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A Short Service Announcement.
From this week, and on an experimental basis, I’m enabling paid subscriptions for those who may be interested. The essays themselves will continue to be entirely free, and I don’t have plans to produce subscriber-only material. I’ve also set up a Buy Me a Coffee cup.
When I first started writing these essays a year and a half ago, I hoped vaguely for a few thousand readers and maybe a couple of hundred subscribers. I was somewhat doubtful that many people would want to plough through long, dense articles on complex subjects, even if those subjects were important. To my surprise and pleasure, there has been far more interest than that, and many regular readers have also produced thoughtful, substantive comments of their own, which, I’m told, people often find as interesting as the essays themselves. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a lot of encouraging comments privately: some as simple as “thank you.” And as you will have seen, Spanish and Italian translations of the essays are now appearing as well.
I then started to be notified that people were pledging money against possible future subscriptions. I had no idea this was possible (I had no thoughts of monetising the essays when I started) but I now have quite a large collection of pledges, and at a very minimum it would be discourteous not to acknowledge them. Therefore.
In principle, and assuming I can get everything to work, then from tomorrow my essays will include a polite notice that, for anyone who thinks it worthwhile, paid subscriptions are available. But the essays will continue to be free, and I don’t have the time to produce subscriber-only material, nor, I suspect, do many of you want to read even more words from me. The subscriptions are simply available as gestures of support for those who wish to show it. I am in the fortunate position of having other sources of income, so I don’t depend on writing to put food on the table. I will therefore set the subscription rates at the lowest possible level. I know that there are many people who are not in a position to subscribe anyway, and I value your readership and your comments just as much. For those who may want to make an occasional small gesture, I will include a link to a mechanism enabling you to buy me a coffee. Finally, if it’s clear that the enthusiasm simply isn’t there, I will close down the payment option after a decent interval.
Thanks again to all the readers, to all the commenters, and for all the kind words and messages of encouragement.