Posts Tagged 'money'

There’s Some Public Domain Junkie Out There That’s Gonna Disown Me

After a night of soul-searching and pizza, I’ve decided to put my original stories up for sale, and have thus removed the .doc files of them from this website. I’ve done this for a couple of reasons.

  • My World of Warcraft stories are more popular anyway, and I can’t sell those
  • The whole thing is still readable, and copy & pasteable, from this website

I’m not here to restrict access to my content. If JoCo and Penny Arcade have taught me anything, it’s that. I don’t want to stop people from reading my stories. However, there might be someone out there that has the means and the desire to go “I’d buy this if it was a book; here, author, have a dollar.” In that case, I’m not going to stop them.

The stories are available for ‘purchase’ here. At present, the plan is to give the same loving treatment to my WoW fanfics and throw those up on Scribd as well – not to sell, but as a source of publicity and for tracking purposes, because either not a soul has downloaded a .doc from WordPress or the site’s not tracking those actions for me.

Is it good or bad that I feel mild guilt at even this totally minor monetization of my works? I’m not being greedy, am I?

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The Paper Ceiling

Since this site is a project for class, in part, I’m always trying to think of more ‘professional’ features to add to it. I’d be happy to bask in the glow of my many fans’ accolades, but I also want that A, so I’m always trying to come up with new features, if you can call them that.

One of my big inspirations in this project is the never-can-be-too-highly-praised Jonathan Coulton, who also uses Creative Commons and even WordPress. JoCo makes a living off his website, but it’s occured to me that I never could, and it has nothing to do with the quality of my work. It has to do with the medium.

Webcomic artists and musicians, to pick two examples, can make money off of a good product online by a) selling ads and b) taking donations. I can’t really do either. Banner ads between blocks of text would make me hate even my favorite work, and nobody would donate to a writer for things like this.

I think the difference is in marketability. Webcomics often only take a few seconds to process, and there’s a quick punchline. Going back through the archives generates a zillion pageviews, each with different ads. Music can be consumed passively, while working or reading or playing CounterStrike, and there are concerts to make money from – swag, tickets, et cetera.

Writers don’t get any of that fat money cake. It’s a lot harder to convince someone to invest time in reading something than it is to forward VGCats through Twitter or e-mail. That, or a good song, can be consumed during someone’s morning ritual, or between e-mails. A short story takes at least several minutes. Something like The Tale of Baron Hector Krestan takes even longer than that. Furthermore, until netbooks and Kindles and the like are widespread enough that people can sit around lazily and read something electronic as easily as they would a paperback novel, I think that the internet as a means of distribution just won’t take.

That’s the future, though, which I think is awesome. Netbook in my lap in the park as I make the older brother babysit the kids. And when that future happens, when digital is truly that pervasive, then we just need a Trent Reznor. Someone coming from the traditional publishing system that decides to embrace the new tech. After that it’ll take off. And when that day comes, well, I’ll dig out this website and get to work.

Doing Well Despite My Best Efforts

Well, I have to remember to change my About page, because I can’t honestly say I’ll never make money from writing now.

I managed to somehow win the Edgewood College Writing Contest this year with A Dark and Stormy Night, and that came with a $100 prize. Which is hot. That same story is also in the Edgewood Review this year, the college’s yearly magazine of art, poetry, and fiction. I consider that extremely well done for a story that I wrote in about three hours immediately before the class period in which it was due.

Enough about me.

Writing’s come slowly of late, but the bug to do more has definitely surfaced, and some of my more stressful responsibilities have been dealt with, so hopefully I now have a chance to breathe. I had a great idea the other day, but then forgot it, which is always fun. The urge to write more slapstick like Varendil Goes to Scourgeholme is strong, but there’s also the super srs Varendil story floating around the back of my mind. Wilson may be on hold until I get a chance to go back to Monroe. Something darker there might be fun. I touch on darkness there in YGTFIJF and while it seemed odd at first, I feel like that story’s a very legitimate Wilson one and the darkness fits in an odd way. If there’s anything M*A*S*H proved, it’s that humor and sadness aren’t just not mutually exclusive, they’re practically the flip sides of the same coin.