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Patreon Accounts

seanski1969

As a reader and not author I have watched the explosion of patron accounts on SOL. Authors advertising for them and then pulling all their stories to go to Patreon and then return. Or offer unreleased or early release (I can see these actions as semi acceptable) on Patreon and use SOL to advertise. I wonder when Lazeez is going to ban all mention of Patreon because it seems that SOL is basically advertising for those authors without receiving anything it return. You may say he gets the authors stories and yes he does but the authors get the benefit of years of regular readers who would very likely never find out about the authors Patreon accounts.

I'm not saying authors shouldn't try to sell their works but if everyone is using SOL for free advertising how about a peace of the pie for Lazeez before he bans it?

This rant if you want to call it was brought about by a new patreon announcement who I emailed the following:

I'm curious as you just posted your first story a day ago, who advised you to get a Patreon account? Do you write under other names? If not why should I support an author on a site where many users pay for the maintenance of said site and you are a new arrival? Should you be using Lazeez's site strictly for an advertisement to your Patreon account and think it's fair to Lazeez? Answer if you please.

Now I am not posting this to be mean or nasty but for some authors to think how Patreon model affects the SOL website which all of you belong to.

paliden

I totally agree with you.

When I read this blog I almost asked Lazeez to return my premium membership fee.

https://storiesonline.net/ablog/Charlie_Foxtrot

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@seanski1969

I never looked into Patreon, but I assumed it was a take on the noun "patron." A patron provides financial support to an artist so that the artist can create art. The patron does not get anything in return other than the satisfaction of helping an artist create.

This author is selling stories on Patreon? Or is he blackmailing readers saying unless he gets so much money he won't write or finish a story (like GoFundMe)? I don't understand what Patreon is.

seanski1969
Updated:

@paliden

One other story, as yet unpublished, will be going up on the patreon site if I gain 100 patrons at any level.


I totally agree with regards to Charlie Foxtrot and his blog. Isn't this the type of blackmail that Lazeez said has no place on SOL? I believe that Lazeez is going to ban Patreon because of blogs like this.

Edited: To correct misspelling Patreon from Charlie Foxtrots blog which he misspelled.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@seanski1969

I totally agree with regards to Charlie Foxtrot and his blog. Isn't this the type of blackmail that Lazeez said has no place on SOL? I believe that Lazeez is going to ban Patreon because of blogs like this.


Not really. A New Past is, or is supposed to be, a complete story that stands on its own right.

The definition Laz used would be more on par with Charlie Foxtrot going back to Chapter 10 of A New Past and deleting everything that followed, and declare that if you want the rest of that story, visit ____ and give him money.

That said, the guidance he has on the forums may need to be more broadly applied to other actions undertaken by the authors. But that's ground he has to tread carefully on as to how such a new provision would be worded.

All other factors considered, I think my personal "Gold Standard" with regards to Patreon, SoL, and Amazon Kindle, is probably Three Square Meals by Tefler, even if he's been missing his targets lately. But then, his Patreon is structured around production, not time.

Pulling everything from SoL is a bad move(and Charlie Foxtrot seems to realize that), and arguably making everything "going forward" Patreon/Amazon exclusive is likely to hurt him more than it helps. Which is where Tefler sits in that middle ground. Patreon donors get early access, they see a draft/proof version, and then they get to see the final version for a time before the new chapter goes out to wider distribution(on SoL, Lit, etc).

While the "Kindle Version" is a extended "Director's Cut" with additional editing/polish that is exclusive to kindle only. So even though his story is completely available for free, he's still picking up over $4,000 per chapter written at present.

Going by Tefler, and a few others as well, exclusive content isn't as important as people seem to want to think it is.

Switch Blayde

@paliden

As an author who sells on Amazon and posts for free on SOL (and wattpad and ASSTR in the past), it's a slippery slope to make sure I'm not abusing any rule or, even more importantly, trust.

