Hello ladies and gentlemen!
As some of you will know my main job comes to an end on Monday leaving me somewhat high and dry. I found this out today. On the plus side, I look forward to spending longer in bed, on the down side, I look forward to be evicted from that bed and forced to sleep face down on the street whilst dressed in the requisite dirty anorak and knitted hat.
This means of course that I now face the unfavourable task of attempting to find a new job in the solemn post-Christmas period. It’s not impossible, of course, and I’m more than happy to work in any role… and yet it is not desirable.
At times like this, I do like to remind myself that at least I am qualified to clean toilets. And it’s true, I really am.
Yet there’s also something else I can, something perhaps not quite as glamorous but something that I pride myself on.
If you haven’t heard me mention this before, it’s because I don’t like to. Speaking about this now is in fact a sign that I’m more than a little concerned about money.
I’m very much against the whole double-standard of the present publishing industry and strongly believe that writing, no scratch that, the idea of telling stories, is not something that can conscripted into this notion of an industry constructed with the notion of making rich people, well, rich.
What I am a big supporter of however, is patronage.
First of, don’t feel bad if there’s nothing you can do. Primarily, I want to get the message out there more than force you to sign on the dotted line.
Full disclosure I earn(t) next to nothing in my job and yet, through the grace of my wife and a little cutting of corners, I have found that it’s really only about £900 a month I need to make as a bottom line. It’s not ideal, but it is something I can do.
Why am I talking to you all about money though? More so, why am I talking to you about writing.
The answer is because I think you should sponsor me.
I’m certainly not asking any one person to give me £900 a month and I don’t want anyone to have to commit to paying my bills – such an idea is anathema to me. I don’t want to borrow money, I loathe the notion.
But I do think I can offer you, as a collective, something in exchange for money.
See the above. I write things.
I am considering crafting a Kickstarter or fashioning some method via Paypal in which people can pay what they want for fiction.
Yes, I want you to give money in exchange for make believe things, I want you to hand over gold and silver for fairy dust, substance for sentiment, money for dreams.
I want you to ask yourself if you would be interested in becoming my patrons and in helping me spread an inordinate amount of fables throughout the world without the aid of a publishing company.
So what are the hard facts, what am I actually saying here?
If I can make £900 a month, I will give you your dreams back. Not necessarily in the shape you left them, but they will be yours nonetheless.
There are a variety of ways we can do this. For money that is donated, each of you patrons will get an electronic version of an ebook I plan to release on a monthly basis as a way of substantiating this. Other people will have to pay for it, but you people, you’re going to get it for free because you’re helping me afford to feed my cats.
The book will be able in three different formats for you – PDF, epub and mobi for Kindle. You take your pick.
What will this ebook contain? Well, if you’ve read anything by me before, you know the kind of nonsense I like to write about; boys and girls lost and found, fantastic beasts, dead language, girls who grow up to be boys (and vice-versa!) and the beautiful city of London, recreated brick by brick, stone by stone in loving prose just for you.
In addition to these weighty themes, you will be able to request things for inclusion. Remember that bear that you lost as a child whilst watching the sea roll off the stones at Southend? I can tell you what happened to him, where he went.
Did I mention I’m a magician, by any chance? Well now you know.
Also included, will be free copies – actual hard copies – of the books that I publish this year. I am hoping to roll out three of them, the first you can already purchase for Kindle but as it is a sideways glance at my first published work of juvenilia, I feel nostalgic enough to want to give it a print run.
But you deserve more! £900 is a lot of money to help a guy make, right? Especially on a monthly basis!
Well, how about some music. Yeah, I can do that. I’ll give you acoustic demos, songs that you can consider canon within the world we are slowly building here, storyteller and patron.
Even more? Well how about me!
That’s right, me the writer.
I’ll come and visit you if you live in the UK and I’ll tell you these stories, I will actually physically relate these tales to you in person. I may even make some of this shit up on the spot. You will be obliged to buy me a coffee, but what’s a coffee (and £900 a month) in exchange for a little bit of adventure?
Alternatively, you can come to London! We’ll walk alongside the fallen Wall featured in Sophistry and at every juncture, I will introduce you to the keepers of the old gates through way of story and factoids.
Perhaps you’re uncertain, maybe you’re thinking that you don’t know whether I can write or not. Well, here’s a free copy of a recent seasonal book I put out for one month last. Have at it!
You’re more than welcome to tell me this won’t work. I’ll level with you, I actually have very big doubts.But if there’s one thing I believe… it’s my qualifications to clean toilets.I can do that for you too.If that’s not what you’re looking for, if you’re willing to settle for the stories and adventures of this old magician with his fondness for cats and his unresolved issues about childhood, then let’s talk seriously. Don’t tell me that you think there’s something missing in life and that we shouldn’t try to fix things when we see a chance. Even if nothing comes of this, when I go to the Job Centre on Monday, I know I will have tried.
Please pass this message on to people who are rich.
Thank you very much.