Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting my poems to pay for lunch?

This little snippet way, way down in Ron Silliman's latest linkfest caught my attention:

A new way to make
web content pay


Now, I like this idea. I like it a lot. I think it could be a way to get people to give me money for my poems - if they want to, of course. Currently the poems are accessible for free on my website - without any advertising to distract from the RikVerse experience, to boot. It is, in effect, my gift to the world (though some might be tempted to say 'a curse on the world', but I know people who know where you live, so don't!). But it would be nice if I could find a way to entice people to gift me back some cash in exchange for the joy (don't even think it!) my poems give them.

I tried adding a PayPal button once. I think maybe three people pressed it and coughed up some dosh over the course of two years. So the button went: it was embarrassing the rest of the site. And, like I said, I refuse to have advertising messing up my displays.

I could always restrict the number of poems on the site, and publish the rest in books for purchase. Lots of other poets seem to follow this model - a tidbit here, an enticement there. But I don't see the point of it. I want the poems to be read - widely read - so incarcerating them behind the walls of a commercial transaction is not going to help them meet that prime purpose, is it?

So appeals to me in many, many ways. I ought to sign up to it immediately. What's holding you back then, Rik? I can hear you both asking.

Um, well I don't know if it will work in real life. The kachingle folks say they track people's movements across the web, where they go to browse, and I worry that if the tracking is perceived to be too intrusive then people just won't sign up. And if I branded my website as a Kachingle site people might see it as part of the Big Brother apparatus - I mean, what regular guy wants people to find out they read poetry, ferchristssake?

So I don't know. Maybe I will sign up.

Maybe I won't.


  1. Rik-

    I've been meaning to buy your book for a while and your blog entry reminds me again that I need to.
    So I'm going to. I also appreciate your taking the time to post your thoughts, ideas, poems and stories in your blog.

    I especially like your short stories. Maybe someday consider publishing a book of your stories? I'd love to actually have a book of 'em that I could read anywhere rather than having to read them online.

    I'm not sure how I feel about Kachingle but can I send you some lunch money via paypal?

  2. I've been thinking a little more and I realized that it would be great to be able to buy your stuff in a bookstore. But I'm not completely sure how you feel about the whole submitting process. And finding the right publishers for your stuff can be a tricky thing.

    I also meant to add that I was really enjoying the sci-fi blog story that you were posting here a while back.

    I also really get into the settings and characters that you create. You manage to create original scenes and ideas for your stories. It's all too often that when I'm watching the sci-fi channel(I don't have too much time to read everything I want to these days) I can just guess what's going to happen or it's the same ol' scenery happens again and again.

    I'd need to go back again and read everything to see what constructive comments/criticisms I had/have. There were some short story pieces that you posted a while back that I wished were a bit longer. My now time-clouded overall impression was I was ripped from your story world before I wanted to leave. I need to read the particular stories again to give you my more objective thoughts.

    Anyway, sorry my comments seem so much like fluff.

  3. Hi, Heather. Many thanks for your kind comments! (Hell! Many thanks for taking the time to read!)

    re the book: you can actually go and buy it from a bricks'n'mortar bookshop - in theory - though it might take a few weeks. What you do is go to the bookshop and ask them to order it for you. The ISBN numbers are:

    1411655613 (ISBN-10); or
    978-1411655614 (ISBN-13).

    (For lost and bewildered readers of this comments stream, we're talking about this book).

    As for the short stories, you can find them all here, and the SF story (aka Rik's Blog Story) can be read in a much more user-friendly way than was available on the blog here.

    They're all drafts, so comments are always welcome!