I don't sell books to earn money. I spend hundreds of hours writing a single novel (which takes over a year) and earn a few bucks for each that sells. I can make more money being a Walmart greeter. But when someone buys my novel, I get more satisfaction than from a download and 10-score. I'm competing with all the traditionally published and successful indie published authors and someone bought my novel.

But I also believe sites like SOL are great so I continue to write free stories. I don't spend as much time crafting them when they're free because, well, they're free, but I still do my best. I just edit/revise them scores of times rather than hundreds.

I believe Lazeez's rules for teasers and blackmail are fair and right on. To block any mention by the author of their other books could be dangerous, though. More and more authors are self-publishing. Many (most?) do both pay and free.

Can you imagine what would happen if all those authors pulled their free stories off SOL because they were reprimanded? Not good for SOL. Not good for readers. Not good for free story sites.

joyR

Apparently plans for "The Olde Bookshoppe" are under way according to Lazeez.

So, as he must have a plan in mind to allow readers to purchase books, how hard would it be to allow readers to 'donate' to an author.?

Note. I'm not advocating authors begging for donations, or being allowed to in the future. What I am suggesting is a 'button' that would allow a reader to show support or appreciation, be it a fixed sum or any amount within limits set by Lazeez.

Ideally I would suggest such a system that had a built in split between SOL and the author.

Obviously option #1 would be to eviscerate those behind patreon with a well placed stiletto.

The above is option #2.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Keet
Michael Loucks

@seanski1969

Or offer unreleased or early release (I can see these actions as semi acceptable) on Patreon and use SOL to advertise. I wonder when Lazeez is going to ban all mention of Patreon because it seems that SOL is basically advertising for those authors without receiving anything it return.


As one of the first, I actually conversed with Lazeez on this topic before I made any mention of it on SOL. I committed, in advance, that all of AWLL (and now, GM) would be available on SOL, for free. Patrons get early releases, as I write (depending on level of patronage). When the first book of Climbing the Ladder is done, I'll post it here.

In a sense, at least from my perspective, Lazeez has the benefit of my stories, and will continue to do so in perpetuity. When the day comes, and I shuffle off this mortal coil, the clock will start ticking and they will eventually disappear behind his paywall, which he is, IHMO, entitled to have.

What's the alternative for authors who wish to profit from their stories? Pulling them from SOL completely? That helps nobody and serves no good purpose. I think the rules Lazeez has strike the right balance - so long as I provide my stories at no charge for him to make use of, I feel it's OK (and he does, at least so far) for me to use Patreon to derive some income from those stories.

Nobody is forced to go to Patreon to read my work. It'll all come to SOL if you're patient (and patient means waiting for me to finish a book, have it edited, and proofread).

Replies:   AmigaClone
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@joyR


Apparently plans for "The Olde Bookshoppe" are under way according to Lazeez.

So, as he must have a plan in mind to allow readers to purchase books, how hard would it be to allow readers to 'donate' to an author.?

Note. I'm not advocating authors begging for donations, or being allowed to in the future. What I am suggesting is a 'button' that would allow a reader to show support or appreciation, be it a fixed sum or any amount within limits set by Lazeez.


After a visit to Charlie Foxtrot's Patreon(CF going forward) page, I think this has some merit. As I'm not in the awkward position of wanting to support him, but I'm not a fan of how he has his Patreon structured.

Lazeez just has a challenge in doing anything SOL side just yet in that he'd need to complete the backend side for paying the authors. And that's just step one.

Such as my "problem" with CF's Patreon page is he has two subscription tiers, and they're for "Completed works" with the evident intent of "complete works" to be whole books. With the two tiers being either $5 or $10 for the same thing.

That's not too much of a problem in and of itself. It's a great deal for the Patron. Except he doesn't seem to understand how Patreon works. It's why Tefler charges by the chapter and makes the older stuff free.

