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Interesting to learn how the sausage gets made.

I do think Substack and its readers and writers must be missing out by not allowing the readers to buy individual articles, and setting the minimum at £5 a month. It's quite hard to justify to one's self paying £5 a month for an unspecified number of pay-walled articles. This is my only paid for substack now as it's consistently very good. I'd like to get a few more, but for less than the same money as two substack subscriptions, I got a year's subscription to The Economist. A different experience, for sure, but plenty more consistently well written content for one's money. Newspapers often offer cut price subscriptions too for less than £5 a month, offering lots of opinion columnists daily plus news, obviously, and puzzles and increasingly subscriber-only events and podcasts too. And one can get a few articles a month for free typically.

I think the minimum Substack subscription of £5 is set too high. If it were more like £3, with an option to buy individual articles at £1-£2, I could imagine spending considerably more on Substack.

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I pay for 3 substacks and I switch them around after a year. I did Tiabbi Razib and Darryl Cooper last year and I'm doing Ed this year and undecided on the other two. My wish is that Substack would offer a "5 subs for the price of 3" type option. I want to support writers I enjoy but it starts to add up. Especially when this comes from the same budgetary line item as Netflix and Hulu etc. Anyway, keep up the great work, Ed. I've been reading you for quite some time, buying your history books on Amazon etc.

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Dec 16, 2023·edited Dec 16, 2023

I can't help thinking that Bryan Caplan has got his ratio wrong or is more interested in getting his message out there than making money since almost all his posts are free and he posts almost every day. Admittedly they are short posts but they're the ones I like! I sometimes feel guilty about taking advantage of his generosity yet not guilty enough to actually become a paying subscriber!

I like Konstantin Kisin but am so familiar with his views from Triggernometry that it hardly seems worth subscribing to his personal Substack.

Aporia and Ed Dutton, after starting off mainly free, both seem to be putting most of their content behind a paywall and at some point I may have to subscribe.

A month ago I became a paying subscriber to Alex Kaschuta's Substack, despite knowing she rarely puts out new content and even that soon soon becomes accessible to the hoipoloi. It was just that she is such a nice person and after having a second child probably needs paying subscribers more than, say, Robin Hanson or Konstantin.

If more of Richard Hanania's stuff was behind a paywall, and to a slightly lesser extent Rob Henderson's, I would perhaps also become a paying subscriber. Yet there comes a saturation point. If I'm going to read everything that arrives in my inbox, mostly free content but also Unherd, The Spectator and The New Culture Forum, it means I have no time to read a novel, something I like to do every once in a while. And unless you read your Substack posts immediately they go stale!

Matt Goodwin is great but I quickly get bored with figures and am less excited about predictions, no matter how accurate, than profound insights into old problems.

Rod Liddle and Douglas Murray seem to have no need for a Substack but would make a killing if they did. I can't go to YouTube without seeing Douglas Murray's face, for which I'm profoundly grateful.

But just as I couldn't bear to miss a new album by Elvis Costello when I was young, now I'm old I can't bear to miss a post by Ed. This Substack is the only one I feel that way about.

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author

Also, forgot to mention there *is* a kindle version of the UK edition of Saxons vs Vikings

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saxons-versus-Vikings-Alfred-England-ebook/dp/B0CPTXFHQV/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

If you like please do review on Amazon or Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/203515515-saxons-versus-vikings

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Mine pays for a monthly artisan beer supply plus some other luxuries. Which is nice for something I'd be doing anyway. Audience capture is the biggest worry. Subscriber growth for me was much faster when I was laying into the left, from a broadly left perspective. People sign up because they feel good about some invective or other that you published and then sign off again when you don't give them more of the same. My reading habit now is to only subscribe to things that offer a variety of perspectives, so that I can avoid being too vibe driven. Fwiw yours is one of very few paid subs I maintain at this point, because it fulfils that criteria.

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founding

I subscribe to Ed because he provides an intellectual platform of great clarity and eloquence (and even occasional wit) from which we can counter the increasingly hard lies of an ideology that has suddenly set around us.

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You're one of three substacks I pay for, Ed. I've just read that one of the others makes $1 million a year, so I assume your earnings are around the same.

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I can't recall how I was drawn to your Substack, probably because I am interested in Saxon England. I subscribe to about a 25 and pay for 5. Honestly, the reason I recently converted to paid on your susbstack is because the good stuff is behind the paywall. There are a few others that are mostly free articles and I would become paid on some of them if they went to mostly behind the paywall.

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You're definitely one of the best writers (stylistically, in your ability to surprise your readers by following your ideas to their endpoints, in your honesty) about "The Way We Live Now"; so much so that I think the subscription is a bargain. I think/hope we're evolving to a world where one makes one's own newspaper: mine is you, Bari Weiss, Matt Goodwin, an English chef who lives in Sweden and a couple who write about AIML/Statistics. It's neither the old model ("Buy this newspaper and support everything it publishes, even the stuff you loathe - mmm, another article about snowboarding in Hawaii") nor the most recent social media echo chamber ("You liked this rant by someone so here are six thousand similar rants to flick through, eyes glazed".) I almost wish Substack had been around earlier, because I'd probably have continued writing; instead, with immaculate timing, I decided to grind out a full stop just before Substack took off. (I stopped because of all the things about hackery that you list which are abominations. The letters from Telegraph readers, all nicely parcelled up and sent to my home, contained some of the foulest malevolence I have ever read. I keep them in a folder in the attic, almost-honestly too scared to throw them away lest that act would trigger some sort of Casting of the Runes revenge!) Happy Christmas Ed!

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Bravo. I personally don't feel that authors should be obliged to reply to their readers' comments, but it is certainly nice when they do.

Moving the URL away from 'substack.com' is actually rather tricky in my experience and I'm surprised they haven't made it easier.

I'm surprised to read that Mr. West "doesn’t want to be too controversial," since I have long admired him as one of the few mainstream media figures genuinely willing to blaspheme against progressive dogmas, but I do appreciate the commitment to civility.

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founding

Thanks, I really enjoy your substack. I do follow a few others, I was a paying subscriber of Scott Alexander and I actually cancelled because he posts *too much* material, and so I just got scared off my inbox as I just felt bad about all the stuff I needed to catch up on.

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Honoured to be maned Gen Z and not 'youthful millennial.'

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Honoured to be maned Gen Z and not 'youthful millennial.'

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Thank you very much. I read this month ago and I’m rereading it. I write columns daily for myself and publish one a week in a local paper. I may move into professional writing.

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Thanks for this useful post which I've finally got around to reading. I didn't know about X blocking links which is a shame as that is my entire social media strategy blown. Yours is one of a small number of Substacks I pay to read so keep up the good work.

I started my Anti-Human Substack after mulling over doing it for a while. Oct 7th pushed me into getting started. Mine is unpaid but have been pleasantly surprised to get a couple of pledges from the US which means the money would flow if I turned on subscription. The Daily Sceptic sometimes reposts which is great. Very early days.

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"In my view, much of the writing on Substack is better than newspaper comment pieces."

Very, very true. Substack has been a great discovery for me this year. Have got quite bored by newspaper columnists (with a few exceptions). Too conservative, safe and predictable, offering little new to a topic.

I'd regard myself as a liberal/centre left person who's become extremely disillusioned with what's happened to the political left and its various activists and groups. But, I loathe this government more than any other in my lifetime. What's funny (maybe not that funny...) is how often I read your writing and agree. Never thought I would considering we (probably) come at things from the opposite side of the political divide. But, having a go at 'wokeism' (or whatever we call it) is something that unites a lot of people.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I think your Blackadder post was one of my favourites. Just terrific.

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