To Patreon or not to Patreon

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It’s been a couple of months now since I’ve set up my Patreon and things have been steady on that front. And by steady, I mean that I still have the same three brave souls who’ve been donating since the beginning. And to them I can only say thank you so much for your generosity!

In the meantime, I’ve come to realize Patreon is still a fairly unknown service among readers, although it’s been hugely successful with more visual artists – like those who work with video, for example.

Among the readers who do know Patreon, there still seems to be a big percentage that doesn’t understand the service and a few who seem against it altogether. The main focus of confusion seems to stem from the fact that people assume writers will start giving out exclusive stories to patrons, which they perceive as unfair. And whereas different people offer different things on Patreon, I don’t offer exclusive stories to my patrons. There are some perks I do offer to those who are kind enough to give me a couple of dollars per month, but, again, they are not exclusive stories.

So why am I on Patreon?

Well, for me, Patreon is another avenue of income while I write my stories. Being an author is my only job and selling books isn’t a very lucrative affair. Most of them are either priced at 99 cents or $2.99, from which I receive a royalty of 35 cents and $2 dollars, respectively. When I publish a new book, there is a peak of sales which tapers off after two or three weeks. After that, sales are pretty low and what I make isn’t enough to pay the bills or buy food. Patreon was thought as a channel to try and secure a few more dollars of income between book launches and nothing more.

At this point, some of you might be thinking, “why should I pay this guy to write? If he’s not making enough money he should just get a job.” And if this is your opinion, I’m not going to argue with it. You’re perfectly entitled to it. That’s why Patreon isn’t something I force to my readers or fans. It’s entirely optional. No hard feelings.

It’s been interesting to read some of the backlash that’s been going around on account of the authors who decide to set up a Patreon. Patronage is nothing new. It’s been here for centuries and it’s a means through which people give money to artists, to help them create their art.

Millions of people enjoy the stories that we, authors, provide, but some seem to have a problem understanding that those stories don’t exist in a vacuum; that they come from the imagination and hearts of real people who, more often than not, struggle to make ends meet.

Instead of arguing if Patreon is fair, readers should be asking themselves how much are stories worth for them. If you’re happier for a couple of hours, if you’re able to dream fabulous adventures commuting to work while you read a book, is it really that bad to give your favorite author one or two dollars a month?

And, again, I’m not here to advocate Patreon or say you should be giving me your money. I’m really, really not. People should be free to spend their money as they see fit. What I’m trying to do is shed some light on what Patreon is. Or maybe I’m just rambling at this point. I’ll let you decide 🙂

Live and let live. That’s my motto.

Have a great week, wonderful people. I’ll get back to writing my new story.

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