To Patreon or Not To Patreon – One Writer’s Thoughts

Making a living as an artist is really hard, guys. Unless you’re Stephen King or the Fifty Shades of Gray lady – forgot her name, and don’t care enough to Google it – you need at least one day job, and possibly two, to make ends meet. In other words, it’s hard out here for a book pimp. (I apologize.)

One answer has been Patreon, a service that allows all sorts of artists to set up subscriptions to their work. It’s a neat service, and I think it’s helping a lot of artists. I have considered joining it. Let me tell you why I haven’t.

I couldn’t get past the fact that there are a lot of readers out there who simply can’t afford to do that. Although Patreon tiers can be small – Dave Kellet, the web cartoonist, has twenty five cent tiers, which is amazing – it’s still a minor financial commitment. And how fair is it to the reader anyway? I’d probably post my stories anyway, whether anyone was reading them or not. {Not having an audience has never stopped me before.) It did occur to me it might be a good way to serial fic again, without worrying someone’s going to steal it and self-publish it on Amazon, which is unlikely, but still, you do worry. Your creations are essentially your kids, and you’d rather that other people didn’t steal them and try and take credit for your work. I think that metaphor almost works.

So here’s the deal: I joined this ko.fi place. If you’d like to tip me, or say you once downloaded one of my books illegally and feel bad about it, here’s where you can give me a little something. You’re under no obligation, and if you can’t do it, it’s cool.

This is not meant as some kind of put down to anyone who has Patreon or is doing it. It’s great! There are some amazing people on Patreon, and if you can afford to do so, please support them. I’d love for everyone to be my patron, but for now, just buy my books, or buy me a cup of coffee. We’re good.

 
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