Subota, 9 Decembra, 2023
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What is the cope with Substackanomics?


One of the best reward you may give a author is money, however there are many different good items too. Espresso makes a pleasant reward. Ditto for espresso mugs. Pens are all the time appreciated, as are notebooks. Sharing a author’s work with pals, influencers, or highly effective literary brokers can be good. However one among my favourite items is a query. Right here’s why: anybody can ask a query, and a query provides me one thing to write down about. That’s a win-win, state of affairs normies.

Lately, I obtained an excellent query from a long-time state of affairs normie named Tab. Right here’s what he wrote:

The opposite evening, throughout a interval of insomnia, I used to be serious about the
indisputable fact that many of the Substack authors I’ve discovered have been begging for
subscribers (to paraphrase the previous Tom Lehrer tune line, “Now there's a
price for what they used to offer away free of charge.” ) You’ve talked about the
numbers of paid vs. free subscribers popping out as round 2%. And most
subscriptions appear to run about $50-60/12 months. Would a decrease price get
extra subscribers, and a better whole payout, or not appeal to cash from
those that aren’t paying anyway?

Paying for one subscription doesn’t appear all that unhealthy, however as I begin
serious about the requests to pay a bunch of authors, it immediately provides
as much as greater than the price of Amazon Prime which may give me dozens of
hours of leisure and may even not price my spouse any cash for
transport the tons of packages that present up on my doorstep every day. Or,
greater than the price of shopping for a guide on-line every month which supplies me 300
or so pages to learn.

I don’t know the proportion of Substack writers who really get a
important variety of paid subscribers, making the writing a paying job
quite than a labor of affection. It makes me ponder whether the authors
might work out one thing with Substack to have a month-to-month Substack
subscription and have Substack pay the authors a share of the take
every month based mostly on the quantity of people that learn their posts much like
what the leisure strikes have been asking for?

Thanks for this query, Tab! The truth that my monetary prospects occupied your sleepless ideas warms my coronary heart. Severely! I actually recognize your e mail as a result of I can inform it come from a spot of concern. I’ve been an expert author for twenty years, and other than a number of pals and kin, and the occasional creditor, no person asks these vital questions.

OK, let’s get into it.

Probably not, no. I can provide periodic reductions, however I can’t decrease the worth of a Scenario Regular subscription as a result of Substack units a minimal worth of $5 per 30 days. Which means a Scenario Regular subscription presently goes for the platform minimal. Or, put one other method, Scenario Regular is one of the best darn deal on Substack!

Earlier than I reply that, I must confess one thing. I took a number of economics lessons at Wesleyan, and I handed most of them, however solely as a result of I promised my professors that I wouldn’t turn into an economist.

ANYWAY, as I perceive it—and right here I take advantage of the phrase perceive loosely—decreasing costs to fulfill demand ought to increase revenues, all different issues being equal. How’s that, Professor Adelstein?

The factor is, I can’t go under Substack’s flooring. Right here’s why: and not using a flooring, writers will find yourself in a race to the underside. At first, that race begins out with writers competing over worth. However quickly sufficient, issues will flip ugly. We’ll compete over trivia questions, over feats of energy, and even do swimsuit competitions. No person needs that, particularly me, as a result of my Speedo is within the store.

In the mean time, Substack doesn’t enable a bunch of writers to promote subscriptions in a bundle. However I’ve heard loads of writers and readers ask for a bundle possibility. And lately, at a elaborate literary salon, I heard Substack co-founder

say {that a} bundle was a “risk.” I most likely ought to’ve requested a follow-up query, however as an alternative I requested about dessert. Sorry. Anyway, possibly we’ll get a bundle sometime, and if we do, I hope you’ll help no matter publication federation contains Scenario Regular in its bundle.

You wager! Tab didn’t ask this query precisely, however he made level about eager to help extra Substacks than his finances permits. And he made one other good level concerning the worth of 1 Substack relative to a guide, or an Amazon Prime membership, which incorporates free transport that isn’t free, films, TV reveals, and a bunch of different stuff.

I take into consideration these questions lots, however I don’t have any solutions. Right here’s why: I can’t let you know the best way to set your spending priorities. Scenario Regular is a (principally) free publication. Folks pay as a result of they love my work they usually need to help it. I’m so grateful for that. For those who’d quite pay for Amazon Prime, or one other Substack, or a guide, that’s completely as much as you. I received’t be upset, and I received’t exclude you from the enjoyable both.

Sure! I want the cash.

I want the cash to justify the time I put into Scenario Regular.

I want the cash to cowl minor bills as a result of generally Scenario Regular tales incur minor expense, like parking, snacks, and authorized charges.

I want the cash to pay Todd for his time, instruments, and expertise in order that the Scenario Regular podcast can dethrone Joe Rogan and people smug bastards at NPR.

Principally, I want the cash as a result of I promised Christina I’d get the cash.

However Scenario Regular isn’t my solely gig. I’m a contract author. I write op-eds for expertise leaders. I do some journalism. I do some copywriting. Mainly, I’ll write you something, besides a verify.

Sure, please do! I really like listening to from Scenario Regular readers. Ask me (virtually) something, and I’ll reply your query in a future subject of Scenario Regular.

E mail me at

I’ve received questions, possibly you’ve received some solutions.

  1. Do you pay for any Substacks? Which of them? Shout ‘em out!

  2. Other than reducing carbs and doing Pilates, how can I enhance my possibilities within the writers swimsuit competitors? Assume outdoors the field!

  3. Will Wesleyan revoke my diploma after this submit? Inform it to me straight.

  4. How did Jeff Bezos persuade us to pay free of charge transport that isn’t free? Is he wizard, or did he simply rent a extremely good copywriter?

  5. Have you ever ever been to a literary salon? Did you additionally make the error of pondering that you can get a haircut there?

Go away a remark

It's best to! I inform Scenario Regular tales to my buddy Todd after which we chat about them. It’s lots of enjoyable. Hear on Substack or your favourite podcast app, then price & evaluate right here🙏

The e-book variations of my books are priced between 99 cents and $2.99, so in case you don’t have the finances for a Scenario Regular subscription, shopping for an e-book is an effective way to help my work. Bonus: you’ll giggle your butt off!



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