East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Making eyes at Patreon


patreon_iconI’ve been making eyes at Patreon.
Or it’s been making eyes at me.
Meaning I’ve been reading the Patreon documentation material, and it looks like a great thing to expand my work and provide new content to my followers, while making a buck and trying to pay my bills and have more time to create fiction, non-fiction and game-related contents.

For the uninitiated, Patreon is a subscription service for creatives: patrons pledge a fixed amount per month (say one to five bucks, or more), and get exclusive contents and special perks, while the creators get a modicum of steady cash flow. The sort of thing that could help me me improve and expand my blogging platform or my author activity, for instance.
The money can serve to buy me tools – say a new mic for my podcasts, or a videocamera to shoot videos, or a new writing software, or a better hosting for the blog – or it can buy me time – because if I don’t have to work on translations or tutoring to pay my bills, I have more time to write and research new stuff.
It would be good.

So I’ve been thinking about starting a Patreon page, publishing a short story and a non-fiction piece twice per month.
This way subscribers might get two exclusive stories and two equally exclusive short essays on pulp history or other adventure-related subjects each month.

And I could add extra perks – behind-the scenes, Google hangouts, special requests, chats, on-demand podcast episodes and what else. I could offer to edit a story by my most affectionate patrons, write stories based on reader ideas or other such things.

Right now I am only looking into the ins and outs of the system, and trying to create a sort of “business plan”1. The only thing that worries me is my Italian public – many of them do not read English, or would prefer stories in their own language anyway.
Granted, I could translate my stuff – but that would actually double the work.
This is the only real problem.

Any ideas?

  1. using the Business Model Canvas… and I know a Patreon account is not a business, but the BMC is a robust tool that if good when designing any form of interaction with a public. It works great with blogs, too. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Making eyes at Patreon

  1. As I told you elsewhere, I’d focus on the English-speaking market. Pecunia non olet, and the market for English content is wider and more adventurous than its Italian counterpart.
    Also, let’s not forget the last remnants of the Italian fear of e-commerce and giving one’s credit card info to those pesky internet sites…
    I think it’s very sad but true.


    • I have to agree – also, I admit I am a better (and faster!) writer in English.
      So the single-language, English Patreon channel looks like the way to go… but I’m open to other opinions and ideas.


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