Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I wrote a thing about the thing that I wrote. And then I got someone who admires my writing very much to write some annotations. And then I stuck in some other bits and pieces I had lying around. and I put it together as a PDF. (I will take the arguments about formats for granted, and have a go at making an e-book tomorrow night.) If you are interested, please chuck a few coins in the tip jar and I'll e-mail it to you. Obviously, I don't do it for the money, I do it for the sheer love of people not knowing what the hell I am going on about, but about £1.20 per customer would be nice. It's about 20 page A5, including the original essay; comes in around 8,000 words, I guess. Possibly it will go some way to clearing up the confusion that the original piece generated.

Members of my direct family and people I've insulted in it will probably get one for free.


Andrew Stevens said...

I don't think this particular business model has a very promising future.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Thinking that I have a business model is as off the wall as thinking I have a point.

The business model with the promising future would be to give up the blog and concentrate exclusively on paying markets.

Would that be a shame? I don't know.

The pamphlet took, I guess, 19 hours to do + however long I spend this morning figuring out the e-book. If everyone who thought the original piece was worth reading chucked 41p in the pot, that would be minimum wage.

Think of it as a sort of kickstarter in reverse.

Andrew Stevens said...

Hey, if it works, I say roll with it. Imagine how much money James Joyce could have made if he had thought of explaining Finnegans Wake for a fee. Bob Dylan could still make a fortune by charging people, say, $20,000 each, in return for which they get to sit down with him and he'll promise to try to answer all the questions they have about what his music means.

I'm actually very tempted to faff about with PayPal so I can buy the PDF. (The money is trivial; I just need to be convinced it's worth my time to get out the credit card and figure out what all else I need to make a PayPal donation. I'm very lazy about stuff like that.) However, I'm pretty sure I always knew what you were getting at, so I might just wait for the film.

Andrew Rilstone said...

You do not need Paypal. Paypal excepts payments from all major credit cards. I also accept cheques, international money orders, folded up five pound notes, glasses of beer, and e-mails saying "Please could you send me a copy or your essay because I would be interested to read it."

Would it help if I started a separate stream for people who would like to donate money on condition that I promise never to write anything of the kind ever again?

Andrew Stevens said...

Actually, I do recommend putting up an Amazon wishlist next to your PayPal donate button or something. (Not for this thing, but permanently on your sidebar.) I spent about half an hour trying to give you something via PayPal and I simply give up. It wouldn't accept my American Express or any of the three different Visas I tried. I don't know if this is because I'm in the States or what, though you're not the first person I've tried to donate to via PayPal and finally just given up in frustration.

I can't be the only person in the world who both A) believes PayPal is of questionable repute (though that's really only if you're the person receiving the money - I'm not actually worried that they'll try to steal money from my credit card or anything) and B) can't get it to work right anyway.

Andrew Rilstone said...

It astonishes me that Ebay has been so successful if sending money over the interwebs is so difficult.

Let me have your email and I'll send you a thing, if you are interested.

Andrew Rilstone said...

In fact, if there is no way that customers can get money to me, it rather buggers up the idea of having a business model at the first hurdle. I guess putting hard copy and kindle onto Amazon, but that involves a 6 week wait to get an ISBN, and means that you'd need to pay £5 for me to earn £1.20 and everyone would send me e-mails sending "KINDLE IS EVUL."

On the positive side, I can very nearly play four chords on the ukulele, though not necessarily in the right order.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Or there is genuinely Kickstarter, I suppose. "If I get £500 (*) I'll finish vol 3 of Doctor Who. STRETCH GOAL: If I get £600, I'll even proof read it."

(*)Being what the magazine pays for one of those "complete history of" pieces.

Andrew Stevens said...

Well, actually, one of my Visas does have a "pending charge" to Paypal on it, even though it gave me an error screen when I submitted it. So it's possible you might get a donation or three out of me after all.

I bought a car part or something on Ebay a long time ago and didn't have a problem with it. I think what might have happened is that my American Express might be tied to that account (whose username and password are now lost in the fog of history) and it won't accept that credit card from an "anonymous" user. I get a different error from that card (it tells me I can't use that credit card) than I get from my Visas. The Visas just popped up some sort of error screen, but it seems like they might have gone through after all. (Just accept them if you get more than one donation from me; I'm not concerned about it.)

I love the Kickstarter idea, by the way, though I've always thought the 5% fee seemed a trifle steep, especially since you have to pay the payment processing fee on top of that (which have also always struck me as a trifle steep, though I can't complain since, as a consumer and user of credit cards, I receive a slice of that in my cash back rewards).

Cannae said...

I would like to say that I really, really liked the essay, and the PDF made things even clearer. I had a variety of ways I wished to express this, many of which ended up parodying Andrew's faux naive trademark style.
The "which side are you on" approach is well known to be a very effective method of bypassing people's logic and reasoning subroutines (see psychology experiments x multiple).
Arguing against this would have been brave and effective. As always, however, AR is reluctant to just do that, and instead gets caught in a cascading mirror of introspection as he tries to argue for it in some cases, but then attacks that approach, etc, etc. He is pretty much a one man argument, who both realises the importance of Truth, but also the inability to reach it.
Dammit, I wanted this to be short and snappy. As I don't have access to the infinite money printing device that AR obviously has that allows him to spend time honing his essays, I'm going to work.
But, in short, the combination of erudition, humility, self awareness and bravery is a rare and winning one*
*please edit so I sound less of a fanboy.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Thank you very much. I have spent much of today feeling humble. (Why do people always say "feeling humble" when someone has said something nice about them. I mean "feeling proud", obviously.)

(I may use your message in shameless self-promotion, if that's okay.)

Cannae said...

Yeh, go for your life.
Make sure you stress the existence of your infinite money printing device, which I notice you DID NOT DENY.