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Regarding Patreon

StarFleetCarl

Just curious - I'm seeing some assorted comments in other threads about Patreon and authors not posting unless they get a certain amount.

Which sort of brings to mind the old joke about someone being a bad singer and being told, don't quit your day job. One of the reasons I don't write full time is that my day job (as in, the job that I actually put in about 60 - 70 hours per week at doing) pays me about $7,000 per month.

If Patreon could give me that much, then, yeah, I'd quit my day job and write full time. Does it actually pay that much? Just sort of curious. And also rather tipsy, since I ended up with an odd mid-week day off due to the original Brexit Holiday, and I've indulged in a bit of an adult beverage (4 ounces of Seagrams Honey Whiskey, mixed with 8 ounces of Chi-Chi's Long Island Iced Tea). Original Brexit Day - American Independence Day, for those of you still under the heel of her Majesty, the Queen!

Replies:   John Demille
evilynnthales
Updated:

A friend of mine makes a living on Twitch + Patreon. I make more than he does at my day job, but he makes (roughly) 5k a month... Thats streaming gaming, a totally different market.

It blows my mind that an AUTHOR would use Patreon. I'm happy to throw $3.00 at a good book for my kindle. I purchased two earlier this week based on recommendations from here. Unless it's content that Amazon doesn't allow, I don't see any reason to go the Patreon route.

Am I missing something?

On a related note: You should be able to visit their Patreon page and see how many donations they are getting. Unless they can turn that off...

gmontgomery

My exposure to Patreon comes for the various firearms related channels on YouTube that use it for support as YouTube has demonetized them.

sunkuwan

You have to understand the mindset of Patreon writers and their fanbase to be successful yourself.
If, as a writer, you think of it as a store, you will crash, hard. You can't browse Patreon, so gating access to your stories forever will not gain you anything.

As a writer, you have to understand your fan base. The huge fan of yours that has no problem paying 3$ for your book, may also have no problem, paying 3,000$ for your book. And the Fan who has no money for luxuries at all may be a huge fan who talks about your books everywhere he goes and expands your potential fanbase.

So, Patreon is the place where everyone can contribute to your work with what they feel your work is worth, what your continued writing is worth (* size of your fanbase).

The most successful writers have a fanbase that want them to continue writing, that's what they are supporting, not the past works, but the future work. They pay, so that the author has time to work on stories that the fanbase likes.

On a related note: You should be able to visit their Patreon page and see how many donations they are getting. Unless they can turn that off...


They can't turn that off, would also be stupid, you want the potential payer see how much other people pay to you, so that they know that others feel, you are worth it.

Replies:   evilynnthales
Crumbly Writer

I tried Patreon early one, like when they first started up. I didn't find it useful at all. Despite alerting all my readers about the Patreon site, few were willing to log onto an unknown site just to see what I had available (SOL readers are, in general, a pretty conservative bunch when it comes to signing into unknown sites). I'm told the site has become much more accessible, but as far as I can see, that just means you can now charge for page hits, rather than actual chapters written, which seems to be entirely missing the point of readers paying you to write, instead they're paying you to take them out of their way, subject them to abuse ads, and then leave in disgust without purchasing anything but you still make money.

However, a few people here have claimed to make substantial money (of course, someone else here at one time claimed they were making over 100K writing short porn novels of 5K to 10K using Amazon Prime, so who knows which are legitimate claims and which are only ego driven claims).

If you self-publish, you're only adding to the amount of work you have to do for little money, as there's a host of things you have to learn, navigate and manage. The idea behind Patreon is that you simply set up a 'contribution' structure with various rewards, and then readers pay you to write, NOTHING else. Thus you don't have to create and pay for your own website, you don't have to deal with formatting, creating epubs, or even worry overly much about the proper grammar (if your readers don't quit paying because of the typos).

For me, I've got a nice system set up releasing a couple books a year, so I'm not going to toss all of that aside and ask my readers to learn an entirely new system to support me—even if it may earn a little more money, as it's yet another money-sink.

