Updated: Jul 15, 2019
I know it’s early days yet, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying being a creator on Patreon. There’s something extremely satisfying about having regular readers. I’m writing (or rewriting) all the time, and producing fiction every month for my audience is just sooooo much better than writing and writing and writing and then years later the book is published and people read it and I’m still writing and writing. There’s an awful disconnect between the author and readers. Typically authors are paid sporadically though they work regularly like anyone else. There’s a flurry of interest and a surge of readers when a new book comes out, but that drops off in the long span between books…and still I write. Short stories sort of almost fill in those gaps, but they’re scattered here and there, so only the most fanatic fan is likely to track them down. (The internet makes things easy, but there’s so much out there that getting one click is sometimes surprisingly hard.) It’s gratifying for readers to be able to easily get so much fiction often and regularly–every month–and it’s gratifying for me to have people reading as I write and rewrite. The signal to noise ratio on Patreon is like nothing anywhere else online; it’s wonderful. The people who subscribe to Patreon are there because they really want whatever various creators are doing. It’s really the best place online for authors and readers to interact. Great access to feedback for authors and great access to authors for readers. If you want to hang with me, that’s the place to do it! The relationships between creators and patrons on Patreon are of a much higher/better quality than interactions on social media.
My Patreon is growing slowly. Truly, it needs more patrons and more word-of-mouth to reach all my goals, but there’s time for it to grow. My first goal on Patreon (which I just barely missed hitting after my first full month) is to make enough to fund a new amazing website that people will actually love visiting. I’ve added an extra incentive: all patrons get an audio story if we hit the goal June 1st! I just need a few more $1 patrons or 1 patron at higher levels to reach that goal.
The beauty of Patreon is that the lower levels are usually $1 and anyone can afford that, so it’s doable for more people, but if there’s a lot of people at that $1 level it can add up to a nice, albeit modest, income for most creators. Authors can just keep on writing, just like they always do, and get paid like normal people do (well, sort of: people with non-creative jobs typically get paid more often than monthly).
June is going to be a great month for my patrons. Besides the possibility of hitting the goal and getting an audio story (which I’m looking forward to doing!), there will also be a new short story, as well as the 3rd Chapter of my sci-fi novel, other fictional goodies for those in the higher tiers, and book reviews for those in the Bookworm tier. (At $5, this is currently my highest tier and includes everything in all the lower tiers. Half my current patrons subscribe to the Bookworm tier, which was surprising, but very gratifying.) If you’re already a patron, tell your friends! Sharing the link to my Patreon tells people my Patreon exists and that you’re a friend of mine. What’s most likely to get other people to join my Patreon is tell them you like what you’re reading there! Tell them about what sort of things I’m writing and why you like it. Honest-to-goodness, a short sentence or two along with the link makes all the difference in whether or not anyone even clicks through to look.
I’m really excited about the work I’m doing on Patreon, so much so that what bugs me most about not having more patrons is not that I’d make a little more money, but that so many people are missing out! I’m building this marvelous edifice of imagination of Patreon. And I’m having a great time doing it! People who subscribe to my Patreon have a great time, too! There’s a lot of FOMO going around in 21st century online life, but honestly, having been drenched in the internet for years now, the number of things I don’t want to miss out on (online) is a very short list. There’s too much bad stuff in the world, and especially online. We all need escapism and enjoyable things. I hope I make your short list of favorite things.