Last week I made a post about how a year of giving all my books away for free had brought my readership down and possibly crushed my productivity. As of now, I’ve requested that all the sites giving them away remove them from their shelves and I’ll soon be selling exclusively through Amazon again for $3.99 a book, at least for the near future.
I’m looking forward to writing for profit again, whether I make a lot of money with it or not. And I’m looking forward to releasing my next book, which I hope will be done very soon. But I don’t like how long it’s taken, and I don’t like that I’ve made fans wait so long in between projects, so I’m starting up something new today for the fans who want to take the plunge, a series of shorter-term projects.
From now on, I’m going to write a new short story every month. On the first of every month I’m going to send them out exclusively to people who sponsor me on Patreon. If you’ve never heard of Patreon, it’s a website where you can sponsor artists either per project or (in my case) per month. You’ll commit to donate a dollar a month (or more, if you want some of the bigger perks), and I’ll commit to deliver a new short story to you every month. It’s a bit like crowd-funding except instead of supporting a specific project, you’re supporting an artist and his/her work in general.
I’m putting the finishing touches on the first story, which I’ll be releasing December 1st. It’s an absurd, comedic sci-fi thriller about a bald accountant who gets a hair transplant that threatens to murder him and everyone around him. I’m going to use these stories to experiment with weird ideas, to try out different writing styles or characters I might be interested in using in something else, and in general just to have some fun with. When I get enough of them that I like and that seem to fit together nicely, I’ll put them in anthologies. But a lot of them, I think, will probably remain solely for the people who want to donate on Patreon.
Here’s a snippet from next month’s story:
He sat in his office spinning a holographic cube in circles and waiting for clients, going through the motions with a hundred tax returns, asking the dumbest questions a person ever had to ask.
Have you imported goods from other planets and sold them to neighboring countries via the Internet?
Have you purchased farmland on neighboring planets, moons, or space stations and used them to raise livestock, bearing in mind that adopted children can be classified as livestock?
Have you acquired any commission-based income resulting from extraterrestrial sex trade?
No, no, and no.
No one ever says yes to the space-pimp question.
Thousands of stupid tax breaks and loopholes, thousands of ridiculous questions. Thousands of manipulations of digital cubes and diagrams, plugging in data and running equations on a top-tier desktop holo-processor, just to send everything to an inkjet printer and post it snail-mail to D.C. because bureaucracy was still medieval and politicians were still figuring out email. If there was one job machines would never replace, it was dealing government dipshits.
If you want to read the rest of this story on December 1st, click this link to come BACK ME ON PATREON. I’ve also got bigger rewards available for people willing to donate a little more, such as access to a production journal where I’ll be giving little tastes of major upcoming projects, and even opportunities for advance copies of new books, autographed paperbacks, and characters named after you.
This is my new little fan club. I hope I’ve got some enthusiastic people who want to be part of it. It’s where I’m going to share all of the best stuff I’m working on from now on.