You may have noticed the addition of the new Advertising Policy page above.
Content isn’t free. Hosting isn’t free. My time isn’t free (it’s actually fairly expensive). Your attention and time aren’t free, either.
In addition to my upcoming book(s), I have to make sure that my incentives are such that I can continue to write for you, the audience. I also don’t want to add display advertising to this site, because it’s not well suited to it, it damages performance, and my traffic is unlikely to become high enough to make it worthwhile.
As a compromise, and as a way to motivate myself to read more interesting books, I’m instead including Amazon Affiliate links in my book reviews and in other posts in which I may shill for other things.
I will not promote crappy products just to make a dollar off of you. Anything that I plug will be worth buying.
I should also say that, in my day job, I don’t promote crappy products, services, or companies either, because it makes me too depressed to do it, and it’s easier to sell good things.
If you have any comments or concerns about this, please tell me. In particular, if when you see the affiliate links, you think they’re disruptive, and would rather that I use text-only links (or none at all), please say so.
If you think something sucks, you can say so in the comments, and I won’t censor you unless you’re annoying for some other reason.
The money will go towards:
- More time writing books and researching.
- More time and money spent on various darkly enlightened publishing projects.
- Defraying some of the losses that I incur by writing like this in terms of opportunity costs.
- Ensuring that this is sustainable for the next 2, 5, or 10+ years.
- Improved hosting for this website (it’s on ghetto shared hosting). This would be a modest expense. The site already has enough traffic that it would be improved by even a basic upgrade, although, with caching, the performance is acceptable.
- Cover art fees, publishing fees, web development fees, web design fees, editorial fees, specialized software, and other similar publishing expenses.
- Advertising & marketing expenses for new books.
My goal is to never have to solicit donations or other kinds of subscription. My problem with those types of support is that they:
- Are highly subjective. The fundraiser is under pressure to justify the value of what they’re doing all the time.
- Do not necessarily generate good value for donors.
- Are over-reliant on rich donors who might mismanage the production to suit their own interests.
- Align my incentives to being a better beggar rather than being better at generating value for readers.
- Gives me an incentive to grab attention from other authors, rather than giving me an incentive to share the spotlight with other authors in our space.
- If donor behavior is inconsistent, it gives the site an incentive to churn the readership to look for new donors.
To be clear, I don’t anticipate that this will generate much revenue relative to what I could earn at my day job. Even affiliates that I know that earn over $1m/year took at least a few years before they got anywhere with it. This is mainly to get things started, and and to reduce the pressure on me to quit between now and then.