The Donation Experiment
I recognize now that the title of this post lends itself to a much more interesting piece of fiction; so sorry to disappoint, but this is not fiction. (But it has already inspired a short story which I will begin writing now.) With all of the doomsayers, cheerleaders, skeptics and know-it-alls out there proclaiming they know the future of the publishing industry, I thought that with the release of my new novel I would try something a little different. You all know my thoughts on the publishing industry so there’s no need to re-hash that here; you can reference my blog if you need a recap.
My experiment is to sell my print book through donations.
No, it’s not the most original concept (er, read: Radiohead), but for the context, it may be. For a nobody writer with little track record than a thread of short stories mostly published right here, it is a risk that I might lose money on the print copies and/or the shipping costs. My ambitions for my writing are unrealistic, yet I persist, day after day, month after month, year after year. So why not let the very small market for my novel determine what they want to pay? We’ve had so much discourse over the value of our work, that instead of further pontificating about it and guessing and hoping that the price I attach to my print and electronic work shall be without someone bitching and moaning about it, I’ll let the people who really want to read my work place a value on it themselves.
Oh sure, I spent months writing, more months editing, more months waiting for the graphics, even more months formatting, pre-marketing, and re-editing the book. I lost hours of each night for the past year agonizing over it (in mostly a happy way) and I’m letting someone else set the price. Because that’s the way it works. Our work is indeed a commodity, and we need to look at that as a positive thing. It’s hard for certain of us writers to accept that it’s a compliment when someone breezes through our work, we can only hope that once they are done reading it that something about it sticks with them for a much longer time.
So you set the price. But whatever you pay, be sure to pass on the work to someone else when you are done and don’t let it sit on your shelf.
Donations for Back(stabbed) In Brooklyn can be made HERE.