The I.O.U. Button

I’d really like to know what frikkin world print publishing lives in.

Because I live in one in which most people cannot afford to buy everything they’d like to have.

Including books.

I don’t think there is a single real writer out there who cannot sympathize with a reader who wants to read a book but cannot afford it.

That’s what public libraries are for.

But my fellow writers who will never enter the Gates of Hell known as traditional publishing and those who free themselves from its parasitic grip, will most likely offer digital books that won’t be available to borrow in a public library.

Do you want to turn that reader temporarily short of disposable income into a thief?

There are some books, for whatever reason, a person feels he or she must have. It could be to distract them from their current woes by reading a work from a writer whose books they’ve bought in the past but can’t right now not afford. It could be a book with practical instructions to help escape a dire situation. It could be advice, motivation, whatever.

The point is, don’t create a pirate.

Remember the times you were behind in your bills, the time you wanted something, the time when life had its fingers around your neck and was squeezing hard and you could have used a break.

Forget a “Donate” button. That’s a pussy move. That says, “I’m a beggar.” Don’t do that.

Offer a “Buy” button.

But for god’s sake, also offer an “I.O.U.” button. One that allows a fan of yours — a potential lifelong reader — a chance at some dignity. Something that says, “Look, I understand how it can be. You need this now, but remember to pay me later when it’s better for you.”

Do that.

The bastards currently running things never will.

This is your way to not be like Them.

February 7, 2010 Update: Buy Now, Pay Later (Maybe With Your Allowance) This Is Big. I’d like to see them extend it to self-hosted WordPress blogs and others (if they can get it offered by WordPress.COM — my free host — that’d be magnificent!), so writers can immediately incorporate it. It’s brilliant. I’m not sure how the Scoring works, but if it could be worked out for purchasers to set the time limit, that’d be excellent. I noticed on their Publishers contact page they ask for the size of the audience. This is backwards. PayPal didn’t ask people for their number of friends when it began. And it spread like a contagion. I’d like to see Kwedit spread that way too. It’d take everything to the next level for writers — and, in fact, for everybody.

2 Responses to The I.O.U. Button

  1. barbara says:

    Damn, mike…that’s a good idea. I hope some writers I know take it to heart.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Cane, Mike Cane, doctorlaura, Nicholas Boshart , Moxie Mezcal and others. Moxie Mezcal said: brilliant idea RT @mikecane: NEW POST: The I.O.U. Button http://tinyurl.com/yf9zlmb […]

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