Hey guys, another busy week going on for me (as the players of the forum game well know—new thread up tonight, guys!) trying to finish up the formatting of the Complete Volume 1 book for The Descendants and writing the last few chapters of Soul Battery Book 1 (and dealing with title issues). Because of this, and because my special guest still hasn’t contacted me (I’ve sent her an email to see what’s happening), this week’s blog will once again be short.
I promise thoughtful blog post will me a triumphant return once I’ve got things off my plate and I’m not so stressed and distracted (oh yeah, my birthday was last week, so I might have also been watching my shiny new Lost Girl DvDs too >_>). Until then, I’m basically taking what would have been a news post and making it into a blog post instead. The subject is sort of connected to the aforementioned work I’m putting in.
Namely, it’s a bit about money and some questions I want to ask you guys, effectively my bosses, about how I might make a bit more. See, I’m doing pretty well for an author (not just a self-pub author, but an author), but that’s not so much a kudos to me as a sad thing for them. I’m still a bit shy of being able to ditch my computer tutoring for hire gig to write full time and I feel like I can get there by the end of the year if I reach. And in order to reach, I have a few things to ask you…
Question the First: What Extra Should Go In The Descendants: The Complete Volume 1?
I’ve got the Complete Volume 1 ready to go to be honest, but I feel like it’s… lacking something. It has all the issues, the Special and Annual, plus the ‘Who Is… the Whitecoat?’ one-shot. Buuut I feel like I owe people who might have gotten the Basic Collection books more than just the big compilation and a one-shot.
So the question is what more should go in there? Character Dossiers for the main cast (Updated after each volume thereafter), the Rise of Morganna mini (I was planning on releasing that as a book on its own…), the first two chapters of Descendants Prime (meaning there would be ebook-exclusive content, but not a complete new story). Something else?
It’s something else, isn’t it? What would you guys like to see in this collection… if you want anything at all; some people actually complain about ebooks with extras in because it messes up the page count or something. Erm.. nothing visual. You guys really don’t want to see my drawings or wait for me to beg an actual artist to do it for me.
So, you know, let me know what it is either in the comments below or the forum.
Question the Second: Would You Take Advantage of Patreon If I Got An Account?
Patreon is a website designed specifically for fans of an artist to pay them to do work. It works like this: I put something up there—in this case, Monday and Wednesday story updates a week early or Patreon-only one-shots you guys request—and then in order to read this extra or early content, someone would pay (in this case, a dollar, bu if you really want to, you can pay more because you really like me or something) to read it.
I’m not entirely happy with the idea of having something behind a paywall like that (I’m okay with ebooks, but having to sign up for a site to read my stuff isn’t my favorite arrangement), but apparently, Patreon can actually improve someone’s visibility and it might bring more readers to the regular site and ebooks.
My only issue is if it will be worth it: ie, would people actually use it and if being able to make requests of me would be something people would be willing to pay for. Again, it’s not a lot of money: a dollar every week or so for early access or something special, but I get if you guys wouldn’t want any part of it. And if you guys don’t, there’s no point in me trying.
Which brings us to…
Question the Third: How Should I Handle The Minis As Ebooks?
I’ve been dreading this, but according to my own reading order, I really need to release Rise of Morganna for the ebook crowd. Surprisingly, a lot of the people buying the ebooks aren’t even coming near this site, and Since A MagiTech Crisis is out… it’s time to explain Manikin, the motes, et all.
And again, there’s a ‘but’. Minis are just that, tiny. They clock in at around 10K words and I feel awful charging more than 99 cents for those, plus short stories don’t sell well besides on vile Kindle Unlimited, which I want no part of because, stunningly, there are fans who want to read my stuff on other ereaders. (I will spare you the rant about KU this week). I’m not sure if they, individually, will sell much if anything at all, but at the same time, they really make no goddamn sense lumped together.
Putting together the minis meant to go with Vols 1 & 2 gives us the aforementioned Rise, Liedecker: Life & Time Vol. 1, and The Whitecoat: Networked. Not exactly a related set of stories, and while I would collect them anyway, I don’t think that’s how a new reader should be encountering them.
Of course, I’m probably too close to this, which is why I’m putting this to you guys as well: which way do you think is best?
And that’s about it. Warned you it would be short.
