Posts Tagged ‘sales vs free’

Thoughts About Commerce (Buy Rodger a Coffee)

June 8, 2019

This is tangential (but not unrelated) to the discussion I’ve seen bits of on various platforms over the question of selling products versus just giving them away for free. I don’t believe it’s a simple black-or-white issue, and I certainly don’t have the answer to the question.

{And after writing this, but before it posted, I was listening to the Thought Eater podcast (Ep. #65) where, in the last segment, Jeremy discusses the same question with some good points and a perspective I think is worth pointing you at. And the post that got Jeremy going was from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque.  I think they’re both worth your time.}

I’ve put stuff online – that other people might consider a finished product – that I’ve given away for free, in that perspective. Every blog post is time and effort spent without payment.

I’ve put things on DriveThruRPG to sell them.  As far as I know, I’m the only publisher for DragonQuest-related products.  It’s  a specialty niche, and I’m not getting rich (or even breaking even) from it.  But for the time and effort that goes in to those products, I think it’s reasonable to ask people to pay for those.  We’re old-school enough that we’re still somewhat print-focused, even though we also sell a lot of things just as PDFs.  And print materials are always going to have a cost associated with them, so we sort of stumbled into the market that way.

I never really rolled out a Patreon page, and given what happened with that platform, I’m pretty glad now that I didn’t. I’m not interested in being a part of that system that doesn’t really want to work with me.

And the whole idea of asking for money for the work that I do is still more than a little off-putting.  This whole article started more than a year ago, and sat in the drafts folder because I wasn’t ready to address the topic.  We’re acculturated to be uncomfortable about money, and I think that’s in the subtext of what’s in the social media discussion I referenced above.  {Again, from Thought Eater: the idea that everything needs to be evaluated through the lens of commerce is just wrong. There’s nothing wrong with making things available for free.  And sales is a metric of how good you are at selling, not of how good your thing is.}

There are a host of different tip jar/buy a coffee/send a contribution systems available to support creative work that people are making available. I’ve seen a couple people using different versions of these, and now, I have decided to give one of these a try and added a link to Buy Me A Coffee for tips and contributions (near the top of the column at the right).  So, if you find the things I’ve been producing to be worth a little support, you could do that here:

https://buymeacoff.ee/AntherwyckDQ

There are two main categories of things I’m working on: RPG maps, and adventures and materials for DragonQuest.  If we’re able to raise another $150 or so from sales and contributions, my plan is to get some additional software to use for further project production.

Since it’s a new thing, I’m not sure yet how much I can do with rewards and benefits for those who have contributed.  If you would be interested in being a supporter, let me know what kinds of things between those two categories you would be most interested in seeing as a premium for your contributions.  I should be able to do small maps on a somewhat more regular basis, so if you’d like to make some suggestions for one of those, that’s one option.