I’ve been thinking about the future of this project, including the future of this blog and what to do with all this research.
Monetizing the blog
While I don’t anticipate making a huge amount of money off this blog, I’m considering buying a pro-account on this blogging platform and putting up some add banners.
From what I can tell so far, probably the best bet is Amazon affiliate, as I can link to the books and movies I’ve been discussing. Unlike a lot of other affiliate programs, you can be paid via direct deposit, and not have to wait for more than $100 to accumulate. Direct deposit pays over $10.
However, I’m leery of Amazon ever since the Kindle-George Orwell affair, and I don’t like the way Amazon is comporting itself in the looming ebook-platform war. It’s still a better deal for low traffic sites like mine than Google A d s e n s e. $10 a month beats waiting the better part of a year for $100.
Publishing the book
The thing about research is that you can keep doing it forever if there’s no deadline to make you stop and sort-and-shape it into something distinct: an article, a book, etc. I’ve been doing that for about 5 years.
Do it via Lulu.com or CreateSpace.com.
Pro: Total control of the project. Keep most of the money coming in (not that I expect much).
Con: To do it seriously would require hiring a professional copyeditor/proofreader and a cover designer. Plus a lot of work and money on getting permissions for illustrations. I would include the time and expense of doing promotion, but that’s likely to be a problem with conventional publishing. I can imagine a low-tech tour down the west coast (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco), traveling by car or bus.
Keeping working at finding an agent and/or publisher in a collapsing industry.
Pro: A smaller share of possibly more money. More critical respect. Some of the post-production work done for me, though not all.
Con: Less control of project. Probably little in the way of promotion; no paid book tours for me.
Back to school
Having only a BA doesn’t count for much these days. I could go back to school and finish off an MA, using my research as the basis for a thesis. This could add some academic credibility to a book.
I’m not crazy about going back to the academic life, which I burned out of in my early 20s. Plus that means more money laid out for tuition, and it is time all of this started paying back.
Download for free
Lots of fiction and non-fiction writers have published (self or pro) print books for sale and also make their books free for download under Creative Commons. The theory is that free digital copies (PDF, PDB, PRC, what have you) spreads the work and drives sales of the print copy, whether published by yourself or professionally.
I’m also not sure how having copyrighted images in Creative Commons licensed book would work.
This appeals to my “information wants to be free” sensibility. My target audience for this book is kinky-minded academic people and academically-minded kinky people, who are probably thinly spread geographically and better approached through communities of interest.
In this case, it’s a definite case of obscurity being a bigger problem than piracy.