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Old 06-26-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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The Tip Jar: Science Fiction's New Revenue Resource?

This could equally be posted in Writers' Corner and Deals/Freebies, but I decided here would be best. Seems quite a hopeful article overall for writers and, I would say by extension, readers too.

From i09: http://io9.com/5302659/the-tip-jar-s...revenue-source
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Traditional publishing's decline, and the severe hardship of our ongoing econom-ick, are forcing writers to do what they do best: get creative. Urban fantasy author Tim Pratt has joined Catherynne M. Valente in publishing serialized fiction online, relying on donations.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
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A slightly different take on the tip jar is available over on Charles Stross' blog, at least as far as relating to published material is concerned.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
A slightly different take on the tip jar is available over on Charles Stross' blog, at least as far as relating to published material is concerned.

The Stross article is interesting and I find a lot of what he's saying about the tip jar is correct, but what I liked from the i09 piece was the suggestion of 'patronage' or 'sponsorship' that one writer suggested, which would take us into very interesting territory indeed. Imagine the writer subsidized by a few patrons, or one very rich patron (I'm thinking a Bill Gates type here, or even a Stephen King/James Patterson who have money to throw away). I wonder how many writers could be subsidized in this way? How many would want to go this route, say taking a living wage to write what they wanted instead of rolling the dice on making more on royalty payments? And if this model was taken up en masse, where that would leave the publishing industry as a whole?

We live, especially writers, in very interesting times.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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When you talk about the sponsorship mechanism two things come to mind. Firstly the film "The Philadelphia Story", specifically a scene between James Steward and Katherine Hepburn.

Secondly, it was how at least some books were written many centuries back. In fact, I *think* many books existed and got printed via the public subscription model. Many 18th century books have subscribers/sponsors, often listed in the front of the book, especially in the poetry area (I thought that the Kilmarnock Edition was done this way, but can't confirm it, so it may well be my imagination).

I wonder how much of a challenge this model faces from a common belief that it should be free, and don't see why to pay for it. And another danger is the fact that whatever is done, is done to get sponsorship. And all of a sudden Aeneas' son is also called Julius. Though I have to admit this happens anyway, the control is less. And it is fair to say there were some wonderfully cruel satirical cartoons in the 18th Century...
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