Should I Charge For DD Advice?

 

 

About two years ago, Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts helped me to make an important decision. I had an offer in front of me, an offer to publish a book on DD, based on my blog, my years of experience in marriage, in DD, as a long time blogger and as a trained and certified professional psychotherapist. The offer was from a new publishing house that was beginning with online publishing and moving to print material in the future. It was not connected with spanking romance, and there were some serious authors already contracted. After some research I was convinced it was real. After communication with the publisher on what was publishable, what they wanted from me, what I wanted to write, we got down to contracts.

It was then that I emailed Bonnie to ask her what she thought. Had she heard of this publishing house? What were her thoughts on turning my blog into some sort of book…with old and new stuff included. I don’t know Bonnie except through her blog, but I respect her. I respect what she writes, the opinions I read, her leadership in our spanking community. She’s long been clear on her unwillingness to post ads, to take money at “Our Bottom Smarts” for any facet of what she offers there. She has a real job, a full life, and reached out and eventually helped lead this community because we needed it and for her own reasons, she saw the need and was willing to offer herself and her time.

I began my blog for similar reasons, and as it happens, with Bonnie’s encouragement through email. There was a gap at the time in DD blogs that were not overly sexual, not also intertwined with BDSM, or not written by someone with obvious emotional issues that would make me scared to take their advice. I had been living a 24/7 DD lifestyle about 2 years, been on forums, and was not getting the support I needed…and I felt I had some worthwhile things to share. I hoped to share what I had learned on my own blog and to find friends I could bond with and learn from. This blog has brought me all of that.
So, when I was asked to publish, I had some thinking to do. I was honored, surprised. My readership exceeds anything I ever imagined and your support continues to humble me. I am grateful and cherish this community. You have given me so much.

Would publishing be a way of giving back? Bonnie kept her email short. “Why would you charge for what is already available on your blog? Why would people want to pay for that? Why would you ask them to?” Good questions. I ended up not publishing because after consultations with lawyers, the publisher’s and my own, there was no way to keep my real identity out of the legal contracts. I still work, have children, a somewhat public life, and I don’t want my private life with my husband exposed.

And that left me not publishing at that time, but mulling Bonnie’s words, and still considering writing a book. I now know I hope to do that sometime, when I find the time. To my surprise, Grant has agreed to write some of it with me, some parts from his HOH perspective. I think I might do it just to be able to read that! It won’t be for a while because of work and family, we are just too busy!

What remained was the question, will I publish and charge? I have wrestled with this. After all, I have a lot to bring to the table. I have now been married almost 28 years and lived a 24/7 Dd lifestyle almost 8 of those. I still have that advanced psychotherapy degree. Geez, I had a private practice for years, before I switched over to business, and did adult individual and couples and some group therapy, and got paid top rates by insurance companies. I’m a real therapist and that helps me be a better DD counselor and advisor. Grant has his own credentials which I will not share. So, should we charge?

I am in this community because I want to be, because it gives to me, supports me, is a place I can be myself in a way I can’t be anywhere else in the world. I answer questions from readers because I want to help them as others have helped me along the way. I try to answer your emails too. I do this because it’s a good thing to do. And when I post, you give me feedback tht helps me as much as it helps you. We are on this journey together.

All the information anyone needs… to begin in DD, to continue with DD, in available for free on the web. There are free forums, free places to chat, and now a multitude of sane DD bloggers that would love to get to know you if you’re trying to find friends. I have meaningful email correspondence with some bloggers and readers, and have met quite a few in person as well. Some I now consider close real life friends. I have found everything I needed within this wonderful community and never paid a dime.

Decision made: I don’t intend to turn around and charge to help others find their way. I have made money as a therapist and make money as a business woman, but TTWD and DD is unique, special. It saved my mariage, and if I can help anyone to find their way, I will pass along with good will, whatever I have to share, without looking to profit from it.