On Patreon, a "Patron" can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time. As it stands, I can subscribe once, pay the $10, get his three e-pubs, cancel the sub, come back a year later, pay another $10, get everything he did over the past year since my last sponsorship, and unsubscribe again. Sure he's up $20 over what SoL offers him at present(which is nothing), but he could have seen so much more.

Meanwhile, if he instead setup his Patreon page to allow me to pay $1/$2/$3/$5/$10 per chapter instead, and he'd produced a 15 chapter book in the year covering that year I was unsubscribed, he could have made $15(down from $20, or up from $10)/$30/$45/$75/$150 from that same Patron.

And that Patron also gets to enjoy the results sooner, rather than later. He isn't having to complete the entire book in one go, he can instead continue releasing as a serial that becomes a book.

Going back to using Tefler as an example, he has 64 people paying $10/chapter, and another 9 paying $25 per chapter. So as crazy as those tiers may sound, there probably is somebody out there willing to use it and pay accordingly if you have a large enough audience.

As to the "SoL Cut" on donations/sponsorships should it head that way. I imagine Patreon (and the banks) are taking some kind of fee as middle man. Although SoL could potentially end-run some of that with respect to the Subscribers possibly seeing a larger share of any "Patronage" getting to the author.

This is a weird situation where the market has changed in the last few years such that SoL is at the stage of needing to potentially adapt to it. It just becomes a major back-end headache for Laz as to how to facilitate making something like Tefler's model work, because really I think that's one of the optimum models for SoL to pursue.

Of course, IIRC Tefler has also promised "complimentary copies" of new release E-books for Patrons who have passed a certain total donation amount(I think it was $150) also adds an additional layer to things that SoL is probably even better positioned to leverage once "The Olde Bookshoppe" comes around.

Keet

@joyR

I hope "The Olde Bookshoppe" is coming soon along with a Patreon ban. Patreon is one of the worst sites on the internet. Go visit it and wonder where all of a sudden all the spam and weird advertisements are coming form. If you get any malware there's a good chance it originates from one the many third party referrals you have to load when visiting that site.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Keet

Patreon is one of the worst sites on the internet. Go visit it and wonder where all of a sudden all the spam and weird advertisements are coming form.


? I'm on chrome, not using any ad blocker software, and just see a website?

Then again, I guess I do also make a habit of adding particularly annoying advertising agencies into my hosts file and redirecting that traffic back to localhost...

Replies:   Keet
AmigaClone

@Michael Loucks

It'll all come to SOL if you're patient (and patient means waiting for me to finish a book, have it edited, and proofread).


In Michael Loucks' case, part of the editing is a direct result of feedback from those who chose to pay to get an earlier copy.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@AmigaClone

In Michael Loucks' case, part of the editing is a direct result of feedback from those who chose to pay to get an earlier copy.


That's true for Tefler as well. There have even been grammar/phrasing discussions that have happened between patrons behind the paywall at points in time.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Not_a_ID

That's true for Tefler as well. There have even been grammar/phrasing discussions that have happened between patrons behind the paywall at points in time.


Those happen on my Discord server and can get quite heated at times! I finally created a page on my wiki for 'PMoS' (the 'Penguintopia Manual of Style') because there are some things I'm not going to change because I don't want to and they can't make me! :-) :-) :-)

Michael Loucks

@Not_a_ID

On Patreon, a "Patron" can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time. As it stands, I can subscribe once, pay the $10, get his three e-pubs, cancel the sub, come back a year later, pay another $10, get everything he did over the past year since my last sponsorship, and unsubscribe again. Sure he's up $20 over what SoL offers him at present(which is nothing), but he could have seen so much more.


I consider this a feature, actually. I can't see charging $1 per chapter, given AWLL2 Book 10, for example, is 100 chapters! Sure, I'd LOVE to get $100 for the book, but frankly, that's not something I feel is equitable, just, or whatever other word you want to use (though I object to the 'f' word on principle). If someone wants to pay to download all the content and then cancel, then they may. After all, the 'old' stuff is all free here on SOL. That said, I haven't had this happen except once (and that was before Patreon implemented pay in advance, so the SOB got them for free).

