2017 is my most ambitious year as an independent author-publisher, and it is this ambition that motivated me to join Patreon.
Patreon is an easy way for my fans to help support my work in exchange for some cool rewards. Chip in $1 each month, and you'll get access to all of my published work, past, present, and future. If you feel like tipping me a little bit more, then you'll get more rewards. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at how I produce a book, high quality downloads of cover art, a chance to read deleted scenes or compare first draft material to final edited work, you can do that by supporting me at one of the higher levels. There's even a chance for you to subscribe and receive an autographed copy of every paperback I release. Or you can send me questions to answer during a monthly Q&A.
Being an independent author-publisher is not cheap. Over the last few years, I've spent anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the nature of the final story, to produce high quality books for my readers. Short stories are quicker and cheaper to make. Novels cost more, and take longer. Audiobooks are expensive. Frankly, these costs have made it difficult for me to release new material on a more frequent basis.
Rather than try to run a Kickstarter for each new project I tackle, I decided to focus on setting up a Patreon. I don't have the time, money, energy, or resources it would take to fulfill any and every possible pledge a Kickstarter backer may support. With Patreon, I can give supporters direct access to my stories and they can download their rewards at their convenience. This makes things easier on both our lives, I think, and all the time, energy, and money I would have spent satisfying Kickstarter backers can instead be put toward producing more new material for my supporters and readers. Again, I think this is a win-win.
And, of course, supporting me on Patreon is 100% optional. If you prefer to show your support by purchasing my stories as they release, that's awesome too! You certainly don't have to become a patron, there's nothing to compel you (other than getting early access to all the brand new stories I'll be writing for you, before anyone else, and the knowledge that you'll be helping a starving artist make art), but it will most certainly be appreciated if you do choose to help. I want to make being a patron worth your time and money, so there's various reward levels for your support, which you can read about at my Patreon page. Think of these as something like Blu-ray extras, with the chance to have your name immortalized in print (which then gives you bragging rights to tell all your friends and family about the work you helped make possible!).
I also think that Patreon is a great way to help further connect artists and their fans. As a supporter, you'll be directly responsible for helping me get my work out into the world, and you'll have my eternal gratitude for that. I'll answer questions on a Patreon-only video blog, so if you want to dive a bit deeper with questions about my work, or virtually anything else, you can do that, too. Patreon provides an opportunity for our community of fans and readers to become better acquainted, which I think is pretty damn cool.
With your support, I'll be able to continue producing quality ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks. Over the next few months, I'll be releasing several short stories that were originally published in The Cyborg Chronicles and CLONES: The Anthology. I've already commissioned artwork for both of these stories, along with a cover design for a forthcoming horror novel I'm hoping to release over the summer. The short stories will be ebook-only, and I'm planning on making the novel available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook formats. As a Patreon supporter, you would get advanced access to all of these stories for as little as $1 per month.
My long-term goal is to earn enough monthly income via Patreon that I can begin producing audiobooks for both Convergence and Emergence, as well as all of my other short stories (Revolver released on audio last year!), and all future projects moving forward.
A lot of my future success is dependent on being successful with Patreon and having a strong base of supporters like you. In publishing, there is no One True Path to success. What works for some, fails for others. As an indie publisher-author, I have plenty of room to maneuver and experiment with new things as I seek to discover what works best for me, as well as for my readers. One of these experiments now is Patreon. There's a lot of stories to come over the next few months and years ahead. Let's get started!