It’s Hard to Ask for Help
It’s a bit unnerving that in today’s world, we have to be so open about our needs from outside sources. If you’re an independent or freelance anything, you eventually get used to it. You have to. Even if you get butterflies in your stomach (like I have this very moment) when you put out the call: PLEASE PAY ME. But that’s how it is.
It’s bound to be a whole lot easier for Kickstarter or other project-oriented crowdfunding. You, as the consumer, are basically pre-ordering something. And as the creator, you’re doing more of the regular financial tasks of the “company” even if that’s only you. Here’s this thing. Let me sell it to you even if it’s not ready yet.
All too often, I see PayPal, Kofi, or Cash.me tweets from people who not only would appreciate the gratuity for their wit and insight, but for the basics like needing to fuel their car to get to their job or appointment or buy a cheap (probably unhealthy) dinner. It’s depressing. It’s real.
Speaking for myself, I know the Vodka O’Clock Podcast took a dive this year while I spent all the time that went into the show on my yoga work. It’s probably a lot healthier for me to focus on movement, meditation, and philosophy than it is to nag people about their schedules, fight with Skype, and then produce a decent show. Don’t get me wrong — I love podcasting and don’t want to stop. But, if people can’t commit to a date and time to record, I’m just going to let it go. I tried to hard this year to get people on the show. LOTS of people. I know Life™ gets in the way for everyone whether it’s job loss, divorce, moving, anxiety, or the good stuff like having so much work you can’t spare an hour. I felt like I chased people this year and things still fell through. That includes authors and comic creators. So if people don’t get back to me after I ask them for a date and time, I refuse to stress out about it. I’m not going to run the show like I used to on a weekly or biweekly schedule. It’s whenever there’s something to talk about.
Ways to Support My Life and Work:
- Patreon – This is where I post weekly cat detective stories. I also include updates on novels or other things I happen to be doing. Rewards roll out in different ways. When it comes to new books, I send them based on cumulative or lifetime contributions not the “tiers”. Whenever I do get a podcast done, I give it to all patrons first.
- PayPal Tips – Since being banned from PayPal years ago, I can’t actually link my banking details to a PP account. Instead, I can give and receive funds but in order for me to get the funds out, I have to have them mail me a check. I don’t care as long as it’s money.
- Amazon Gift Cards – I always end up managing a wish list throughout the year and you aren’t compelled to send me a random thing like a book, gift cards can go a long way because I can even get Gus things or household items.
- Buy My Books – Specifically the books I’ve written solo because when I write short stories for anthologies, on the rare occasion it’s a paid piece, it’s usually a single payment agreement. My authored books include the Farrah Wethers Mysteries, Misty Murder, and Bear Roots. You can paperbacks of my books at Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or a small book retailer; but, you would have to special order it through them.
Charities and Other Stuff That Always Needs Support:
- ALS Association – I created the Stacy Korn Fund to honor my friend who lost her struggle to this hellacious disease in 2018.
- Join My Kiva Team – I periodically remind followers that this exists. Kiva has a robust system for microloans and it includes people and communities all over the world — yes including the U.S. I’ve given 7 loans in total and the team as a whole has given 7 because I didn’t make the team the first time I did it. It’s actually fun to loan such a small amount and basically forget about it for a while; then you check back and see what’s been repaid and sometimes it’s enough to send out another loan. People need everything from farming supplies, toilets, to stock for retail shops or a new roof on their home. You can filter all kinds of ways: by country, category, expiring soon, women-owned business, single parents, and more.
- Ask Libraries to Carry My Books – I know this can be a longshot, but since the books have ISBNs it is possible for libraries to carry them; if they can’t take on the expense, if you have hard copies of books that you don’t have space for, you can try donating them. They usually need you to fill out forms.
- Leave Book Reviews – Amazon and Good Reads are the main places for reviews.
- Shout Out the Love on Social Media – just like reviews, if you love something, tell people about it. If you enjoyed my work, share the links to the book or to the Patreon or show, whatever it was. I started to keep a file – at someone else’s suggestion – of good reviews and posts which can help on those I suck at this and should stop trying days.
- Adopt a Pet for Your Home or Sponsor Wildlife – clearly there are a ton of options here. Wherever you live, there are either going to be animal shelters or foster organizations that can pair you with the right companion. If you can’t adopt, donate something. Money works best for them because they know what they need; but if you do have extras of canned or dry food, litter, old blankets, or wipes — these places are usually in need for supplies. You also sponsor an animal’s adoption fee so someone else looking for a companion can get one even easier! I think that’s an incredibly sweet to help an animal who has been sitting in a confined cage for 6-12 months or sometimes even longer. Sponsor their fees and the shelter will spend more time promoting that critter. As for wildlife, you can look up “adopt an otter/manatee/bobcat, etc.” and find a variety of options. Near us in New Jersey, the Lakota Wolf Preserve has a sponsor/adoption process like that. They send you a photo of the animal.