If a patron buys from an artist who needs money (needs money to buy tools, time, food), the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates. - Ezra Pound
In days of yore, artists tried to attract patrons; that is, noblemen or other wealthy individuals who would give them money to live on. The artist was expected to produce poems or paintings or concerti or whatever for the patron, and the rest of the time (barring the occasional cathedral ceiling or requiem mass) was left to putter on his own to produce Great Things; the best patrons required little in return for their generosity, while others were more demanding. Modern governments and corporations still give out grants, but since these are determined by bureaucratic politics or commercial considerations it isn’t really the same; these entities tend to expect certain results, and on a timetable at that, so there’s little room for the recipient to follow his own path while somebody else pays the bills. So I’m really very lucky in having a husband who believes in my work and trusts me enough that he’s willing to pay the bills while I do my thing. Still, he’s not a prince or a cardinal, so it would be nice to have some extra funds coming in to finish building our house and the like; I’ve therefore come up with a few ways that those of you who would like to indulge your inner Medici can do so, on a small scale.
First of all, there’s my book; if you haven’t bought a copy yet here’s your chance! Its list price on Amazon is $15.95 US, but there’s a slight discount so it actually won’t cost you quite that much. It’s also available for £9.95 in the UK and €11.95 in France, Germany and Italy. Readers in other countries will need to order it from the Amazon branch which gives them the best price and service, or directly from CreateSpace (international shipping applies); it’s also available on Kindle for $8 US. Starting today, you’ve got another option: you can buy an autographed copy directly from me for $25 if you live in the US, $30 if you live in Canada and $35 if you live anywhere else; the price includes shipping, which is why it’s more outside the US. If you want an autographed copy but don’t want to pay that much (and as a thrifty soul myself I totally understand that), you can get one from me for $16 at one of the many book signings I plan to do this summer as I tour across the US. The launch will be held at the Healthy Rhythm Community Art Gallery in Fairfield, Texas on April 17th, from 6:30-8:30 PM, but the main tour will start six weeks later at the end of May. Here’s a VERY TENTATIVE schedule; I’ll replicate this on a tour calendar page which will be updated as things change or become confirmed:
|San Francisco, CA
||May 31st – June 4th
|Los Angeles, CA
|Las Vegas, NV
|Oklahoma City, OK
||June 29th-July 3rd
|St. Louis, MO
||July 30th-August 1st
|New York, NY
|New Orleans, LA
And that brings us to another way you can help me. Since my book was self-published, I don’t have the resources of a publishing company to organize events; if you live in any of these cities or even within a couple of hours’ drive of them, I would love your advice and input about events I should attend, places that would like to host a book signing or have me speak, etc. If you own or manage a business or organization and would like to hold an event for me, please contact me ASAP so we can work out the details; if you aren’t the boss but still think you could arrange it, let me know that too! I want to meet as many of my readers as possible and attend as many events as possible so this tour will be a success.
Finally, there’s one more new avenue of patronage: in the right-hand column under the calendar and subscription button, you’ll see a new box labeled “Become a Blog Patron”. I’ve created four different subscription levels: 10¢ per day ($36.50 annually), 25¢ per day ($7.75 monthly), 50¢ per day ($15.50 monthly), and $1 per day ($31.00 monthly). If you want to make a one-time donation, just click on the button of the amount you want to give, wait for it to clear your bank or credit card and then click on “unsubscribe” so it won’t draft again. If you prefer to give me a gift instead of cash, you can get something from my Amazon wish list. And pretty soon I’ll be opening up an auxiliary web page with other merchandise like T-shirts and coffee mugs, so keep your eyes out for that.
As I’ve said before with regard to my wish list, I do not ever expect my readers to give me anything or pay for me to write; this blog was not intended as a commercial venture, and it never will be. I will never carry any advertising, and soon I’ll be upgrading my WordPress package so you won’t see any ads from them, either. There is nothing I hate more than seeing winking, flashing, jumping bullshit slathered all over a web page, and I will never subject my readers to that. But many readers have asked how they can help, and many have been generous with gifts; many have urged me to write books and install a donate button. So if you can afford to show your appreciation in a concrete way and would like to do so, now you can; if you can’t or prefer not to, that’s fine too. This blog is my art and my calling, not a business, and I think of anything y’all choose to send as gifts, not fees or earnings. All I ask is that you spread the word if you like my work; anything more is strictly optional, and totally at your discretion. I appreciate all my faithful readers, because every day y’all reward my work with the gift of your time and attention.
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