As to the "SoL Cut" on donations/sponsorships should it head that way. I imagine Patreon (and the banks) are taking some kind of fee as middle man. Although SoL could potentially end-run some of that with respect to the Subscribers possibly seeing a larger share of any "Patronage" getting to the author.


The 'cut' is about 10% (roughly) and includes Patreon's 5% fee plus the credit card fees which they pass through to the Creator. A $5 pledge nets roughly $4.50 to me.

SoL is probably even better positioned to leverage once "The Olde Bookshoppe" comes around.


Should this be implemented, and should it create an equitable split (Lazeez does a LOT of work, and is entitled to take a cut for that), I'll make use of it because I do want to see SOL continue far into the future.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Keet

@Not_a_ID

? I'm on chrome, not using any ad blocker software, and just see a website?

Of course you just see the website, it's all in the background. I'm not sure if NoScript is available for chrome but that script blocker can show the enormous mess that it has to block.

Darian Wolfe

I spent a lot of years as a reader before I posted anything under any pen name. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent on this site. I would have to say it's in the thousands if not the tens of thousands.

I find it disturbing that it's even necessary to have a conversation like this. Yes, Lazeez makes a living off of this website and it's sisters as he should. He' given so much to us readers and authors alike over the years. Then there are the authors themselves who give so much of themselves to create their individual works. Of course, those who need or want remuneration should be able to pursue getting it.

What strikes me as wrong is the attitude that seems to be driving this need to set up sales funnels and advertising platforms. We've had authors selling their works for years and I've never seen things get this mercenary.

The truth is as far as I can tell is the majority of authors never come close to meeting their basic needs with income generated from writing. People think they can copy an outliers business model and get similar results. The answer is usually no.

Remember why you picked up a pen or started typing. The love of building worlds and telling stories that keeps bringing you back even after you swore you would never write again.

If you can sell a few dozen or a few hundred wonderful. If the only reason you write is in hopes of a big paycheck you're better off trying to join the N.B.A.

That being said, I'm all for Lazeez opening "Ye Olde Book Shoppe". It could allow non-premium members to purchase and download just the stories they already have access to. A lot of people like to download and read later because of poor connections at home or to take to work, etc.

Not_a_ID

@Michael Loucks

I consider this a feature, actually. I can't see charging $1 per chapter, given AWLL2 Book 10, for example, is 100 chapters! Sure, I'd LOVE to get $100 for the book, but frankly, that's not something I feel is equitable, just, or whatever other word you want to use (though I object to the 'f' word on principle). If someone wants to pay to download all the content and then cancel, then they may. After all, the 'old' stuff is all free here on SOL. That said, I haven't had this happen except once (and that was before Patreon implemented pay in advance, so the SOB got them for free).


In this context, my complaint is more that he's undervaluing his own work. If I want to be a cheapskate, and there will be plenty of people who would, they still can do the subscribe for a month(/however brief/long the period may be) and quit game.

But it allows the fans(patrons) to actually have potential to give him more money in the long run. It's that weird paradigm where I'll avoid his patreon as it is because I think its structure is disadvantages him, and I'm fine with chapter by chapter releases that may be retconned later. Rather than needing to wait for him to push out yet another undervalued(by him) book.

It's a difference between a patronage mindset and a commercial one. The Patron isn't as likely to care about what "the market equivalent" costs. They want what they're sponsoring, and are willing to pay a premium. So if that means throwing out $150 for a 15 chapter book with 80,000 words in it, that's their prerogative.

Or the other way to view, better to spend $150 to see that 15 chapter book is written, rather than wait for the $5 version that may never turn up. Being aware of addition "crowd funding" happening just helps provide further incentive/reward for prioritizing (or being able to) writing over other pressing needs(like money to cover expenses).

