East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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…

Continue reading


One Year on Patreon

I am preparing an online archive of all the contents I shared with my Patrons in my first year on the platform. Patreon is an excellent service, but it does not allow an easy search and retrieval of previous contents – so new Patrons might have a hard time getting the old stories I shared.

In 2018, my Patrons had the dubious pleasure of reading:

One Night at the Circus (Urban Fantasy)

The Tales from the Frontier (Oriental Fantasy):
 . The Demoness with White Hair
 . The Last House in the Valley
. The Waterfall’s Wife

She Who Mauls, A story of the Contubernium (Historical Fantasy) 

Funeral Point (urban fantasy)

The Chopping Squad (horror novella)

The Annotated Imaginary Girls – season #1
 . Sara
 . Lucy
 . Tamara
 . Alice
 . Michelle
 . Cheryl
 . Livia

All of these stories were made available both in Italian and English.
My Italian Patrons also got 

the Burning Typewriters Story (science fiction)
Dracula: The Duel (dark fantasy)

Plus articles, behind the scenes, artwork, development notes and what else. AND discounts or free copies for all the ebooks I self-published.

Now all the stories will be revised, turned into handy PDF and uploaded somewhere easy to browse. I’m open to suggestions, by the way.

Once this is done, I’ll start working on the new material and on a general revision of my Patreon page, to make it more pleasant and easier to access.
As they say, it’s good to be my Patrons.

Leave a comment

Voice games

To thank my Patrons on this #ThankYouPatrons day (great little promotional idea), I decided to fire up the old Audacity thing again, and record a short message of thank you for my patrons.

Patreon allows Creators to upload audio files, and I had been thinking for a while about doing some podcasting stuff there. Just for my followers.
Like reviving the old KaravanCast, or something.

The real problem is, even with my brother doing sound producer duties, it’s a hell of a lot of work.
But who knows. It would be fun, talking about history, pulp stories and anything that comes to mind.

In other news, my voice still sucks.

It’s good to be my patrons. Sometimes.