Filed under Time to pay the piper....
Tagged as $5-$10, PayPal, voluntary
What a great idea!
Dear Emma, I only wish it worked! Not so much for the individual $5 or $10 it would net here and there (though that would definitely come in handy), but as a real world measure of whether and how much people like the fiction. I’m afraid that putting it on the front page has scared some people off, which I didn’t mean to do: after all, my main purpose is to be read. But I’m not a computer whiz, and couldn’t figure out when I first set up exactly how to get it on a page by itself (it may be a limitation of the theme I chose, which was adequate for all other purposes), so I had to put it up with a sticky post. A word of warning: if you’re thinking of putting up one on your site, it’s about the level of difficulty of starting SEO verification or a bit harder: the instructions from PayPal and those from WordPress are not identical, so you may need to watch the WordPress video over and over again to see how to do it, then combine it with the written instructions, which again are not identical. Good luck! Your fiction deserves to have a PayPal button for those who are willing to donate, it’s very gripping.
Thanks for the information. I’ll have to look into it.
Is there any way to subscribe to your posts by email? Sorry to be such a Luddite.
Actually, there’s always room for more Luddites in the world, but the result of my being a Luddite myself is that I don’t know the answer to your question. My niece follows my blog through e-mail, but I’m not sure that’s the same as subscribing. I don’t do anything actively to send the post out except just put it up on the site. I get e-mail notifications (as I just did from you) when someone responds to a post or likes it, and I’m set up so that Twitter gets a notification when I put up a new post, though I don’t think they offer the whole post. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, I’m really glad to get new subscribers, and would like to welcome you to the site, however you get here. I know that once you click on the “follow” bar on my site and hit the two buttons which say “notify me of follow-up comments via email” and “notify me of new posts via email” you do get e-mail notifications, and just for good measure when I am on any of the sites I follow, I click both of those buttons every time I make a comment. Does that help any?
Yes, it did help, Emma’ although when I clicked on “Follow” at the top, it just said that your blog posts will appear in my reader – but I don’t use a reader.
Anyhoo, knowing that your niece follows/subscribes my email kept me looking…and I find I can do it, as you said, when I post this comment.
Thanks for your help – and I look forward to your posts!
Dear Debbie, Emma is the name of the person I was answering above. “Shadowoperator’s” name (my name) is Victoria. I’m glad you were able to get the e-mail notifications, and I will be following your posts too, as soon as I get a chance to subscribe. Welcome!
“PAY ME” button = instant turn off. I checked to see if you were serious. You are. Thus I lost interest in reading.
Soliciting money for a self-published blog is unprofessional and a turn off to any but your personal acquaintances. Write a book of quality, get an agent or not, but get it published by a press that pays you, not a vanity press. Then, only then, expect to get paid.
Even articles, short stories, etc., pay nothing or little, except in large market magazines and newspapers. The way to success is perfecting your craft and earning the attention. You do not get paid just because.
Dear Caleb, Many, many people read my blog and enjoy it, and several are regular commenters who are polite and have their own opinions without being opinionated, as you obviously are. I’ve also been paid for my work, and you will notice that the button is a “Donate” one, not a “Buy now” button, which would leave the reader no option but to buy before reading. This is WordPress’s policy, and if I were simply a money-grubber, I wouldn’t have decided to go ahead and publish on their provided site in spite of the fact that it is a voluntary payment. I am always interested in perfecting my craft, as you put it, but somehow I seriously doubt that you are the person to teach me how to do so, as your comments are harsh and one-sided. I did go the route of seeking agents and editors before deciding to put my most recent works on an internet site where people could decide to pay or not, and while I value the contributions I receive, I also like to hear from people who merely come to read the free articles (and if you’d paid attention, you’d notice that my many years of schooling and training in English literature have been in a sense donated totally for free, because I made it plain that I run the critical part of the site as a free venture, open to everyone without thought of payment). As to whether or not it’s professional to solicit money for my novels, poems, and stories on a self-published blog, that is one of many courses open to the writer these days, and if you think it’s so terribly easy to find a print or even an online publisher who pays writers to write, even writers who are more talented and more patient than I am with the vagaries of the market, then you should look at Joe Ponepinto’s site, also on WordPress, wherein Joe regularly covers aspects of the difficulties writers encounter with the market. Joe is a fount of knowledge, helps run his own press, and has been an editor as well as a column writer. Most of all, if you don’t want to read, then don’t read. No one is forcing you to do something you consider obnoxious, whereas were I to put my works up without even a notice that I would appreciate payment for the efforts I have made to be informative, entertaining, thoughtful, and moving, then I WOULD be doing something obnoxious to me, and it’s my site. There are no doubt a number of free sites where you can read people’s work without having to consider whether or not they deserve payment, and if you prefer to read them, then certainly you should do so, though they too may be people who simply tired of the rigamarole of modern-day publishing. As always, thank you for commenting. Though I am in total disagreement with your perspective, I accept that you have a different view from my own, and a right (at least on my site) to express it.
