As you all know, since I was not offered a contract for the remaining Shadow World novels, I decided to go back to my fandom roots and start posting one chapter at a time, hoping for the thrill of immediate feedback. The problem is, that doesn’t pay the bills.
Enter Patreon, an idea that gave me happy Snoopy dances. With Patreon, an artist or other creator uploads a work, and people contribute money to support that work. The artist can create long-term goals (like “Help Me Buy a New Laptop,” or “The Electricity Will Be Cut off in 3…2…1…”) or just accept whatever people are willing to give.
My Patreon is set up on a monthly basis rather than a per-work basis. Here are some of the things people often ask about it – what you get if you join, why do I do it like I do it, et cetera.
1 – Why do you do the monthly instead of per-work?
It encourages me to regularly produce content for my patrons. If people are paying every month, they expect more than just a half-assed blog post or freebie. If I did per-work, chances are I’d get out of the habit of posting and eventually people would get bored and leave.
2 – So what do I get if I contribute?
You get to read chapters of the new Shadow World book *immediately* after they’re written. Basically I finish them, edit them, send them to Beta, edit more if need be, and post those bastards. The writing can be a bit unpolished, as they haven’t had a professional edit, but most people find the ability to get the new story right away instead of waiting a year for a whole book very appealing.
I am also publishing new chapters of the next big Shadow Agency story, Song and Cipher; I’m not as far along on that one, so it’s coming out every two or three weeks in among the Shadowstorm chapters.
Both of these works will be available as full length books – both digital and printed, I hope. But there’s a looooooot of work that goes into that, and I love the instant gratification of people reading my stuff as much as people love finding out what happens next. The finished books will be available for the public to buy, and as soon as the works are done and I have a release date ready, I will post that everywhere. Shadowstorm is officially half written, so it’s going to be a bit before non-patrons see it.
Also, Patrons get to read new Shadow World extras before anyone else; those will be uploaded on my blog like they always were, about a week after the Patrons get it.
You also get access to the Patron feed, where you can chat with other readers; and I can make random comments, answer questions, and generally be a nuisance.
I’m planning to offer other bennies too, I just haven’t come up with anything I’d really be willing to do.
All of that, for $3 a month.
3 – How many levels of support do you have?
I only set up two, although you are of course welcome to contribute as much as you want. *laugh* There’s a $3 subscription level, as I just described; and a $5 level, which is exactly the same except you get a signed adhesive book plate mailed to you, to be stuck in any one of my books that tickles your fancy. I am hoping to add more perks, but I don’t want it to be a big separation between the two levels – 3 dollar people are what I anticipate the most of, and anything above that is just delightful icing on the badass cake.
A lot of Patreon users have all sorts of perks for really high donations like writing you as a minor character into the story, but I haven’t quite the wherewithal for that. I wanted to keep it simple, and above all cheap. $3 a month for you is a cup of coffee. $3 a month for me from 1,000 people is a livelihood.
You can read more about the nuts and bolts of being a patron over on Patreon’s FAQ.
So, if you know anyone who loves my work, please do forward this post along. I’m very happy with how things have gone so far, and I’m comfortable with the system we’ve got. I’ve been getting a lot of writing done thanks to Patreon.
I’d love to see you there if you’re not already! I just posted the last chapter of Shadowstorm: part 1 this week, and it’s a doozy. I love sharing my doozies! It’s a great opportunity to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives you love.