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Are we allowed to ask for patrons?

sorrowdays127

I'm not sure where not even sure if it was this site but I remember a story site where pretty much everything was free but authors had at up patreon accounts and the readers could show their support by donating to them is that against the t&c here or is that allowed im curious and if it is allowed im not gonna start one right away was just curious because I'm new and trying to get used to writing again before I ask for any money lol

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sorrowdays127

If you have questions about the site rules, it would be best to send a private message to the webmaster using the link on the home page.

sorrowdays127

I'm on my phone and I don't see it :(

Dominions Son

@sorrowdays127

I'm on my phone and I don't see it :(


Then try this forum area: https://storiesonline.net/d/s6/bug-report-and-feature-requests.

Crumbly Writer

Short answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!

You aren't allowed to request payments in exchange for stories. If you choose to participate here, then you deliver stories for free.

The site you're thinking of is patreon.com, which allows you to set up a patreon account where readers can sign up to award you with bonuses for increments of work you accomplish (i.e. so much for each chapter, or so much for a complete book).

If you DO sign up for a patreon account, you can mention it on your blog, but you can't NOT post a story you started here until readers pay you. That is completely forbidden and you're likely to have your account deleted if you try.

I tried patreon myself, back when it was new, and was utterly disappointed, however, it was some time ago and I've heard that things are better than they were. But the bottom line is, you need to be an established name with instant name recognition and a pre-existing list of clients who'll pony up cash. For the vast majority of unknown artists, it's a non-starter.

But again, NEVER mix the two sites. You can try to get someone to fund the writing of your book if you wish, but you can ONLY post it here if you offer the book for FREE, and you publish the entire thing (i.e. no bait-and-switch you you only post a partial story and tell people to visit your site and pay you money to finish the story). In other words, your Patreon patrons can sponsor you, but keep the two sites separated until the project is fully funded.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@sorrowdays127


I'm on my phone and I don't see it :(


near the top right hand corner of the home page.

However, the posting rules cover it with

https://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

6. Teasers and blackmail are absolutely prohibited. (Teasers are any story parts that require or entice readers to read preceding or following parts on other sites or purchase those parts or sending money for further postings.)

11. Advertisements in stories or blogs are not allowed. (especially for other story sites)

12. Links in stories are handled at the discretion of the moderator. (links to commercial sites, banner sites are not allowed)


There's lot of other rules, but I think they cover what you want. Although Lazeez will sometimes allow a little leeway for something before he brings the hammer down.

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

Short answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!


Short answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!


I take issue with that short answer. It is perfectly acceptable to use Patreon and mention it here. It is also perfectly acceptable to use Patreon for 'Early Access' to your stories. It is also perfectly acceptable to offer things on Patreon not offered here.

That said, you can NOT start a story here and only complete it on Patreon, or post 'naked' links to Patreon about stories which are not available here.

My patrons have access to the complete Book 8 which I will post here, free, and in its entirety, starting on May 1. At a higher level, they have access to Book 9 as I'm writing it.

As promised, my stories in the AWLL series will always be free on SOL, and always posted on a regular schedule. And I don't start posting until the book is complete.

So the short answer is actually, 'Yes, but'.

sunkuwan

Also, the potential income from Patreon depends on the quality of your story, the size of your fanbase, interacting with your fanbase, and the frequency of your posts.

Quality of your story: Doesn't mean grammar, it means plot, characters, and worldbuilding. That has an impact on the second:
Size of the fanbase, the best fanbase is the one who writes fanfiction of your stories, which in turn increases the fanbase of the original story.
Interacting with your fanbase /updating regularly, All the successful amateur writers with big patreons interact daily with them and post new chapters weekly or several times a week.

If you are good, you can make thousands a month.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

If you are good, you can make thousands a month.


If you're that good, you ought to be able to get published by a dead tree publisher.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

If you're that good, you ought to be able to get published by a dead tree publisher.


not in most cases.

Wildbow's novels are 1,7 million words (Worm) 0,9 Million words (Pact) and 1,6 million Words (Twig) while currently writing another million+ with "Ward".
He said he is thinking of publishing, but that will be very difficult. But he has a chance
But only AFTER he got recognized and finished his works. Good luck telling a publisher your novel will be 1,7 million words long and you plan to publish it in 40 novels

Penhuintopia has the same issue.

All in all, you could only get a publisher after you got recognized, and in the meantime, you got bread on the table with patreon.

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

All in all, you could only get a publisher after you got recognized, and in the meantime, you got bread on the table with patreon.

As I mentioned before, despite a dedicated following on SOL (and once on ASSTR before it began to implode), I was never got attract much attention on Patreon. If you can earn a thousand a month, then more power to you. But I suspect that there are few here on SOL who's writing is that astounding to command that kind of attention, and we've got some pretty damn good writers here, all things said.

Replies:   sunkuwan
Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

nd in the meantime, you got bread on the table with patreon.


I doubt you can pull that many suckers on Patreon.

I considered supporting Tefler (Three Square Meals), through his Patreon page. However, he want's mass market paperback novel level money for just one chapter.

I simply won't pay that much for what amounts to a short story.

Mass market paperback novels run around $4.99-$9.99 US depending on genre and size. I might consider supporting a author on patreon, but I would expect to get at least a full, complete novel for that kind of money.

sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

This really just took off in the last 2 to 3 years.

But original novels are still in the minority when it comes to Patreon success

- some furry artists make over 10k a month (there was a thread on resetera this month about how professional artists make furry porn art under a different alias to finance themselves)
- porn-game makers also make several thousand a month, with one particular individual taking home 40k a month
- even game modders got on the bandwagon
- Translators also get hundreds to a thousand a month translating popular chinese/japanese webnovels and they don't even have the right to the material!

Do you post continually or drop the story in one go? all the successful Patreon writers post 2 chapters a week at the minimum.

Also, I wouldn't say that Wildbow or Penguintopia are vastly better than some of the SoL authors. They just have an interesting story that fans want to read.

