I posted this letter to my Patrons this morning and I’m sharing it here because it’s part of my writing and publishing journey, so I figured it might be of interest to my blog readers as well as to any other creators who follow me here.
Hello Patrons and friends!
I’ve been using Patreon for a few months now and although it’s been a learning experience and a lot of fun, I’ve found myself more and more trying to fit what I do into Patreon’s structure rather than it being something that worked effectively for me.
My main online focus is my own website, TanyaSimoneSimpson.com, where I will continue to share photographs, blog posts, creative writing and free books for reading online and downloading. I’m also active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and DeviantArt. These are all good places to keep up with my work, see new stuff first and connect with me, and I’d be happy to see you there.
Currently, and for the foreseeable future, free books will also be available for anyone to read online on Tablo and Wattpad. I also plan to continue making my books available for free download through Instafreebie, which requires membership to the site (hence having my work in other places too).
I’m looking at a variety of different publishing options and platforms for my writing at the moment, and am considering offering full-res photos for download for a small direct payment. These are all just considerations at the moment, but future plans and happenings will be shared on TanyaSimoneSimpson.com, which you can follow via WordPress (if you’re a WordPress user) or by email.
Patrons who have supported me will still get my next book a week before it’s released anywhere else and will still be listed in the acknowledgements of that book because to do anything else would feel like breaking a promise.
If you wish to offer further or ongoing financial support, you are very welcome to do so through PayPal, either treating it as an online tip jar or as a way to buy a book or story after you’ve read it.
As of today (7th December 2017) I won’t be using Patreon. If you want more detail, feel free to read on. If you aren’t massively interested in the why and how of it all, that’s cool too. Thanks for your ongoing support 🙂
Much love and gratitude,
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OK, so here are the details if you’re interested…
Patreon’s structure doesn’t fit my structure
Patreon is great. It works really well for some people and I know there are some writers who are using it to great effect. But I’m still at the stage in my writing career where I’m experimenting with and discovering processes which work for me. This means that I might continue to publish two short books a year, or I might not. I might continue to work mainly on novellas, or I might not (I’m thinking of a short story collection for my next project). I might spend some time focusing more on blogging than on writing fiction, or I might not. I just don’t know right now and with continuous support through Patreon, I feel that trial and error, and changes of plan, don’t fit.
Patreon has a Per Creation option (I was using the Per Month option) but again this feels like something I would have to squish and force my creative output into and I just don’t want to do that. Since I made changes to my reward tiers last month, I realised that what I do and how I work doesn’t mesh well with what Patreon does and how it works. This doesn’t mean I’m wrong or Patreon is wrong. It means that Patreon isn’t right for me, but it took actually using it to figure this out.
I mentioned in the main part of this post that people are still welcome to contribute through PayPal if they’d like to drop some money in my online tip jar or pay for a book after they read it. When I build a larger body of work, I may sell some books while still maintaining free content (because that’s important to me) and while I grow to that point and figure things out, I’d rather give people the option to contribute as and when they want to, rather than feeling like, “Oh god, people are paying me money every month and I have to do the thing in the particular way to fit with that”.
I’d rather promote my books and my own website than my Patreon page
Patreon, at the moment (and I assume for the foreseeable future) is not a place to be discovered. It’s a place to direct people to who already know me and my work. Also, Patreon works better for people who have a large audience AND whose creative output structure fits well with the platform.
I’m still very much at the beginning of growing an audience for my work and as that happens, I would much prefer to channel that traffic to my own website and social media places, and most importantly, to my own books, which a clear pay-as-you-can option available. Working to channel traffic to a completely separate platform, while building an audience, while still finding my feet in the actual writing and publishing part of what I do, isn’t the best use of my time and energy when it comes to promoting myself as a writer.
Patreon’s fee structure doesn’t work for me (or you, to be honest)
My Patrons should be receiving an email from Patreon over the next couple of days explaining that they’re introducing a change in fees. If you don’t get that email or you want to know more now, you can find detailed information here.
Since I began using Patreon, my take-home from $48 of monthly pledges has been about $33 (after fees etc). Basically, I haven’t been getting anywhere near the amount of money you’ve been very kindly giving to me. With Patreon’s new fee structure, I’d get slightly more money but you’d be paying more. I totally understand that Patreon need this money to function but honestly, if you want to pay me, then I’d rather you paid me directly than give a large proportion (especially for smaller pledges) to a third party. I assume you’d rather do that too.
Patreon may change as a platform in future and I’m not saying I’ll never use it again or that it’ll never fit with how I work, but channelling time and energy into something that isn’t a good fit right now doesn’t feel like the best thing for me or for my supporters ❤