If others find it useful, then more power to them, but so far, they seem more interested in getting anyone at all to visit their sites (where they serve as the author's clickbait mice). Also, I see NO way for an author to build a fanbase and reach new customers using Patreon, as few people seem to go there seeking stories, everyone goes there simply to support one particular person (usually a well-known band or best-selling author who's decided to ditch their publisher). In other words, they bring their audience with them, rather than building an audience over time.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

Also, I see NO way for an author to build a fanbase and reach new customers using Patreon, as few people seem to go there seeking stories, everyone goes there simply to support one particular person (usually a well-known band or best-selling author who's decided to ditch their publisher). In other words, they bring their audience with them, rather than building an audience over time.


Patreon is not a place to market yourself directly, but a destination for those to whom you successfully market yourself. They take a fee for handling what amount to small financial transactions and make them relatively frictionless.

Ernest Bywater

I agree with Michael, Patreon is not a place to market yourself or your works, it's a place to get money from people who already follow your work and don't mind pay $20 to $200 for a book worth $5. To get people to go to Patreon you need to place the link to your section there before them at other sites.

What I don't like is the blackmail type process common to the site where people say things like "When I get $X or Y followers I'll post the next ...."

evilynnthales

@sunkuwan

As a writer, you have to understand your fan base. The huge fan of yours that has no problem paying 3$ for your book, may also have no problem, paying 3,000$ for your book. And the Fan who has no money for luxuries at all may be a huge fan who talks about your books everywhere he goes and expands your potential fanbase.


That explains a lot. Thank you!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@Ernest Bywater

What I don't like is the blackmail type process common to the site where people say things like "When I get $X or Y followers I'll post the next ...."


Me either. I would guess that's their (lame?) attempt to use others to do free marketing for them.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I agree with Michael, Patreon is not a place to market yourself or your works, it's a place to get money from people who already follow your work and don't mind pay $20 to $200 for a book worth $5. To get people to go to Patreon you need to place the link to your section there before them at other sites.

Alas, what we see far too often is someone deciding to forgo posting stories for free on sites like SOL, deciding instead to concentrate ALL their efforts on Patreon. My main objection to that approach is that I simply can't conceive of how that will pay off in the long run. You need both a way to supplement your income, but also a way of reaching new readers over time. That's like figuring out how you'll get paid without ever writing anything, or locating your audience. Audiences shift over time, with many readers moving on to other stories, so you've got to keep attracting new readers, otherwise there's little point in continuing writing for an ever shrinking readership.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@evilynnthales

That explains a lot. Thank you!

There's an old book from the 80s or 90s called 'the incredible nickle machine', which postulated that coming up with a single million-dollar idea is worthless if you can't do anything with it. Instead, you need to focus on solutions that consistently pay you small sums on an ongoing basis, as they give you the luxury of working on the bigger challenges (like implementing your million-dollar idea).

The same is true here, you can't count on any single reader paying you $3,000 for a book, instead, you make your work accessible, as LOTS of people are willing to pay $.99, and can therefore afford to take a chance on an unknown author.

Every artist I've every known always produces one or maybe two 'major pieces' a year, but keeps themselves going by churning out a shitload of cheap $5 works, so that people who admire their work can help them pursue their goal without having to pay $1,000,000,000 for a single painting.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


what we see far too often is someone deciding to forgo posting stories for free on sites like SOL, deciding instead to concentrate ALL their efforts on Patreon


That doesn't have to be the case. I assume Patreon got it's name from patron which means:

"a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity."

So it isn't like Dickens selling installments of his story to a magazine. It's more like someone giving Michelangelo financial support so that he can create sculptures.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That doesn't have to be the case. I assume Patreon got it's name from patron which means:

"a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity."

Understood. I understand the concept, but people keep trying to use it in the oddest of ways. Again, I can understand if people give their stories away for free on sites like this, but give their Patrreons the first peek at it, but foregoing any outlet other than paying customers, without at least offering sneak peaks (like the 'free read' chapters in most online books) seems fairly short sided.

I supported and championed Patreon when it first started, and soon realized that it's better for those with established fan bases, rather than those struggling for recognition.

John Demille

@StarFleetCarl

Heads up for Erotica authors using Patreon. It seems Patreon is cracking down on erotica creators. If you're writing erotica, you may be kicked off Patreon soon.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@John Demille

Heads up for Erotica authors using Patreon. It seems Patreon is cracking down on erotica creators. If you're writing erotica, you may be kicked off Patreon soon.

