Thursday, April 08, 2010



The Platinum Patron Club

It seems a bit arrogant for a writer to try to collect 1,000 Platinum Patron subscribers at $100 a year each, but that is my goal. I didn't think of it, but once presented it makes sense. It's not just an assured income for me, although it certainly has that effect. The goal is liberation from the publishers: I write what I think ought to be written. I am not worried about publication. I'll be published. The question is how much the publishers pay. If I have to maximize advances, then I have to write what they want most.  That isn't always what I ought to do.

That income also includes enough to let me hire an assistant to collect computer relevant information and function to some extent as BYTE headquarters used to function; and to buy equipment. Intel, for instance, has stopped sending me anything. So has Apple. Some companies send review items. Most don't. And there are travel expenses to shows. Adding an assistant (one of my present advisors) and possibly an intern will let me do less journalistic grunt work and more creative work.

And that is the real purpose: To let me concentrate on the projects I want to work on. Obviously the Platinum Patrons have some influence in what those are.

As to benefits, the above are the major ones. I will be able to send signed books at my cost (discounted cost of book, plus shipping, plus hiring the neighbor kids to actually get the stuff packaged and to the Post Office or UPS Store). I am negotiating with publishers to allow watermarked pdf. copies with eBook signatures to be sent to Platinum Patron subscribers, and I anticipate no problems with that. I'll think of other benefits, but of those who have already subscribed at this level I know of none who did so for the perks.

Anyway, that's what that is all about. As usual, I am not asking for anyone's rent or eating money, nor am I trying to shame anyone. For some this place and what I produce is worth that. For some it is not. I can't possibly determine what it's worth to you. And I am not neglecting the Patron Subscribers, to whom I give great thanks.