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Marla Mason

Broken Mirrors, Donation Models, etc.

The response to my straw poll was quite positive. So it looks like Broken Mirrors will happen, though I'm not entirely sure when. I could start writing it as soon as next month, and posting it a month or two after that, depending on how well the writing goes. I've thought about the book a lot -- I mean, I expected to write it last year -- so I don't think it'll be too tough.

Still pondering the donations model. Doing it like I did with Bone Shop -- free to read, pay whatever you want -- is certainly easiest. The hostageware thing (where I only post a new chapter if I get paid enough for the last chapter) works well for some writers, but I'd feel bad for the people who did pay if donations fell off and it didn't all get posted.

So I'm thinking I might offer premiums for donations at various levels. Something like this (not final, subject to change, might do something completely different, etc.):


Here's what you get, in addition to free chapters. (Every successive level also includes the goodies from the previous levels, so the more you give, the more you get)

Below $10: My heartfelt thanks, because it really does add up.

$10 and up: Your name in the acknowledgments of the print version and online.

$25 and up: A signed limited edition chapbook featuring a new, never-before-published Marla Mason story, to be sent by the end of 2010. It won't be a short-short, either.

$50 and up: A free, signed print copy of Broken Mirrors, also probably out by year's end.

$300 and up: I name a character -- or spell, or aircraft, or something else in the book -- after you (or I'll use a name we mutually agree upon). Yeah, it's pricy, but if I set the threshold too low, I'll end up with all my characters named after people's cats, which could get silly. (And if you donate this right before the last chapter goes live, well, I'll do my best to squeeze your name in somewhere!)

$5,000 and up: I'll dedicate the book to you.

$10,000 and up: I'll hand-deliver a print copy to your door and make you a nice dinner at a time of our mutual agreement and do a reading for you and your friends, if you want.

Amounts are cumulative, so if you do many small donations, you get rewards based on the total you donated during the months the book is being posted.

What do you think?



The 10,000$ option is only for domestic destinations or is valid overseas?

Now seriously, I think the idea is awesome. A wide range of interesting options. I will certainly make a donation (I already did for Bone Shop), but I still have to decide the amount.
Probably only domestic, with a stipulation that overseas travel will require payment of travel expenses. (Not that it's likely, but I'll cover my bases...)

I like it!

I think this is more than fair. I especially like the $300 and up one - neat idea! Would you be using Paypal?

Re: I like it!

Yep, paypal. And encouraging people to send checks and greasy wads of cash.

Re: I like it!

Excellent! I'll get to greasing some cash posthaste!


Dude, totally in for at least the $25 level and very likely more. Stoked!
That works for me! A chapbook would be a huge bonus for me. :D
Excellent breakdown. I hope it works out well.
Good plan. I'm ready to sign up.


Totally in for at least $25

Kinda tempted by the $50+ level since I'd want a print copy.... :-)


Re: Totally in for at least $25

I'll also make print copies generally available through Lulu.com or something, but I thought signed copies might be a nice bonus.
I will definitely donate at least $25, maybe $50 if I can find that much to donate.
I'm SO in! For somewhere in the $25-50 range... I really love the chapbook idea. :)
Yup, works for me Tim. I like it. The more you donate, the more you get. Makes sense.

I think you're a pioneer in different ways for authors to write the stories readers want and get paid for your work.


Count me in at $50! I'm so excited that you're doing this!
Sounds like a great plan, man. I'm definitely in for at least $50. Yay! New Marlafiction!

So this will take place right after Spell Games, yes?
Yep, direct sequel. Marla drags Rondeau off to try to save Bradley Bowman from his fate. Terrible unintended consequences ensue.
Awesome. I can't wait. :)


Woo hoo!!! Great news :o) count me in for sure. I've missed Marla so much. Xx


Living abroad...

I like the $50 option. The question is: does it matter if the donor lives outside the USA? I live in Spain, you know...

Re: Living abroad...

I might make it $60 for overseas destinations to help cover shipping, yeah. Thinking about that.
Hello. I'm the naysayer from Twitter. :-) I'd like to see this work, so I just bought a copy of Blood Engines (Kindle edition, of course) so I can get started on the series. If all goes well, count me in.
Thanks for coming by! Hope you like Blood Engines.
I like getting dead tree versions of things so I like the $50 version.


book 5

I personally would love to see book 5 happen. Now that I'm hooked on the series, you can get me to pony up a fair bit more than I'd otherwise be willing to provide. Also, I like the idea that it would all be going directly to you, the author. Something nice about that.
I like this model, and I think the "amounts are cumulative" idea is a particularly good one.

I wonder if there's something you could do multiple times for multiple $10 or $25 donations. 'Cause say someone donates $25, and then a few installments later they donate $25 again; after that, donating another $25 doesn't get them another premium until they get to the $300 level. (Well, I guess you could send multiple copies of the chapbook.)

So if you had some other item or action that you could do one of for every $25 donation, say, that might encourage more donations in the middle range between the premium milestones.

Just a thought; may be too much trouble or may not make any sense.
Sure, I'm open to suggestions. :)


Chapbook + Signed Copy

Hi there,

if i donate the $50 (well $60 in my case since i'm living in Germany right now) would i be getting the chapbook as well as the signed copy, or just the signed copy of Broken Mirrors? If it's the latter, what will it take for both :), need to get my hands on more Marla stuff.

But definately count me in for the overseas signed copy.

Thanks for doing this by the way,

Re: Chapbook + Signed Copy

Chapbook too! And a mention in the acknowledgments. All levels of donation would include the cheaper levels, too. (So someone who pays to have their name appear in the book would also get a free copy and chapbook and acknowledgment, etc.)


I also live in Spain and I would be very interested in the 50$ (or 60$) option if it is delivered overseas :)
Yaaaaaaaay! ^_^ I was so upset when I got to the end of Spell Games and then found out there would not be more books published! So this is excellent news. And when I finally have money, I will be glad to donate! :D
Count me in for the $50 at least--I'm totally hooked on Marla. I wanna be her when I grow up. *grin* Brilliant idea!
so, how much for the chapbook overseas? :)
Maybe 5 more bucks? It won't weigh as much as a book...
At least $25 here.


I was looking around online for book 6 and I'm glad I found this...

That format is awesome. If you do go ahead and start accepting donation for book 6, be it paypal or check, I will certainly give you money. It's a shame that it's not going to go through your previous publisher (I think it's a shame at least, I don't know the full the story), but the fact you're willing to write it out for those of us who are dying to know next is awesome.



I love it. I'll try my damndest to get that dinner, damn !



Are those prices in single donation form? What if I could do, like, $20 a month?

Re: Hmm...

Nope, they're cumulative -- I'll keep track of your total and reward you accordingly!



I want a physical copy of the book, so could you put me down for that and let me know what I need to pay you, as I live in England.

Re: Donate

Well, I'd put you on the mailing list, but you didn't leave an e-mail address or username...
Marla Mason

February 2011

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