Greg Stolze: Forums

Discuss Greg Stolze's recent works
It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:49 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Project Word Slave
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 10:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:08 am
Posts: 393
I read the Project Word Slave outline and I had some thoughts about it.

Firstly: diminishing returns. 500 dollars every chapter will defuse attention and returns. Your initial donators will decrease with every subsequent chapter. I see this as an inevitability, but this is just me.

Secondly: writing a story with elements partially dictated by Stolze fans is commendable but then again you do not promise to use their ideas (even contextually) just use and modify what will fit into a larger scheme. Since you are really not writing to spec. Some people will lose interest.

Again, it is a nice idea but you may hit snags. You could write a generic supernatural horror story within a contempory urban context and sell it as untitled Unknown Armies and World of Darkness pastiche and your gamer related market will tip in. Of course this could be tricky too with legal issues and future work-for-hire from these companies.

Thirdly: Although a chapter-by-chapter release theoretically ensures a steady almost-monthly income, how valid is it? It is a risk since it might sour potential future sales? I do think your idea of releasing subsequent RPG resource material may build a better product-sales relationship with your customers.

Just me musing.

Cheers,

Chris.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 1:00 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:15 am
Posts: 831
This is why it's an experiment, isn't it? My understanding of how Ransom stuff works is imperfect, to say the least. Lots of things I expected about the MBM ransom (lots of tiny 1-2 dollar contributions) never materialized, and things I didn't expect (median donation of $15.00 and some much larger) did.

My hope with WordSlave is that not everyone will contribute to every chapter, but that people will enjoy it enough to contribute to some chapters every now and then. A minimum of $5.00 ain't much when gas is $3.00 a gallon (unless, of course, your car is empty). My real hope is that by chapter three or four, word will spread virally and new readers will start kicking in after catching up. The more people buy in, of course, the cheaper and more appealing it is to everyone.

As for the "no promise to use your idea" -- well, yeah, there's no guarantee. (Can you imagine the nightmare mishmash if I had to use EVERY IDEA ANYONE SENT?) But there's always hope, and as the lottery proves, hope's worth a few bucks. I also suspect that once the book starts, people will send in ideas that play into the story. "Ooh, wouldn't it be awesome if Jake and Angela hooked up and Stewie walked in on 'em?" You know. The way conspiracy theorists think "Lost" is made.

-G.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 1:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 1:05 am
Posts: 4
Location: The American Midwest
I have heard the call of the UA mailing list, and responded, Oh Great Greg.

Seems there was a similar project that Stephen King tried years ago. Some story called The Plant or something. He'd put the chapters up on the net as he was paid for them, or something... it had surface similarities to the ransom model, but it may have been that each person had to pay individually. Not the exact same as the ransom model.

I seem to recall him giving up around chapter six. It just wasn't working. Perhaps ransoming will work better, or maybe it's like Communism; it works best in theory.

Actually, now that I really think about it, it is a bit like Communism. From each according to his credit card, to each according to his modem. Or something. The metaphor falls apart if you think about it too much.

_________________
There is a difference between "broken" and "no longer working correctly."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 11:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:20 am
Posts: 15
Location: Cork, Ireland
How many chapters are you thinking of for a completed novel? If it's something like 5000 words a chapter and you're aiming for a 80,000-100,000 word novel, that's something of order 16-20 chapters, I guess.

So, you're looking at $500 x 18 chapters or about $9000 overall in contributions. At the average of $15 per person that you mentioned elsewhere for your other ransom projects that about 600 people chipping in. Did you get that many involved for your previous ransoms?

Myles


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:15 am
Posts: 831
Some blogger writing about the Ransom Model analyzed King's model for "The Plant." If he had a good grasp on its principals, it's a flawed tool. The way "The Plant" thing worked was that anyone could download a chapter for free and you could pay for it afterwards. If a large enough percentage of the downloads were paid for, King released the next chunk.

Now, you can see how a hater with some scripting skills could just build a 'bot to download it continuously without paying, right? But the bigger flaw, from my perspective, is that it punishes the legitimate buy-and-pay users. Collective responsibility works okay when there are some limits to who's held responsible. The Ransom Method in practice has been nearly Christian, with a few hundred people paying for the downloads of thousands.

Why do I think it'll work with serial fiction? I don't know, but I'd like to think the following factors are in my favor.

1) Readers are invested because there's a chance of seeing their idea incorporated.

2) Readers are also invested because of the uncertainty. Will the next chapter emerge? It's not like a book where you can put it down and be sure it's going to be there when you come back. You can influence the outcome, however... though it'll cost you.

3) Readers are ALSO invested if I use a cliffhanger model to build suspense.

Think of it this way: If there was a magazine that was serializing a long work by your favorite novel, you'd buy every copy even if the rest of the magazine didn't do much for you, right? This doesn't cost as much (or necessarily anything every time) and you don't have to put up with ads, either.

If I recall correctly, $15 is not only the average, it's also the median, for what that's worth. And it doesn't necessarily have to be 600 donors. I expect some people will only donate once, while some will probably be repeat customers. But I don't know. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

What's surprising so far is that so few people have sent in ideas. I mean, that's the part that's FREE. X, did you send one in? If so, I didn't get it.

-G.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group