I have finally figured out there’s a place to pay WordPress so that I “own” my site and the ads (that I never realized where there, btw) will go away. I plan to do that today. I hve less time to post and read now than I’d wish, but I’m sticking around. I have always refused to allow the many vendors that have asked to post links on my site for pay to do so, but now all ads will disappear. I am planning to write that book one day too, but I will not charge for it. It will be a collection of the better posts I have written, organized in a way that makes sense, and new ones that I never had the time to write. And it will have posts written by my husband Grant, as many as I can get him to write!

I am aware there has been recent controversy in our online community between several sites and numerous bloggers. Please accept my words: What I have written today is aimed at NO ONE in particular and meant to support NO ONE in particular. I hate blog wars, pettiness, silliness. I have never participated in any sort of paid site or forum so I have no personal basis to comment on the people who might be there. I have no basis to critisize or support anything but the general concept of paid vs. free for DD support. I read where I choose, and having my own blog allows me to say what I think! Paid sites and self-promoters have come and gone. Good blogs and forums have come and gone. I am talking about concepts and my ethics…my own personal views and beliefs.

As always, I also believe people should always follow their own hearts and be free do what they think is best for them!

27 thoughts on “Should I Charge For DD Advice?

  1. Sara and Grant, We want to say thank you for your time, honesty, and dedication to helping other couples like us. It really has been helpful to read both perspectives on specific situations. We are aware of the back and forth going on with sides being taken and lines drawn in the sand but honestly we read for knowledge to help us with our marriage dynamic and prefer to stay drama free. Your advice is worth charging for but for those of us that would be inhibited to walk into Barnes and Noble to purchase a dd book –thank you again for making yourselves available.

  2. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t publish (for free, or which might be part of the therapy, for a very nominal amount) on Kindle. Although, obviously if you want to refer to your professional expertise you might have to reveal your identity. But obviously you know how to write with charisma so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t anticipate some far reaching questions – and answer them comprehensively.

  3. Sounds as though you were thinking this through as you wrote and it’s a tight fit logically.I’d only suggest charging if it would focus you abit more….deadlines etc…but sounds as though that’s in your psyche from your professional life..Anyway, at this stage of your life YOU should be the one to dictate the pace and decide how it all develops.Otherwise it may become laborious, rather than a lesson in love and self awareness.It should all evolve as a matter of course.

    I’m intrigued and delighted that G wants to be a part of future writing, whatever form that may take.That’s a real blessing to you and to us.

    I tell ya, that book will be top of my Christmas list !

    Bonnie gave very wise advice at that time, but you’re at a different stage now and sounds to me that you are doing just fine. She’s helping in a different way.Ronnie explained that to me.

    It never ceases to amaze me how this little community can help oneanother, given half the chance.

    The main thing is that you are able to reflect back and think how much YOU have gained from your blog. That’s the main thing, after all.

    GOOD LUCK !

    Sarah,LD,UK

  4. Bonnies sense of community building and your commitment to our DD community have inspired me for a long time, and have both been inspirations to begin writing my own blog. Thank you for the time and effort it takes to be admired and trusted leaders in the blogosphere. Doing so with an altruistic nature is a testament to your care for the people who make up this varied and wonderful ensemble of bloggers and readers.
    I know your experienced advice will ring loudly through the community Sara.

  5. Very well said. It is obvious that your heart is truly invested in our community for all the right reasons. You comments are very unique to most on my blog and I anxiously await to hear what you have to say. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, as I don’t have much to give to you in return. On a personal note, I selfishly wish you and Grant did have the time to write a book now! But until that day comes, I’ll just be happy you are back and commenting again.

    Willie

  6. Lucy, it’s always best to stay free of the drama, and WHO has time for THAT in their lives? :(

    Joanna, I enjoy writing, I enjoy sharing. I really do want to get to that book some day in the near future.

    Sarah, this community is amazing in many ways, and there’s LOTS of connecting and help that goes on behind the scenes that is important and heartwarming. I just don’t see where making $ off of us, in any way, is ethical. Most especially, not off of couples who are new and vulnerable and will just be looking to find their way.

    Mr. BB, I continue to watch the development of your blog and appreciate that you are developing a place where DD couples can find sound and non-judgmental advice! It was needed!

