I mentioned on Wednesday that a pretty wonderful thing had … well, fallen upon me. That’s the only way to express it. I couldn’t write about it then. I barely can now.
So first a little background.
This month’s shocking collapse of Amazon Associates revenues (just when they should have started into their pre-holiday runup) had me thinking about this blog’s future.
You guys stepped in with a YUGE response to my fundraiser last year after BHM cut me off. When Amazon nerfed its commission structure earlier this year, a lone angel quietly began making up for the loss. And you, my 26 Patreon subscribers, keep the lights on the wi-fi router — and more.
There is no question that this blog and I have the most awesome support group on the planet (rivaled only by the readers of Joel’s Ultimate Answer to Kings — which shares a huge crossover audience with Living Freedom, making you doubly awesome).
Yet finding a regular income for the blog that doesn’t rely on bi-annual beg-a-thons has been a frustration. Now people seem to have simply decided they’re not so crazy about Amazon any more — a decision I can fully respect. But OMG not again …
By Tuesday evening I had very nearly made up my mind to close and archive the blog. I’m not talking about disappearing. But of switching all content to Patreon, and putting the meatiest of it behind Patreon’s subscription wall.
On Wednesday morning I awoke to a message from a familiar angel — announcing that he wanted to make a donation. The biggest by far I’ve ever gotten. Shortly thereafter, he did so.
And although you don’t who he is and probably never will, I hope you’ll thank him. Because not only did he single-handedly prevent me from closing the blog. He told me he did it in part because of the fabulous assembly of smart, outspoken, helpful, knowledgeable, take-no-prisoners blogfriends I’ve managed to draw over the years. You, the blog Commentariat. You, the members of Claire’s Cabal.
That said, it’s still a shame (though at the same time an incalculable blessing) that the blog has been mainly supported this year by three generous angels, plus several more readers who made unasked donations (and in doing so made my day).
In the spring of 2018, I’ll be having another fundraiser, specifically looking for small donations and seeking more Patreon subscribers. The name of that beg-a-thon will be — I’ve already picked it out — “The Last Fundraiser.” Because, barring some catastrophe — getting hit by a bus or busted by the feds (despite being pure as the driven snow) — I never intend to have another fundraiser.
For now I’ll assume that both Patreon and Amazon will offer happy, but supplementary sums. Donations, I’ll be glad to get, though I’m not seeking them now and I won’t seek them until spring. My beloved Guardian Angels, I am eternally grateful for you. But I’ll be looking for other ways to put a foundation of un-obtrusive, non-begging monthly income under the blog.
And yeah, hopefully some new book income in 2018. Kit Perez and I and Oliver Del Signore and I are working on it.