And of course, just because there are not many examples here on SoL, doesn't mean that there is no hope.
Sometimes, you just have to experiment, you don't know how successful someone would be on Patreon if you didn't try.

Some fans are desperate for a continuation of their beloved Universe. I know of several authors who have multiple stories at the same time and let their Patreons decide which Story gets continued. (It was something like "state your story you want and when it gets enough money a new chapter will be posted" So after a month he had
story A with 3 chapters,
story B with 10 chapters,
Story C with 5 chapters, and
Story D with 0 chapters.)

And it was all posted for free for the rest. That is important! A few "whales" will finance your patreon, but you need the rest of the free readers for the health of your readership/fanbase. Patreon rewards should be early access, speed of new chapters, and possible side-stories on charackters that are not in the main story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

You are not the "target audience" for Patreon and you think about it wrong.
Patreon is not a seller of products and not a marketplace. It is a support platform where you support individuals. This support could include a final product but always on an inflated price.

You could spend 15$ a month on Michael Loucks (Penguintopia) to get chapters of his stories earlier, you even get a pdf, but nothing major else. That would be insane if you just did it to buy a novel, but that's not what Patreon is for, you are supporting the author so that he continues doing what you enjoy.

You need those "whales", those people who finance other works while the rest gets it for free.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Mass market paperback novels run around $4.99-$9.99 US depending on genre and size. I might consider supporting a author on patreon, but I would expect to get at least a full, complete novel for that kind of money.


I've been selling stories via Lulu for over a decade, and I found the best price point is $5.95 for a novel length story of around 50,000 words in an e-book format of e-pub. The print copies a re $9.95 due to the printing costs. While I stick to that very closely there are a few at different prices for various reasons. The Clan Amir series started as 7 books and is now published as one anthology at a discounted price of $19.95 (less than half price for 7 books). While some are free as a public service or similar reason, and a couple are very cheap for wider distribution at a price to cover the extra distribution costs.

As to Patreon, the few writers there I've been recommended to read give me the impression of blackmailing their readers by the way they chivy them about forking up more money money per month to get something, and then it's often just something slapped together just to be able to say they posted. I've not given the site a good look because of what I saw with the first few I was sent there to look at made me keep away from it.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

Yes, Micheal Loucks (Penguintopia) and Wildbow blackmail their readers.... *rolleyes*

Just because you got directed to possible shady individuals, doesn't mean the whole thing is shady.

But I get it, you are an old-school kind of guy.

A little to think about:
let's say you make 1000$ a month through sales of your books. That's 200 readers (let's go with 5$ a book) added to your fanbase.
The other side is 1000$ a month through Patreon. Possible to get tens of thousands of fans who can read the story for free because a minority funds the author.

I know your stories are free here (if I'm not mistaken) so that doesn't apply, but many pull their stories after getting it published, cutting their possible fanbase for some sales in the double digits.

I know of one Author who has a long-running series with 20+ books. And the first 4 books were pulled after another while they got published. It is a serial, who wants to read 20 books if he has to pony up money for the first 4 and counting?
You still have your existing fanbase who read your new books that are posted for free but you don't get new fans easily. And from comments at the site, it doesn't look like the author makes big money with the books.
Patreon would have been a better choice, you have the support of your existing fanbase and new fans can read your story.
Also the fans of that particular kink (Gender-bender) are loose with their money like the furry fanbase, just to have new material from their fetish.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Mass market paperback novels run around $4.99-$9.99 US depending on genre and size. I might consider supporting a author on patreon, but I would expect to get at least a full, complete novel for that kind of money.

When was the last time you purchased a paperback novel (aside from on street corners with the covers cut off)? The going rate is around $20+, not $5.

Still, I understand your complaint, as a few authors seem to feel it's not up to them to reach readers, but that each reader needs to support their lifestyle choices (i.e. if they only have 5 Patreon followers, then each needs to pony up whatever they desire for their meager efforts. That's partly why Patreon has such a bad rep.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

Except, I learned a LONG time ago never to take anything I hear on the internet at face value. Anyone can claim to make anything they want, but that doesn't mean it's true, any more than preteen coming on to me to buy porn isn't some 400# tub of lard sitting in his grandmother's basement.

All I observed was that, aside from a few people with established fan bases and instant name recognition, few can actually make Patreon work. I really don't give a shit how the 1% succeed as long as 99% utterly fail. That means it's NOT a viable option for most individuals.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
PrincelyGuy
Updated:

I was just perusing Amazon, and it looks like prices of current paperback books there are selling from 9.99 to 15.99.

Just saying. Of course, Kindle versions were cheaper yet.

ETA: Some paperbacks were as low as 5 bucks.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

I know your stories are free here (if I'm not mistaken) so that doesn't apply, but many pull their stories after getting it published, cutting their possible fanbase for some sales in the double digits.

You DO realize that 'double digit sales' amount to all of $10, don't you? Going from that, to tens of thousands every month for an unknown novice writer is nothing short of pipe dreams. For the few of us who publish our works, NONE of us earns anywhere NEAR that amount, and anyone promising that you can is simply flat out lying.

Writing takes a tremendous amount of work, and it's almost unheard of for anyone to earn back the amount of research and hours put into any single work (whether traditionally published or not). Most Booker Prize winners are barely scraping by, month to month.

So, unless YOU are personally earning $10,000 a month, I don't want to hear about those numbers, and if you are, I'd suspect it's some sort of scam.

Replies:   sunkuwan
Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

Some paperbacks were as low as 5 bucks.

Sorry, I'd assumed you (Dominions Son) were referring to new books at full retail, rather than discounted or resold books, which can often be purchased for an overinflated shipping charge.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

When was the last time you purchased a paperback novel (aside from on street corners with the covers cut off)? The going rate is around $20+, not $5.


It's probably been a decade or so since I've bought hard copy paperbacks. Still, looking at current prices on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, the current going rate for genre fiction mass market paperbacks (6x9 inches) not trade paperbacks is $8-$15, not $20.

sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

Calm down.

