Thirty bucks?! You must be joking!
Well, I’m not joking. Not at all. But while I was trying to come up with the right price for Jer’s Novel Writer, I came to realize that there is no right price, or, rather, that the right price is different for different people. Rather than come up with a complex structure with separate prices for students, AARP members and one-eyed dogs, I thought it would be more fun and better in the end if we haggled for a bit.
In a nutshell, you contact me, tell me what you think is a fair price and why, and then I give you a secret code. You click the donate button, enter the code, and the key is yours! Then you write a best-selling novel, get rich and famous, and introduce me to your agent. It’s win-win!
Remember: A haggle has two components: an offer, and a justification, not necessarily in that order.
Send your messages to email@example.com. Reading the guidelines below will help you.
I’ve turned off even the haggle donation button now; I just can’t in good conscience accept money for something I haven’t worked on for so long. THANK YOU for your good wishes. If I manage to shed my day job we’ll get this puppy up and running again!
That said, if you do want to say thank you, please consider supporting my most recent literary experiment on Patreon:
Notes on successful haggling:
You’re a writer, aren’t you? Let’s see what you can do! Is your haggle worthy of the Haggle Hall of Fame? Did I laugh or cry, read it again, savor the imagery, and change the sorry course of my life? Don’t be afraid of the haggle, embrace it and go with it. Review of Monty Python’s Life of Brian before you start may be helpful.
After all I’ve done for you…
This is the best approach, assuming you have done something for The Hut. Helping to build the community in the forums, suggesting ideas for future development, reporting bugs, and all that stuff is the fastest way to my heart. Spreading the word about Jer’s Novel Writer in some tangible way is also good.
This is the approach the elite beta testing force can use with great success.
With all I could do for you…
A haggle that started “Hi, this is Steve Jobs, and I want to include a copy of your software on every Mac we sell. Can you give me a discount?” would certainly do the trick (assuming, of course, you’re not lying). Are you in a position to help spread the Jer’s Novel Writer love? Perhaps you’re a teacher who often influences the software your students use. Perhaps you’re a novelist and you’ll mention Jer’s Novel Writer in the acknowledgements of your next blockbuster.
If you are qualified, you could also offer to provide services directly that improved the software.
The usual reasons
Students, teachers, one-eyed dogs, and the like could reasonably ask for a fairly steep price break. I would appreciate it if you didn’t bullshit me. Providing at least some sort of evidence you are who you say you are would help me sleep better at night.
Make my day! A meaningful endorsement I can put up on the Web site is even better.
“I’m poor” won’t get much sympathy
Come on, we’re writers. Of course we’re poor. But you are a writer, right? If you want the “I’m poor” angle to work, you’ve got to sell it:
“I haven’t eaten in four days and I’m running out of strength to pedal the generator to power my beloved Mac while I write you this email…”
I like reading things. A copy of your previously published work or the promise of future copies would be very nice, and it’s a way defer part of your payment until such a time as you’re actually published. Be creative. What do you have that I might need? No live chickens, please.
Buy the company
Don’t like my price? Then you really won’t like what I would ask for the company. Still, if that’s the way you want to go…
Now get crackin’!
That haggle isn’t going to write itself, now is it? Enjoy your favorite chemistry-altering beverage and get writing!
First of all, Jer, are you quite certain you’re not interested in live chickens? How about dead ones? (Not sure what the mailing procedure for that is but I imagine it’s not nearly as fun as trying to Fed-E a live clucker). How about a lifetime supply of meat from your favorite grocer? (I cannot obtain that for you; I’m just curious about where you’re at as regards “needs.”)
So, in the name of getting this haggle on, I want to share where I’m “at” and what I feel your program is worth.
I am a 38 year old mother of four who is currently attending Western Governors University to pursue my teaching credential. I will likely specialize in Special Education although I want to teach folks of multiple ability levels. My preference is to work in a low income area.
I’ve always had a passion for words and their creative use, especially as they relate to moving the heart, mind, or spirits of others. I have, on a couple occasions in high school 🙂 been recognized for my word-crafting skill on a county-wide level… quite the feather in my cap. I have fallen into and out of this passion many times over the years based on whatever life challenges I was dealing with at the time. But the out-times were usually miserable at best. Consequently, I don’t fall out any more.
Currently, I am a semi-starving college student, whose unemployment claim has been terminated, recently parted company with a noncontributing male with whom I lived for two and a half years, found residence with an equally impoverished step-sister, and am selling drugs in order to make ends meet. (Kidding on the drug part but the rest is true.
I think that your program is worth much, much more than the suggested retail price. I would gladly pay three times that amount but I am, in two words, flat broke. I can likely pay in installments, so would like to put the ball back in your court. What do you want to charge me for JNW? Let me know and we can take it from there.
Oh, and the best confirmation I can provide for my enrollment at school is my school email addy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Until later, enjoy your right to write!
Thanks! That’s a fine haggle indeed. On the subject of meat products, I’m willing to be flexible, but anything I have to feed and/or kill isn’t going to be a big plus. My little apartment just isn’t equipped for that kind of thing. I think some of the neighbors might be able to help out, though.
I responded to the actual haggle via email. I look forward to hearing from you.