It's part of how you can see authors getting $4K+ per chapter written, because the "crowd" wants to see progress happen in that particular storyline. The reason they're not all switching back to $1/month donation tiers at that level is they're trying to ensure money isn't the thing holding productivity back. There are other considerations in play as well, but those are decisions people are making.

PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

Such as my "problem" with CF's Patreon page is he has two subscription tiers, and they're for "Completed works" with the evident intent of "complete works" to be whole books.


"Complete books" does not have much meaning on SOL or on Patreon or on Amazon.
Take Summer Camp by Nick Scipio for example. There are four "complete books" on SOL. Add them all together and you still don't have the end of story and the very issues raised in the prologue to Chapter 1 of Book 1 have not yet been resolved.
I bought a post-apoc book on Amazon, promising to be the story of a guy in New York City on the day the Event occurred, and the promo promised the story would be about him hiking across America to return to his family - still in Los Angeles.
Book 1 ended (no indication beforehand that there would be more than 1 book) with the trek having reached Ohio, and the promise, according to the end of Book 1 (which you had to buy to get to that part) that the story would be continued in Books 2 and 3. That must've been about five years ago, and to date, there are no Books 2 and 3 and no word on whether there ever will be. I complained to Amazon, and what they did was change the wording of their promo to indicate for present-day buyers that it is Book 1 of 3 (that bit was not there when I bought Book 1). (Still no indication today if Books 2 and 3 will ever be forthcoming.)
It's the same thing as an author starting a story on SOL and never finishing it - but on SOL it's free. I guess I could ask for a refund of all I paid for the free partial story.) Paying for a partial story (when you're expecting a full story) on Amazon seems like a rip-off to me. If all you're doing on Patreon is supporting a writer in hopes he or she will finish the story is a story is not quite as bad. "Paying" by the time I've invested in a story that never finishes on SOL seems a small price to pay to allow beginning writers (or those who cannot finish a story for other reasons) to expose themselves to critics and test their writing and storytelling skills.
I would welcome "The Old Bookshoppe" on SOL - but hope it does not turn into another opportunity for incomplete stories to be sold as "complete books."

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@PotomacBob

I would welcome "The Old Bookshoppe" on SOL - but hope it does not turn into another opportunity for incomplete stories to be sold as "complete books."


I'm curious, but when does a story end? When everything in the 'teaser' prologue is resolved? What if there is no 'teaser' prologue?

Take my 'Good Medicine' series - I could end it at any point after the main character starts his residency. And I could, in theory, later write another book to extend the story.

My 'A Well-Lived Life' series has become multi-generational with AWLL3 (being written). If I end it with a resolution of the initial 'teaser' prologues, there will be some who claim the story is 'unfinished' because Jesse will only be twenty.

This isn't meant to start an argument, by the way, just to ask what 'complete' means.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Michael Loucks

In the case of your A Well-Lived Life, I thought the story was "complete" at the end of Book 1. You could have ended it there, and I would have felt I'd read the story. I welcome when Book 2 will be finished, but I consider it a sequel. It is true that "some" may disagree, but on these forums, there's rarely agreement on many sides of many issues.
At the very least, if the author sets up a conflict at the beginning (either in a teaser to attract readers or in a prologue), the end of the story does not occur until until that conflict is resolved. If the teaser or prologue advertises up front that it will require "3 books" (or whatever words are used) to resolve the conflict, I'm fine with that. Since I don't pay for individual stories on SOL, I have no complaint (though I am disappointed), if the author never resolves it.
In the case of Summer Camp, the author said up front (in 2003) that he planned on telling the story over 3 books on SOL. Now, here we are, sixteen years later, with 4 books on SOL and a fifth book on Patreon (not available on SOL) and the main conflict of the story is still not resolved. I did not pay for the first four books, so I have no complaint there. But if the end of the story comes under conditions where you have to pay to find the ending, I think that's unfair.
I suspect that the patrons, who are paying substantial sums for Book 5, would object to his posting Book 5 for free on SOL.
If I went into a bookstore and bought a book for whatever the going price is these days, I expect to get the complete story.
If a mystery writer has a detective as the MC (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories come to mind), then resolving the mystery laid out at the beginning of the book completes the story. Subsequent books have different mysteries and different resolutions.
There was an author using the pen name J.J. Marrick (not sure of spelling) who featured a detective in Scotland Yard, who raised a mystery at the beginning of the first book, then two or three more mysteries during the course of the first book, and left at least one unresolved. Book 2 resolved the unresolved mysteries from Book 1 and raised two or three more. The author followed that practice over several dozen books. The books, in the meantime, did not just deal with his professional life as a detective, but followed the family life of the detective and other characters and as the books moved on. All the characters aged, got promotions, got sick, some died, had family crises. I don't know whether that should be called a series or what - but it was an interesting way to construct many books and keep my attention. But in every case, the mystery raised at the beginning of the book was resolved by the end.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@PotomacBob

