I am an admin in a non-real-time OA meeting. Often new members ask where they can buy OA literature. We usually just put the bookstore.oa.org website link up, but this is fine only for those who live in the USA and want print literature.
Sometimes we get people posting links to the main page of a popular online retailer where OA sells its literature. When the link is clicked, it doesn’t show our books—it shows anything the retailer has for sale. Other times people say, “Go to this other fellowship’s website and you can download Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition free of charge.”
I need to know which of these comments I should remove. So far, we have removed all links to outside organizations, explaining that we do not send OA members to other Twelve Step fellowships to source their books for free. We often end up turning off commenting. But one person has now called for a group conscience, and I think this member will want to be allowed to post the “Go to another fellowship and download the Big Book from there for free” option. Our meeting does have people who live in the UK, and for them it would be easier to download a book than to wait two months for it to come at a high shipping cost from the US.
What options do we have to honor our Traditions and still let people share where to buy OA-approved literature? Please give us some guidance. We are happy to do what we are allowed to. We do not wish to hamper people, but we also wish to honor the Traditions.
Recently, hyperlinks to all e-books and print-on-demand books sold by OA through third-party retailers were added to the product pages at bookstore.oa.org. So now when a member goes to bookstore.oa.org and looks at Voices of Recovery, for example, they will find all e-book links, including a link to an Italian translation.
Additionally, you can provide short links to the Overeaters Anonymous author pages on these sites, which list all titles we have for sale. Here are the direct links:
To support members and newcomers, the pamphlet Where Do I Start? is now available as an e-book for Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple Books. It is the first pamphlet OA has published as an e-book and the response has been great.
Is it a break in Tradition Seven if a meeting member wishes to contribute the use of their videoconferencing account in lieu of a cash contribution to the group? Their subscription cost is US$15.99 per month.
The Seventh Tradition in its simplest form, which states, “Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions,” makes it sound as though only money may be donated.
When reading the Tradition Seven chapter in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, however, we find that there are many different ways to make a Seventh Tradition contribution to the meeting: giving service, buying OA literature, donating items to the meeting, etc.
If an individual is offering the service of providing their personal videoconferencing account for the meeting room, then yes, this can be a Seventh Tradition contribution in lieu of cash. If, however, the individual is using the videoconferencing account of a business or organization, this should not be accepted as a Seventh Tradition contribution. First, the account is from an outside enterprise (Tradition Six), and second, the meeting must be self-supporting, declining outside contributions (Tradition Seven).