Creators were encouraged to find special ways to say thank you to their patrons. I made a bunch of little goofy videos to share on various social media platforms
AND I made sure to complete Seance on a Summer's Night on Saturday, so my patrons could enjoy it this weekend.
I've had my Patreon account for just about 11 months now. There are things I love about Patreon and things I don't love, but on the whole I would have to say it's been a great success.
We've never quite hit goal, but we've come within spitting distance several times. That's not really even the point though. Well, maybe I shouldn't say that because the money does absolutely matter. Most months I've folded it right back into my writing business so that I could invest in more product or better product, but once or twice it's been a lifesaver. Frankly, it will be a lifesaver this month because Amazon has been fooling around with the algorithms again and I've been hearing authors across the board talking about seeing anywhere from 30-40% decline in sales. Yikes! (I'm afraid to look at my numbers, to be honest.)
So thank you, Patrons, for the cold hard cash. It is much appreciated.
But what has proved even more valuable is something harder to define. My productivity is back (THANK GOD) but even more of a relief: my creativity is back. Tenfold. My confidence is back. Yes, part of that is getting healthy again. But part of it is simply the validation that comes from having readers willing to...invest in me.
That sounds wrong because all my readers are willing to invest in me, given that they buy all or most of my books. And I'm beyond appreciative of that. It's kind of the point of everything--not to mention how I pay my bills. The bills like my mortgage(s) and our health insurance (currently $1800. a month and going up to $2100 in January) and Marlowe the Mutt's bullystrips. The essentials. ;-)
But there is something inspiring--literally inspiring--having readers willing to chip in a little (sometimes a lot) extra simply out of a love of the stories and their own generosity. In fact, that's even something I struggle with a bit. I keep feeling that it needs to be quid pro quo, but Patreon is not designed for that. It is not intended to be a marketplace where goods and services are purchased.
Every single dollar I receive is a gift--and I receive and appreciate it in that spirit. No one has to donate a single extra cent to me EVER. So how can I be anything but grateful for having already received so much?
(I mean, I do certainly try to make the rewards worthwhile--I want people to be enticed by my wares--;-D, but my patrons are actually the ones who frequently remind me that I am not running a grocery store.)
Anyway, we're all figuring Patreon out in the age of subscription services, and it may be that Patreon will eventually evolve into a high end kind of subscription service. I'm just encouraged and energized by the process--and very grateful to everyone who has been part of it.
So this is me saying thank you to all my patrons, past and present--and even future. Even with all the uncertainty in publishing these days, I feel surprisingly calm. I'm excited, engaged, energized for what is to come in 2019--and each and every one of you is a big part of that.