It has to be a free site - there isn't a budget to do anything else. It has worked well.
MediaFire gives me a simple download counter - this does not count people who read the texts online, without downloading. But it is a measure. And soon we will reach 2000 downloads since this project began, in January 2014.
MediaFire also offer a more complex statistics package, as part of the paid for, premium upgrade. But... there isn't a budget...
Pity really, because over the past weeks there has been an odd little anomaly in the download patterns. Within a few weeks there have been some 200 downloads of one complete book, Patrick O'Sullivan, ed., The Meaning of the Famine, 1997, Volume 6 of The Irish World Wide. An odd little glitch and difficult to explain. Some sort of mad robot harvester? - the patterns do not fit. A seminar group, somewhere, looking at the research literature on the Irish Famine? - the numbers look too big.
The book is in my thoughts because I am in the middle of writing a review article for Irish Historical Studies, about recent developments in the study of the Irish Diaspora, looking especially at the ways in which the Famine has become a central theme. I need not go over here the problems I had bringing together a volume called The Meaning of the Famine, in 1997 - nor the criticism that my book has faced since then.
I recently read an article by Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley - the historian of famine in China...
Tough Choices: Grappling with Famine in Qing China, the British Empire, and Beyond.
Journal of World History, 2013, 24, 135 - 176
It is a comparative piece, which makes excellent use of my own chapter in The Meaning of the Famine (co-written with Richard Lucking) - my chapter made a good stab at unpacking the coded language of the British mandarin class.