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17 February 2014 @ 03:50 pm
Patreon update :)  

So I logged into the war room after launching the MAGIC & MANNERS Patreon project and got hit with a bunch of suggestions on how to improve the page, which I’ll be doing, but one of them was “more explaining about how the funding works”, so I’ll do that in a blog post.

So. Funding with Patreon is Not Like Kickstarter. Patreon does not ask for one large donation; it asks for many small ones. And when we say small we can mean “ten or five or even one cent”–micropayments are totally cool with the Patreon model.

Patreon allows you to cap your monthly donation. If it’s a year-long project with 50 chapters (as I anticipate MAGIC & MANNERS being), if you want to cap your monthly payment at $1, so that over the course of the year you pay $12 for the eventual e-book, that’s totally cool.

I’m setting a cap of my own on the number of chapters I’m willing to post: no more than 1 a week. So, for example, if you have opted to donate $1/chapter, over the course of the month the most you can possibly get hit for is $5 (in July & October, I think, which are the months this year with 5 Wednesdays, which is the day I expect to post). But if you’ve set your own cap of $3/month, that’ll be your total donation regardless of the caps on my end of things.

I want to emphasise again that this isn’t like Kickstarter: if you tell Patreon you want to donate $10/chapter, it’s not a one-time donation of $10, it’s $10 every week! And, I mean, don’t get me wrong, if you want to and can afford that, that’s great, but as the project creator, I’m not expecting people to be able to donate at that level! My goal/hope is really to basically get 250 people at $1 each–or, of course, ideally more than that so that editing and whatnot can be part of the whole project process. :)

Basically I’m going to give the Patreon project a month to fund. If we haven’t reached the base level of $250/chapter by the middle of March, I’ll call it a failed experiment and close it down. If we do, of course, then there will be new chapters every week, which would be lots of fun. :)

Questions? Hit me with ‘em!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on February 17th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
This is the kind of thing that makes me feel like Patreon's a harder sell than Kickstarter. It's very easy to say, "Kickstarter! Help someone get the capital to finish a project with a one-time donation that gets you a prize!" When you explain Patreon, though, it becomes this weird convoluted "and then, but also, and it's just that, and finally" explanation that usually leaves people as puzzled at the end as they were in the beginning.

I've seen a handful of people start using Patreon and I still don't know what it means or what I should expect for my money. o_O
kitmizkit on February 17th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Well, you can eyeball me as a test case and we'll all see how it goes. I *genuinely* have no idea, so it's kind of interesting. Fortunately, if it's a flop, I think my ego can take it. :)
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on February 17th, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
If it flops, I think it will be more because Patreon's doing a bad job of explaining itself than it is about you...!
Bryantbryant on February 17th, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
My simple Patreon explanation: "it's a subscription-based Kickstarter, but you only pay when the creator delivers an installment of the project."
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on February 17th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
So it's different from Kickstarter in... that... you keep paying for installments? Because Kickstarter is also a "you only pay when the creator delivers" thing. I guess, then, "You only pay per chunk?"
Bryantbryant on February 17th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
Kickstarter is "you pay up front, and hopefully the creator delivers." In general I've had good experiences. I have one product that hasn't delivered three years after the funding completed and the money left my bank account, though, and another product that won't ever complete, and so on.

As a patron, the thing that attracts me about Patreon is that my credit card isn't billed until the material is made available.
Chrysoulachrysoula on February 18th, 2014 12:57 am (UTC)
Keep in mind that Patreon is creator focused, not project focused, generally. So you... pay each time there's a new story, or a new song. It also works in this chapter format, but Catie could _also_ say: 'I will write a new novella for every $4000', bring in $4000 worth of backers, then (theoretically) get $4000 each time she churned out a novella-- and people who will buy everything she writes don't have to manage each individual novella fundraiser.
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on February 18th, 2014 01:07 am (UTC)
*nods* I think "creator-focused" is a good model, I just feel like Patreon doesn't make it easy to grok, partially because of its emphasis on prizes/products/etc. I don't blame it for wanting to instate something like that, but the metaphors get mixed in my head.

For me, if I want a book or a novel, I buy the book or collection.

If I want to support the artist just doing things, I tip them without expectation of reward.

Kickstarter fits neatly into the first box: I want the book or collection, I give money, I get the story(ies). Donation buttons fit well into the second box (I also call this the "museum model" of patronage, in which you pay someone for the experience they provide you, but not for a thing--so, say, someone's blog post made me happy, I tip them, but I don't want them to send me a copy). Patreon seems to try to sit in both boxes, and that confuses me.

If I was the only person it was confusing, I'd wave it off. But a lot of other people seem puzzled by it too, so. :)

As a producer, I am not comfortable being beholden to a hybrid semi-continuous patronage system that doesn't guarantee me the money to finish a project (while encouraging me to finish occasional parts of it) while also requiring me to give answer to people who are (justifiably) anxious that I produce something. Kickstarter says "finish this project, or don't even start it." Patreon says... something else. I'm not sure what, which is why I haven't tried it yet (also, admittedly, because my existing patronage system works).
Chrysoulachrysoula on February 18th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
Interestingly, I think the 'donation' model is hard to grok if you're outside the crowdfunding community. At least, I've never had a single tip in my tip jar. (That could, of course, be me....)

I don't know. My first exposure to Patreon was the Nataly Dawn page. She has no basic tiers; she simply gets whatever amount is in the 'per song' field for each song she releases. She does have more advanced tiers: she will get an electric guitar at $2k and cinematographer at $2.75k. It made perfect sense to me: she was inviting people to be her patrons and in return they got early or exclusive access to her stuff. It looks like the SMBC page is the same way. Sort of a tip jar but more organized with the ability to demonstrate to the interested just how many other people think you're worth tipping.