TANSTAAFL DAY 1- In Which The Writer Tries to Fund the Blog

So, here we go, day 1.


This is a combined fundraiser and “pardon our dust” since everything is conspiring to make this go really weird.


Donate to According to Hoyt, because I spend a lot of time, sweat and tears on this blog, and a laborer is worthy of her pay.


This is not an emergency. Repeat: this is not an emergency. Do not head for the basement, do not put on your pith helmet. You can hug your cats, but you’ll still be here tomorrow to heal from the scratches.

This is a blog fundraiser.

According to Hoyt has stood here for dunnohowmanyyears (no, seriously, I have no idea, but I think it’s about fifteen or sixteen. I know it’s more than 13, because I was blogging every day when we got Havelock-cat, who is 13) and Lord knows over that times I’ve been silly, I’ve been strange, I’ve (unfortunately) been wrong a time or twenty. But every day I wake up and know I have a blog to write, and feel guilty if I don’t. I’ve taken “vacations” but since I never get enough guest posts, it’s not a full vacation.

And for that entire time, the high water mark for blog intake on donations and promo kick backs (from Amazon. I don’t ask anyone for money to promo them. sheesh) was — I think — back in 2006 about $4000. Right now, including kickbacks, it runs about $2k a year.

Now I won’t lie to you and say I’m going to give up blogging if the blog doesn’t fully fund. At this point it’s an addiction, my “pages in the morning” Nor am I going to say the blog hasn’t helped. It has, in ways big and small.

However the main purpose for which I created this blog, which was to promote my fiction is pretty much a bust. I have fans for the blog and fans for my fiction, and the two meet but seldom.

Over the years, y’all have told me I should be getting paid. And the late, and most definitely great, Jerry Pournelle, about 10 or more years ago told me given the level of engagement, and how much content I provide, compared to blogs that are making a lot of money, I should be making around 50k a year.

I was just afraid I’d have a fundraiser and make $20. (And then I’d probably stop blogging, just in sheer shame.)

Well, last November, as a last ditch effort, so we wouldn’t have to sell the piano Dan inherited from his mom (and which he learned to play on), I did a fundraiser to get us out of a ditch.

As all of you know, I made more than $20. Which was good, because we are always counter-trend, and almost managed to lose money on the last house, while everyone else was selling at crazy rates. As is we are “whole”. Which is why there is no emergency.

But I still have this here blogging habit. And consume a lot of hours on it, and then feel guilty because it doesn’t pay.

So, here goes.


Tier 1– $10 or more – A shout out on my blog, all with all other the supporters, by name, in one massive “Thank you” post. [Jokey or offensive names will not be included at author’s discretion.]

Tier 2– $25 or more – Email jpg of certificate with funny fish saying “I Was Carped at according to hoyt.com” and a Certificate of being a member of Hoyt’s Huns, cultural wars sapper battalion, in good standing.

Tier 3– $60 or more – Exclusive ebook collection of USAian stories. (Including a new, original, never published story.) [estimated delivery Aug 2022]

Tier 4– $100 or more – Your name will appear in a mass death/other mass event/list in one of Sarah’s books. [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.]

Tier 5– $150 or more – A sound file of Sarah saying “Moose and Squirrel.”

Tier 6 – $250 or more – Will send a signed copy of trade paperback Gentleman takes a chance and one large postcard with book covers, also signed. (USPS- continental US only. All others, let’s talk.) [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Tier 7 – $350 or more – Three signed books (of our choice), plus two extra items from “Sarah’s Garage”, (also of our choice) which might very well be a small rubber fish. (You’ve been warned.) USPS only. Continental U.S. only [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Tier 8 – $500 or more – Personalized tuckerization. You will become your very own zany character, with at least a line or two of dialogue, and physical description. Physical safety and life of character not guaranteed. If you perish, it will NOT (repeat not) be in a mass death event or a list of other kinds.  [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.] [Jokey or offensive names, descriptions and personalities will not be included at author’s discretion.]

