Originally, my intention on this site was to sell digital PDF versions of my books and stories for a set amount. You pay a couple of dollars, and then you can download the story and you have it forever. I’m order to do that, I had to upgrade the plan that backs the site, to get access to a payments function that would allow me to collect payments through the site in return for products. At least, that’s what was advertised.
The reality was that the payments feature that came with my chosen upgrade was clunky and, unless it’s more complicated than rocket science, doesn’t actually collect payments in exchange for a product, or at least not in an automated fashion. Instead, it was more of a donation feature, and that wasn’t the goal. I mean, donations are never amiss, I suppose, but my goal was to sell a product: my stories. However, the same upgrade also gave me access to site monetization via advertisements, and it was that which led to the idea of posting stories directly on the site, with advertisements at the chapter breaks.
That seems to be working well for Blood Magic, and we recently re-released our first short story, The Grounds Warden, in the same fashion. The goal was not to have an overwhelming quantity of ads; they were only to be where there would normally be a chapter or section break. And from my side, that seemed to be exactly what I was seeing.
However, I have recently learned that to other readers, there are significantly more advertisements, and that they are taking away from the reading experience. I would still like to be able to monetize my story-telling using low-impact advertisements, so I will be spending some time in the coming weeks attempting to clean up the site and figure out why there are advertisements showing up on places I didn’t explicitly put them. Hopefully, I will be able to soon provide a cleaner experience for all of you readers, with the focus being far more on the stories being told, and less on the distracting advertisements.
By the way, if you have any suggestions for ways to improve the advertisements portion of the experience, consider posting them in the comments below. All options are on the table, including doing away with the ads entirely.