Patreon

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Patreon

Postby ashtree-house » July 12th, 2018, 2:22 pm

I was wondering if anyone here uses Pateron? What is your experience and have you had some success? Are there any other pros to signing up other than the obvious (generating income) ?

I am way to insecure to ask people give me money for my current comic/skill level. But I am in the process of planning out a new project and, down the road, would like to see it made into a physical book/series (even if I only make ONE copy for myself haha).

But as you lovely artists know, it is difficult to make art and make money.

I think Pateron is a neat idea. I feel like it would motivate me to consistently make comic pages as well as gifts/rewards for backers; not to mention sharing that experience with supportive fans. But I get worried too.. like I am not talented enough or I won't get any support at all. Or I will feel overwhelmed and pressured to make art, and lose passion for it. (I feel like I should insert here I am not an illustrator or anything by trade. I have a full time job in the financial industry that I love, but am also passionate about creating webcomics).

I am not trying to throw myself a pity party here or anything! I just have been sort of back and forth about Pateron (or other donation/income services) lately and wondering if it would be a good tool to use in the future. I wanted to reach out to other web comic artists and ask about their experiences. Does anyone have serious self-doubt like myself or am I alone in this lol.

(Sorry if this is in the wrong section, or if there is another thread related to this. I didn't see a current one, but feel free to delete MODS)
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Re: Patreon

Postby eishiya » July 12th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Moved to Business of Comics.


I don't think you should worry about not being "good enough" for Patreon. It's entirely voluntary. Don't think of it as asking money for your work, but as an opportunity for people to support you and your improvement if they have money they want to spend. Patreon can be a second job, or it can just be a little extra something, it's all up to you. Some people offer lots of rewards and use Patreon to interact with readers (it's got some mediocre blogging features), other people just use it as a recurring tip jar with no rewards. There's no harm in having a Patreon right now, as long as you're clear about the rewards you are or aren't offering. Even if no one uses it, you don't lose anything but the ~hour it takes to set one up, and you'll already have it made for your next project.

Don't set any expectations for your Patrons that you can't consistently meet, and you'll be fine! If you don't want the stress of making additional art as rewards, then don't offer such rewards. Even Patreon campaigns with no rewards at all can still do fine.

My own Patreon offers basically no rewards (just some sketches and such when I have them, no schedule or guarantees, because I don't really make any art outside of my comic pages) and I have some patrons. Not many, but just about as many I'd expect, given how unknown I and my comic are. There's no point in feeling bad about having low levels of support.

If you make something good enough for someone to enjoy, then you're good enough to earn money with it. Patreon takes the paywall problem out of it, people can choose to pay if they want, and to not pay if they don't want to, and everyone still gets to read your comic.
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Re: Patreon

Postby Gibson Twist » July 12th, 2018, 3:04 pm

I've been using Patreon for years and now and you should sign up, without question. It's done very well by me, and though it doesn't do gangbusters numbers for everyone, it's at least a trickle, if only enough to buy a few supplies. Look at it as money you wouldn't have if you didn't sign up instead of as a gauge for your popularity. (Edit: it is not a good gauge for popularity, comics far more well-read than mine bring in far less.)

It might help you get over your shyness about asking money if you don't ask, and simply say "I have a Patreon if you want to offer me a little support. I'll say thank you with a little art and stuff." I don't remember who said it, but there's a big truth to the line "give people permission to give you money." There's no such thing as not being good enough to let people tip you.

A few suggestions for using Patreon: First, definitely look at it as people tipping you, not you selling them something. They are giving you funds to support your art and you making it, they're not generally buying something. Second, have a $1 option, but have higher tiers as well, even if you think no one will pay it. While about 80% of my Patrons are $1 supporters, nearly half of my funds come from $10+25 supporters. You know, just give people the option to give you a lot of coin. Third, don't knock yourself out doing material for the Patreon. I've seen several friends wrack themselves under the mindset that they're on a deadline to delivery product, which isn't what anyone wants. The important thing is your art, your comic, that's what people care about when they drop a few extra bucks and they'll understand (for the most part) that you're not a factory. Like I say, it's a tip jar, not a cash register. There's more, but blah blah blah.

