New year, new business model
Paid subscriptions are the first stop on my path to global domination
Today I’m excited, nervous, uncertain, and a little uncomfortable to launch paid subscription tiers for Field Research.
How it works
Public Shareholder Tier
You are here.
If you do nothing except delete this message you’ll remain a Public Shareholder and continue to receive a story on most Fridays.
Common Shareholder Tier
Cost: $5 per month, or $48 per year if paid upfront
If you choose to upgrade your subscription and become a Common Shareholder, you’ll receive those same articles, plus:
Periodic paywalled stories — probably around eight to twelve per year — which will include topical, news-driven satire, NSFW dark comedy, and deranged fiction unsuitable for classy publications
Full access to my entire archive of over sixty-five stories
Exclusive access to paid subscriber threads, chats, and mailbags (remember that idea!)
Membership in a vibrant community of brilliant, sophisticated smartasses
Other fancy benefits as I dream them up
Preferred Shareholder Tier
Cost: $84 per year (or more!) if paid upfront
Owing to the remote possibility you might be a Field Research superfan, you can become a Preferred Shareholder by making a one-time annual payment of $48 or more.
For example, I’ve suggested $84 annually — seven bucks per month amortized — but any one-time annual payment over $48 should propel you into this elite upper echelon.
Preferred Shareholders will receive all Public and Common Shareholder benefits, plus:
I’ll name a character after you in one of my stories
I’ll name a character after your child/children in one of my stories
Other super, duper, fancy, extravagant, exclusive benefits as I dream them up
Important note: If you’re experiencing financial hardship, or are a current high schoolor undergraduate student, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up with a free gift subscription.
Why am I launching paid tiers?
Also: We’ve all unfortunately been conditioned to think internet “content” should be “free.” But as an independent, unaffiliated rando I don’t — nor will I ever — sell adsor mine, repackage, and pawn your personal data.
I just write.
To ensure my stories stay RZA-razor sharp, and merit your precious time and attention, I spend twenty-plus hours each week researching, drafting, crafting, and revising.
Paid subscriptions value my effort and allow me (and you people) to invest in my future writing endeavors.
Also: While I debated it fiercely — and generally want to ensure almost all of my stories remain accessible to everyone — introducing a paywall will allow me to experiment with even edgier and more ridiculous ideas.
For example, I’ve flirted with a piece called “One-sided conversations with unmedicated sixth graders.” Anyone who owns or knows a sixth grader is familiar with the venomous bile that emanates from their mouth.
To do such a concept justice I’d need to generously deploy expletives and verbal invective, and I’d prefer to administer such abuse only to masochists who intentionally and willingly paid for the privilege.
Also: The Federal Reserve set your money on fire, so you might as well spend it before it’s gone. Thanks, Obama.
How I’ll use your hard-earned cash
Any proceeds generated from operating this newsletter will go toward the following:
Attending writing conferences and covering travel-related expenses
Submission fees to writing contests and competitions
Investing in multimedia tools to expand and enhance the Field Research offering (e.g., Podcast or voiceover anyone?)
Purchasing books or related subscription services (e.g., Audible, Scribd)
Paid subscriptions to other Substack newsletters
Any theoretical cash remaining after funding said activities will surely be spent at Costco.
How to upgrade
Click this button:
Choose your tier and enter your credit card information.
Note: I don’t personally receive any payment-related information!
Also, so you fully understand the newsletter value chain, Substack takes a ten percent cut of all payments, and Stripe — which processes the credit card transactions — takes roughly three percent. I net the rest. #Middlepeople
Look, I have no illusions of getting rich — or even surviving — from writing this newsletter.
First, I’m not already famous.
And second, I’m unwilling to nuke my integrity by enflaming the culture war, or by cynically positioning myself as a faux, centrist intellectual, or by conjuring up and spreading smooth-brained conspiracy theories, or by peddling vaccine and medical disinformation to a willfully ignorant public. The mutants who commit such atrocities are rich because crime pays.
I will, however, continue to skewer and ridicule those mutants, and it will be hilarious.
So, if you’re willing to support my writing with a paid subscription — awesome!
If not, you can always help me out by sharing your favorite stories with friendlies and enemies alike, and by leaving comments and providing feedback.
Above all, thank you for reading each week!
I’m looking forward to another dark, deranged, dystopian year together.
What are your thoughts?
What do you make of this so-called “business plan”? Love it? Hate it? Have any better ideas to offer? Let me know.
Like most things in life, plans are subject to change.
This Friday (free for all!)
Let’s kick off the new year in style with the next entry in “The talks.”
I’m paywalling portions of the archive because I root for the villains in movies.
If anyone has access to Elon Musk’s or Jeff Bezos’ credit cards feel free to max them out. I have a no refund policy.
This tier would be much more valuable if I was famous. Then, I could promise to sing Happy Birthday to your kid or cuckold your spouse.
If you’re under fifteen you really shouldn’t be reading this shit. Where are your parents FFS?
Bidding for Field Research ad space begins at $1 million per year.
Similar challenge for “One-sided conversations with unmedicated drivers.”