Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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The Inelasticity of Demand

This article talks about fans and demand and economics.

Thinking about it ... I want my writing to be elastic the way a good bow is elastic.  Firm, springy, powerful, useful.  I don't want to create addicts; that is the way of the parasite.  I want to create allies, symbiotes, the way flowers begat bees.  Bow and arrow are useless without each other.  Neither bee nor flower can exist alone.  I want people to buy my work because they enjoy it and believe in it, or because it supports a mutually admired cause -- not because people feel driven  to it. 

Elasticity is important to me because I want my work to be accessible to everyone.  I want it to flex with my readers.  That means when you're broke and frustrated, and you've only got $1 to spend, you can still buy a couple lines of poetry with it.  Conversely, if you're flush, you can buy merry bundles of poetry and fiction and whatever else is on offer at the time.  That's not a random example; people do this with me.  I have some fans who are always on the low end and a few who are consistently on the high end; but in between are a bunch of people who fluctuate considerably based on their shifting budgets.  I think that's a good thing.

It matters a lot what kind of metaphors you use, what kind of business practices you choose.  This is true anywhere, but especially in crowdfunding.  It's about the kind of relationship you want to create with your fans.  I want mine to be positive and reciprocal.  I look at this one article, and it has a particular perspective.  I'm actually doing  most of the things it recommends.  My work can be very, very sticky indeed.  I like that people want to see more of it.  But it's flexible; it stretches with you.

The mainstream doesn't reward this approach.  It tends to be a dog-eat-dog world.  There are things I'm just not willing to do for money, and that cuts me out of a lot of society.

Heh ... but I don't see them  making very many miracles.  I on the other hand have made quite respectable money on poetry in a culture that largely ignores it.  Impossible, yet it is so.  Bee and flower.  Bow and arrow.  The target wants to be filled.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, personal, poetry, reading, writing
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