OK, so I’ve switched the Patreon to monthly payments instead of per-work. So far some people have switched their backing to a higher tier, but most haven’t yet — though it’s only been a few days. Of the small number of people who’ve commented, most of you prefer the monthly payments anyway, so that’s no great hardship.
However, some people are wanting to switch from Patreon altogether, unsurprisingly, so I thought I’d lay out what my current plans are for alternative crowdfunding.
For the rest of this month, I won’t be doing anything — I’ll be in the US for a big chunk of it, and frankly I don’t have the spoons to mess with anything further.
After that, I do not plan to leave Patreon unless they mess anything further up, but I plan to *add* other crowdfunding options. The problem is that no other organisation has Patreon’s exact model, combining funding for free content like this blog with backer rewards. It looks like Drip might, and I intend to set up a Drip account as soon as that goes wide, but I’m not relying on that until it goes properly public.
So I’ll be adding accounts on two other crowdfunding sites. Liberapay is a site that allows people to back only free online content — it doesn’t have the community-building stuff like Patreon, and doesn’t allow any kind of backer rewards. In fact I won’t even know at all who, if anyone, backs me on there, just how much I’ll get.
Gumroad, on the other hand, is *only* about the backer rewards, and doesn’t (that I can see) have a “donate to keep the blog going” kind of option. So what I *may* do there is to offer my “book of the month club” idea, as a five-pound-a-month subscription service for ebooks (and maybe higher for paper books). I *believe* I can produce thirty thousand words a month for that, but I won’t guarantee that that won’t change — so I’ll say that any month I can’t, you’ll get a free copy of one of my previous books instead. I have written about twenty now, so that should keep that going.
Both of those, though, are imperfect solutions to the Patreon problem, so I *hope* Patreon realises what they’ve done wrong and course-corrects, so I can keep using that.
Whether they do or not, of course, it’ll still be a good idea for me to have more options on more platforms. And of course people can always buy my books, as well, if they want to support this blog.
And also whatever happens, everything on this blog will *always* be free, and *NONE* of my readers are under any obligation to pay a penny for it. I am more grateful than you can know that some do, and… I am *really fucking distressed* that I have had to talk about this stuff. I know some of you feel guilty that you can’t give me money, others are angry that I ask for it at all, others give a small amount and feel like talking about this stuff is asking for more.
Please, please, please know that whenever I reflect upon the fact that people value my writing enough to pay me, whether with Patreon backing or buying my books or things like the one-off Paypal donation someone gave me yesterday (thank you! I’m not going to say your name in case you don’t want it publicising, but thank you!) I become overwhelmed and tearful. My writing is now how I earn my living, but I don’t really think of it as a business thing, but as my interactions with a community of people, and I hate that I’ve had to do three blog posts this week looking at it in a commercial manner which is the antithesis of everything I do here.
Thank you all for ever reading my posts.