The author/reader relationship in terms of compensation is pretty straightforward. I write a book; you pay a certain amount of money for it so that you can read it. It benefits me because it allows me to pay the bills and continue writing, while the reader gets a certain entertainment value from their purchase. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, but, more importantly, it’s an equally satisfying transaction.
As I return to writing from an unexpectedly long break, I’m exploring revenue opportunities beyond this traditional model. This is not to say that I’m trying to replace the traditional model. I enjoy writing books, and I love having readers buy those books and read them. This fundamental, producer/consumer relationship isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s at the core of my business plan. But sometimes a reader wants to contribute to an author’s journey with something extra. Enter the concept of a virtual tip jar.
First things first, leaving a tip is not expected or required! Believe me, just having someone spend their hard-earned money on one of my books is reward enough and greatly appreciated. But the tip option is there for those who wish to express their appreciation for my work, whether it’s because of something written here or because they really enjoyed one of my books or short stories. I’ll never ask someone to leave me a tip, but I will express my gratitude however I can for that person’s generosity.
So, for those who want to take part in this, how do you do it?
Enter Buy Me a Coffee and Ko-fi.
Each of these sites handles the administrivia of the tip transaction. I’ve set up accounts with both, but, honestly, they provide very similar services. The community around Ko-fi seems more vibrant, but both services offer compelling features. For example, they each allow me to host content using a tiered access model, though that is not how I intend to use the platforms, at least for now. For me, they are simply tip jars. I’m getting behind Ko-fi because their service ultimately gives me a slightly larger piece of the tip pie (they charge a small fee for each transaction or tip) than Buy Me a Coffee, but they are both very good platforms from my usage of them so far.
To that end, you’ll see a call to action at the bottom of each of my blog posts and another in my mini-bio on my website asking for your support. Again, this is entirely optional and not expected!
There are other revenue channels I’ve been exploring, such as Substack and Patreon, but I’m not ready to pull the trigger on those just yet. For now, I want to focus on the most important thing, which is writing books and finishing my two outstanding series.
Thanks for stopping by and, as always, thanks for the support!