I’ve joined Substack. I’ve started a newsletter – it’s called “Sounds Good!” It’s a subscription-model. Straight away I am asking you to pay. I don’t feel bad about this because you do not have to pay. You can choose to not receive the newsletter. And nothing that I write here at Off The Tracks is going behind any sort of paywall or disappearing – nor is it going to be repurposed for a paid post at Substack.
Off The Tracks continues. Sweetman Podcast continues. You access those for free – or you can contribute to an ongoing Press Patron if you would like to support the delivery of those things – maybe you listen to the podcast but don’t read much of the writing. Maybe you read the posts but you’re not a podcast person and either way you want to support those endeavours with an ongoing monthly or one-off contribution. I am so grateful to anyone that has offered money or continues to contribute.
But the Substack newsletter is different. It will be its own thing. I won’t be sharing it about on social media the way I do the regular Off The Tracks posts. I won’t be writing about it here at all (after today). And I totally understand if you are not interested in paying for content. Or if you’re very happy with our prior arrangement: Me Write, You Read. No money changes hands. As far as Off The Tracks and my social media posts are concerned that deal is fixed. I decided I would charge for the newsletter straight away because I have spent many years giving away a lot of content – happily of course. But I also need to generate an income. This feels like the happy medium. Make some writing for free. Make some writing for money. Make all of it with love and with the utmost honest intention of connecting, of processing, of sharing and understanding the cultural obsessions that drive me and so many of us.
Sounds Good!” will arrive in the inboxes of paid-up subscribers three times a week.
Monday’s post will be about Movies/TV. Wednesday’s will be about books/writing/literature. And Friday’s little something for the weekend will be music-focussed.
If anything they will be more in line with the blog posts I wrote for Stuff.co.nz way back in the day (Blog On The Tracks). But the tone will be positive, it is about curating and sharing ideas and recommendations; it is about building a community. If you’re a subscriber then you’re a contributor, not just financially. Those that pay can have a say. You will help steer conversations and make recommendations for topics.
It is $5 a month or $50 for an annual sub. My hope is that is reasonable. And my thanks to those that have already signed up.