Tier 9 – $1000 or more – A CHOICE OF:

Option 1 -Will read the first 10 pages and outline of your novel and provide timely critique, with the understanding that I am not infallible. (A skype, zoom or other video call to discuss the work for an hour or so.) [estimated delivery Winter 2022 – Spring 2023]

Option 2 – Large box of ten signed books, plus items ranging from a con badge, to a mini dinosaur skeleton or a print of Sarah’s original art, or other items from Sarah’s garage. USPS only. Continental U.S. only [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Option 3 – Signed copy of Sarah’s old copyedited or page-proof manuscripts. [estimated delivery Fall 2022] (5 limit.)

Tier 10 $5000 or more – You will become a major character on one of my books, and I’ll try to reflect your appearance, and chosen personality.  [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.] [Jokey or offensive names, descriptions and personalities will not be included at author’s discretion. You don’t get to have someone else be an offensive character. (Sorry!) Your actions will be altered to serve the plot if needed.] – Limit 5. (You’ll be informed if this has been claimed, and given a chance for a refund or of a comparable reward.)

Tier Insane – $25000 or more – My husband and I will travel to a city in the continental US and have dinner with you and your plus one.  (Continental US only.) – Limit ONE. [Delivery up to July 2023.] (You’ll be informed if this has been claimed, and given a chance for a refund or of a comparable reward.)







Sarah A. Hoyt

Goldport Press

304 S Jones Blvd #6771

Las Vegas, NV  89107


This mode obviously doesn’t have an anonymous form. If enough people ask for one, I will put up a fundraiser at GiveSendGo. The problem being those going that way can’t receive any of the incentives, no matter what they donate. Do you want me to do that?


If you want to be thanked/mentioned by a name different from your regular one, please email to: bookpimping at outlook dot com

Also, today’s post will appear below this one, supposing I figure out how to pin this one to the top of the page!

I feel I should get a prize for not letting younger son inflict naked drawing of the funding fathers on you. (Joking, joking. Don’t kill me, younger son. He’s not that kind of son.)


Well, I’ve always had a dream of having my very own money bin where I go for morning swims.

Okay, not really. I can’t even swim. And I’d probably get dust allergy from the dollar bills.

The truth is I started this blog to promote my fiction. And instead what I got was an extra commitment.

Let’s face it, people, I’m over committed and not as young as I used to be.

If the blog funds, I can hire a publicity-help person for the fiction and maybe to do things like manage the t-shirts y’all want and other stuff. (You know him. You like him.)

I can also hire someone to take the every day administrivia off my back.

And then I can write more, keep this blog going, and not be so exhausted all the time.

According to Hoyt TANSTAAFL DAYS (Till July 16th):

THE GOAL IS $50,000

the counter stands at: $3,632.82 (Updated at least every 8 hours, more if i happen to be here.)

88 thoughts on “TANSTAAFL DAY 1- In Which The Writer Tries to Fund the Blog

  1. Donated $50, and will again if you remind me after payday next Thursday.

    As long as you don’t kill off my secretary bird persona – I’m inordinately proud of that.

  2. I dislike PayPal as well. However, far be it from me to suggest a workable alternative.

    If all the “moose and squirrel” audio files are taken before I get that far, can I have a “Curse you, Scrooge McDuck! I will have your lucky number one dime!”

        1. We’re all gonna be diner table servers now?

          “What can I getcha, Hun?”
          ‘Kumiss, darlin’, and water for my horse. ”

          I have not yet picked a spot for my cert.

  3. Done, although the Paypal will be in my spouse’s name, not mine (we just share the one account). If that could be corrected for the certificate, I’d appreciate it. If not (due to press of time and number of others donating), that’s OK.

      1. You is professional writer. You are GOOD at lying! OK, fine, how about “…is to be treated as human for all legal purposes.” Happy?

    1. Considering all the mythological beings among the various common taters here I’m not so sure that being a certificated probable human is all that much of an honor. I would think being a hun or hoyden covers most of the Oddities.