Just because you didn't have success, doesn't mean that everyone has to be grumbling until they are in the retirement home.

You DO realize that 'double digit sales' amount to all of $10, don't you? Going from that, to tens of thousands every month for an unknown novice writer is nothing short of pipe dreams


Yes, and what would you suggest to this aspiring author who has written 10 books and his first published book has double-digit sales? crawl in a corner and cry?

Or, you know, experiment with Patreon and in 99% of the cases get more than 10$?

You can still publish after getting on Patreon, what's the problem? The open display on how successful or unsuccessful you are?

For the few of us who publish our works, NONE of us earns anywhere NEAR that amount, and anyone promising that you can is simply flat out lying.


Because most didn't even try.
Patreon earnings are public. It is the most transparent way to look at the success of an amateur Author.
A big difference to the "I published 20 ebooks" message that has no meaning overall on the success and fanbase of an author.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@sunkuwan

You could spend 15$ a month on Michael Loucks (Penguintopia) to get chapters of his stories earlier, you even get a pdf, but nothing major else. That would be insane if you just did it to buy a novel, but that's not what Patreon is for, you are supporting the author so that he continues doing what you enjoy.


Actually, this is highly inaccurate. The $15/mo subscribers get a ton of additional material AND have the opportunity to guide a character in the story, as well as kibitz on the storyline while I'm writing, which means they have chapters of books before they're completed, and about 6 months before SOL. Those subscriptions are limited because I only have so much time. :-)

$2/month gets you the story about 2 months before SOL.
$3/month gets you the PDF/ePub/mobi/docx versions.

There are higher levels as well (which have more content). But, in the end, AWLL is free for all on SOL and will always be. And once I start posting, I post a chapter every day.

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

All I observed was that, aside from a few people with established fan bases and instant name recognition, few can actually make Patreon work. I really don't give a shit how the 1% succeed as long as 99% utterly fail. That means it's NOT a viable option for most individuals.


It depends on your goal. To make a living? To receive some compensation (other than nice emails or '10' votes on SOL)? For me, it wasn't about supporting myself, but about compensation. I'd have a tough time publishing any other way given the content.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@Michael Loucks

Sorry, it was simplistic in my explanations.

The quintessence was, that Patreon is not a seller of books. It is a platform to support creators.
You always pay money so that the author has some spending money or even has the means to continue writing, while the majority of the fanbase get the product for free. (there are some Patreons who only give copies to their supporters, but they are few in the novel space)

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

Yes, and what would you suggest to this aspiring author who has written 10 books and his first published book has double-digit sales? crawl in a corner and cry?

Not at all. Those earnings are entirely reasonable, however, your claims of a novice writer earning 'thousands a month' was a bogus as your claims to 'original content'. My comment wasn't directed at those earning less than your bogus claims, it was aimed at your wild-assed claims without any basis other than half-baked assertions.

Selling 20 ebooks is nothing to be ashamed of, unless of course, someone stole the work and are passing it off as your own. However, I was confusing your name with someone else's, so I apologize for any aspersions about your actions. Again, your claims just seemed a bit too far-fetched to pass without commenting. Most of us struggle quietly in the dark.

Replies:   sunkuwan
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

The subscribers get a ton of additional material AND have the opportunity to guide a character in the story, as well as kibitz on the storyline while I'm writing, which means they have chapters of books before they're completed, and about 6 months before SOL. Those subscriptions are limited because I only have so much time. :-)

$2/month gets you the story about 2 months before SOL.
$3/month gets you the PDF/ePub/mobi/docx versions.

There are higher levels as well (which have more content). But, in the end, AWLL is free for all on SOL and will always be. And once I start posting, I post a chapter every day.

Those are entirely reasonable, I just didn't want you going off half-cocked and accidentally getting yourself in trouble.

I myself go the self-publishing route, so I publish my books about 2 - months before posting them for free on SOL, which helps boost the flagging sales after the book has been out for a while. Those efforts (both yours and mine) are valid, as long as you don't actually post active links to the outside sources (I list the email address of my website in plain text (so readers have to copy it into their browser window), as well as listing that my books are available on Amazon, smashwords and lulu. (The limit on active links is due to problems with hackers posting Spam links, not that they don't trust us authors.)

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

It depends on your goal. To make a living? To receive some compensation (other than nice emails or '10' votes on SOL)? For me, it wasn't about supporting myself, but about compensation. I'd have a tough time publishing any other way given the content.

As long as it works for you. Way back when, when I first tried it, I didn't get a nibble, so I got discouraged and gave up. But, I'm doing fairly well with my independent publishing, but that's a fairly labor intensive process—trying to figure out the ins and outs of publishing before you can actually publish anything. As I suggested, I'd heard that Patreon was having more success now, but that it's mostly limited to the 'name-brand players' who bring their own fans with them.

sunkuwan
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

You have to start somewhere. I didn't claim you get instantly thousands a month (although, it is POSSIBLE if you had a massive fanbase already), I proposed to experiment with Patreon, that it is instantly better than the money you get from ebook publishing. Or even any money at all. For most authors here on SoL, publishing to Amazon or Lulu is a pipe dream, they don't have the experience or support to get their work published, sometimes it would even be impossible to publish a book with a particular fetish. You guys who sell ebooks are the "elite" who "made it" as small-time authors.
For everyone else, it would be easier to set up a Patreon account and try their luck. There are no barriers of entry.

Also, Wildbow, the Author who makes 4,000 to 5,000$ a month doesn't have amazing grammar/show-don't-tell/and other "red lines" that are prominently preached here.
What he has, are amazing stories and characters

He doesn't promise anything on his Patreon, he doesn't even have tiered "rewards" or anything (nothing that I see). People just like to support him

And I don't know when he started, but the earliest Post on the Patreon is from march 2016 and the first time I looked at it early 2017, it already made over a thousand.

He started writing in 2013.

So it is possible to start on Patreon and be successful in relative short time.
It seems Penguintopia also made such a success in just 1 to 2 years.

