Posted by & filed under Writing and Writers. 9 comments

Three months?  Three months?  checking… checking…  Yup.  Three months since my last Flattr-related post.  Time for an update!

Last fall, I talked about the Flattr community and philosophy. But the practical application is really what the creative communities are watching for.  What is concrete realization of the philosophy?  What are the tangible benefits?

I wondered too.  And  then I realized–I just realized–that I already had an answer.

just realized: these clicks add up.

As a micro-payment system, or a “Like” button with a few cents attached, Flattr is not a salary, it’s a token of appreciation.  For me, I did not think about the reality of making money but only about that nice glowy feeling you get from knowing someone appreciates what you have to offer.  It was fun.

Intellectually, I knew that even spare change adds up.  But actually seeing it happen was rather surprising.

It’s not much (uh, micropayments remember?)  In six months I have made a little over $60.  But this is money that people had given me for doing what I love totally for free.  And it is–thrillingly–money that, when added up, really can make a difference in my creative projects.

For example, you know I’ve been looking into professional cover art because my visual skills are, well, absent.  Nice covers can carry a $500 or even more daunting price tag.  But now, for the first time, it occurred to me that augmenting my work with some quality professional packaging may not be totally out of my reach.Of course, with any method of fundraising, it would take a long time to even defray the cost a little.  But fortunately, making a manuscript shelf-worthy takes quite a while as well.

And if I may be so bold to say it, I think my situation represents exactly what Flattr is for. I don’t have a publisher and a book contract, so an advance isn’t going to help me out.  As an amateur still working on my craft, sales are not yet an option.  And since my little blog doesn’t exactly get a lot of traffic, advertising is not a viable option.  Like many, many aspiring artists and writers, I have no guarantee that I will ever see a return on the time I (very happily!) put into my work.  But I love doing it, and like a fool will continue to do it regardless.  

 Flattr is precisely for us happy fools who keep working out of love and not money.  It presents us with a chance that wasn’t there before–a chance that maybe, just maybe work done out of love, work done for sharing and not money can be rewarded too.  I for one will write even if I never make another cent.  I will write just as I did before I made a single cent.

It is only a chance.

But I’ll take it.

This is not a call for cash.   My motivation for reporting my Flattr earnings is to give other writers a more concrete idea of what Flattr can do on a practical and average level.  I, after all, am not some famous blogger (I get excited when the hit counter makes tripple digits–woot!) I am not even a published writer.  I know that I am like so many other young netizens hiding in the creative corners of the internet, working away,looking to make something of my labor.  And I know that with a new entity like Flattr, talking about philosophy and community is all well and good, but practical examples are what is really needed.  In this respect, I hope to do my part by allowing anyone interested to observe my experience and make of it what they will.  

9 Responses to “What Flattr Is For”

  1. Becka Sutton (@shutsumon)

    Flattr is quite nice, of course it requires a lot of clicks to build up but it eventually does build up eveb though I have less clicks then you. :-)

    All the forms of crowdfunding require a crowd and my crowd is kinda small.

  2. Anonymous

    Needing a crowd–very true! I suppose that’s always the trouble for writers/artists, isn’t it? Whether you want to sell your books, raise a certain amount of funds, or just spread the word about your work, crowds are not easy to come by. Still haven’t got that magic formula figured out…

    (thanks WP for “fixing” the commenting system.)

  3. Becka Sutton (@shutsumon)

    With this sort of thing two heads are better than one.

    Book trailers might help. Fictionpress authors (buh fictionpress) have used them to great effect. http://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/make-a-book-trailer-in-10-easy-steps/ Finding legit clips might be a little awkward however and professionally done book trailers have an even more painful pricetag than covers. (I got the cover for Dragon Wars 1 done for $35 http://firebird-fiction.com/news/the-dragon-wars-saga-arc-one-book-release-news I don’t know any semi-pro book trailer makers.)

  4. Becka Sutton (@shutsumon)

    BTW did you find a way of putting a flattr button up at pandaiman? I’ve just started posting the first arc of Dragon Wars there as part of my “cast my net wide to find more readers” iniative.


    • aeliusblythe

      You know, I never figured that out. I really wish I could, since I LOVE Pandamian and would love to make it my fiction’s home online. I do have my Pandamian books as “Things” on Flattr, so someone browsing the catalogue could presumable find them (though they must be pretty far back now,) but someone browsing Pandamian would have no way of flattring from there.

      We should keep asking the Pandamian folks about it, maybe they can do something!

      • Becka Sutton (@shutsumon)

        Hmmm…. I’m seeing a number of cons to Pandamian at the moment. It’s like a hub site with no hub being the main one – no easy way for readers to cross-pollinate between authors so everyone’s still on their own.

        That’s something a site like wattpad handles much better (though wattpad is just as hard to monetise and doesn’t look so good (though it’s not too bad)). I’m currently using Wattpad as a way to try and catch and funnel interested readers to my Haventon story by posting once a week there several months behind the site. I’m gradually building readership there and I think at least some should click through. It’s an interesting experiment if nothing else.


        • aeliusblythe

          Never heard of Wattpad–looks good though. Pandamian is pretty un-reader-friendly. I mean, it seems to only work if people come to your books from another site, not if they’re browsing around Pandamian already. I’m not sure if there’s any plan for developing a catalogue or a better reader interface or anything. Yeah…. it’s hard, I’m not yet sure what the best way to monetize my writing is, or even just get it in front of people. Currently, I’m just experimenting with as many places as possible, maybe something’ll stick.

          • Becka Sutton (@shutsumon)

            The sad thing is you can’t put up donation or flattr buttons. But on the upside you can link to Lulu and Smashwords and there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of readers there, so it might lend itself to a serial plus upgrade model done discreetly. (Might just have to try that).

            If you decide to give it a whirl I’m http://www.wattpad.com/user/Becka-Sutton there. I’d familiarise yourself with the place first though.

  5. github.com

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy
    on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant
    for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a
    designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)