That's the new standard wherever you publish. What it means, in real terms, is that if someone reports you for your content, they'll generally remove the book until you can resubmit a 'corrected' version. But they really don't check the contents, and even if the do ban you for repeated violations (based on Amazon and many other sites which claim the same thing), you can just create a new ID and offer the exact same books and no one will question it.

The various crackdowns on underaged sex and incest in books has just barely driven in under the radar.

Though, at least on Amazon, having someone report you for copyright infringement, they'll ask you to validate your claim, but if they complain about your content, they'll flat out delete your content and ban you if it happens more than once, without ever validating the claim, leaving you with no way to argue your case. Essentially, all these sites care about is covering their ass, as they realize those books bring in a LOT of cash for them, so they don't want to scare anyone off.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

what we see far too often is someone deciding to forgo posting stories for free on sites like SOL, deciding instead to concentrate ALL their efforts on Patreon.


I don't understand why you care when other writers try to market their efforts elsewhere - other than that you (and I) don't get to read their stories for free.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

what we see far too often is someone deciding to forgo posting stories for free on sites like SOL, deciding instead to concentrate ALL their efforts on Patreon.


I don't understand why you care when other writers try to market their efforts elsewhere - other than that you (and I) don't get to read their stories for free.

You have quoted CW out of context.

"[You] don't understand ..."? CW explained his point in his next sentence, the one beginning "My main objection to that approach is ..."

My understanding of the point CW made was that it's counterproductive for an author 'to concentrate ALL their efforts on Patreon', because their fan base will gradually shrink - thus less income from Patreon - if there's no place for new readers to come across their stories.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Ross at Play

I offer my apologies for misunderstanding.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@PotomacBob

Moving on ... :-)

BlacKnight

Where I see Patreon used successfully is generally with web serials or web comics that are posted on the creator's independent website for free on a regular schedule. The sites are usually (but not always) advertising-supported, with Patreon just adding another revenue stream.

It isn't "selling the work on Patreon", like some of you insist on thinking about it. The main work continues to be available for free on its regular schedule, but patrons get perks like early viewing of the content, bonus side stories or joke strips, or a look at pre-release stages of the work-in-progress.

And IME, most of the time, the patrons aren't doing it for the rewards (though those are a nice bonus). They're doing it because they're fans of the creator's work, and they want more of it, and someone's got to put food in the creator's belly and a roof over their head in order for that to happen. And they've got some spare cash they're willing to kick in for that cause. They're not buying the work. They're hiring the creator.

It's (deliberately and explicitly) like patronage in the old days, except using the power of the Internet to crowd-source it so instead of requiring a single independently-wealthy patron, it can be done by hundreds of people in pocket-change installments.

Ernest Bywater

@BlacKnight

It isn't "selling the work on Patreon", like some of you insist on thinking about it. The main work continues to be available for free on its regular schedule, but patrons get perks like early viewing of the content, bonus side stories or joke strips, or a look at pre-release stages of the work-in-progress.


That may be how some are using the site, but some are using it as the only source of their stories and you only get to see the bulk of their work if you're a paid up subscriber. Some authors are taking the line of 'next chapter after $x collected.' It's that attitude that's killing interest by many people.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ernest Bywater

Whose interest?
The way I see it, more and more Creators find success on Patreon.
Some shady, uninformed, or greedy creators are not representative of the whole "Community".
The biggest issue at the moment is Patreon itself with its clamping down on sexual content.

- Gating access to your content is making it impossible to grow your fanbase, some have to learn that lesson. Especially the Game mod, games, and cartoon creators. Their "Patreon-only" content gets pirated pretty much instantly.
- "x$ until new chapter" will fuck you up more than completely gating access, because of the unreliable nature of releases, losing you readers in the process who like a constant schedule.
- "x$ until new chapter" can work in specific instances like doing a BONUS chapter for every milestone. Also, I saw it work for an author who had several serials parallel in the works. The fans could vote with their money which series gets a new chapter for every scheduled release-day. If there was not enough money for a new chapter, the author just posted what he felt like.

Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

Some shady, uninformed, or greedy creators are not representative of the whole "Community".


I never said they were all greedy or shady. However, there is enough greedy and shady operators there to make me, and many others, extremely wary of going anywhere near Patreon.

Even if they were all high quality and well behaved I'm against subscription type services like this. If someone were to create a web comic and then produce it as a PDF or EPUB format with enough strips to make it worth my while and it was a subject I like I'd buy the completed book and look for the next. I used to do that with all sort of comic strip books since the 1970s. I buy products to read and gladly pay a reasonable price for them, but I'll not pay a subscription fee for an unknown delivery date. I also know there are many other people who feel the same way.

You may be happy with the process of not posting until $x are raised to see the next chapter, but I'll wait until the story is finished. There are way too many unfinished works around for me to waste my time on ones that are not yet finished.

The way the site is set up it lends itself to plagiarism and other forms of abuse without allowing people to check what's going on before paying up. Also, the site managers don't seem to be interested in cleaning up the system. If you want to use the site go ahead, I won't. Nor am I the only one to feel that way.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

You may be happy with the process of not posting until $x are raised to see the next chapter,


Unless I'm mistaken, the patron (not Patreon) concept is the chapter won't be WRITTEN until the funds are raised.

Centaur

I think one of the biggest issues is that you're giving money on the promise that somethingwill be made. a lotta people do not have a problem with this. I think Most people want a product of a service before they toss out money with no garentee that it'll beforth coming.

Now I've heard it said it's donations for the next whatever(chapter/comic/etc.). if I want to donate money there are plenty of people that use Paypal or some other sort of payment method for finished works. street venders are offering song, drawings, music and other entertainment with a hat and cup give you something before you offer up spare change.

when i work or anyone else works it's for services rendered, not for services that might be rendered. I don't pay my contractors before a job, only after a job is complete.

Patreon might have started out with the goal to help starving artists. However, it looks like more people are trying to make it a big business, and maybe some are making some good cash.

I just don't see it as a good business model for authors with no outside sources to pull clients in.

Michael Loucks

@Centaur

I just don't see it as a good business model for authors with no outside sources to pull clients in.


Which is what marketing is all about, and true for any product or service which is offered for sale to the general public. If an author goes there assuming 'if I build it, they will come' then I suspect he or she is going to be VERY disappointed.

But that would be true if they simply set up their own website and waited for people to show up to buy whatever goods or services were offered for sale.

Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

It isn't "selling the work on Patreon", like some of you insist on thinking about it. The main work continues to be available for free on its regular schedule, but patrons get perks like early viewing of the content, bonus side stories or joke strips, or a look at pre-release stages of the work-in-progress.

My objection wasn't with Patreon itself, but with users (of Patreon) who don't seem to understand this 'multi-phased' marketing strategy. It leaves me befuddled why someone would limit themselves exclusively to the few readers who already know their work, rather than continually searching for new consumers.

Now I can see someone dumping a particular site, as that's happened often as writers get fed up, either with SOL, its readers or management, but often they simply seem to cut off all outside contacts entirely.

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

- Gating access to your content is making it impossible to grow your fanbase, some have to learn that lesson. Especially the Game mod, games, and cartoon creators. Their "Patreon-only" content gets pirated pretty much instantly.

I see this often on the 'picture posting' sites like Flickr, where cartoonists will post cute cartoons, and then direct anyone interested to their Patreon page. That makes sense, because they're still trying different markets to locate fans who may never have encountered them before.

That's sort of like authors (like me) who continually write in one particular genre, but occasionally cross over to another genre. That opens that authors work to a whole new audience who may never have considered their work before.

Crumbly Writer

@Centaur

Now I've heard it said it's donations for the next whatever(chapter/comic/etc.). if I want to donate money there are plenty of people that use Paypal or some other sort of payment method for finished works. street venders are offering song, drawings, music and other entertainment with a hat and cup give you something before you offer up spare change.

The general Patreon model is that the artist doesn't get paid, except when they produce something. Thus saying 'pay me, or else' is inherently self-defeating, as you'll never collect any funds unless you regularly churn on content on a consistent basis (something that authors notoriously have a hard time doing).

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