Edit: Sure, for most authors they will be lucky if they have some hundreds a month, even after years. But it is literally free money with a little bit of work or no work at all, depends on how much the author wants to engage with his fanbase.

Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

The $15/mo subscribers get a ton of additional material AND have the opportunity to guide a character in the story, as well as kibitz on the storyline while I'm writing,


So you're also selling them some of the creative involvement in the story.

Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

Also, Wildbow, the Author who makes 4,000 to 5,000$ a month doesn't have amazing grammar/show-don't-tell/and other "red lines" that are prominently preached here.
What he has, are amazing stories and characters


Is that just Wildbow claiming he's pulling in that much to impress new patrons, or have you independently verified that? Is it even possible to independently verify how much a Patreon user is pulling in?

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

In response to something someone said early about Patreon and plagiarism I went to the site to try and run some checks to see if an author could easily detect such an event. I found the site damn awkward to move about in for such a purpose, and the search engine was only returning about ten hits per page and the results did seem a bit odd with their results as well.

Also, while on the subject of book sales I just checked my Lulu stats and they show 6,914 books sold in the last 5 years.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

Is that just Wildbow claiming he's pulling in that much to impress new patrons, or have you independently verified that? Is it even possible to independently verify how much a Patreon user is pulling in?


*repeatedly banging the head on the wall*

It is displayed how much every creator makes on the very page.

It is not a fantasy number a creator could just display, those numbers are automatically placed by Patreon.

Why is it so difficult to search for 30 seconds and verify it yourself? You could look every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, every second and see how much he makes.

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

So it is possible to start on Patreon and be successful in relative short time.
It seems Penguintopia also made such a success in just 1 to 2 years.

I don't begrudge your trying, which is why I first suggested patreon. If the exchanges got a bit overheated, it's largely because your nae is similar to that of the author recently caught trying to push plagarized works (which he still denies). Since many of us have been burned by such attempts, and haven't been able to do much about it, it tends to rile us.

But, you complaints about we 'elite' small time authors started exactly where you are now. In fact, I too started with Patreon, but couldn't get much response from it, so I eventually gave it up. But, I learned everything I know about writing and publishing on the fly, just as everyone else here did. And I agree, it's not an easy path to take, as the learning curve is steep, but there are plenty of people here who have found similar battles to what you're facing now.

While I original response was strident, I didn't want you accidentally trying something which might get you in hot water (say by misdirecting SOL readers). Again, there are NO restrictions on either selling or subsidizing your writing, but there are guidelines on how you go about it.

You haven't been here for long, so you haven't been exposed to the long discussions we've had here about formatting, grammar and how to string sentences together. It's been a long, tough slog for each of us. Few of us started out studying how to be writers. Instead, we fell into it by accident, mostly after a lifetime of doing other work, but ending up where we have a lifetime of experience we can share in stories (hence the 'ability to tell a story', rather than trained techniques in how to properly put words together.

Like the rest of us, you'll learn, but whether you go through Patreon or some other route, you'll figure out what you need to know to continue.

By the way, currently there are only about three of us who are currently 'publishing', and no, since we're self-publishing, we don't have to remove our works in order to sell our wares. But, in the end, just as authors generally only hear from about 3% of their readers, we're supported by even fewer, and my prior frustrations with subscription models is that the participation rate is even lower than that. It's easy to shell out five bucks now and then for a finished product, but it's another entirely to pay every month as someone learns. I'm not saying you won't succeed, just warning you that it'll take time before you can build the support you're hoping for.

But through it all, the contentious authors here on the SOL forum will support you, often responding harshly to misread cues, but always ready to offer advice—whether it's wanted or not. 'D

By the way, I started writing around 2010, and published my first work at the end of 2011, so I'm guessing that Wildbow and I aren't that dissimilar.

Finally, beware of tossing around the term 'free money'. However little i make, I work hard for it, and writing is a tough field to survive in. You do whatever it takes to survive, as many famous authors (ex. Anais Nin) survived by writing porn for pennies per page. But what distinguishes authors, isn't how much money they produce, but how they're driven to write, whether they make money or not, whether they know the 'rules' or not, and despite their many failings. That's the true definition of an author, not someone who wants to strike it rich, but someone who has to write come hell or high water.

Replies:   sunkuwan  REP
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Is that just Wildbow claiming he's pulling in that much to impress new patrons,


according to the Patreon website, which has a good search for a creator but not so good on story titles, Wildbow is at $4,646 per month from 1,143 patrons.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

In response to something someone said early about Patreon and plagiarism I went to the site to try and run some checks to see if an author could easily detect such an event. I found the site damn awkward to move about in for such a purpose, and the search engine was only returning about ten hits per page and the results did seem a bit odd with their results as well.


Patreon is NOT a place where you post your stories
Patreon is NOT storing any stories (well, partially, the Supporter only stuff is stored _somewhere_ but you can't search for it, because it is behind a paywall, so if you want to search for plagiarism, you have to pay ALL Patreon creators to get access) And several just give you a password for a file that you can access somewhere else.

And all in all, most Patreons post their stories on dedicated websites or normal story sites, very few only let paying fans see their work.
So, most instances of plagiarism would be found at the dedicated site where the story is posted.

Again, Patreon doesn't sell you a product, it gives you an opportunity to support your favorite Author. I haven't seen any successful cases of Plagiarism on Patreon, it would be a hell of an achievement to pull off. Someone would certainly find out about it before the plagiarist could make much money on it.
Sure, there could be the odd case of a story, forgotten in a lonely place on the internet with no one claiming otherwise.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Also, while on the subject of book sales I just checked my Lulu stats and they show 6,914 books sold in the last 5 years.

Damn. That's an impressive number. Unfortunately, I don't have any such figures, because Amazon only releases purchases on a month-by-month basis, and the information ages out, and SW destroyed my sales history when they deleted my account some time ago, and my sales are scattered over a half-dozen different sites. That makes keeping tabs on my sales problematic.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

according to the Patreon website, which has a good search for a creator but not so good on story titles, Wildbow is at $4,646 per month from 1,143 patrons.

