I’ve gone through multiple thought iterations with regards to running advertisements on the site. Initially, I intended to set up a system where you could pay to download copies of my stories from the site. Then, I had the thought of setting it up so that advertisements interspersed in the stories could act like commercial breaks. I had all kinds of philosophical arguments against such an approach, since I would rather sell stories than personal data, but there were practical reasons that made that the course I chose for more than a year now.
Now, I’m going to pick a third option: no ads, and no paywalls. For now, all of the stories I publish here on IGC Publishing will be simply posted free, with no advertisements, and no cost to download. Again, this is primarily a practical decision, since the advertisements were not appearing only where I intended to place them, no matter what changes to settings I made, and the paywall is more technically complex than I currently intend to tackle. As long as we are publishing short stories, I don’t expect that to change. If and when I have a novel ready for publication, I may decide to revisit one of these techniques.
I hesitated to make this decision, because of an interesting bit of human psychology involving how we perceive value. If someone is giving something away for free, our native assumption is that it must lack intrinsic value, while if something is very expensive, our native assumption is that it is quite valuable. This thinking is part of what goes into everything from trendy collectables to stock market bubbles. So by giving away my stories for free, I worry that they will be perceived as less valuable, of lesser quality. In other words, I have raised the barriers in peoples minds that I must overcome in order to convince them that what I’m writing is worth their time reading. After all, if I’m not assigning a value to the story, then why should someone else put in their valuable time to read it?
Despite that, I think this is presently the right decision for the site. There will be a few issues with formatting for awhile that will take me some time to figure out, mainly that the section breaks in our stories will no longer be properly formatted, which could make for a jarring reading experience at times. I’m currently in the process of designing a new section break that I will be implementing for new stories, but it will take time to apply the new design to the extant stories.
The good news is that this will not affect that site’s actual programming in any way. We will still have new Blood Magic episodes at the end of each month, we will still have book reviews each Thursday, and we will still have whatever these posts are every Tuesday. Happy reading.