For the last several months, I've been hearing a lot about Patreon. For those who don't know, Patreon allows people to pledge money to creators. I first heard about it with webshows who use the money to buy new equipment and stuff like that. I think that's a great idea and if I had extra money, there are several shows I would support. But I don't have money, which is why it would be great if I could get some patrons. But I don't have a webshow or make videos or anything like that. I write stories. And I would hate to ask people to pay me to write a story when I give away stories every week for free. So for a couple of months now I've wanted to get in to Patreon, I just haven't figured out how to go about it.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I had an idea we'll call Plan A. The plan starts with a poll. I don't know if you can do polls in Patreon, but I'm sure I could find a poll site somewhere. The poll would list various scifi things like aliens, alternate dimensions, Andromeda Galaxy, etc., all starting with "A." People would vote on this poll, and then I would write a story (probably in the 1000 word range) dealing with that topic. And I'd go through the entire alphabet. I figured if I could write a story every other week, I could be done in a year. But the thing I would do with those stories is to then revise them and put them out as a Kindle ebook. My patrons - who pledged at a certain amount - would receive a copy of it, and those who pledged higher would receive a copy of all of my Kindle ebooks.
It's a good idea, but there is one problem with it. When I first start out, not many people would know about it and only a few people would vote, which kind of defeats the purpose. To get around that, I came up with Plan B, which is what I'm thinking of actually starting with before going back to Plan A once I have some followers.
Several years ago, I read a collection of stories by various authors with each story set on a different planet. I thought that was a great idea and that I should do a story for every planet. So I had the idea, but until now I never really sat down to go about it. My Patreon Plan B is to write a story for twelve bodies/regions in the solar system: the sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth/moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Kuiper Belt, and Oort Cloud. If I could do a story a month, it would take me a year to go through them all. And then I'd do the same thing of putting them in a Kindle ebook and giving out copies to those who pledged.
The one sort of issue I still have, is I don't really like the sound of "Give me money, so I don't have to get a job." Because the webshows I watch talk about if they can raise X amount of money they'll get new microphones or a new camera or whatever. For me it would be, "Help me raise X dollars and I'll ... get a tank of gas?" I couldn't think of a way raising money on Patreon could directly help my writing, only indirectly by me having the time to write and not worry about paying bills. But then I thought of something. I've put out several ebooks on Kindle, but one thing I haven't done for any of them is a big promo. There are sites that will send out tweets about your book to their 100,000 followers ... for a fee. I haven't felt comfortable enough risking my money on one of these promo deals in the hope it would end up making me more money through sales. But I think that will be one of my Patreon campaign goals. If I raise enough money, I'll pay for one of these promo sites to see if it's worth it. And I'll hopefully pay some of my bills.
Anyway, next month I will be busy with my 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge, and then I'll probably need a break in the beginning of October, so maybe by November I'll start getting serious with this Patreon stuff. Watch this space.