Patronage. Just like the practice of old, we’ve resurrected the model into a digital mold, more fitting to the age.
Micropatronage, having a bunch of regular people pitching in small amounts instead of one wealthy patron, is being successful with plenty of examples.
What I had was a PILE of story ideas sitting on my projects folder. Some have merit, some are simply the butt of a joke. Others are pretty damn brilliant, I might say.
I took all that and decided to squeeze out at least one short story per month. That way, I can see the works-in-progress slowly thinning down, I can test them with real people and real readers, and see which one’s a winner and which one’s a dud.
I’ve been doing that already with the Epic Poets, but to be honest, I firmly believe in putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. Feedback from fans is excellent, but feedback from people who have paid a dollar carries much more weight.
Also, I have plenty of ideas that fall into fantasy or urban fantasy. At some point, as I burn through the sci-fi ones, I’ll eventually work on those too. Having patrons will provide a steady and verifiable metric that my output will be worth the time invested. I’m bound to change a lot of this on my Patreon page, I just threw one up quickly.
There’s a short story waiting for you right now, called “Life Coach.”
So, click the orange button to get a steady flow of speculative fiction short stories. I’m your story-dealer. Be patronizing. Or just share the post with your friends.
At Mythography we create mainly digital goods, so that is a decision that is not taken lightly.
Piracy is of course a big issue, but we believe that people who want to support a project will happily buy the original. We do that all the time, we buy the original copy and support the creators.
We do not advocate piracy, nor are we against digital goods protection. We have been burned by DRM as consumers many times and we do not want a single one of our customers to feel the same way. DRM creates issues even with legitimate uses, transferring your original digital goods to a new device, reading the same book on your brother’s tablet, backing up the stuff you bought on your computer to do a format, not having access to workshop UGC on Steam etc. Even being offline on a trip or during a move is troublesome.
2016 UPDATE #2. We have partnered up with the amazing Streetlib team from Italy, for expanded Europe distribution. Their DRM is “soft,” just a watermark that never prohibits a user from copying his files into another of his devices. They assure us it is so and they seem to agree with us, but if anything changes we will make sure to address that.
2016 UPDATE #3. Regarding Audible. Before we get called out because of the Audible DRM, we need to explain ourselves on the audiobook issue. Audiobook production costs a few thousand, and Amazon’s ACX helps streamline that expensive process and reduce some of the costs through exclusivity. We hope the DRM it enforces on Audible products is not too damaging to the user experience. But you have to understand, that there is really no alternative to audiobook production and distribution. The only choices for now are either go with DRM and ACX, or simply not do audiobooks. We have made a decision to go with it on this particular channel, and are looking for any alternatives that might show up in the future.
2018 UPDATE #4. Streetlib has allowed even the watermark removed, so we’re going DRM-free even from that.
2018 UPDATE #5. After talking with our partners, the content provided through libraries does have DRM enabled. That allows “lending” of an ebook for a limited time, it gets disabled after the lending period is finished. That is the only way for libraries to enforce the distribution of ebooks through the system, giving out one copy per book only at the same time. Obviously this is a form of limiting DRM and it falls into the category we dislike, but it’s utilitarian.
2018 UPDATE #6. In this never-ending battle against this stupidity, Google Play books now shows our titles as DRM protected. However, our aggregator called PublishDrive assures us that it is simply a watermark, called soft-DRM.
2018 UPDATE #7. PublishDrive has removed all forms of DRM from our titles.