Tag Archives: plan

Monetizing a Hobby

It’s a strange thing, trying to apply a business model to what has, until now, been purely a creative outlet. I’ve been running FiftyWordStories.com for almost two years, and during that time I’ve posted over 500 stories, almost 100 of which have been written by guest authors. It’s been so much fun hearing from and talking to readers, and watching visitor numbers slowly but steadily rise.

And now I’m trying to turn my hobby into a business.

Well, sort of. It’s very important to me that FiftyWordStories.com is a source of entertainment first, and a store second. I’ve been running the site completely out-of-pocket for two years, and I have no problem continuing to do so, but I feel that I have a product that’s worth something, and I hope other people agree.

So on Sunday, I’ll be launching the FiftyWordStories.com Store, integrated into FiftyWordStories.com, and on Monday I’ll put Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One on sale. Here’s how it’s going to work.

I’ve been releasing some information about how the book will be available, and a little bit of that has changed. On Monday morning, you’ll have the following options:

1) You will be able to order a copy of Volume One in print for $12 plus shipping via Lulu.com. There will be a link to my Lulu storefront from the FiftyWordStories.com Store.

2) You will be able to purchase and download a Volume One ebook bundle directly from the FiftyWordStories.com Store for $4. This bundle will include all three available ebook formats (PDF, ePub, and mobi), as well as a high-quality image of the cover. I’m not going to force anyone to pay multiple times to get the ebook in multiple formats.

3) You will be able to buy a Kindle-viewable version of the book directly from the Kindle Store for $4. I realize that it seems a little strange to offer this when you can buy all three formats bundled together for the same price, but a lot of people feel comfortable buying from the Kindle Store, so I want to make that option available. I recommend buying the bundle, not only because you get all of the formats together, but also because I receive more money that way, instead of surrendering a large part of my proceeds to Amazon. However, if you contact me and I am able to verify that you bought the book from the Kindle Store, I will send you the other formats, as well.

This is what I’ll be offering at the beginning. I had mentioned previously that it would be possible to buy the book in print from Amazon and digitally from the iBookstore, but as things have developed and I’ve done a bit of research, I’ve determined that both of those options aren’t likely to be worthwhile.

I have some ideas for where things could go from here, but it’s all going to depend on how people respond to the book. A strong response may push me to make my stories available in some new ways, but if there isn’t much response, then I may have to rethink how I’m going to go about this. Time will tell.