It’s a tricky topic in the world of bloggery. Does it cheapen a blog? Is it selling out? The answer is a hard “sometimes.” We wanted to avoid being one of those “sometimes” where the whole blog goes to hell one day when readers arrive to find crazy ads plastered all over the site, with a tiny sliver of content still buried somewhere. I hate blogs like that. So much.
Yet . . . we do work really hard on our content. We do a lot of reading and researching, and then, the writing–and the re-writing–and the editing–and everyone likes to make a little bit of extra scratch for a rainy day. Or for when we need to buy books, because we always need to buy books. We didn’t get to be called booksluts for nothing.
A blogger can monetize a blog in various ways. Pay-per-click ads, such as AdSense, is one way. I immediately reject that. For one, it puts the onus of our blog’s profitability on our readers. I hate that. I just want readers to be able to come and read. Another way is to do “sponsored” blog posts. There is no way that’s ever going to happen here–well, that’s not true. If someone wants to pay me a million dollars, I will write a sponsored post. Then I will take my portion of the earnings and retire somewhere exciting, like Paris or Argentina. I figure that the likelihood of some eccentric millionaire paying me for my bloggery skills is probably pretty low, so I’m going to go ahead and say it will never happen.
(But seriously, if you’re an eccentric millionaire, call me.)
I wrestled with this for a long time. On the one hand, a few extra bucks would go a long way toward growing IB and being able to implement some of the cool plans we’ve been hatching. On the other hand, I refuse to be a douche about it. Then, I visited the Regretsy CF4L site one day (password: CF4L) and I saw something awesome. She offers low-cost sidebar ads for indie crafters. I knew immediately that I wanted to offer independents in the book world a place to advertise–a place where anybody on any budget could run an ad. It would be good for everyone involved: we could raise some IB capital, independents could advertise to actual readers, and readers would get better-quality ads than bullshit ones that just scan your cookies and regurgitate whatever thing you were just looking at on Amazon or Google. Best of all, we could be booksluts without being blogging whores.
I think it’s a win.
I hope nobody is disappointed with our decision to accept advertising. I do promise that the ads will 1) never be intrusive, 2) never be blinky or flashy or pop over the content and make you click things just to read a post (because that? IS ANNOYING), and 3) never, ever affect our content–even if someone buys an ad, they won’t get preferential treatment when it comes to reviews or my flaming rage of truth. (I actually put that in the terms, minus the flaming rage of truth part.) I will also be personally curating ads to make sure they’re not going to a spam site, porno site, or any other site that you wouldn’t ever want to go to from here. I want all the ads to lead to things that you could actually want in your life.
This is all, of course, assuming that I haven’t alienated just about everyone in the book industry with my Reading Rage Tuesday posts. I regret nothing.
If you’re a book-producing or book-selling indie (and indie author also includes authors published by indie presses, just want to clarify that now), please check out our advertising page to view our terms and our rates. If you’re a reader, just keep right on readin’. That’s all we ever want you to do.