2019/02/27

A Simple Solution

Leading Hispanic author Jon Del Arroz recently took to Facebook to explain why those who boycott major platforms such as Patreon, Indiegogo, and Amazon, mainly hurt indie creators on their own side, despite having the best of intentions.

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Well-meaning commenters soon arrived to propose workarounds.

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The solution is very simple. Just add a storefront to your web site. And learn to code a custom version of that site so you don't have to deal with Blogger or WordPress. And build your own distribution network to get your books to retailers, which you'll also need to build. You'll also need to build your own payment processor, and you should probably found your own international bank while you're at it so you can issue your own credit cards. Oh, you'll also need your own domain registrar because the existing ones can just yank that puppy if they don't like the cut of your jib.

JDA responds:

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All kidding aside, Jon is right. "Build your own X" is a nonstarter when the Big Tech cabal can and will collude to throttle X.

Payment Processor Market Share

America First host Nick Fuentes correctly grasps the only viable solution.

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Amazon, Indiegogo, and PayPal won't even notice if you deny them their 5-30%. The indie creators who must rely on those converged services to survive, however, will definitely feel the loss of their 70-95% of each transaction.

Not wanting to give money to people who hate you is laudable. I urge people to avoid paying for the privilege of being insulted. But there's a fundamental difference between shelling out 30 bucks on tickets, popcorn, and corn syrup at the cine-multiplex to directly support frothing Hollywood death cultists, and backing an indie comics project on Kickstarter just to spit in the latter's eye. The problem is, you're spitting into a gale force wind, and it's the indies on your team who get wet.

Is this a shit state of affairs? Yes. Will cutting ties with the tech oligarchs and publishing exclusively out of a personal web site with a storefront solve the problem? Demonstrably not. That way lies accelerated self-ghettoization and total market exile.

The only realistic approach is to keep using the dominant though converged services while we still can, then make the rubble bounce when we're banned. Better to use the enemy's strength against him and get our ideas in front of a mass audience than fall back to a digital Benedict Option.

Hopefully the government, the only people with enough power to take Big Tech down, get the antitrust ball rolling. Indies are already eating oldpub and old comics' lunch on Amazon and Indeigogo. Imagine what we could do on a level playing field.

Speaking of Indiegogo, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 campaign proceeds apace! Two brand new perks have just been added that collectors are gonna love. the Signed Paperback perk gets you a signed copy of CFXS: CY40, plus the digital version of that book and the original. For super mech fans, there's the Signed Book Bundle, which includes everything above plus a signed copy of the original Combat Frame XSeed in paperback. Personalized inscriptions available!

CFXS TPB Mockups

Back the project and choose from these and other awesome perks today!

15 comments:

  1. I will go with Epik.com Website hosting I am for payment processing go with 2nd amendment
    https://www.secondamendmentprocessing.com/

    I glad I can help you out a little bit


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  2. I can't honestly tell if JustBuildYerOwn are honestly trying to be helpful, or showing everyone what clever boys they are.

    For better or worse Amazon, YouTube, Paetron, IndieGoingGoing, and Paypal are where it's at right now. Unless you already have massive traffic at your website, selling stuff there will never pay off.

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    1. Perhaps the "buildyerown" people simply know more about the available options than authors who don't even understand the difference between "wordpress.com" and "Wordpress, the content management system".

      Anthony Pacheco isn't wrong. But it's hard to help people who think they know it all already.

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    2. @John D Alden

      Physician, heal thyself.

      Perhaps know-it-all authors aren't taking the big brain buildyourown boys seriously because we haven't seen the books you've published on your own platforms earning you a living with no involvement from Amazon or PayPal.

      Please do show us your traffic and sales figures. We'll wait.

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  3. You have to build the traffic first, then you can sell at your site and have a chance to make a go of it. This also works better for product you can give away initially, then collect in better quality/higher resolution format for sale.

    An example is webcomics that are popular enough to be collected and dead-tree preserved. Give away the electrons and sell the cellulose.

    Starting with "All-sales-at-my-site" in this environment will leave you lost in the information noise.

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    1. That's a sound plan for using a freebie to drive sales. The Achilles' heel in that plan is step one: building traffic. Diabolically difficult to do when Goggle, Facebook, and Twitter are colluding to ghettoize you.

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  4. Thanks for moving this discussion off of Facebook. I find FBs thread-reply system less-to-be-desired.

    To expand on my point--lumping Patreon in with Amazon and Kickstarter/IndiGoGo (and YouTube) is a tactical mistake that a writer can avoid with a credit card. You do not need program skills. You just need the fortitude to maneuver your way around eCommerce concepts (not programming).

    You won't find me knocking Amazon and Kickstarter--I've made thousands of dollars on both and have even built a new publishing company in large part from their search ecosystems. I've sold my dinky little sci-fi books in the hundreds simply from people searching on Amazon for "libertarian science fiction." Go Amazon!

    Patreon, however, does not offer those magical algorithms and is somewhat anti-SEO. What they provided was a space for patrons to do one-and-done clicking in one convenient place. But once they banned Sargon of Akkad, many people and I mean many people, left the platform for good (such as myself).

    Before that tomfuckery, Patreon's CEO went on the record that he doesn't know what the sustainable business model for Patreon is. Coupled with their beginning of the year payment madness, it is not a platform to hitch your wagon.