Now that is a LOT of paying patrons, nearly as much as my total readers, especially now that I'm no longer posting to as many different sites.

Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

Damn. That's an impressive number. Unfortunately, I don't have any such figures, because Amazon only releases purchases on a month-by-month basis, and the information ages out, and SW destroyed my sales history when they deleted my account some time ago, and my sales are scattered over a half-dozen different sites. That makes keeping tabs on my sales problematic.

That said, I've been 'publishing' two to three titles every year since 2011 (only a single book in 2011), and they're sold across multiple platforms, so that in itself is a hell of a lot of books. Rough estimate: 7 years x 2.5 books/year x an average of 50 copies sold for each book = 875, well below Ernest's number, but then he's been at it longer, and many of his are free, which affects sales as well.

sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

Why make this a case of "this or that"

Like I said, Patreon doesn't sell you stories, it is a place where you can support a creator.
Most of the time, it is while the Author actively writes the story.

So you could write a story, get money (however much or few) while writing the story and when it is finished you could publish the story on book/ebook and give your Patreon supporters the finished book for free.

It can be "free money" if you just set up the page and post something like "This is the place where fans of my works can support me however much they want, every Dollar helps me. Check out my prior works here, here, and here and I am currently writing xyz"

Some fans are more financially secure than others and have no problem with "throwing" big money at their favorite Author so that he can continue writing what the fan enjoys.

And finally, I don't try to convince myself to use Patreon, I want other Authors to try it out. There is no way to know if one could be successful or not, but if it helps to pay some of the bills, why not? You are not held at gunpoint by Patreon, they won't take away your content, they don't steal your content, they can only decide to not allow you to make or maintain a Patreon page. It doesn't close any publishing doors because you don't publish on Patreon, it even can be a good argument in convincing a publisher to give you a chance if you have a big following on patreon.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

Supporter only stuff is stored _somewhere_ but you can't search for it, because it is behind a paywall,


so it's not possible for an author to check if a Patreon person is committing plagiarism. I hope the organisers at Patreon have a way of checking that, but I doubt it from what you say.

For a plagiarism case to be detected someone has to have access to the Patreon account data as well as be familiar with other people's stories. So I doubt such a case of ripping off stories would be detected easily or early. They need only get full stories from other sites and then trickle them out on Patreon.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

If the Plagiarist isn't posting the story piece by piece in plain text as an update on the page, there is practically no way to find out about it. Most of the time you either get a password for a file on a different site or you get a pdf through e-mail.

Can you search for plagiarism on dropbox, mega, or any other personal storage site? Same difference.

I still believe that it is very unlikely that you could successfully make money through plagiarized stories on Patreon, If the plagiarist is successful, he/she would be found out immediately. it is very unlikely that there would be no fans who overlap with the original Author. (other than the odd case, where an unheard of story was sitting somewhere and only the plagiarist found it)
The fans who support the author on Patreon aren't the only ones who are aware of the site, there are much more free users who are aware the site exist.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

(which he still denies).


He was a frequent poster this morning. Have you noted that he hasn't posted since then.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Have you noted that he hasn't posted since then.


Considering the very first story he posted was removed for plagiarism, it wouldn't surprise me if Lazeez killed his account on the site.

docholladay

Heck if nothing else, setup a paypal account. Then ask for donations. I don't have any idea of how many will actually donate anything, but that doesn't seem to violate any rules. At least as long as that is all it is. If you use it as a form of blackmail for future chapters then it probably will break the rules.

Its just an idea and since I haven't read your story, I have no way to judge how good a storyteller you are.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@sunkuwan


Some fans are more financially secure than others and have no problem with "throwing" big money at their favorite Author so that he can continue writing what the fan enjoys.


Which is a big part of it being called Patreon to start with. It is a play on the practice of patronage, and more particularly as it pertains to "The Arts" only taking it to the crowd-funding level rather than hoping to come across a Multi-Millionaire+ who is willing to personally bankroll things.

As said previously, Patreon doesn't exist (primarily) as a vehicle for selling specific things. It is there for people to have a chance to "be the patron" helping support the (creative) work of people they have enjoyed in the past.

And given that lens, paying "an outsized price" for things is part of the point. Crumbly could be surprised and reopen a Patreon account and find someone willing to pay $25/month per chapter for nothing more than "warm fuzzies" rather than follow the model of others. (I'm not that person, but they do seem to exist from what I've seen on there)

Most offer more/"better perks" for the bigger spenders as inducements for people to do so. How much those "perks" matter to a specific donor could be debated(and only the donor would know), but they are out there.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@docholladay

Heck if nothing else, setup a paypal account. Then ask for donations. I don't have any idea of how many will actually donate anything,


That's how I started (before Patreon). I received about $3000 over the course of the first year before I started Patreon.

Michael Loucks

@Not_a_ID

And given that lens, paying "an outsized price" for things is part of the point. Crumbly could be surprised and reopen a Patreon account and find someone willing to pay $25/month per chapter for nothing more than "warm fuzzies" rather than follow the model of others. (I'm not that person, but they do seem to exist from what I've seen on there)


Nick Scipio has some $40 (yes, forty) per month patrons.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Heck if nothing else, setup a paypal account. Then ask for donations. I don't have any idea of how many will actually donate anything, but that doesn't seem to violate any rules. At least as long as that is all it is. If you use it as a form of blackmail for future chapters then it probably will break the rules.

Other authors have tried that approach, myself included (in my case, it was for versions of the story my regular posting sites weren't supporting when I was having problems with SW). In my case, zero bites, but I remember one other author who did that as his only 'publication' effort and did reasonably well, though I don't recall who it was so can't check on the details. Maybe someone else will.

That's certainly an approach to take for stories that aren't allowed on SOL, but then again, you run the risk of violated several national laws if you do, so tread carefully in that case (releasing illegal underaged content).

Replies:   sunkuwan  docholladay
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Nick Scipio has some $40 (yes, forty) per month patrons.

