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Using Patreon to Fund Writing and Publishing

Black Dragon

Any thoughts on using Patreon to fund writing and self-publishing? I can see some potential there, but I don't know if it would be a good fit for most writers.

Do you have any insight into whether or not this could work?


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
It's hard to get anywhere with Patreon for a writer. Novels are published far apart, and Patreon lives off of little drops of regular content. It's best for maybe a webcomic or one of those meme-making tumblr accounts, although I've seen some people do alright with it writing short stories, especially the "weird" ones that some patrons like to feel good about supporting. Some people also use it to monetize their fanfiction which they publish one chapter at a time.

$500 a month is considered a huge success on Patreon, so even in the best case scenario it's not going to make you a living by itself.
I read a little bit about Patreon once, out of curiosity. I know very little about it. The only writers I encountered who seemed to promote their Patreon approach with enthusiasm were erotica and pornographic writers, who could dish out the quick stories at a good clip. But as I said, I know very little and gave up exploring the idea of using Patreon.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
I guess to add, some people have used it for a blog, but that's a hard sell. The most successful blogging fundraisers I've seen was to put out a little goodie bag full of special content and like a magnet or something with their logo. They sell about a thousand of them for $20 each, twice a year, although I think they had a couple of tiers and ran them through indiegogo.


You typically need steady content in order for Patreon to be at all useful. The most successful examples I have seen are people who make heavy use of "behind the scenes" content so they constantly have something to feed to their patrons. I think it could theoretically work even for someone who writes longer stuff, you would just have to be good at PR and have to be willing to make your writing process a lot more public. I could see people willing to pay if you built up a fan base and routinely gave them rough drafts, scrapped ideas, and random world-building tidbits.

Ned Marcus

I personally know a writer using Patreon who makes enough money to pay a few bills, or maybe a couple of good nights out every month. Not a lot, but every bit helps. I think for a new writer, it's probably not going to work, but if you have published 7 or 8 novels and already have a following, then it could be a realistic extra stream of income. But, as Devor said, it's unlikely support you.