Saturday, 6 September 2014

An embarrassing – Nay, Humiliating – Innovation: A Request for Feedback / Your Opinion

(And I don't mean for one of my characters either)

Hi folks!

A request for feedback:

Today you find your scribe VERY much in the doldrums... Errr... Basically I'm penniless – or nearly so! At present I am putting all my energies (or nearly so) in to the new book (which is coming along nicely – or would be if I wasn't being afflicted by bouts of debilitating panic) while simultaneously working on a project alongside Roger Benson and the 3D artist, Angela Fox (which, I think is nowhere near completion and from which I am unlikely to derive much in the way of monetary reward). I'm also embroiled in rebuilding the website – The Original Institute – in which the Beyond the Barred Window site resides from the ground up (Yes, it's true I've done little with it for a year, but partly that was because of medical reasons – and all that is about to change. In the meantime, in the absence of any new publication, the income (as small as it was) from my existing titles has all but dried up – as tends to happen.

The thing is: Ordinarily - and up to now - none of this would have mattered much; I was living on savings, it was never expected to generate a living wage (and never will) and was a hobby as much as anything, albeit one I wanted to share – and enjoy sharing - with others. And then the bombshell: Yesterday, at the bank, it emerged I have nothing like the cash left I thought I had. The only way I can understand / explain the situation is that when I walked in to a branch just before Christmas and they told me the balance of my current account, it was in error. What they were referring to was another account I have which holds the remains of my life savings and which, based on the figure they told me, I hadn't expected to have to resort to until mid-way through next year. Consequently I'm in big trouble if I'm to get these various projects, which are VERY dear to my heart - to the point, with no exaggeration, they literally keep me going, psychologically speaking - finished before I am reduced to abandoning everything to run around seeking social benefit and so on (I presently do not claim income support and so on – and work is unlikely).

Sorry if all this sounds rambling but what all this is about is that as much as anything I am seeking your collective opinion: I am considering adding some kind of donation button to the right hand sidebar here and on the websites saying something like “If you have enjoyed the content here and wish to support this blog / website / the author's next outpourings please make a small donation – thank you!”.... I have seen similar elsewhere, but never really liked the concept myself (it sounds a little too much like those characters who bother me in coffee bars and so on), but things are getting truly desperate if I am to finish this and continue writing (I expect loads of folks will now pitch up and say, well why bother then – you're bloody awful! But I know SOME folks like my stuff – and it IS getting better (I hope).

Anyway... What do you think? Should I add a 'please donate' button? Or is that just TOO distasteful for words? At this stage I am asking for nothing but your opinion – and that just costs a little time and effort.... 

Either post a comment or you can email me direct:



Anonymous said...

I don't view donate buttons in the same category as being hit on in a coffee bar. Having said that, I very seldom donate. I would for yours.

Anonymous said...

Hi Garth:

Yes - add it !

Anonymous said...

I would willingly donate

Anonymous said...

I think your work is exceptionaly imaginative compared to most, not just your books but also the captions you generate for some of the pictures both here and on your Tumblr blog.

I would happily make a small donation from time to time to help fund the upkeep of your website and the creation of your next book or books.

Anonymous said...

Hi Garth

I don't think there is anything wrong with you including some sort of donation facility on your blogs and web sites. After all there are a number of free sites not as extensive and comprehensive as The Original Institute and Beyond The Barred Window which have donate facilities. And it is all voluntary and if it helps you fund the creation of your new work why not?

Anonymous said...

I would think your loyal readership might simply view it as similar to cloud sourcing and be happy to make a contribution to the continuation of your work.

I suffer from depression, like you. I know how important being able to carry on means to you.

I also know from speaking via email in the past that you are unlikely to be able to work again in the conventional sense, at least in the near future and fund yourself from savings. But don't be too proud to claim social security if you must my friend. What is important is that you keep up your interests.

I don't have much spare myself, but I'd chip in, I don't know, perhaps $1 or so from time to time. Who is going to miss $1? I don't know what that equates to in those British pounds though. Probably not much I would imagine!

All helps though, eh!

Anonymous said...

From Alan B

Just wanted to add my penny worth.

I thinkI would be willing to some times make a donation, nothing large just something modest. I would be happy to do so simply for the usefulness I find I get from the extensive blog roll and spanking resource listings, some of the most exhaustive on the web I think, which I use all the time, if it helps him carry on updating and adding new blogs and so on.

There is also the huge archive. This blog dates way back to some time in mid 2008, it is almost more of a web site than a blog if viewed in that way and Garth has put a great deal of work in to it and continues to do so.

Actually I think I' would be even more inclined to donate some thing if Mr Toyntanen were to post some more of his original writing from time to time, perhaps a few tasters of the kind of thing he is currently working on, always avoiding spoilers of course. But I wouldn't want him to give too much away.