In the case of your A Well-Lived Life, I thought the story was "complete" at the end of Book 1. You could have ended it there, and I would have felt I'd read the story. I welcome when Book 2 will be finished, but I consider it a sequel. It is true that "some" may disagree, but on these forums, there's rarely agreement on many sides of many issues.
At the very least, if the author sets up a conflict at the beginning (either in a teaser to attract readers or in a prologue), the end of the story does not occur until until that conflict is resolved.


But you see, I set up a conflict which wasn't resolved in Book 10 of AWLL1. It's not even resolved in Book 10 of AWLL2. So I'm not quite sure how to take your comments.

It will be resolved at some point in AWLL3, but I'm not sure which book will contain the full explanation and resolution. If you're wondering, it's the 'Outfit' arc where Steve ends up in protective custody, as revealed in the prologues in AWLL1.

Anyway, when it's written, it'll be here, gratis, until such time as I don't log in for five years.

Replies:   seanski1969  PotomacBob
seanski1969

@Michael Loucks

where Steve ends up in protective custody


When that happens and is explained is the "natural" end of the book for me. All the so called "Books" in AWLL are really different chapters. To have a mystery in a book and then leave it unanswered means the book isn't over. Doesn't Sherlock Holmes always solve the case in his books?

I guess I'll look forward to AWLL3 so Steve can celebrate with his Four Daughters.. :=) Michael will get this and its not a preview

Dominions Son
Updated:

@seanski1969


Doesn't Sherlock Holmes always solve the case in his books?


No, the individual mysteries are not books, they are short stories. They were originally published in a newspaper in serial form with each mystery spanning several editions.

It would take an anthology of all of the original stories to reach what is today considered the average length of a mystery novel.

Oh, and there is at least one conflict that spans the entire set of original Holmes mysteries, the conflict between Homes and Moriarty.

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@seanski1969


I guess I'll look forward to AWLL3 so Steve can celebrate with his Four Daughters.. :=) Michael will get this and its not a preview


🤦🏻‍♂️

PotomacBob

@Michael Loucks

But you see, I set up a conflict which wasn't resolved in Book 10 of AWLL1. It's not even resolved in Book 10 of AWLL2. So I'm not quite sure how to take your comments.


The conflict I wanted resolved by the end of the book was - Who is the Wife? That was resolved. I made the mistake of reading the alternate ending before the real ending - so thought you had finished the book without resolving that conflict. It irked me, and I wrote you a note about it at the time. Only to have you point out that the real Book did resolve it (to my satisfaction).

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@PotomacBob

The conflict I wanted resolved by the end of the book was - Who is the Wife? That was resolved. I made the mistake of reading the alternate ending before the real ending - so thought you had finished the book without resolving that conflict. It irked me, and I wrote you a note about it at the time. Only to have you point out that the real Book did resolve it (to my satisfaction).


Ah, OK. The main set of responses I had to the ending were to ensure I intended to continue writing to resolve the 'real' (from their perspective) conflict. So long as you were happy, i 'm happy! :-)

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