Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel
catvalente

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A Busker's Book of Days

I've been trying to make ends meet as a full-time writer for a couple of years now. I can safely say that without justbeast , I would be far less able (read: not at all) to do that. The books come out at the rate they do because I don't have a day job, basically. And that's become a rockier position as of late. All of you know it's very hard, and there is no specific crisis, but I need to start contributing to my household via writing in a more regular fashion, now that my divorce is almost ready for prime-time, or start considering office work in the area, which would bring all that productivity to a screeching halt. The time between advance payments is long indeed.

And I've taken on some freelance work, and started reviewing, and selling more books. I'm working on it. And trying to come up with creative ways to manage this ridiculous and nervewracking career I've carved out for myself.

I've seen a couple of other authors do a zine-style monthly thing where they send out pieces of fiction to subscribers each month for a set fee, and I'm wondering if there would be any interest out there in that if I did it.

Basically, say, on the 1st of the month, every month, you'd receive an original, not-published-elsewhere short story or poem, and maybe some sort of visualness--found art, digital photography, collage, even sketches by me or artist friends. Maybe a letter. I'd set up a forum for the subscribers to talk about the stories, since you guys would be the only ones to read them, and it would be like an awesome secret club, a secret tribe. There could be a name--like Omikuji, the fortunes tied to trees in Japanese shrines.

Of course, as I considered this idea, I got to thinking. A PDF fresh-baked in your inbox is pretty cool, but what if I printed out the stories on heavy-stock paper, signed them, and sealed them with red wax in an envelope, and mailed them out to actual mailboxes? That would be a lot more elegant and interesting. And cost more in supplies, of course. But definitely doable. There would probably have to be a sliding scale, where if you got the fancy mailing you'd pay a bit more than if you got the email. And a certain number would have to want it before it would be feasible to send out marketable short fiction for which I would then lose first rights. But I'm game if you are.

It's a funny old world for writers these days--the methods by which we make it from book to book are as diverse as the books themselves. This would be something like busking, in a very big train station. A Busker's Book of Days. If no one is interested, that's fine, I'll keep doing as I do. But I'm curious, so here's a poll. LJ decides all! And man, is it the week to start new projects in internetland!

If you like, let me know in the comments what kind of content you'd be most interested in--linked stories? Individual pieces? Letters from the author, illustrations, etc? What would make it worth your time? I deeply do not care to attempt this if I cannot give good value.

Poll #1149384 Would You, Could You, In a Poll?

Would you be interested in a monthly story subscription thingy?

Yes
82(63.6%)
No
6(4.7%)
Maybe, if it was cool enough
39(30.2%)

Would you be more interested if it came in the mail with a wax seal and signed story?

Yes
101(79.5%)
No
7(5.5%)
No, because I prefer email
12(9.4%)
No, because I'm not interested
3(2.4%)

How much would you be willing to pay for such a thingy?

$5
15(12.2%)
$10
7(5.7%)
$5 for email, $10 for deluxe mail
68(55.3%)
$10 for email, $20 for deluxe mail
12(9.8%)
An amount I will reveal in the comments
5(4.1%)

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