come back. For me the cheapest way to carry the message is a 15 cent CD and few minutes to burn them. I have been doing that for the lifespan in sobriety. This way I don't feel bad. I just lose 15 cents.


Another brilliant idea. Thanks Ava

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Re: Free Literature

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:27 am

avaneesh912 wrote:The problem is some groups believe that the new comer has to be serious enough to be gifted a big book. I have been there. There are so many people that I have given books I have bought of the used book stores never come back. For me the cheapest way to carry the message is a 15 cent CD and few minutes to burn them. I have been doing that for the lifespan in sobriety. This way I don't feel bad. I just lose 15 cents.

We usually ask the new person if they want to quit drinking and if they think they have a problem. If they don't want to quit or say they are just there for their paper to be signed, we leave them alone and don't have a first step meeting or get them a book.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Blue Moon » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:47 pm

Slowtime wrote:So I'm frequently asked why newcomers have to pay for literature. Why don't we give it away?


The price of a Big Book is less than the price of a 12-pack or a bottle of liquor. I'm not convinced that any alcoholic isn't sobering up because they cannot afford to. As others pointed out, there are even free resources online, and many groups will give a hard-copy book to the newcomer.

IME drunk or sober, us alcoholics tend to find any excuse to avoid doing what we don't really want to do, then blame someone else for the outcome.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby clouds » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:32 am

My experience is that this gets hashed out in business meetings and group conscience in all the groups I've belonged were varied on pamphlets and meeting lists, some voted for free, some not, several for free meeting lists but the rest of pamphlets to be paid for by those who wanted take them. I haven't belonged to a group where group conscience decided to give away the big book, some lively discussions insued on the topic though.

I've paid for pamphlets for newcomers a few times.
One group I went to gave away the meeting list and the questions pamphlets free of charge.
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Re: Free Literature

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:08 am

clouds wrote:I haven't belonged to a group where group conscience decided to give away the big book


e-AA Group used to. Sadly we had to tone it down, because a lot of people were being directed here for their free book, we never heard from them before or since. I wouldn't be surprised if some were sold on something like ebay without even being opened. We wouldn't have wanted to check people's credentials as bona-fide e-AA members before handing books out. So unfortunately, when something is given free that must be paid for elsewhere, people will abuse the privilege.

Therefore, the only way the hard-copy BB could really be free is if all AA Groups agreed it should be, at an annual Conference. If all AA groups contributed to GSO, it could be free today. But they don't. So Groups would have to commit to upping their contributions for GSO to fully-fund it.
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