    Willie, I am so trying the time to get around and comment. I love reading and helping…and you’d be surprised how your comments and posts do help people like me who may have been around the block, but still need to be reminded of the basics sometimes! I hope YOU keep writing!

  7. Sara, you helped me so much when I started reading your blog. I have followed practically from the start. You are generous in sharing your life with this community, and you are equally generous with your help. You are a friend to me, and those are hard to come by. What you offer is priceless. –Mick

  8. Hey Sara – I don’t often comment but I have lurked for quite a while. You are a very wise lady. You have professional credentials that along with your years of incorporating DD in your marriage, bring a unique perspective to your posts.

    You give excellent arguments on both sides of the charge/free issue. If you publish the book and choose to charge, there will be some that will not buy it but search your blog for information and others who would have no trouble paying for a well organized, one-stop book for information. In the end, the choice must be the one that you and Grant are most comfortable with.

    Blessings,
    Cat

  9. Regardless of anything, I’ve enjoyed reading here and value what you have to say and it’s your blog, your life, your choice.

    But hey, if you ever did decide to charge for a book……. I’d buy it :)
    Lol

    Dee x

  10. I fully understand and echo your sentiments. Glad to see you back…… You know where I stand on this.

    Laurie

  11. Hi Sara, I have been following here for a long time, mostly as a lurker. With your vast personal knowledge and professional credentials you bring so much to this community and help so many of us in our own journey’s. I for one have gained a great deal from reading here and from your comments on my posts. I always appreciate your time and effort to comment.

    This is very well stated, and you bring up good arguments both for and against charging. I am glad you have reached a decision that is right for you. In the end, it has to be the decision that is right for you and Grant and the one you are comfortable with.

    Hugs,
    Roz

  12. Mick, I am a better person for my friendship with you. Thank you for reading and your ongoing support!

    Cat, I agree that I have what it takes to write a professional level advice for couples book and charge for it. But I want to give back to this community that has given me so much. And…unless I wrote it with my credential revealed, which would mean ME revealed, frankly, I don’t think asking for $ is ethical!

    Thanks Dee. I WANT to help other people find their way. TTWD is too hidden in our modern world today, and too vital to couples that want and need to know. It has always felt like an honor to be accepted and appreciated in this community. Charge $? Not happening.

    I do know where you stand and I appreciate you stopping by to say so Laurie! Thank you!

    Yes Roz, for each of us, we must always weigh our own sense of values and integrity and do what feels right for ourselves.

  13. Hi Sara-

    Great post. I see both sides of the argument for publishing whether it be for free or charge. I think your writing is so interesting and has been so helpful that I wouldn’t think much about purchasing an e-book or similar. I know there is a great deal of time spent not only writing but responding and your comments are well thought out and meaningful to the person who comments and others. I also see why you could be reluctant to charge and the desire to share with others. The focus on the fee/no fee exchange on the other blog/site has been quite a turn off as a reader. Hopefully everyone can get back to what we’re all here for.

  14. That’s really beautiful, Sara. Regardless of the medium, you have a tremendous wealth of knowledge to share. As you do so, it enriches our community. Working together and supporting one another, we can make our world a better place. This isn’t just rhetoric. It’s reality. Thank you for all you do.

    Big hugs,
    Bonnie

  15. I have to agree fully with Roz’s first paragraph Sara. You write with such feeling and integrity. I was so lucky to find you first, way back when I was just another lurker. Your knowledge and experience always shines though in your comments, and you have a way of getting us to answer our own questions. I regularly visit your site to delve back into your earlier posts, as I find reading Grant’s perspective enormously helpful. I just want to thank you for having the time to come here and post, and I hope that it will long continue whatever you decide to do.

    Hugs,
    Ami

  16. “Making the world a better place” (Bonnie) — exactly. Your blog has helped give this warm, diverse, supportive blogging community a shape, Sara, by setting an example of generosity, dignity, and wisdom.

    The world needs the book that you could write, so I eagerly await the day it arrives.