I appreciate the spirited response. Yet the donate button just rubs me wrong.
There are thousands of unpublished writers who have blogs, some are interesting, but if you’re going to donate money, why to them?
I think it’s incredibly hard to find an agent/publisher, but not impossible.
I respect Joe P. and his blog, and have known him from when he published a piece of mine at the LA Review a few years back. His blog primarily functions as a writer support group.
The satisfaction I get as a writer comes from when an editor decides to publish a creative piece I’ve written (not an everyday article, that’s work not art), and pays for this privilege in time and contributor copies, or in an honorarium, advance, or royalty. It does not come from support groups or similar mechanisms, although support does offer consolation.
To each his/her own.
Well, I suppose in order to answer your “why donate to this blog” question, you would have to have read and decided it was worth paying for because it was as good as something else or someone else you’d read in print form whom you had paid for elsewhere. I’m glad you’ve read Joe Ponepinto, because I regard his word on the difficulties of getting published as pretty indicative, and yet, I did go the route of looking for agents and editors, and I guess I just decided that I wanted to spend my time writing, not marketing, and that was that. People who pay me do so because they value what I’ve written. Congratulations on getting published in standard format, that’s no mean feat; I am very unbusinesslike, and have little patience with people yanking my writing about and telling me that it would be improved if it had a love scene, or if the love scenes were deleted, or if I had someone die in it at the end, or if this or if that. I’m a big believer in organic form; a piece grows to be what it is, and it is that thing and no other thing. I don’t know if you regard that as a valid explanation or not, but that’s at least part of the reason I do as I’ve done as well. In the day of so much bad writing and mass marketing, good editors are not quickly found. Also, I am not as quick as you are to dismiss good critical writing as “work, not art,” because good critical writing is an art as well as a science, and is what many “creative” writers have also done as a part of their life’s work. Anyway, as you say, “de gustibus non est disputandum ,” or “There’s no accounting for tastes.”
I think this is a cool idea, shadowoperator. I have just donated to several writing projects recently, but I like this idea of support for any blogger. I do not see anything dishonorable in asking for support when writing. We all do it for the love of the words, but it also is a “job” and takes time. Does not rub me the wrong way at all!
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Joshua! I find it hard to believe that WordPress.com would have a space and a system for Paypal buttons if it were that unusual to use them, or if they were so very undesirable. But people will have different opinions. I just really appreciate it when folks express themselves politely, whether they agree with me or not, but the person who wrote in on this post just before you seemed to think it was as if I were looking for a “support group” in the psychiatric sense, and being as you are a social worker in your “day job,” I’m sure you know the difference between that and a Paypal button! Also, if print media is so wonderful as it is, then why are so many writers trying new systems and ways of being read? I don’t think we’re in a small minority at all.
Print as a media is wonderful, but perhaps as a market not so much – for I know without wondering that there are more unpublished authors out that I would probably want to read than writers already published whose work is of no interest to me. That’s just a passing thought, though. I’m more than willing to be unconvinced. I do find a great deal of what I read out there is pretentious claptrap. 🙂
I have found your blog by a somewhat roundabout route, and find it fascinating as I, too, have a vast amount of poems from a previous life that sits unread, scattered on a dusty shelf. I’ve always wondered what to do with them, and I’ve never considered putting them out there retrospectively. Thank you for sowing seeds of thought…..
Hi, Roddy. Welcome. I do have one book of poetry on my site from early poetry-writing days to 2009, but the poems I’ve been publishing since Jan 5 of this year are all new ones, copyrighted through they are. Once I have enough of them, I hope to put them in another book and register it with the Library of Congress as well. That may well be the only form of recognition I ever get for them, who knows? I think for a lot of people, print books are still the litmus test for success, though that perhaps shouldn’t be so. I know that enough people are still interested in doing print, however, that every time I register a book with the Library of Congress, the same publish-for-hire company starts contacting me to see if I want to publish with them; it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I tell them that I’m not interested, they always contact me again. That must mean that they have a fair amount of success with desperate people….
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