I don't know a lot about other platforms aside from Ko-fi, which has never been a big source of funds for me (or anyone I know about.) I don't think their model lends well to frequent or recurring payments, and it's more difficult to communicate with supporters there. It is good for one-time donations, though, so it's a good idea to have that also.

Finally, Patreon can be a little shady. They've made poor decisions in the past (I won't go into them, but you can find it all if you look) and they care about the artists with massive draws and not much about we peons with our tens and twenties. As a result, they're less than stellar about listening to feedback from people who don't bring in mad cash. They're geared mostly for YouTube assholes and most of their efforts and features cater to them. And their staff are Hipster as shit, whatever you feel about that. Perfect it is not, but their service does let people support you with money and lets you engage with them, so if you're not expecting more than that, you should be fine.

Too long, didn't read; more good than bad, recommended.
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Re: Patreon

Postby ashtree-house » July 12th, 2018, 4:09 pm

Wow, thanks for the really great responses so far!! I really like how both of you likened Patreon more to tipping/supporting then selling. I think I need to view it that way, and that takes some major pressure off myself.

@Gibson Twist- Thank you for some really interesting insights. I admit that I haven't explored the website intensely thus far, so it is good to get some of these more experienced views.

To you both, I am glad you've had some good success with Patreon too!!
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Re: Patreon

Postby MemaiShirosaki » July 13th, 2018, 2:44 am

Some lovely insights from equally lovely members, but I'd like to add on the Ko-Fi point ;D

There's no harm in setting up both a Patreon AND ko-fi account. Patreon works if you have readers/followers who can afford the recurring payments (even $1 can be a dent in someone's wallet if they're not paying attention), and ko-fi's great alternative for folks who DO want to support you but can't commit to a monthly/per-creation payment plan just yet. I usually have them both listed and I notice Patreon attracts more older, financially-stable followers, but ko-fi is mostly used by younger followers, or those who are outside the US where the currency conversion is a little unkind.

And like eishiya said, even if nothing happens now, it's better to set one up now while you're still getting the hang of things and feeling out what your supporters expect from you, if they do at all! Patreon's pretty flexible.

All the best and good luck!
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Re: Patreon

Postby eishiya » July 13th, 2018, 9:26 am

Seconding having both a Patreon and a Ko-Fi. Stick a link to your Ko-Fi everywhere.
Some of my Ko-Fis have come from readers, and some have been from people who just like my forum posts and haven't even read my comic. Ko-Fi being person-centric rather than project-centric means people don't get scared off by the unrelated comic campaign when they want to support me for some other reason.
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Re: Patreon

Postby MK_Wizard » July 13th, 2018, 10:26 am

I have both Patreon on Ko-fi. I use Ko-fi for tips only while Patreon is for rewards. I offer early access to pages, my sketch and concept art gallery and the desktop of the month. I even do commissions on my shop, but... it's so hard to get customers. People like what I do and I am grateful for it, but steady patrons and tips would help me do even more.
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Re: Patreon

Postby mitchellbravo » July 13th, 2018, 10:28 am

I think especially now that ProjectWonderful is shutting down (not that I ever made more than drips & drabs from it) I might give Patreon & KoFi a go. It couldn't hurt. Maybe could give me an incentive to get back in the swing of things more as well.
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Re: Patreon

Postby ashtree-house » July 13th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Thank you for the insight, everyone! I had not heard of KoFi before this thread, so TIL!! Thank you!
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Re: Patreon

Postby Measley » July 16th, 2018, 9:07 am

mitchellbravo wrote:I think especially now that ProjectWonderful is shutting down (not that I ever made more than drips & drabs from it) I might give Patreon & KoFi a go. It couldn't hurt. Maybe could give me an incentive to get back in the swing of things more as well.


Not to go OT, but has anyone figured out an alternative for Project Wonderful yet? I'm really missing the ability to spend a couple of bucks and putting a link to my comic on the front page of a larger webcomic.

As for Patreon, it's totally worth putting on your page, though it seems to benefit Youtubers more than webcomics.
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