So, there’s this bloke.
Selznick, Matt Selznick.
He’s doing fairly well at this author lark. Been going for a while, put out a fair wodge of books and other creative materiel, and is altogether open about his experiences therewith.
So far, so good… So what? You might be thinking. (Especially if you’re an old Megadeth fan, like me.)
Well, he’s trying out something which has been pootling around the sub-basement of the creative world for a while, but no-one’s really making a huge noise about it.
The concept is Pay What You Want.
There are several things out there which approach this:
– Kickstarter has different levels of reward if you throw more financial support to a project;
– Patreon lets you support creative people in whatever they do at various levels for which you get the works and some rewards;
– The various bundles (Humblebundle, Storybundle, Arcane Bundle, etc.) let you get a few books for cheap/nothing and if you pay more you get some extras.
At first glance it seems like a daft idea. But it’s actually sensible.
Short-term, any fans you already have are likely to over-pay, if they can, because they want you to keep on writing; any you give away for free/cheap would most likely have been pirated in any case, it’s a fact of life we might as well embrace whatever your views on the morality of it.
Medium-term, you’re looking at an easy way for people to try out your stuff who might have been unwilling to pay full-price for someone they haven’t read before. They like you and they are more likely to come back at full price, later. Also, if you have a series running, the odds are that you’ll be looking to get sales bumps on the older books as the new ones are released, if someone can pick up the series for an amount that covers your costs, all well and good.
Long-term, the people who are/were fans but who weren’t in a position to pay top-dollar in the short-term scenario are back with a bit more cash AND they’ve told their mates about how good your books and, and what a nice author you are to have helped them out with reading materials when they were low. Can’t get better than readers who talk to their mates about you. It beats any marketing budget hands-down for building your career.
And that’s what this is about. This isn’t a gimmick to sell A book, it’s about building a career and a relationship with the people who ultimately support your career: the readers.
Is it a somewhat brave stance to take in a still-uncertain climate? Sure.
Do I have the balls to do this straight off the bat when I start publishing? Probably not. Wish I did.
But this guy does. His name is Selznick, Matt Selznick. He’s a career writer.
Go and have a look at his piece on the matter over here.