  4. Donated as well, and consider it to be as much from the kitties as it is from me!

  5. I am seriously considering reviving my old usenet persona as the Kosher Viking.

      1. I’m Jewish, and all the men in the Withnell family are red heads, or blondes, over 6′, and built like Hagar the Horrible. Family legend is we came from Denmark, to the village of Withnell in Lancastershire, and took the village name as the family name. Possibly because Denmark had gotten too hot (in the legal sense). So the Kosher Viking.

        1. That sounds a bit like a grad school associate who came from a Russo-Polish Jewish family, but had a very, very plain English surname. Great-grandfather decided on the boat over that they wanted to blend in as much as possible “the next time trouble came,” so they took the core of the Slavic family name and “Englished it,” as my associate said.

  6. Donated. I don’t comment much but enjoy the blog and all the comments.

  7. Donated. I haven’t been here long, but really appreciate this space.

    That said…USAians. I’ve only read the one book, Darkship Thieves, and there was a reference to that. Is it a different series? What should I read next? (after I’m done with the “Rain of Frog” book 😀 )

    1. It’s the Earth Revolution/Darkship series. A Few Good Men is the next one. Also short stories. And some blog posts about the ideals of the American Revolution. July 4 is the High Holy Day for USAians. (We probably need to make a list and put it up as part of the FAQ and BBQ).

      1. Nod.

        In the Future Earth that Earth Revolution/Darkship series are set in, the USA no longer exists but there are a large number of people, called the USAians, who continue to believe in the ideals of America.

        While the USAians generally just want to live their lives in peace, many of the Powers-That-Be in this Future Earth distrust the USAians and see them as a danger to their rule.

        Of course, that “distrust” leads the USAians to continue to work for the possibility that the American Ideals will come to influence the governments that “control” the Earth.

        Earth Revolution involves the fight against the current governments of Earth with the USAians as part of the fight.

    2. Thanks all. I found the FAQ.

      Prior to this post, replies always appeared threaded. These all seem to be left justified, which is harder to follow. I don’t know if it is WP or Safari.

  8. Darkship Thieves
    Darkship Renegades
    A Few Good Men
    Through Fire
    Darkship Revenge
    You can always check order by publication date.

  9. > “I’ve taken “vacations” but since I never get enough guest posts, it’s not a full vacation.”

    As I keep saying, some of us would be happy to chip in with that if you’d just get a reliable channel for private communication with you.

    On that note: I just donated but will pass on all rewards. If our email troubles run both ways you’ll tear your hair out trying to get anything to me, and I’m not doing it for the prizes anyway.

      1. Well, you’ve already made more than $20 from me alone, so you’re officially not allowed to retire in shame. 😉

  10. Been way too busy for the longest while. Donated for all the posts you made that I enjoyed, and the books I have read. Thank you and needed to give back to a great person.

  11. You and Glenn are the only bloggers at Instapundit I really enjoy reading, and in your case, I find the blog posts even more enjoyable than your books, of which I’ve also read several. So, I’ll be sending a check, but don’t need any reward for doing so. Personally, I made the opposite decision. After writing a blog for over a decade, I decided no one was reading it but me, so archived and deleted it from view. Since then, I only comment, mostly at Instapundit and on Gab, but get a lot more response to my ideas than I ever did from my blog. As for books, I wrote a few technical computer books long ago, soon deciding the price of fifteen minutes of fame was too high, though a relative wrote her thesis about all the wrong number calls her family got from people looking for me after I moved and no longer had a phone number in my name.

  12. The check is written and will go in the mail when I’m next in town. Tuesday for sure!

    FWIW, my caffeine-deprived brain just noted that the acronym is off. Shouldn’t it be
    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, or TANSTAAFL?

    Of course, this must be the Official Hun Version, with word ordering altered to suit Moose and Squirrel. 🙂

    1. Oh! It’s just the banner! (Starts musing how it would come out auf Deutsch and would the phrase be more than one word.)

  13. My current financial situation is comfortable, so I’m donating with multitudes of thanks for making a place where we can all gather.

  14. The various incentives for donations are fine, but what I really want is a USAian T-shirt. There could be many designs, but it should at least include the flag and some patriotic phrase. If there was a new design annually I’d probably buy one every year. Consider this a vote in favor of getting someone to handle such things as merch sales.

