Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Ocean of Storms

It’s been fifty years, give or take a few days, since we first set foot on the Moon. One of man’s greatest achievements, one we should be all proud of.
I was there, sitting on the floor in front of the telly. I was two years old and I only have very confused memories of the screen and the excitement around me – and probably they are second-hand, false memories.

The doorstep of the universe, and we had finally placed a foot on it.
Then things went differently than what we dreamed.
We had to think about “real important stuff”, I guess, like building bigger cars.

But moon dreams are what pays my bills, so I wrote a story.
A short hard SF number, about the Moon, and the future, and us.
It’s called Ocean of Storms, and I’ve just delivered it in various formats to my Patrons.

Because it’s good to be my patron, or so they say.


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Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Writing

My brother, who plays the role of my conscience better than Jiminy Cricket, told me yesterday that I have to grow my Patreon. I was telling him that I started following a Japanese girl who has a Youtube channel where she teaches Japanese, and has over 900 supporters on Patreon, for an average of $ 5 per follower per month.
I have 42, of supporters on Patreon, people who trust me every month and bet on the fact that I will continue to write.

“You have to make sure you get more,” my brother tells me.
“Eh, it’s not easy,” I reply. “This girl holds courses, she teaches, it is clear that those interested in learning Japanese follow her …”
He shrugs his shoulders. “You also hold courses on your Patreon. That writing thing … “

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Pay What You Want and other urban legends

There’s a discussion going, on a friend’s Facebook profile, about how Pay What You Want (PWYW) offers don’t work in Italy. The punters will simply get the stuff for free, because that is what everybody wants to pay.
Someone comments that PWYW never worked anyway, and brings the example of that Stephen King novel that was released in 2000, and was a total failure.

I am not a Stephen King fan, but I remembered the thing from 2000, the ill-fated serial novel The Plant, so I went and checked a few numbers – and indeed, Stephen King’s PWYW experiment made him a meager 470.000 dollars.
Total failure, right?
The novel was never completed, and that is indeed a failure for a novelist (the rule is “thou shalt finish what thou start”) but the reader response was good: 70/75% of the people that downloaded the installments paid the suggested price of 1 buck or more.
The Pay What You Want model worked.

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Odds & Ends on Patreon

They say we should always steal from the best, and they are right. Case in point: writer and game designer Shanna Germain has just launched her Patreon page, and among the perks she is offering to her Patrons there is a curated collection of cool stuff – free or inexpensive – that she likes, and that she thinks her Patrons might like too.

And that’s a great idea, and one worth stealing.
After all, I already do something similar with the Karavansara University and in Italian with my strategie evolutive book club, and a weekly collection of cool stuff for my Patrons sounds like the perfect thing to expand my Patreon offer.
I might call it Odds and Ends.

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A shout out for Ghamak

And now for my next trick, I will do something completely different.

One thing I learned in my early days in the trenches as a self-publisher is, pushing my colleagues’ work costs me nothing, and it is good both for my readers – that discover something new and interesting – and for the colleagues, because this way they my reach a new audience.
And I cash in some good karma.

So, I will start pushing my friends’ work here, once in a while – new books, Patreon pages and what else. And right now I will start with something really different – Francesco A. Pizzo’s Patreon page for his Ghamak project.

Take a look at this…

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