The import seems to be mostly pretty solid, and the domain name seems to have fully transferred over, which means we're really here, in our new home on Ghost.
Folks who have followed my past adventures may remember that this is actually my third relationship with Ghost, and my second under this domain name. I self-hosted a Ghost instance for a while, but concluded that self-hosting, even for someone who has been running—and writing—web services for about as long as the web's existed, is just more hassle than it's worth to me. I'm not running this newsletter/blog/publishing outlet to run a server; I'm running it to write stuff for people.
Also, of course, my other, mostly "frozen" fiction site, Mikey's Microfiction, was hosted here on Ghost. I have not yet decided if I'm going to try to conflate these two or not.
For the moment, I'm focused on getting this site in shape. There is some cleanup work I need to do, despite the quality of the transition tools. For example, Ghost does not have any automatic way to paywall archives on a timed basis, but any post that had been paywalled still is. I need to decide what to do with that—either open up the archives completely, or resolve to manually move things to paywalled periodically. Honestly, I'm leaning toward just opening it up, but see below, about encouraging subscribing!
The transition was a lot smoother even than Ghost's current official documentation suggested. They now have a pretty straightforward import button, that takes you through a wizard. It imported all my Substack content, and all my subscribers. It even preserved the relationship between paid subscribers and my payment processor, Stripe, so if you're a paid subscriber, your subscriptions continue exactly as they were. The most surprising thing was that they went so far as to convert the embedded "Subscribe now" buttons from Substack to point to the Ghost-based subscription portal!
This brings me to the next big change moving to Ghost. Substack charged absolutely nothing up front. They make their money by taking a cut off of paid subscribers. This was one of the things I liked about Substack, honestly: no monthly charge to me, only taking a relatively small touch from paid subs. There are enough big fish on Substack that the model works.
Ghost, on the other hand, charges me for hosting. The cost is less than if I self-hosted, especially allowing for the value of the time I'm not spending doing it myself. But it's still a definite outlay. I'm willing to pay it, obviously, but, I would not argue if more of you, dear readers, helped me out.
To encourage that, I have two special offers:
If you prefer to subscribe monthly, I have a 20% discount for 12 months. $4/month, which comes to $48/year.
- If you prefer to subscribe yearly, I have a 10% discount on top of the discount Ghost automatically applies to annual subscriptions, which brings it down to $45/year.
I won't lie: I'll probably keep doing this anyway. But it'd be nifty if you could kick in a few bucks to help keep it going!
Meanwhile, of course, if you're coming here from one of my social media links and are not currently subscribed to receive it directly, but aren't necessarily prepared to throw me some coffee money, let me encourage you to sign up, anyway, for the direct experience to your mailbox!
And finally, if you know anybody else you think would enjoy what I have to say, by all means, pass them the link!
Monday will see Chapter 3, Part 3 of Things Fall Apart. Later this week will be some new Radio Ramblings. I feel like I should have something political to say, but I also feel like I used up some that energy in voting with my feet to leave Substack.
Thank you for sticking around!