I put a lot of thought into whether to offer premium content or not. I create a lot of “writer material” for every book I publish. There are plot outlines, ideas for scenes in the book, character sketches have to be created and occasionally that means writing a few short stories to fully understand the personality and motivations for that character. And nearly always there are deleted chapters and deleted subplots. But why am I charging for it?
That was an interesting internal debate this past week or so with me flip flopping back and forth on a decision. I talked to authors that offer paid premium content and some of my readers, as well as a few others about it, and decided to give it a try. While I create most of this content regardless of whether readers see it or not, spending the time to format it and prepare it to be examined by readers is time consuming. Not to mention, it does give a glimpse into how “writing happens” for me. Plus, there will be new and original content that has nothing to do with any of my series(es). When I’m struggling to write I use a writing prompt generator to create a short story or if I have writer’s block, I create new characters – usually minor ones, but I have a few major ones waiting in the wings for books to star in.
I love to offer “bonus” content whether it’s short stories or more information on characters, but it’s work. I don’t release most of the extra content I create simply because that’s even more work, work I feel I randomly generate for myself by offering extra content and I don’t “get paid to prepare the extraneous content” for release, I get paid to write and release books. But as another writer said to me “If you could get paid for releasing this extraneous content, it becomes worth it.” I used to think this was the absolute wrong idea, but the longer I do this, the more I realize while it is a bit mercenary, its necessary. Offering freebies encourages others to think I can do more for them at no cost…
Oddly, being a fiction writer means people who know you ask things like “I have this idea for a book, write it for me, so I can publish it” and “can you write a kid’s book for my child with them as the star so I don’t have to pay one of those companies that charges a fortune just to insert my kid’s name in a vanity board book that’s going to cost me $50?” Uh, no. Although, my absolute favorite has been “I want to write a blog series of essays on topic X and I saw you publishing all those freebie short stories to your blog, so would you help me write the blog series? I mean since you were giving away short stories for free, you obviously don’t need money and I can’t afford to pay anyone to ghost write them or do the research for me.” So, why do you want to write the essays? Usually, when I write a series of essays it’s because I want to do the research and I feel strongly about the topic.
I believe I have it set up where you can subscribe at the suggested price of $5 to gain access to my weekly premium content posts or if you don’t think it’s worth $5 a month (or if you live in a country where the conversion rate makes $5 expensive – Australians for some reason my first thought was of you where $5 USD is $7.36AUD), you can pay what you do think it’s worth and it can be anywhere from $1 to $10 a month as it is a recurring charge until you cancel (instructions below). The charge will show up as HJ Publishing on your card.
I have decided on a premium content post every Wednesday at 12:01am. Others will randomly pop up from time to time and the first 2 have already been set up. I decided for the first two “mechanics” of writing posts to release stuff related to The Dysfunctional Expansion, so for the first rough plot outline you’ll get my outline for The Dysfunctional Expansion as well as the first “ideas for scenes” post.
Changing the Subscription Amount: When you click the subscribe button you get a payment form to fill out. It says at the top $5. I took a screenshot and and circled where you change it. In the box circled in blue you can write your own amount. I tried it and it will let you write any amount of $1 or more.
Here’s the link to the first opportunity to subscribe to premium content. If your subscription is successful you’ll see a thank you note from me and get access to the first chapter of Dysfunctional Dreams.