As everyone I'm sure is aware, our servers suck. We've got some great members who have been willing to help us out so far, but the sad truth is that if we want the site to get to it's full potential we need to figure out a couple of things. One of those is how to continue to fund the site.
Right now, we're looking at a couple of different options. The most obvious option would be to sell t-shirts, and this is an option we're looking into. We're also considering doing things like 17S stickers/bumper stickers or other such things. The question I have for all of you is this: what would you want to see us sell, and how much would you be willing to pay? Keep in mind we wouldn't be able to do things like mistborn symbol t-shirts since those require a license from Brandon. However, custom designs (one that Josh suggested and I loved was a shirt that says "Ask me about Hoid") would be available.
Brandon has also suggested plushies. Personally I love this idea (and I think it's kind of been decided to start out as the monkquitor, but we were also thinking stuffed koloss might be fun), but again this depends on interest. Would anyone want to have a stuffy? Again, what would be the maximum you'd be willing to pay for something like this?
Another thing we're looking into is google adwords, or a partnership with amazon!fail (and then once we get shardcast going we're also looking at something with audible). I hate ads as much as the rest of you, but it's an option we have to consider. And sadly it's looking more and more like it's going to be a nessary evil. I can tell you though we'd try to make them as unobtrusive as possible. If we do put ads onto the site, is there a place you'd prefer to see them/not see them? (Mind you, there may be some places it'd be impossible to place them. It would also be the most practical to have them on every page, so that's probably what we would end up doing.)
If we do the t-shirts/plushies/any other products we'd probably end up doing a kickstarter (anyone who follows Howard has been hearing a lot about this program, but for more information you can visit http://www.kickstarter.com. What type of "thank you"s would you guys like to see for doing a donation?
Another idea that has been kicked around and most people don't seem to like is that of a premium membership. The thought was that you pay a small amount a year to get things like early access to news, special t-shirts, or something like that. I've heard people asking for it, and I've heard of other people shout loudly against it, with great arguments for both sides, so I thought I'd let you the people decide. Would most of you hate the idea? Love it? If you did want a pay content type thing, what types of things would you want to see being offered?
Is there anything else you would like to see us offer? Any other products you think it'd be cool to be able to pick up? Special offers you think we could do? (For example, even though it's not possible right now I had a guy at the release party suggest a thing where you sign up to have an account and deposit X into said account. From there any time a new book is released you automatically get a copy of the book sent to you, so you don't miss out on any of the new releases, but you also don't have to stay up on top of the latest news.) On the other side is there something you don't ever want to see us doing?
We love this community, and want to hear your opinions. Please, chime in and let us know what you think! Even if it's just a question, please let us know. The more feedback and ideas we have, the better understanding we will have of what direction to go in!