    The reason I recommend WordPress is you can find WordPress help if you get into a bind fairly easily, but there are other platforms like it. Using a WordPress backbone (on a hosted server, not WordPress.com), you can add something like WooCommerce and their $300 a year subscription bundle. Thereupon you will have everything you need to meet and surpass what Patreon does.

    I agree with the concept in principal with not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. On the flip-side I also believe there are some overlooked points about distributed communities of content providers, readers, fans and patrons--but my reply is too long as-is.

    I'm here to help--call, send me mail, google hangout, etc.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to expand on your FB comment here. We agree on the user unfriendliness of their platform.

      Understand, I would be elated if someone were to come up with the newpub holy grail which let authors shake Big Tech's dust from their shoes. I am in fact constantly doing research to find such solutions, consulting people who are way smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. So far, there is no feasible solution that a) precludes the threat of Alex Jones/Proud Boys/Andrew Anglin style banishment into the void and b) solves an author's #1 problem: visibility.

      I don't use Patreon, so I'll take your word on your comments regarding that service.

      Again, Jon's point--with which I concur--is that this is primarily a problem of publishing and visibility, not technical legerdemain. Amazon is 80% of the book market. PayPal is 95% of the online payments market. Google *is* the internet for most people. Those are the hurdles with which dissenting creators must contend.

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  5. The point of contention I see here is between valid points of view occupying faces of a die. Each position encompasses issues that are part of an appropriate response and larger solution to the Internet of Today (culture, politics, religion).

    The challenge that we have is these issues must be dealt with somewhat simultaneously by any creator who plans to sell his wares on the Internet of the Future.

    1.) Facebook, Amazon, PayPal, and to some extent Twitter, are where the eyeballs are NOW for the Internet of Today. From a marketing and sales perspective, the creator may need to be on these platforms initially, and likely as long as they can last there.

    2.) The technical ability to build your own platform with many of the services needed to sell your own content exists now. The demand signal for credit card processors and domain hosts also is getting traction and that entrepreneurs see an under-served market. The creator should be building his own platform now to preclude vanishing from the Internet of Today due to SJW and SV Tyrant actions.

    3.) Actions by the SV Gangsters is getting traction in the press and EU governments. With enough push, we might see FB, Google, and other SV tyrants lording over American utility companies in our lifetimes. Contact your Representatives and Senators and turn up the heat.

    All of these actions should be part of the creators' actions to the greatest extent they are able as soon as they are able. Build readership and sales on existing platforms, build your own platform (and point your people to it) while you get that recognition in case of deplatforming (Vox Day model), and fight to turn the SV Big Boys into your electric company.

    The more individual creators, groups of creators, creator service providers, and review sites take these actions, the more anti-fragility will appear in the entire system. This means that individual sites, group sites, and constellations of sites need to be built to meet these needs.

    The one thing that the Looney Left is strong in is group behavior, for good or bad. They "get in line".

    We need to figure out how to work together cooperatively from a positive Civilization-building perspective to defeat the like-thinking Barbarians.

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  6. The reason I'm hesitant to embrace the regulatory option is that seems obvious, given what we know of history, that whatever powers we give to the government in matters like this will eventually be turned against us. It doesn't matter how carefully we word the legislation, eventually it will be turned into a weapon to destroy us, and it will be a weapon we handed the government.

    And no, I don't have a solution. Sorry, not trying to be a downer here.

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    1. Twitter, Facebook, and Google are already in violation of internet free speech laws that are already on the books. They're just not being enforced.

      The US government has a proven track record of successful trust busting.

      Inaction against ongoing corporate oppression due to fear of possible government oppression is morally and logically incoherent.

      We gave Trump power to use it in pursuit of our interests. We won't get another chance.

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  7. The problem is big tech is already being used against us, but without any accountability. I'm fairly libertarian when it comes to stuff like this, but even I can see that letting a bunch of autistic assholes play masters of the universe with our culture is a bad thing. Google, Amazon, and FB are for all intents and purposes, utilities. The startup costs to replace them are too large and the mindshare they possess is almost inescapable. The only way to stop them is through regulation.

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    1. Exactly. We can indulge in the luxury of debating ideological purity in a vacuum when Big Tech's boot is off our faces.

      The best selling novel Shogun features a record-scratch pro-infanticide scene. Millions of people have been exposed to that snippet of propaganda, and the whole entertainment industry places millions of other propaganda items in almost every product they release.

      Amazon is 80% of the book market. We need to approach this like the Left does. They care more about spreading their anti-gospel than they care about profits.

      Individual authors eking out a living in obscurity do Western civilization little good. We need to start taking back enemy territory with every resource at our command if we hope to have any social influence.

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  8. I see no reason why platforms should not be compelled to cease political discrimination. It is established in Western law generally now, that it is unlawful or at least highly undesirable to refuse service on essentially frivolous grounds; although these rules are couched as "anti discrimination", in application they are against the inconveniencing or refusal of otherwise acceptable customers on grounds not otherwise recognized by law.

    That's actually not unreasonable. And it is certainly not unreasonable that we insist that this rule of commerce be applied fairly.

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    1. Precisely.

      Any weapon the enemy introduces to the battlefield is fair game.

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