Still? Nick Scipio doesn't produce much writing anymore, as he spends the majority of his time searching for 'funny sexy pictures' on his website, thus I'd be surprised if those same patrons were still bankrolling him, at least for his stories.

He also dicked his many fans around for years before finally completing his initial Summer Camp trilogy. I gave up after waiting for book 3 for a couple of years, but I now see he not only finished that one, but has added several others, so maybe he's finally back to writing again. (We lose more authors to websites and blogs, where they spend all their time trying to keep their viewers entertained and no longer spend time actually writing anything substantial.)

Still, his writing was wonderfully detailed, but I found the third Summer Camp novel atrocious before I finally gave up on it.

Replies:   PotomacBob  Nick Scipio
sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

You are still expecting this to be like a business transaction.

Paypal donations and Patreon are support platforms, to support a creator in finishing his creation or continue to make it. Not to sell a finished product.

Your finished products are your portfolio, the reason why you have a fanbase, your business card.
the money from Paypal and/or Patreon should go to your future effort as a creator.
"Hey, guys it would help me tremendously if you would support me, every Dollar helps. I will still continue to write and publish everything for free, but if I get enough, maybe I could write full-time"
Seems to be one of the popular standard phrases.

You can even go to the commission route write side-stories or completely new mini-stories for your most loyal and biggest supporters.
I don't think it would fall under the blackmail rule, because you would never have written it anyway. It only get's problematic, if it is the only thing you write.

So, summed up:
Try it again, without thinking about it like a store.
Just ask for support for your future efforts, either it makes an impact, or not.
If you want to get deeper into it, think about rewards and commissions, make polls about side projects, maybe a butt-load of people would pay happily if one of your finished stories gets a sequel.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

The only reason i mentioned it was I have seen it a few times, but due to my financial situation I was never able to donate. Hopefully I will be able to find enough to continue my premium usage status when it becomes due. No one should pay it for me however, if need be I will go back to regular usage until I can find the money.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@sunkuwan


the money from Paypal and/or Patreon should go to your future effort as a creator.


Or PayPal could be used as a tip jar for existing works. As in, "Look, I put stories out there for free, but feel free to tip me like you would the guy playing the piano in a bar. He's going to play anyway, but it's a thank you."

Neither the tip jar or Patreon are for me. This is not a business for me. When I make a sale on a novel, it's not about the compensation. It simply puts a smile on my face when I think, "Hey, someone thought enough of it to buy it. Cool."

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

He also dicked his many fans around for years before finally completing his initial Summer Camp trilogy.


The story is not yet complete - he's working on Book 5.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Neither the tip jar or Patreon are for me. This is not a business for me. When I make a sale on a novel, it's not about the compensation. It simply puts a smile on my face when I think, "Hey, someone thought enough of it to buy it. Cool."


My attitude exactly. Although, I do really appreciate the sales via Lulu because I use that money to pay some of my editors who are on very low fixed incomes, so the sales helps them to get by a little better than they would otherwise manage.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Neither the tip jar or Patreon are for me. This is not a business for me. When I make a sale on a novel, it's not about the compensation. It simply puts a smile on my face when I think, "Hey, someone thought enough of it to buy it. Cool."

I know Lazeez's policy on promoting sales, does anyone have any idea on his 'tip jar' policy (i.e. can we explicitly request funds), or is that crossing a red-line?

Also, Sunkuwan, Lazeez was working on a SOL-based sales vehicle for authors to sell their own works (with SOL getting a small cut). I haven't heard any updates, so I'm not sure whether it's still in the works or not, but that's another option for you to consider. I know you're not prepared to start publishing yourself, but it's something to keep in mind.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

My attitude exactly. Although, I do really appreciate the sales via Lulu because I use that money to pay some of my editors who are on very low fixed incomes, so the sales helps them to get by a little better than they would otherwise manage.

For me, I keep pushing the limits on the 'production quality' side, so I've use the money to purchase stock art, fonts, graphic section breaks and header images and sometimes full-page section break graphics (images for sections containing multiple chapters).

I take pride in my work, so not only do I seek to reduce typos, grammar problems and formatting problems, but I want my works to look professional, even if I don't charge as much as the traditional publishers.

But then, I tend to obsess on that end too, as I doubt anyone else puts in the attention to overall design that I do. Not many people comment on the extra graphics, but I'm starting to get more comments on the epigraphs I often include in my stories, so that's a start (i.e. at least they're not a complete waste).

Sadly, I'm investing more into each book than I ever make back, but I'd love to start paying my editors too, only I'm now using too many to implement it (my latest book had six), though I try to pay them back through other means.

To give you an idea, I've mentioned wanting to make a big investment is ISBNs, but that alone is gonna run me $1,5000, so I keep putting it off (though I think I'm gonna do it as an 'independent publishing outlet', which means I could share resources (potentially including covers)). Since I'm buying the stuff in bulk, it would be cheap for individual authors. But that's not a business venture for me, just a way of paying less per book.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

make a big investment is ISBNs, but that alone is gonna run me $1,5000


I still don't understand why you need them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I still don't understand why you need them.

So the books point to ME, as an independent publisher, rather than to Createspace or Amazon. It's mostly a pride thing, like the rest of my obsessions, as they don't bring in any more money or readers. But if purchase them in bulk, I get the same rate the big houses (like smashwords, createspace and lulu) get them for (which is why they can hand them out for free).

There used to be a lot of discussion about this back on the LinkedIn Author's forums (back before I gave up the site after M$ stripped it of much of it's useful content), and the consensus among independent publishers (aka. author/publishers), is that it's better for your professional image.

Purchased individually, they're $75. Purchased in bulk, they're only $1.50 each.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I know Lazeez's policy on promoting sales, does anyone have any idea on his 'tip jar' policy (i.e. can we explicitly request funds), or is that crossing a red-line?


best to ask him direct through the webmaster link.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I take pride in my work, so not only do I seek to reduce typos, grammar problems and formatting problems, but I want my works to look professional, even if I don't charge as much as the traditional publishers.


