#IWSG – To Patreon or Not Patreon

IWSG badge

Welcome to another edition of Internet Writer’s Support Group. A time honoured tradition for my site where I reveal my thoughts and feelings as a writer. Sometimes those thoughts are good, other times, not so good. Today, I will discuss my new Patreon account. What is it, why am I doing it, and how this will affect me as a writer.

 

 

Help Keep This Site Running

This site is a great achievement for me, but due to being unable to work, I may not be able to keep this site running. With your help, I might be able to.

I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-madness-worldbuilding-continue

There is a bit of a stigma when one does Patreon. Many see it as selling out and it has certain gotten some bad raps in the past. Many see it as just a means to beg for money. But then, that is what all crowdfunding has been.

Having done Kickstarter and Pubslush, I learned quite a few things. Perhaps the most important is to try to build your fanbase prior to releasing your book. I had thought that building up my friends amongst authors was the way to go. Certainly, there are advantages to having friendship with other authors. However, when it came to Kickstarter, I relied on those friendships more than I should have.

I hold nothing against the other authors. We are all trying to get a leg up in this industry. Many did help me, but the numbers speak for themselves. Between doing Kickstarter and doing Pubslush, I had worked on making a name for myself outside of writing. I focused on a cause and dug myself in.

I did that not with the intention of doing Pubslush. I had no desire after the failure that Kickstarter brought to do that again. Had I done it when people suggested, I would have likely failed again. Once Kickstarter ended, I nearly considered to stop writing and it took awhile to build myself back up. Part of that was getting lost in something else, and building a new community for myself.

With a new community, I have friends and acquaintances. And those friends have their friends. I’ve done many things within this community and when I did my Pubslush, that community rose to the occasion. What I have done is created fans before my next book was released, which is a solid lesson that when you want people to buy your book, you need to put yourself out there before you book is out there, so people can support you. I understand this is backwards thinking, how do you build fans for a product that hasn’t been produced yet? The answer: You are as much the product as your book is. Selling yourself sells your book.

The evidence speaks for itself really. My Kickstarter failed, badly. Pubslush however, while not meeting its goal, was more successful and allowed me something to start my next book. In fact, I just got it back from my editor and looks like Daygar Legacy will be released by the end of the month.

Unlike Pubslush and Kickstarter, Patreon is a bit different. For the first two, it is the promise to do something with the money. You earn the money so you can accomplish the product that is promised.

Patreon is different because it’s about continuous work of something you are doing already. The spirit of Patreon is that whether you get paid or not, you continue your work. In this way, the Patreon can be given as support or as a tip for a job well done. More than that, it can be given as a means to do more down the road. If I get a lot of donations, I can give more work to the world.

My Patreon will be for my Worldbuilding series. While I am done with the Map Making portion, there is more work to be done on Worldbuilding itself. My plan is to take what others have done and what I’ve already done, and improve upon it.

patreon-logo2
One of my issues with how Worldbuilding is taught on other websites is that they give you a series of questions. Those questions are good, but they fail to give any sort of follow-up on how to answer those questions. If you knew how to answer those questions, you most likely wouldn’t be using a guide in the first place.

My series will explore how to answer those questions. Mostly they will talk about a variety of subjects, such as my first article will talk about Metals and my second will discuss Copper. I will explain it’s importance to the human race and how it was used throughout history. Other articles in the future will discuss various jobs, types of cities, building material, warfare… there is a lot to go over.

How does my Patreon fit into this? At present, I will write 1 – 2 articles per month. As I earn more money through Patreon, I will do more articles per month. There is a lot that goes into each article, but I often spend my time trying to find ways to build revenue for myself. Because of my disability, this is one of the few things I can do at my pace.

If I make $25 per article, I will take ads off my site. Ads are annoying, but as a content creator, I’ve got to try to find a way to pay for this site, and find revenue to try to do more with my site. This won’t include ads of my design, but I will reduce the number of those ads. Likely put them at the bottom of pages. Those that you see for my book, Terran Psychosis, are ads I designed.

At $50 per article, I will do 3 article per month and do 3 – 5 minute video introductions, where I give a quick overview of the article.

At $75 and $100 per article, I will increase by 4 and 5 articles per month, respectively.

If I make $300 per article, I will release a Worldbuilding book that will help people design their worlds. At $500 per article, I will do a video map making tutorial. This reason this is so high is due to needing a new computer to be able to accomplish this. My computer is old and on its way out. It couldn’t handle doing video recording and making maps.

Of course, I don’t need people spending large sums of money for me to do this. In fact, if I find another way to get the money for a computer to do the tutorials, I will likely reduce or remove that goal. But if I get 500 people giving me $1 per month, I can then accomplish my goals. $1 can go a long way, and can really add up.

As you donate, you can earn rewards. For a $1 pledge, I will give a copy of my book Terran Psychosis. For $25, I will design a small map for you. At $50, a medium map, and $100 is a large map. For each tier, it will be one map per user, and you are free to use the map however you want.

However, between August 8th till September 7th, I will do a special offer:

  • If you donate $1 for two articles, you get a small map. $2 for the value of $25.
  • For $5 for two articles, you get a medium map. $10 for the value of $50.
  • For $10 for two articles, you get a large map. $20 for the value of $100.

All maps are designed by me and will be random designs that you can use however you want (as long as you cite me as the artist of the map).

I apologize if it seems like I am using IWSG as a means to pander. In many ways, I want those of IWSG to know about this to take advantage of it. I also want to lead by example and show that there is no disgrace in using Patreon, especially if you plan to work hard for it.

In truth, I don’t expect a whole lot to come from this. It would be great if it did, but even a little bit here and there will help me out a whole lot. How? I will likely have a little amount at first, so this will go towards taking care of my day-to-day life. Eventually, as I build up donators and I save up, I would like to find insurance for myself so I can get a doctor to help me, and potentially publish my books.

However, if I make nothing from this, I will still deliver the worldbuilding articles. I want everyone to know that. I think that is important to remember, that in doing Patreon, it should be for stuff you already are going to do. Others can benefit if they don’t donate, but those who do, will be rewarded for their contribution.

Worldbuilding is very important to me, and I look forward to doing this series. It is quite a shock to me that it took off like it did and I hope to regain some of that magic. I am a bit disappointed my other articles didn’t take off so much, but I am OK with that. I managed to find a niche to make my site different from other websites, and at the end of the day, that is the best you can hope for.

If you continue to have reservations about Patreon, I will say that it is OK to do so. It keeps you humble. Remember to do this for the right reasons. As for me, you are not paying for articles, you are simply giving me support to improve my life. As my fans give more, the more I can give back.

My campaign will launch August 8th with a Worldbuilding Article on Metals. I will update this page when it is launched.

  • If someone threw a tantrum and refused to give their audience any more content until they got “enough” money, I’d say they were selling out. But for just a “hey, you can tip me if you want”, there’s nothing wrong with it. Good luck to you.

%d bloggers like this: