This is off-topic, but I doubt there is anyone who cares.
While I was at Left Coast Crime this weekend I had an idea. (Actually, I had a couple, including 'I'm not going to pay ten dollars for a crummy taco and some iced tea,' but that's not really relevant.) I was thinking about this panel I was going to be on, on short stories. (Which I thought was pretty funny, inasmuch as I have published exactly two stories, earning me a grand total of thirty-five dollars. I suspect that they may have been having some trouble finding panelists.) (I wonder if it's possible to write an entire post in parentheticals). Anyway, what I was thinking about was the basic problems with online fiction, which are that most people don't want to read it, and those that do don't want to pay for it. And I'll admit that I'm with the majority on this one. I find reading things on a computer screen to much less engaging and more tiresome than reading them on paper, plus you can't take it into the tub. On the other hand, downloadable audio files have turned out to be fairly popular, and thanks to iTunes people are even getting in the habit of paying for them. So why not have a website that sells mp3s of short stories? I'm thinking you'd maybe do a trial run with a couple for free, to see if people are into the idea, and then start charging one to two dollars a story. Maybe I'm just hopelessly optimistic, but I think it could work.
I mention the idea to one of the other members of the panel, Tim Wolforth, who liked it enough to bring it up at the panel, where it got a surprisingly positive response, and on the short mystery fiction e-list, where a couple of people with websites said they were already planning on doing it. Which just goes to show that there really are no original ideas. So I was all excited about going ahead and recording one of my stories and seeing if anyone wanted to take it when I caught this lousy head cold and lost my voice. I'm sure somebody up there thinks that's funny.