  17. You certainly have so much to share and I know that personally, I have gained a lot from reading here. Whatever route you take, I’m just happy to hear that you plan to continue sharing your thoughts and ideas with the rest of us:)

  18. Priya, “ditching the drama and getting back to what we’re all here for”? HEY, I like that! :)

    Bonnie, I always feel privileged when you stop by, and you have offered words of tremendous wisdom: “Working together and supporting one another, we can make our world a better place. This isn’t just rhetoric. It’s reality.” I could not have said it better. Thank you!

    Ami, I just miss you all too much when I’m away. I plan to be around for a long time!

    I appreciate your kind words and your support Kevan.

    I’m baaack, Tess! ;)

  19. Thank you Sara for all you do. When Rob and I started TTWD all of the info we used was free. I would never have been able to pay for DD material anyway because we were poor college students. I will always be thankful for people like yourself. You are kind and wise. Lasey

  20. Sara,

    You have a lot of knowledge, have been so generous in the advice and help you given. You have shared your life with us so honestly.

    Thanks for being here.

    I hope you do write that book one day.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

  21. Lasey, I’m glad you found me too. And yes, there’s tons of good quality free information, most especially these days.

    Ronnie, I really do hope to write the book. In the meantime, so many wonderful and supportive people make up our community. It’s rather special, isn’t it?

  22. I think you know how much you have influenced my/our journey in Dd. At the point where I needed to begin grappling with what ttwd looked like beyond “crime and punishment”, you were there to explain it and force me to answer my own questions–through your blog, your comments and your time. If I haven’t said it lately, thank you. I didn’t need a book b/c you pointed me to all the right places, some here and some in other places. To compile, rewrite, add some of Grant’s words and then and share it with others would be pretty stinking amazing Sara.

    I understand why some folks charge for their books, stories etc but at the core of this community is the friendships we share and the inclusivity of young, old, new and experienced all mingling and learning from each other. It takes a lot of gumption to keep on blogging and there are times when I wonder about the time and effort BUT I was befriended and I will befriend others, especially those who are brand new and struggling to find their way. I have already begun to enjoy watching some of them do the same thing in turn.

  23. Hi Sara,
    This is the first time I have commented since you came back….I think. I started my blog about the time you took a break , but I read your blog before and may have commented under CP.

    I have to tell you that reading DD blogs is the first time I ever read a blog in my life. I fell across them following a thread. There is a large section of society that still does not read blogs.

    To charge or not….? If you do decide to charge, you could always donate to your favorite cause. I think you may want to do some more research before you completely close the door. Will it reach a wider audience if it is free? It is all in what you want to achieve and what audience you want to reach. And of course your what feel is right.

    Either way I can’t wait to read it and yes I would pay for it.

    Thanks for writing Sara!
    Blue Bird

  24. Sara, I honestly don’t know if I’d still be married today if I hadn’t come across your blog. Oh, yes, and wrote that long e-mail too. ;-) If I’d had to buy a book or pay to view the material here, I’m not sure that I would have taken the chance that it might or might not help me/us. So thank you and I look forward to reading all of the future material that you and Grant plan to write.
    Thanks for starting this blog and for your constant support/advice and friendship.
    Big Hugs! Elysia :-)

  25. Like so many have already expressed, you helped Alex and I beyond measure. I know I would never have found the courage to attempt this lifestyle without your wonderful blog. It made me confident that there were couples just like us that were doing Dd successfully and that maybe, just maybe it could work for us too.

    Thank You and Grant both for the courage and dedication to share your journey with us.

  26. Thank you for sharing. :) I love reading your posts, and if you ever did a book, would love to hear yours, and his, opinions and stories and advice! Thank you for all the sharing you do, it really helps those of us learning the journey to find roads to travel down to try so that we can branch off and find our own paths once we know how to start. :)

  27. While I applaud your motivation I have a different take on the issue. I stumbled on DD because of a very brief lull in my busy life and even then I had to dig hard to find some balanced sites. How many women will never find freedom because this community is so hard to find? How many would pick up a book in Barnes and Nobles because the subject intrigues them and the author isn’t dressed like a dominatrix? Having said that, the burden of DD notoriety isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. It would take a pretty tough gal.
    Bea
    PS I’m presuming that you don’t dress in a leather bustier :)

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