Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Literary Mercenary Needs Your Help!

I regret to interrupt your regularly-scheduled serving of snark and biting wit, but unfortunately there's a rather serious issue I need to let you know about.

The Literary Mercenary is in Some Serious Shit!

I do hope that got your attention.

What's Going On?

I'm glad you asked. Let me break it down for you.

Chapter One: How I Got Fucked
Many of you have heard of Yahoo! Voices, but if you haven't it's a user-content creation website where people write articles and Yahoo! pays them a fee based on how popular those articles are. Yahoo! paid authors between $1.50 and $2 for every 1k page views their content received, and for those of you who don't work on the Internet let me testify that getting 1k page views isn't easy. That said, after half a dozen years of working on this platform off and on I had finally managed to earn a triple-digit royalty check. I was ecstatic, because my views seemed to have nowhere to go but up.

Until a week after this event, where I got an email from Yahoo! informing me that they are shutting the Yahoo! Voices network down completely at the end of July.

What This Means For Me

This puts me in a bit of a tight spot. I've gotten used to having a $40 or $50 royalty check from Yahoo! over the past year and change, and as I mentioned it seemed that I'd finally managed to get into the $100 range. In addition to royalties though, the website also offered up front payments to authors whose work was likely to earn lots of page views. So all told I'm not only out an employer, but the roughly $200 a month that employer represented.

Not enough to kill me, but much like my left leg I'm going to notice when it's cut off.

The rights to my content revert to me, and I'll be finding new homes for a lot of it. However there are no websites that pay for just getting traffic with the closing of Yahoo! Voices; they only pay on ad clicks. That means that no matter how useful, intriguing, entertaining, or helpful my articles are I don't get paid if viewers don't click ads.

How many ads have you clicked during your web browsing today? That's about what I thought.

How You Can Help

No, I am not asking you for money. That said if you have it and are offering it I'll gladly carry that burden for you.

Seriously, I am that kind of friend.
For those of you who do want to help me, and of course my blog, there are a couple of different ways you can do so.

#1: Tell Your Family, Tell Your Friends

This sounds obvious, but I'm going to say it again; if you want to help out then please tell everyone you know about the blog entries you like best. Like and share them on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever other social media you've got. Bring up my blog in conversation, tell that cousin of yours who wants to be a novelist to check me out. If you have a blog, a website, a Live Journal (people still have those, right?), use it as a platform and give me a second or two in the spotlight. Put your email address in the box on the upper right, and make sure that you get my updates as soon as they happen.

The more people who come and read what I've written, the more popular my blog will get. That will make it a popular destination, increase my ad revenue, and generally keep my bills paid while I keep providing all of my readers with more content.

#2: Make a One-Time Donation

If you were walking down the street and saw a street performer you liked you'd toss a buck in his cap. If you want to do the same for me click the "Shakespeare Gotta Get Paid, Son" button on the right hand side of the screen just below the email-followers box. This will let you toss some cash right into my PayPal account as a one-time "hope this gets you through the change over" sort of donation.

It's not tax deductible, sadly. I work cheap, but I'm not a charity.

#3: Become a Patron

Patronage has been around since the first artists wanted to quit hunting in order to put murals on the cave walls. For those of you who don't know, I have a Patreon page you can visit by clicking right here. If you choose to become a patron what that means is that for every blog entry I put up you are willing to give me a certain amount of money. This is a reward for me doing good work, and an incentive for me to keep it up. Generally all I ask is $1 per entry, but if a single Washington is all you're comfortable parting with then that's fine too. Just put your monthly cap at $1, and no matter how many times I post you're only spending a buck to keep me going.

Patronage is a big step, and I know that. All my patrons have my most sincere thanks, but since those aren't worth the dregs in a pot of government-employee coffee, I'm giving all my patrons their choice of ebook for free once they sign up.

The cost of the ebook is worth at least three months of support. I'm just saying.

Thanks for stopping by! I should return you to your regularly scheduled blog post as of this coming week.

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