1000 subscribers — 'I hope they don't go early!'

As this newsletter was getting close to one thousand free subscriptions, I told everyone I didn't want any fuss. But then on 999 they started massing around the edge of Mum and Dad's living room ...

That was a lot of fun to film. We did it at my fiftieth birthday party, which ended up being a bit of a Covid super-spreader. Hmmm. A Buddy reenactment. I can’t help but feel partially responsible.

Thanks for editing the video Cam Fink.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up since ‘Good one, Wilson’ got going in June. I’m actually now at 1330 free subscribers and have to decide whether to get the extended family together again for when I go past Tony Lockett’s 1360.

I started this thing at the suggestion of my friend Adam Zwar, who has his own vintage comedy newsletter, The Kicker. He explained that this site, Substack, allows us to write stories, share video and audio and build an audience with material that we otherwise are just pumping out into the social media shadowlands, getting boosted when Zuck or Elon wants to boost us, getting nowhere when they don’t, which, for people who aren’t starting online fights, is more of the norm right now.

On Substack
Substack is for communities
Kylie Jenner and a few hundred million other people have been complaining about Instagram’s new direction, which favors algorithmically recommended content over sustained relationships between real people. “[S]top trying to be tiktok,” Jenner demanded, “I just want to see cute photos of my friends…
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I’ve loved writing these Good one, Wilson pieces — 41 posts in five months, and nearly 35,000 reads and I think people like getting inbox articles away from the dreaded doom scroll. My most read story by a long way is the tale of my son with cerebral palsy going through the Hawthorn banner (6865 reads) which is actually going into the Hawthorn Annual Report! The silver medal goes to the video of Jack playing with The Two Man Play Doh Band at the school fete and singing ‘Foxy Lady’ (61 hours of views). The bronze is me showing off Abs of Yore to celebrate turning fifty! (2689 reads).

Let’s see em again!

This page has delivered exactly what Zwar promised it would. It’s great to be writing widely and regularly, to be thinking ‘is that a column?’ as I did for periods with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald back when those newspapers still resembled The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

I’m a professional writer (20 odd books, 20 odd years) but I’ve written these first 41 articles and 55,000 words for free. Several people have asked if they can pay in some way, but I’ve held off, because I didn’t want to ‘go paid’ if I wasn’t going to be disciplined about regular posting. But I can safely say now that I’m in!

So I’ve made it possible to be a paid subscriber, and indeed would love you to upgrade or sign up as paid. It’s $50 a year or $5 per month. If you want to be a Foundation Member you can choose an amount of $50-$150 and I’ll send you a signed book as thanks.

Lawrence Heath, who played First Murderer to my Second Murderer in our 1989 school production of Macbeth became the inaugural Foundation Member this week. He chose a signed Australia United for his book. Thanks also to Karin McNab, Kieren Dempsey, Seb Chapman, Adam Zwar, Ben Cook and Patricia Sievers who have become the first seven paid subscribers.

For going paid, you receive:

  1. Access to subscriber only posts or audio;

  2. Full access to the archive,

  3. 20% off my books at my author website;

  4. A feeling of righteous superiority over people who are reading for free.

Substack is an established tech business that takes all due precautions with credit card security. I read Substacks too, and pay to subscribe to Adam Zwar’s The Kicker and Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note. In podcast-land I subscribe to Tony Martin’s Sizzletown, Kirk Hamilton’s Strong Songs, Slate Plus, and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.

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My favourite comedy podcast of all time

I realise that the modern world is full of panhandlers, service providers and creators asking for monthly payments. I know the frustration of thinking, ‘Dammit, I forgot to cancel Binge after Game of Thrones!’ But if you love a publication or a podcast, your handful of dollars per month, voluntarily paid, is a vital matchstick in a teetering self-publishing model, and it goes to me, not Rupert! My model so far has just six matchsticks, but who knows, if I can just convince The Two Man Play Doh Band to stay together …

I reckon by the middle of next year …

In the end, if nobody pays, writers stop writing, podcasters stop podcasting, or at least work out they can’t do it professionally.

I can do it professionally, I know that. What I’m hoping is to do it professionally here.

If you cancel later because of changed financial circumstances or because I’ve written a glowing book review of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’, no hard feelings. You can also choose a free trial to see if you want to just try it out. There are also gift and group subscriptions.

Give a gift subscription

Get a group subscription

If you stay a free subscriber, that’s no stress. The odd post might be paywalled, and parts of the archive, but the majority of stories will roll into your inbox as they have over these last five months. You can also help in non financial ways, such as:

  1. Sharing the article using the green share button at the bottom;

  2. Following me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and liking or commenting or sharing my ‘Good one, Wilson!’ posts. The social media algorithms hate repeat promotional posting, so my posts go nowhere. If you copy the article url and post it to social media, you’re not a repeat poster! You’ll find me more new readers than I can myself;

  3. Subscribe to Good one, Wilson podcast;

  4. Tell people about this newsletter;

  5. Suggest a great story for me to write about;

  6. Join Speakola newsletter and podcast;

  7. Buy my books for yourself or for your present drawer;

If you’re a student or in a tough financial spot and can’t afford a subscription, send an email to tony@tonywilson.com.au and I’ll gift you a six months complimentary subscription.

Stories coming up soon:

  1. The Two Man Play Doh Band enter the school talent show;

  2. Wasim Akram and a tale of two biographies;

  3. Some Race Around the World memories for the 25th anniversary;

  4. Mr Messi — our unheralded football and Hargreaves themed picture book;

I’ll post that last one before the final this weekend.

That’s it! ‘A legend has become …’ Ah, get your hand off it, Wilson!

Good one, Wilson! is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


Good one, Wilson!
A present from Grandpa
Jack isn’t an easy kid to buy presents for. He has cerebral palsy that affects all four limbs, which means bats, balls, boots and pads are out. He has cortical vision impairment that makes it difficult to see and scan text, so no books or comics. He’s scared of movies, even kids movies, because he has a sensory processing disorder, and movie…
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'Good one' sale of Christmas books
I’ve had twenty books published over these last twenty years. The first was Grannysaurus Rex in 2004, and apart from digging up a copy (from illustrator David Cornish) for an 18 year old ‘Samasuarus’ whose mum threw away a sentimental copy in a move, I’m down to four copies myself — one for each of my kids…
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