If you’ve been following my comic over at Crash and Burn, you’ll notice that there is a new variable in play when it comes to earning enough to keep the webcomic afloat. In January 2016, we set up a Patreon account (click to see and support us!).
Patreon has been used a lot by webcomic creators, which seems pretty in line with what it was created for. Patreon is a really good system to use to support serialized work. Crash and Burn is pretty much a serialized work, even though there is an eventual end to the main story arc that is currently being produced.
As a writer, I’ve had a hard time reconciling Patreon for writing. A lot of writers I know have, and are successfully, running Patreons of their own. Most of the writers I have seen with them started out doing so as an alternative to the one-and-done Kickstarters or IndieGoGos.
Some of the authors I know that are on Patreon for writing include:
The first thing I know that having a Patreon means is having a lot of confidence in yourself and faith in your work. You are asking people to essentially preorder your work on an ongoing basis. While it is true that patrons can cancel any time, it takes a lot of self awareness and confidence to know and attest that you will continue to produce work that these individuals will want to consume.
Second, it requires a lot of upkeep. You need to be on top of making sure that your patrons gets the best, most up-to-date information available on your work and that the bonuses you provide need to be things your patrons want. You have to continue to foster is so they know why they backed you in the first place.
Third, the work you produce needs to be on a consistent schedule. New pages of Crash and Burn come out every Friday. Writing can be similar: a chapter a week, an episode a month, what have you. But it needs to be upheld because you have people providing money for that scheduled security.