I'm much the same, but since both Lulu and D2D will provide me with free ISBNs I use those to save money. I look for and find free to use images for my artwork and create my own cover pages. You'd be surprised how much stuff is out there as either public domain or allowed under Creative Commons licence as long as you attribute it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

but since both Lulu and D2D will provide me with free ISBNs I use those to save money.


That's my point. And Amazon uses it's own for ebooks. But so what. The only purpose for it is to order the correct product.

Crumbly,
You said if you buy it in bulk it only costs $1.50. You may see the buck-fifty. I see $1,500.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You said if you buy it in bulk it only costs $1.50. You may see the buck-fifty. I see $1,500.

It's a sizeable sum, but that many should last me long into the future. I'm still working off my initial 100 ISBN purchase, for about half that amount, but I'm already looking at another purchase. With this purchase, I'll never have to buy any more again. On the other hand, the price has skyrocketed 50% in that same amount of time.

But in the end, this is all about personal ego and pride, as it's not necessary for me to sell my books.

Switch Blayde

@Switch Blayde

Or PayPal could be used as a tip jar for existing works


Just noticed while writing a blog that asking for donations is not allowed on SOL. So no tip jar.

Please no donation or money requests in blogs.


It makes sense.

docholladay

@Switch Blayde

And where ever there is a doubt ask Laz. He will usually give an answer and has a history of supporting the writers when ever possible.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Just noticed while writing a blog that asking for donations is not allowed on SOL. So no tip jar.

Please no donation or money requests in blogs.

It makes sense.

That's why I asked, as I recalled their being some sort of limitation, but couldn't remember precisely what it might be.

Replies:   docholladay
Tefler

@Dominions Son

I considered supporting Tefler (Three Square Meals), through his Patreon page. However, he want's mass market paperback novel level money for just one chapter.

The minimum I charge per chapter is only $1, which is the lowest value you can set in Patreon. Each chapter is pretty big, about 30k words each time, so I think it's reasonable value for money. :-)

You can set different tier amounts, which I have done, then give those patrons extra benefits, like access to artwork etc. Last year the $10 patrons got to name a character in the story, that kind of thing.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

That's why I asked, as I recalled their being some sort of limitation, but couldn't remember precisely what it might be.


As always, when there is a doubt ask Lazeez he will probably give the best answer. Since like that famous quote "The buck stops here." (can't remember how to spell his name" Eisenhower.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Tefler


Each chapter is pretty big, about 30k words each time,


From what I've been told the quantity, and quality of content is very variable and up to the author. While some give you good value for money, that's not always the case. Plus you can be left high and dry with an incomplete story.

For those of us who don't want to release a work until it's completed, I'm told Patreon isn't of any use to us. I've got a Lulu account I can sell books over, I've got a PayPal account, so if anyone wants to support me they can go and buy my books or just send me donations without having to go through the issue of using Patreon.

Replies:   sunkuwan
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@docholladay


"The buck stops here."


It was stolen by a few past US presidents who saw it at the deer hunting club waterhole.

edit to add:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

It's because the bucks stopped there few others got any pay, he kept the money.

sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

From what I've been told the quantity, and quality of content is very variable and up to the author. While some give you good value for money, that's not always the case. Plus you can be left high and dry with an incomplete story.


You are still thinking about it like it is a store.
Every supporter decides for themselves how much a story or an active author is worth their money. It could be 1$ a month or it could be a 100$

And the Author sets the expectation. It is correct, that authors who only release completed works have it worse on Patreon but it is no barrier to make a Patreon page regardless, you just have to set the expectation that you only release complete works, however long they take.
You don't even need to promise anything in exchange for the money, just your continued desire to write fiction.

And you still can sell books on lulu or amazon or wherever, even if you have a deal that doesn't let you sell the book elsewhere because you don't sell books on Patreon, you sell your continued writing

sunkuwan

Also, I may be coming across like a shill for Patreon, but as a consumer, this is the best thing happening for writing since the advent of the internet.

5 years ago, it wasn't uncommon to see a lot of promising talent falling into the publishing hellhole and giving up. Either they got scammed and had a mountain of debt and a thousand unsold books or they got disillusioned about their chance of success on striking a publishing deal.

I saw several authors who were updating weekly with a cool story or stories and then stopped because they tried to land a publishing deal. They also preemptively deleted all their stories even if it wasn't necessary because they thought they have to when the book is published.
We never heard anything about most of them from that point on.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

They also preemptively deleted all their stories even if it wasn't necessary because they thought they have to when the book is published.

More often, that's what the publisher told them, that they wouldn't even consider the work if it was freely available anywhere else. But their removing their work is not a guarantee of a deal, and once the stories are already removed, most try the same pitch to along line of publisher's rather than putting the material back up, only to pull it again and again.

However, while I commend you for finding a system that works for you, many of us have tried Patreon, and didn't find the same natural fit you have. At this point, having published 16 books, I'd feel pretty silly asking patrons to support me so I'm able to continue writing, since it's clear I'll continue whether I have their support or not.

Each of us has to find their own ways to survive in this often cut-throat industry, and just because one course worked (or didn't) for you, doesn't mean it will be the same for everyone else. More than anything else, as has already been noted, Patreon isn't really a known harbor for works of literature, so it likely won't get the attention other avenues will.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

I am first and foremost a consumer and am interested in Patreon as a consumer.

If I ever release some of my writing works I will look at patreon as a creator when I developed a fanbase.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
imsly1

If it's allowed..I think I will start soliciting authors for money..also ..for me to read their stories.... a buck a page... should be fair...right?

Thank you everyone for being able to write...

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

If I ever release some of my writing works I will look at patreon as a creator when I developed a fanbase.

Again, it is a powerful platform. Only, it doesn't work for everyone. I encourage everyone who wants to try it, but it's best, like all these platforms, to keep your expectations realistic—at least until you see some real benefits.

