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01 May 2008 @ 10:01 am
purely hypothetical  
This is a purely hypothetical poll. It's based largely on the vagueries of a freelance life, which is to say, an empty bank account, and springs from having gone for a walk this morning thinking about Ursula's Taxman print and trying to imagine if there was a sort of authorial equivilant to what she did there (short version: she had a big tax bill, did a limited edition painting, her awesome fans came through and helped her pay off the bill). I think that sort of thing is easier if you're an artist, particularly one of Ursula's speed. It's a little harder to whip out a book and say, "Limited edition! Order it if you want it!" I mean, I write fast, but not that fast. :)

(Also, speaking of Ursula, her first book, NURK: THE STRANGE, SURPRISING ADVENTURES OF A (SOMEWHAT) BRAVE SHREW has hit the shelves, and you should all go buy it, too. :))



Would you be interested in a subscription-based novel by yours truly?

yes
33(68.8%)
no
1(2.1%)
depends on what book it was
13(27.1%)

What book would you be interested in?

CENTENARIAN (gaslight-era paranormal mystery)
21(44.7%)
TRUTHSEEKER (modern-era paranormal romance)
5(10.6%)
a new Strongbox Chronicle
2(4.3%)
other, to be detailed in comments (not a spin-off of a current series, it's not going to happen)
4(8.5%)

Would you prefer:

a chapter a week
23(47.9%)
two chapters a week
6(12.5%)
the whole book at once, when it's finished
9(18.8%)
other, to be detailed in comments
4(8.3%)

For a subscription, would you pay a one-time fee of:

$5
6(12.8%)
$10
11(23.4%)
$15
14(29.8%)
$20
5(10.6%)
other, to be detailed in comments
4(8.5%)

If I were to open up a subscription, would you think it reasonable to expect the book to start arriving in your inbox:

now
3(6.2%)
in June
3(6.2%)
in July
3(6.2%)
in August
2(4.2%)
after the idiot writer making this poll has taken a *break*
31(64.6%)
other, to be detailed in comments
4(8.3%)

Would you be deeply offended if the same material went up online for free:

3 months later?
11(26.8%)
6 months later?
3(7.3%)
a year later?
3(7.3%)
ever?
2(4.9%)
other, to be detailed in comments
14(34.1%)

Would you be deeply offended if the same material was eventually traditionally published?

yes
0(0.0%)
no
12(25.0%)
I'd be smug as a bug in a rug. I got to read it first, after all.
21(43.8%)
other, to be detailed in comments
2(4.2%)
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Current Mood: curiouscurious
 
 
 
xnamkradxnamkrad on May 1st, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
Interesting idea
No True. Such Permit. Very Assassins. Wow.naamah_darling on May 1st, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
I've seen a number of writers/artists doing this sort of thing lately, and it's seemed to work really well for them. I love the idea, and have been toying with doing something similar, myself.

So, I'm all for it.

I wouldn't care if it were made available for free at some point, preferably after it had wrapped up and was finished. Six months after? A year seems like a really long time. I'd actually really want to see it in print, too. That whole smugness thing you mentioned.
Kes Yocumkesmun on May 1st, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
Hmmm. I think I'd go for two or more years on the "online for free" thing, and I'd definitely like to see it traditionally published. I think the "online for free" part would definitely be preferable after the traditional "dead tree" publishing.
Colettebellinghwoman on May 1st, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
I would agree with the 'online for free after the dead tree version has been published' idea.

I would also offer a note of caution - to avoid bad feeling/loss of reputation, if you announce a publication schedule, you need to be pretty certain that you are going to be able to stick to it reasonably closely. Which is why I would suggest that a chapter a month may be more realistic and/or safer, just to allow for unexpected interruptions.
kitmizkit on May 1st, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'd have to be well ahead of the publication schedule to actually be comfortable doing that. Particularly since my writing method usually involves "Write like hell til the first third is done, hit a wall, go back and fix, write like hell to the 2nd 3rd is done, hit a wall, go back and fix, then finish the book." I'm not sure people would really want to go through the actual writing process with me. :)
(no subject) - lilisonna on May 1st, 2008 11:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
tammy_moore: I Write the Bookstammy_moore on May 1st, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
I think it sounds interesting and I'd actually probably not be AS interested if there wasn't some form of it being released to the general (ie. not elite, not me!) public eventually. It's probably a little pathetic but if it was a straight 'subscribe to this online book!' it wouldn't feel so much different than buying it from the bookshop. If I was reading something that was going to be eventually released to the public, it'd feel more exclusive and exciting. It would be like being part of the process.

Besides, I'd be able to corner the market on reviews when the dead-tree version went out!

(and I'd not object to it going up online for free, but that would make a paper version difficult to see wouldn't it? Perhaps you could make it a limited number of subscriptions - more of a pool of first readers rather than a 'this book has already been released' sort of thing?)
kitmizkit on May 1st, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
but that would make a paper version difficult to see wouldn't it?

