Monetizing Posts at Writer Unboxed for Regular Contributors: How and Why

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Today, we’d like to introduce you to our newest feature at Writer Unboxed: tinyCoffee. TinyCoffee allows us to embed code at the end of our posts, providing you with an option to make a small donation–in line with the cost of a cup of coffee–to the author of that day’s post.

Do you have to use it? Of course not; only if you’re so inclined. But we’re sincerely happy to have a way to offer you this option, and we hope you’ll feel compelled to at least occasionally reward those who generously donate their time to create this site’s rich and empowering content–especially when a post resonates with you and/or you know a lot went into writing it.

We’ve already taken steps to make this feature more user-friendly based upon early critique. Now you can donate as little as $2 to the author of a post, and the font no longer screams at you IN GIGANTIC TYPE. That was our fault, by the way, and not developer Arūnas Liuiza’s, so don’t blame him.

Speaking of Arūnas Liuiza, we want to give him a public shout-out for working with us to customize tinyCoffee for use by our ~50 contributors, when it was originally intended to work with only one person. We’ve donated a goodly number of cuppas to Arūnas in the process, all richly deserved–he made our transaction easy and rewarding–and we hope to work with him again on future initiatives.

You can see tinyCoffee in action in some of our more recent posts, including articles by monthly contributors Dan Blank, John Vorhaus, Barbara O’Neal, and Porter Anderson.

Why is WU doing this?

It seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it, to at least offer the option for readers to give directly to the content creators of this site? We thought so, too. We found a way to make it happen via tinyCoffee and Arūnas’s perfect customizations, so here we are. Easy as pie coffee.

Can I contribute more than $2?

Yes. There’s a sliding bar that will let you choose a $2 donation, a $4 donation (the default), on up to a $20 donation if you want the author of that day’s post to get a serious coffee buzz. (Note: All of Porter’s money will go toward Campari.)

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Is all of the money received by the author of that day’s post? [Read more…]

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About

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Enjoy the day, all of you dads out there!

Thank you to Debbie Ohi, illustrator extraordinaire and author of Where Are My Books?, for a picture-perfect comic.

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About

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.

It’s Important to Give Back: Q&A with Brenda Novak

brendanovakToday we are excited to have a Q&A with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak, author of more than fifty books, including This Heart of Mine. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion.

Brenda also runs various fundraisers for diabetes research. To date, she’s raised $2.4 million.

Since my son was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of five, I’ve been compelled to do something to help him and all people who are fighting a similar battle. Every year, I orchestrate a big fundraiser. This year, I’ve curated three box sets, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Talk, and Sweet Seduction, that I’m selling to raise money for research.

Connect with Brenda on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

It’s Important to Give Back: Q&A with Brenda Novak

Q: How did you come up with the idea—fundraising for diabetes—in the first place? 

A: My youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 at five years old. When that happened, I knew enough about the disease to realize that he’d need constant care and that care wouldn’t be comfortable for him. But I didn’t realize the number of terrible side effects that go hand-in-hand with this dreaded disease. I don’t think a lot of people are familiar with that aspect (I had a friend tell me, right after he was diagnosed, that it wouldn’t be a big deal—I just had to give him insulin). Once I knew what my son was up against, I decided I was going to do all I could to protect him—to fight back in an effort to improve my son’s life and the lives of all those who are suffering as he is. So for ten years I ran Brenda Novak’s Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research at brendanovak.com, through which I raised (with the help of all those who supported me) $2.4 million. 

Q: What made you turn the focus from an auction to a book sale?

A: With nearly 2,000 items being auctioned off every year, my annual auctions were big events. They had a lot of moving parts and required a great deal of coordination—not to mention that it wasn’t always easy to go back to my friends and associates, year after year, to ask them to donate an item I could put up for bid. Now that the digital age has come into its own, other options—options that require much less time yet have just as much or more potential—are now available to me.

Q: You decided on boxed sets—three of them. What was your thinking behind this choice? [Read more…]

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About

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Comic by Debbie Ohi

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About

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.

Writer Unboxed Live! Panel at the Writer’s Digest Conference (+ discount code)

If you’ll be attending the Writer’s Digest conference–held in NYC from July 31st through August 2nd–please stop by to say hello; Writer Unboxed will be there. Our Live! panel is still in development, but here’s what we know at this point.

  • Eight WU contributors will make up the panel, including Porter Anderson, Brunonia Barry, Dan Blank, Erika Robuck, Vaughn Roycroft, Therese Walsh, and Heather Webb. The eighth is mostly confirmed at this point, and his name rhymes with Donald Maass.
  • This will be an interactive experience. You and us. Us and you. We may even start asking you the questions. Goal: create possibilities where before you may have sensed road blocks.
  • Our ID code for a $25 group discount is WRITERUNBOXED, (Note that the WD conference website asks for the ID code at the start of the process rather than during check out.)

Finally, a brag. We’re thrilled to announce that WU made the Writer’s Digest list of top sites for writers for the 9th year in a row. We’re on that list with friends like:

Jane Friedman‘s site
Debbie Ohi’s Inkygirl
Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds
Amy Sue Nathan’s Women’s Fiction Writers
Victoria Strauss’s Writer Beware
Writers in the Storm

There are dozens of additional resources listed. Learn about all of them in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest.

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We hope to see you in NYC! Write on.

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About

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.