As I say, it's been a while since I've visited, so it may be better than it was, but since I already have my hand in so many pies, asking people to support me strikes me as being overly pushy. My readers are already supporting me, my work is being posted regularly, and as much as I'd appreciate any support I could get, it's not going to produce any additional work than I'm currently generating.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Keep in mind there are various ways to structure things as well iirc. I don't know specifics of the "levers and switches" on the side of the person making to request.

I do know that Tefler for example is on a per chapter basis. So with him there is an implicit "production promise" albeit one with indefinite time frames. He could drop a chapter a week, or one a year, or anywhere between.

Others have a per month pledge. (Which admittedly could be them manually firing it monthly) Whether or not they promised anything in return is between them and their "patrons." Which kind of goes back to where its name came from and how system worked historically, and still does in some cases today.

A "patron" will agree to fund an artist(/inventor/scientist) while they're engaged in certain types of pursuits. In exchange, the patron often reaps the benefits of said efforts once something is completed. Sometimes things pan out, sometimes they don't. think

Historically the person had to be very concerned about consequences should they fail to produce. With Patreon, I don't think the concern about either Vinny or local law enforcement turning up is too much of an issue. At least so long as you're upfront about things from the start. For some people it is entirely plausible they could get a collection of patrons that would be willing to provide enough funding to allow them to devote less time to a wage-job and instead focus on more creative pursuits. Just for the promise of a quicker turn around on future releases(of whole books no less, although for those long-term/"high value" donors, I would probably offer a "gratis" copy all the same)

Which goes back to: Patreon isn't a marketplace. While certain types of "transactional" models do work well there, they are not the only option . It just comes down to who is in your fan base, and how many of them are "flush with cash" they're willing to part with. With or without blackmail tactics.

Michael Loucks

@Not_a_ID

Others have a per month pledge. (Which admittedly could be them manually firing it monthly) Whether or not they promised anything in return is between them and their "patrons." Which kind of goes back to where its name came from and how system worked historically, and still does in some cases today.


It's automagic - when the month turns, all active patrons have their accounts charged. It usually takes a couple of days for everything to go through. A Patron's account which 'declines' (i.e. their credit or debit card is declined by the processor) twice goes inactive and won't be charged again until they manually renew.

There are other options that can bet setup, but they are either patron-initiated or automagic.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Historically the person had to be very concerned about consequences should they fail to produce.


Historically, the patrons were the wealthiest of the wealthy and could afford to fund artistic or research efforts with little to no expectation of a return on their investment.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

Historically, the patrons were the wealthiest of the wealthy and could afford to fund artistic or research efforts with little to no expectation of a return on their investment.


Historically, they could quarter or maim the artist if he didn't get results. And even if he got results but the patron doesn't liked it ;)

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@sunkuwan

Historically, they could quarter or maim the artist if he didn't get results. And even if he got results but the patron doesn't liked it ;)


So, in other words, nothing has changed. :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Historically, they could quarter or maim the artist if he didn't get results. And even if he got results but the patron doesn't liked it ;)

So, in other words, nothing has changed. :-)

I'd definitely become a patron if it meant I could maim certain specific authors. '-)

Nick Scipio
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Still? Nick Scipio doesn't produce much writing anymore, as he spends the majority of his time searching for 'funny sexy pictures' on his website, thus I'd be surprised if those same patrons were still bankrolling him, at least for his stories.


Wow. You sure talk a lot of shit for a guy who's (at best) a clueless moron or (worst) a hack writer who spends more time in the SOL Forum than actually writing stories.

And you've had a hate-on for me for several years now. What gives, dipshit? Did I run over your dog or something? Win some silly award that you were hoping for? Or am I just a better writer and you're jealous?

Seriously. Get your facts straight or shut the fuck up about me and what I do. I don't really care which, but pick one and stick with it.

- Nick

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Nick Scipio

Wow! Did I strike a sensitive nerve or what?

I responded privately, since he also sent this to me personally, but since he chose to make this a public issue, I'll also post it here.

You can't dictate how others 'feel' about your stories. I used to like Nick's stories, but once he started his website, posting his daily 'erotic funny pictures', he barely had time to write. Since then, he's produced a few extra books, but personally, find the quality of the stories since to be sorely lacking. So I'm making NO apologies for my opinions. I stand by my assertions, and if Nick wants to pick a fight, I'll gladly post it across the internet. I was willing to sweep it under the rug, but if he wants to air his dirty laundry in public, then so be it.

For the rest of us, one word of caution, I learned early that it never pays to respond to negative reviews. If the review is unreasonable, then it's best to simply let the review stand on its own. Regular readers will know whether the criticism is fair or not. But trying to shame, humiliate or insult people expressing their honest opinions always reflect poorly on the artist, not on the poster.

I encountered this problem early, when I tried to rational explain my reasoning in placing something a reader didn't like. Needless to day, it didn't work out to my benefit. Rather than a single bad review, he left several, and likely bad-mouthed my books to anyone who would listen.

If your story can't stand on it's own, then don't try to dictate what others say about it.

By the way, Nick, calling me a 'hack' is incredibly stupid. By definition, a 'hack' is someone who sell out their standards in the pursuit of sales. My book sales couldn't support me if I was living out of a cardboard box in Batswana.

I write because it's so hard to find the kinds of stories that I enjoy. As such, I choose to write stories that don't appeal to the mass market. That's why I'll never submit my work to a traditional publisher, because I already know they'd never consider my stories 'suitable' for their catalogue.

You can call me talentless, since I NEVER studied writing as a career, only taking it up late in life and learning though a 'trial by fire', but you can't claim that I'm a hack!

I was planning to remove the original post, but again, since Nick has made such an issue of it, I'll leave it up indefinitely.

Since he's never posted to the forum before, I can only guess he only 'discovered' the post because he decided to google his name and see what 'rave reviews' he's getting this month!

P.S. Sorry to the rest of you for that little rant. The original post really wasn't worth much concern, since it was only one reader's opinion, but when someone comes after me, trying to shame me into shutting up, I'm going to speak loudly so everyone know exactly why I can no longer read the author's books, and I'm not ashamed of my opinions!

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