Photobucket
Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman from a photo shoot by Kyle Cassidy

So, I was reading In Defense of Expensive Things by Kyle Cassidy, in which he clarifies a few things about his involvement in Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter Project for her new album. I thought it was a great post, and it was posted either on the same day, or near to the same day as a Facebook post from Independent Musician Casey Stratton in which he said, “My new single EP is still holding as the #2 seller on Bandcamp! It is a really great feeling. Thanks so much to everyone who has purchased it. Like a version of a Kickstarter – you can buy the music for $5 or add extra to help me with the new album fund. “The Calling of the Crows” will be released on May 16.” (Casey Stratton’s EP, When the Fates Came)

Photobucket

The two posts in close succession led me to start thinking about pricing in the e-book market, and suddenly I wondered if there might be some benefit to giving the customer the option to pay more. I know that sounds odd, but the truth is, if I’m buying anything from Bandcamp, I almost always toss in an extra dollar over the requested price (sometimes more if I really like the artist or I know them a bit like I know Casey), simply because it doesn’t cost me that much to feel extra good about myself for giving back a bit more to the artist.

So, I started thinking, I wonder if e-book publishers could feasibly consider doing that? I mean, yeah, maybe 90% of buyers won’t use the option, but if 10% do that’s just found money basically, right? And perhaps the author gets a higher percentage of that money than they do for the regular price of the book since the assumption could reasonably be made that the reason someone is willing to chip in more is due to liking the author’s previous work or due to the author’s reputation.

Photobucket

Another thing I started thinking — is there something like Bandcamp for authors? Like a place where someone can sell their own book but also allow the possibility for someone paying more for it? Is that what Smashwords is like? A fast google tells me that, yes, Smashwords does seem to do that: https://www.smashwords.com/ But I think a problem with Smashwords might be that it’s too broad. They have everything there.

As a tangential but related thought, the thing with Kickstarter is that it’s all about trust. If you fail your supporters then it’s no good, but I think that it’s a game changer in the world for a lot of reasons. Like, for example, the Husbands folks have basically funded their entire 2nd season through Kickstarter? And, of course, there’s the Amanda Palmer example. But if you can get enough of a following to by-pass the industries? Wow, you know? That’s amazing. Of course, Amanda Palmer (and Husbands folks) couldn’t have gotten that following without the help of the industry and where that’s gotten them. Amanda Palmer was on labels, etc, for a long time to get her loyal fanbase. Cheeks (Brad Bell) from Husbands gained fame the hard way, via YouTube, etc, and basically made nothing from that for a long time, but Husbands has Jane Espensen behind it which gives it credibility, and she was involved with Buffy, etc, and now is on Once Upon a Time, so everyone knows she’s legit, and I think that’s why they were willing to give over some bucks to the project.

Photobucket
Jane Espensen on the set of Husbands: The Series

I hope Tori Amos is eying this Amanda Palmer thing closely — she should be! She’s having so much trouble with the studios lately, but she has loyal and rabid fans. She could probably fund her next tour via Kickstarter, or at least part of it. Lord knows I’d kick in some bucks!
*
By the way,  just a reminder that my new book with Keira Andrews can be purchased at both Ellora’s Cave and at amazon.com,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s