After lots of internal debate, I finally decided to take the plunge and sign up for a Patreon. I didn’t know if I wanted to do it because I didn’t know if I could meet the content demands, but I’m starting small and experimenting.
I plan to offer one short story per month to my “Dragons,” aka my $3 per month tier. I will see how that goes, then increase content offerings as I feel motivated. I plan to write 500- 1,000- word microstories for this tier. Eventually, I may also offer photo sets.
I decided on Patreon because although they charge 5-12 percent per transaction in processing fees, I thought that was still more profitable than the $6 per month you pay to Ko-Fi in order to offer subscriber options. Since I was already planning on monthly content, the Patreon model didn’t seem too scary after all. Also, there is an option for free content, so it doesn’t have to all be subscriber-exclusive; that was another reason I had balked at Patreon in the past. I didn’t think I had enough fans even for my free content to make it worth it.
Then I realized it was just my own insecurities talking me out of it. I am going to use this as a supplement to my literary magazine submissions and as a way to keep writing consistently. If I run out of content for the month, I always have rejected stories to fall back on. I have plenty in my harddrive, that’s for sure. Even if just one person reads them, that’s more than I’ve got reading them right now.
If I write enough 500-word stories for Patreon subscribers, my thought is that I can combine them all in a collection that I will ultimately self-publish as an ebook.
I am also changing up my submission strategy this year. I decided to cancel my Duotrope subscription; at $5 per month, I wasn’t making enough sales to make it worth it. For 30 submissions you can expect 3 acceptances, if you’re lucky, and fiction sales are even greater long shots. I have moved everything over to Submission Grinder, and started a spreadsheet of my own to track my submissions. I realized what I liked best about Duotrope was their submission tracker and their organization and layout, but I’m trying to look at my writing with more of a business mindset this year. I can make do with free resources.
Not that earnings of $10 per story once every six months is much of a business model, but I still need to think differently about it and be more efficient with my time. I don’t do submissions for the money; I do them for the exposure, for readers, and I find them inspiring to continue writing, particularly as some of them have very specific themes, which I then use as writing prompts. Self-publishing is just another avenue to find readers.
For this WordPress blog, I will still be offering book reviews primarily, and the occasional update about my writing and publishing progress.
Anyway, that’s a little of my thought process behind starting a Patreon. I am hoping it will provide a little more exposure for my writing and motivation to keep going. That’s what it’s really all about, in the end. Whatever keeps you writing.
Visit my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/TeaWhileWriting. My first story, a sci-fi piece about first contact, is free.