        1. Unfortunately one son is in a “all the hours that G-d gives” job and the other one expects to be so by the end of the year. He’s helping now, but… not for long. Right now he’s making sure we’re all unpacked, set-up, including my carpentry workshop I dream I’ll have to use next year, so we don’t need to call him in every other week once he’s away.
          That too is part of the reason for the fundraiser.
          And, btw, part of me read “Joe’s” comment and cringed, because that’s exactly why I haven’t done a fundraiser. OTOH, yeah. I provide something. If it’s something of value, then people should support it.

    1. I need to make lists today, and start sending those out before it becomes overwhelming. Also, if anyone has subscribed to the blog at one of the amounts for a year, please email me (Someone remind me to put this on tomorrow’s update.) Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to get subscription information out of paypal and I don’t know how to waterboard it. Anyway, those people get rewards too.

  15. I appreciate the blog. And the books. My wife and I are in the overlap.

    In an ordinary year we would love to donate but a tree cut our house in half. We are all okay but the insurance is being insurance etc and things won’t be settled for a few months.

    In an ordinary year we would also have been at LibertyCon, but lots of things conspired against us including LC itself. Which turned out to be a blessing or the tree would have cut our house in half when we were 7 hours away. The cats probably would have walked down the trunk to escape our limited treats policy and then where would we be?

    But I do hope your fundraiser is a success and that you repeat it next year.

    1. Note this is NOT AN EMERGENCY. I put that there on purpose. When I asked before, it absolutely was vital and an emergency. I promised I wouldn’t do that again, and I won’t. THIS however is just to see if I can get payment for the hours I put in here every day.
      Hugs. I know exactly how you feel. We came back from LC to a tree fallen on the power lines outside our house. It’s dealt with (we really are okay this time) but …. well, you know? It was a mess and more appointments on top of everything else.
      Now we need to get someone to deal with the other trees that look sick. Sigh.

      1. For heaven’s sake (and I mean that literally) don’t promise not to ask for help if you need to. There are people here who have never physically met you, but nevertheless love you. I count myself in that number.

  16. I like your fire. I’m glad you are on our side but if you are permanently tired, giving you money will not change that. I tell beggars on the side of the road, “This is America. NO begging!”

    1. And that’s fine. This is NOT begging. I provide a service every day, which takes two or three hours. This gives people the opportunity to pay for it. If you don’t wish to, that’s fine. BUT IT IS NOT BEGGING. Note the “This is not an emergency.”
      As for permanently tired, well, I have a day job: Writing and publishing fiction. This is in addition. Getting someone to put up the books or do the publicity or something WILL free up my time.
      AGAIN this is not begging. This is “I have provided a service. Donate what you think it is worth.” Obviously to you it is worth nothing. Kind of like socialists think they shouldn’t pay for anything.
      Fortunately not everyone is the same.

      1. smh. hey Mama Taz. I see by joe’s comment some of the ritual dick beaters have arrived. perhaps he should go do that in a bathroom with some lotion

    2. Is your last name Biden? Sarah isn’t begging. She’s providing us with news and entertainment.

    3. I’ll add to what the others have said: if anything, WE’VE been begging HER for years to let us pay her properly for the service she’s been providing for nearly free.

    4. I tell beggars on the side of the road, “This is America. NO begging!”

      What is your foundation for this?

      Because as a breast-beating roar thing, aimed at yourself, it works.

      …but you explicitly aim it outwards. Evangelically so, even.

      Based on what?

  17. do not put on your pith helmet

    BUT I look so dashing in my pith helmet!!!

    Well, actually, I look like a demented serial killer out of a Brendan Fraser movie, with or without a pith helmet … and with the pith I tend to get helmet ears, making me resemble a bedraggled demented serial killer when I doff the pith helmet. It is all rather disheartening, causing me to [Peter Lorre Voice] cut somebody’s heart out [/Peter Lorre Voice] or just take a bottle of rum to my bed and get thoroughly pithed.

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