Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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The Autumn of Patreon, episode 1 – Writing on Demand

As I think I mentioned – or I should have mentioned – I’ll devote this autumn to the development and growth of my Patreon. I want more patrons, and I want happier patrons.
So I am announcing a number of new perks for those brave souls that decide to gamble a few bucks on me and my writing, and show small glimpses of things to come.
The World of Tomorrow, if you will…

For instance,

You Outline It, I Write It (a.k.a. YOIIWI)

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Gearing up for some new things

The next thirty days (give or take a handful of days) are going to be the hardest for me in the last three years. I say this without any particular emotion – if there’s one thing I’ve learned in these three years as I managed to make a living writing, it’s how not to succumb to fear and anxiety.
The panic attacks are a thing of the past.
It’s gonna be hard, and I’ll get out of it at the other end, one way or another.

And I’ll be working a lot – I’ve stories to finish and deliver, a new book to get going, I’ve started writing the sequel to The Ministry of Thunder (more about that later), I need to take care of my health and I’ve decided to make my Patreon page grow. I’m also starting an experiment about which I’ll be writing here and elsewhere in the next days. I’m keeping busy – because that’s a good way to weather the hard times.
So I’ve spent a while today brushing up on the skills I’ll need to add a podcast to my Patreon page.

Well, two podcasts, actually – one in Italian and one in English, because my Patreon page is bilingual, and it’s good to be my patron, independently of what language you speak.
Double the work, but also double the fun.

The first in this new series of Podcasts (because the Karavancast is currently sleeping) will be online on the 30th of September because it happens to be the International Podcast Day, and it will be accessible to all my supporters.
I’m planning a guerrilla podcast, recorded on the go and in the open, with no scripts, minimal post-production and a length under 15 minutes.
I still need to find a suitable title, and a list of topics.
Suggestions are welcome.


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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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