Depends on the publisher. There's one I'm interested in working with (and who is interested in working with me) with whom I've already cleared the possibility of an online version going up before a published version hit the shelves. But other suggestions of 'free online version at the same time or after it gets published' are also interesting.
Kerry aka Troublecontrouble on May 1st, 2008 06:47 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand the subscription thing. I do not like reading on-line. I want a book in my hands. I don't care if the author publishes it anywhere else, so long as I can pick it up and read it. How much I am willing to pay for it depends on whether it is hard or soft cover. I think that covers all the ones I answered with a "see comments" except for when do I want it - right now, of course *snort* - whenever - my TBR pile grows on release day and shrinks rapidly as few books take more than 2 days to read and most take less.
Colettebellinghwoman on May 1st, 2008 07:07 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand the subscription thing

It's a way of providing an income stream directly to the author, without anyone else needing to take their cut. It has also been known for it to be used as a way for an author to get a story to their fans that said fans have been clamouring for but for which the author cannot find a traditional publisher. Few authors can afford to give their work away for free, so one way to keep the fans happy and the money coming in is the subscription method.
J.K.Richárdneutronjockey on May 1st, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
Catie!

You may be interested in taking a look at the_monkey_king's open_design . He has established a group of patrons (as well as launched a d20 magazine) through his fan base as a designer.

Open Design has different levels of patronage for commissioning an individual project --- a certain amount will "get you in the door" with limited discussion and input whereas higher amounts will provide more access to the "author" as well as a higher level of design input.

You could do similar by having say $15.00 be a foot in the door whereas $100.00 would give you more access to the writing process (and the author) as well as special writer process and novel design discussions etc...

There is headache in opening your door to patronage--- it's like having 100 editors to please as oppossed to just one. Also, assigning rights early and sticking to them is something to consider... i.e. a higher priced for exclusive digital rights to the patrons forever should demand a higher price from the author. Having time-limited rights: meaning, book belongs to the patrons for oh say, a year --- then rights are open for you to review, revise and submit for print publication. Only allow 10-20 patrons paying a decent fee, then sell/distribute electronic copies via Lulu.com (as an example) for a nominal fee.

100 ways to skin a cat.

Check with Madame Agent as well... I'm sure she can run some quick numbers or has experience with this kind of thing in the past. Or take a look to see what Scalzi and Doctorow are doing with Creative Commons and FREE! books to boost sales.
kitmizkit on May 1st, 2008 08:09 am (UTC)
I don't live in a headspace that would make your first suggestion plausible. :) It's an interesting idea, but not for me.
(no subject) - neutronjockey on May 1st, 2008 09:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dqg_neal on May 1st, 2008 10:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on May 1st, 2008 10:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dqg_neal on May 1st, 2008 10:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dqg_neal on May 1st, 2008 09:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Jannejanne on May 1st, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)
My general inclination would be to wait for a book to be out in hardcopy since I spend way too much time staring at screens already and generally use books to get away from it all. But in the interest of a good cause (and an interesting story) I think I could stand to devote a chapter a week to online reading :D
dqg_neal: Dark Questdqg_neal on May 1st, 2008 09:12 am (UTC)
You might consider limited edition novellas. (You have been known to finish one of those in what, a weekend?)

I know there are some authors that do quite well on those. And I happened to come across a really good printer recently, since I was researching getting a limited edition done of Skein of Shadows.
Keys and locks, roots and branchesomnia_mutantur on May 1st, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
I can't imagine being _deeply_ offended by either it being free or in print at some point later, as long as I'd already gotten to read the end of it.

As for when, as long as it's a reasonable amount of time after money has changed hands, whenever.
miladyinsanity on May 1st, 2008 10:27 am (UTC)
I'd be interested, but it really would depend on what you were writing.

A chapter a week would be fine, though it would not be surprising if I just decided to wait until it was finished.

I don't care when you start sending it out, but I would want to know when it's going to start when you start the subscription. Does that make sense?

If you're planning to wait until you finish to start sending it out, then I'd honestly prefer to pay according to its length. Maybe you should use the prices of some of the ebook publishers as a guide? They usually charge by length.

I'd be annoyed if it went up for free any time less than a year after it's sent out, though not if you started selling the entire book (in one shot) right away.

And if you sell it to a publisher, hey, congrats!
kitmizkit on May 1st, 2008 11:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And if I /did/ this hypothetical thing, it'd be a novel of somewhere between 90,000 and 130,000 words. So, y'know, full-length book.
(no subject) - miladyinsanity on May 1st, 2008 11:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
Natural20natural20 on May 1st, 2008 10:35 am (UTC)
Sounds good. As to the bits where I went for "in comments"

I think online after publishing for general consumption is good, but I certainly wouldn't mind if it went up maybe six months after I got to read it. :)

And yeah, I'd prefer the full book, but if it worked better for you I could happily live with one or two chapters a week.
Kate Kirbykirbyk on May 1st, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
Right Angles to Faeryland, please!
kitmizkit on May 1st, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
No. :)
darillian: Nature Flowerdarillian on May 1st, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't take the poll, but did read the questions. We all know that I wuld participate if it were reasonable no matter twhat you wrote, so there's no point in me answering the rest of the questions. And, you can't possibly offend me. However, from a normal consumer's POV, I don't think posting the writings somewhere for free later is fair or right. Not to mention, once people figure out it's free if they wait a short time, they won't purchase a subscription any more. Putting it out as a regular published work would be okay, especially if it is a Big Thing, which would make the original publication go up in value. Or were you planning on it being an internet-only subscription thing?