( A more detailed description of this suggestion can be found on the platform here - the comments may hold important info there too )
Narrative Publications cost $125 USD per year for the basic option, allowing for only 5 writers. If you want to feature content from more than 5 writers, the cost jumps to 299 USD per year. This pricing is an issue.
First observation: publications on Medium are free. Medium is a far more established platform already delivering much higher quality content! That's right, their Publications are FREE.
Although Publications on Narrative will have the possibility to earn NRVE, that functionality won't be there when they launch this month, and considering the massive dev list the Team has with hard deadlines for core functionality such as Notifications, Moderator and Tribunal elections, etc... it is difficult to imagine where the Publications monetisation functionality can fit in any time soon.
>>> EDIT: the Team has recently announced they WILL release Publications with monetisation functionality right out of the gate. Fantastic! <<<
A Solution that honours Niche Owners
First, we need to recognise that niche owners have been treated poorly by Narrative in a number of ways.
Flaws in the niche system have been highlighted and feedback given on how they can be fixed, since the Alpha started in April 2018, which is now 17 months ago. Almost none of the feedback has been implemented. This is not the place for a laundry list of those problems and solutions, but no doubt some of them will be detailed in the comments.
Niche owners were asked to take a leap of faith for the platform, paying far above market value for their niches because of the $75 USD minimum fee. Just 6 months from now, a renewal fee of at least $75 will be required in order for them to even be able to keep their niches, and the vast majority of niches will not be making enough money to warrant that renewal.
Add to this that the functionality niche owners thought they would have to make the niche universe work probably won't be in place until the tail end of the first year of operations. Moderators spring to mind. Everyone who was with the project pre-Beta launch expected moderation to be in place at, or shortly after Beta launch, along with a slew of other fixes.
The Narrative Company has chosen to pursue Publications instead.
Some Niche Owners have spent well upwards of $1000 USD on niches.
Some funded the ICO that is paying for the development of this platform, to the tune of thousands of USD each.
The only fair thing to do for the Narrative Company is to offer a substantial discount to Niche owners when they opt to buy a Publication at launch time.
10% discount per niche owned, with a Publication offered for free for owners of 10 niches, strikes me as a fair approach. This should apply to the Business model of Publications, allowing up to 30 writers. Niche owners who also want a Publication are clearly entrepreneurs, and limiting the number of Narrators that can contribute to their Publications to 5 would be a constraint that is in nobody's interest.
The value of discounting Publications for Niche Owners
The obvious benefit for the Narrative Company: more Publications off the ground at launch time.
Niche Owners are a natural and existing market for Publications, but they are very unlikely to want one as long as they can't monetise them, and while they are looking at the failure of most niches to even come close to breaking even in the first year. If given a fair discount, Niche Owners will be able to look beyond the fact that the Narrative Company has sacrificed delivering core aspects of functionality for their investments, in favour of pushing Publications. Make that development decision benefit Niche Owners directly!
We should not underestimate the value of a strong start for Publications. If only a handful are launched, and the inevitable complaints about initial flaws and missing functionality then set in, a huge opportunity will be missed to project the strength of the event for the platform.
On the other hand, if Niche Owners are incentivised with proper discounts and dozens of Publications get bought from the outset, a strong positive signal will be sent, providing good publicity and boosting Company and Community morale. It is also arguable that this approach will create more revenue from Publications too.
A quick example:
- 5 Business Publications at full price nets $1495.
- 20 Business Publications at half price nets $2990.
Last but not least, Beta testing of Publications will result in better feedback (hence better development) if the sampling of users of that functionality is not limited to 5 or 6 people.
Honouring the funders of the platform in this way is also simply the right thing to do.