In fact if I were Garth I'd consider marketing some of those part finished things he has alluded to from time to time he says he has languishing on his hard drive. I know he might not have much spare time but if he is struggling to make a crust and god knows there is not much money in this spanking fetish lark, I have tried my hand myself under another name. But it would be worth a try and I am sure we would all benefit from the entertainment value. I think even it the fragment were disjointed and unfinished it might just require him to perhaps add a couple of paragraphs at the beginning to introduce the context within which the events occur and set the scene. Maybe a few sentences could be added at the end to say where the story was to have gone next, had it been finished, unless the explanation impinges on any later story line he might have come up with based on the piece of course.

Just an idea. What say you, Garth?

Alan B (If you think about it, you know who I am!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Garth.

What a coincidence! I was just going to suggest exactly the same idea Alan B posted a few minutes ago(though I know this is now moderated and so you might have got it some time ago and just pasted it up. If I say I am a fellow Londoner and we have met in the flesh you'll know who I am.

To be honnest I am one of those not so keen on the idea of a donation button. It is just a personal thing. But if you do remember me, I was the guy who commissioned you to write a piece for me on what was largely mind-control theme.

Now I know for a fact you have two or three unfinished mind-control things you intended to put up on the erotic mind control story archive which you said you thought were not spanking orientated enough for your usual readership. But why not? Your usual stuff always contains a large element of what might be construed mind control in one way or another. How else are we readers to perceive the deliberate induction of a phobia or the grooming and development of psychological dependency of a girl on her governess or legal guardian in order to gain control over her if not in terms of mind-control?

Speaking personally if it were for some fairly substantial yet unfinished chunk of some mind-control tale, even if the events within it were a little jumbled and not in chronological order or a little bit “stream of consciousness”, I would be happy enough to pay some small sum to read it, especially if otherwise it and the ideas within it might never see the light of day. I mean, I wouldn't begrudge 50p - £1 say for a PDF download, if that is not insulting.

I know you wouldn't be able to furnish the ebook standard at that sort of price via LULU say because of their minimum charges and the same goes for PDFs through LULU but you could accept requests via your email, payment through PayPal and then simply email the PDF to the purchaser.

I know it is not exactly J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, but it sounds like you are in dire need there, old friend and “every litle helps” as they say in the Tesco adds.

In fact, if you give me your PayPal details I'll send you a small something right now, for old times sake. I don't have enough spare cash right now to justify another commission otherwise I would get you to write something for me again. But I'd get in trouble with the wife. I have something in mind too!

So either email me your details or put them up here, although I don't suppose you will want to give your real name away. But wont that happen anyway if you put up a donate button? Or doesn't it work that way?

Cheers-n-beers, as you say.

Ben J. Amen. Ho, ho!

Anonymous said...

What about publishing your own books, and selling them from the blog. I would gamble that you could reduce the cover price that lulu charges and still make more money.

I have bought a couple of your titles from lulu, and both are an excellent read, however I much prefer to buy direct from niche market authors because then I am actually supporting the author directly, and not paying out for corporate taxation, and contributing to the wealth of those that feed on others creative works.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Mr Anonymous!

A couple of other people have suggested I do that. The thing is: I don’t know how to go about it, not automatically at least.

True, I could place a ‘Buy it Now’ button leading straight to PayPal - just as I have installed a ‘donate’ button, installed within the side bar – and then post a PDF version via email to the purchaser, but this would involve my direct participation in the process and also introduce a delay between the point of purchase and the purchaser receiving his or her copy. I rather suspect many purchases to be so-called impulse buys (I know that to have been true of myself, back in the day when such material came off the top shelf of the local newsagent / tobacconist shop).

My anonymous friend is right, though, about my being able to reduce the cover price and what he says about the slice taken by the middle men. When I first started to use LULU they charged very little for electronic downloads and what they DID charge was a flat fee. But LULU got greedy and the fee went up and up and now is no longer a flat fee but rather is a percentage of the cover price and attracts a rather high (in relative terms) minimum charge. A while back (for a limited period over last Christmas and New Year) I wanted to give away one of my titles free, gratis and for nothing, but to have done so through LULU would have cost ME money!!! In the case of the first six of my books distributed via a publisher, the publisher himself takes 50% - and that’s 50% of the proceeds AFTER the transactional site (whether Amazon or what have you) takes their cut! Of the proceeds coming from the last book I put out - which I self-published on Amazon – Amazon takes 30% and where a copy is downloaded from Amazon’s USA, the American Inland Revenue Service (IRS) takes 30%, even though I don’t earn enough overall to have to pay income tax in the UK.

If I were to market direct from the blog or website I could afford to charge perhaps half the present cover price for any given title as charged on Amazon et al.

Thanks for your praise re the titles you have read, by the way!