Don’t worry about this talk of money. I’m not holding a proverbial knife to the site’s throat saying I’ll pull the plug if I don’t get my money. It’d just make my life easier and myself a lot more productive if I could focus entirely on my writing, get my car fixed, and maybe go on a little vacation one in a while. Nothing’s hinging on this, even if you come into the comments and swear I’ll never see one red cent from me.
…Please don’t do that though. I might make me sad on the internet.
Re: the miniseries
Take each miniseries separately so Morganna, if you feel is too short to be on it’s own (although just it collected at .99c seems fine to me) add it to the complete volume 1.
Liedecker and other miniseries are longer, so do them seperately if you feel they’re long enough.
Or make them available on their own and as a part of the collections, So people who got the basic collections don’t feel like they’re being forced to buy the bigger collections for just a small amount of extra content.
Anyway that’s my 10 cents
RE Patreon, I personally like it, I sponsor a couple authors through it. I’m also not one for hiring the donate button, so except for actually buying the books it is the only way I donate.
That said, I know at least one author (wildbow, author of worm and pact) whose income changed for the worse when he started using Patreon. Basically the handful of big donors he had switched to smaller, monthly donations for less overall. It got better, but I know it took many months. I think it ended up being a net positive, because he has a lot more regular donations now, but that big early hit is something to watch out for.
1. CHARACTER DOSSIERS! CHARACTER DOSSIERS! Definitely the character dossiers (since you never really updated the cast pages). But I would love that.
2. Maybe, but probably not. Perhaps for the extra stuff, but I’m cool with the schedule on this site instead.
3. I think for minis, it’s best to just sell them separately. Maybe put the Leideckers together (even if they should be read at different times), but otherwise I think they do best as their own separate entities.
I’m a fairly new reader- came to this site via your ebooks on amazon, and reading Drew Hayes, then pen and cape society, The Good Fight whitecoat story, then here.
1. Extras: I’d buy it anyway without extras, but dossiers are cool as well as any humorous extras. example: ilona andrews has twitter conversations between her protagonists which are really short but very funny.
2. Um I’ve never heard of patreon and personally wouldn’t use it, but I’m also 34years old and don’t do facebook or twitter. I’ve heard of some authors using kickstarter- seanan mcguire did when trying to decide which story to write next. I love her velveteen superhero stuff- wish she would do more.
3. As for minis- if you sell them separately I’d buy them, or if bundled I’d buy them. Either way, I’d buy them because they’re fun. I like bundles because it’s less clutter on my kindle.
Extra input: I’m very swayed by pretty covers, which led to a delay in reading some fun authors (Drew Hayes landers, RJ Ross cape high- great stories, but their covers aren’t eye catching). Great covers = more purchases. There’s a lot of books on amazon- I try to winnow down the ones worth reading by the authors who invested in a pretty cover. I used to do a lot of painting and other artsy stuff in high school, so I’m not ashamed of being biased based on cover art.
Most people I’ve seen who use patreon don’t really put what I’d call extra content there. No exclusive stories or the like. More often, it’s things like early access, behind-the-scenes stuff about the creative process… For artists, the chance to ask for a sketch that will then be shown to everybody. Things that aren’t huge, but make a nice thank you for people who decide to sponsor what you’re already doing for free.
And I’ve never used it, personally. Not to say it could never happen, but the format doesn’t really appeal to me. Only slightly better than Donate buttons. I prefer buying ebooks.
I would say, though it’s a bit late, to drop a chapter of Rise of Morganna in the end of each ebook, with a link to the previous ones online. It would make a fun sort of revelation thing, and the important plot events are self-evident, anyway.
1 Character Dossiers (see Celcey’s comment)
2 Never used Patreon, but I’ve seen it one several sites. I can’t say I would use it, because the schedule You have running keeps me occupied enough, but if there were extras that were particularly enticing, I can’t say I wouldn’t contribute in order to get at them.
3 I think the Liedecker minis could be their own thing, but I also like shadowmaster13’s idea of releasing the minis both separately and as part of the larger collections.
I mostly read eBooks.
Part of that is because I read outdoors a lot, and electronic ink displays are pretty much what you want in sunlight.
I will echo the comments about having a good cover.
I would also suggest that if you have a short piece, maybe try to get The Pen And Cape Society to put out another anthology. Then you already have your part. I know Elise Stokes didn’t have anything in the first one and you all probably have some more writers that haven’t been presented in that way yet.