Furry Writers' Guild Forum

How's Patreon for Writers?

I’ve been looking to supplement my income from my day job for some time now, I took one commission but it ended up taking me three months to push myself into writing 6,000 words. That’s the other thing, I need to motivate myself to write more instead of simply meandering online like I do most evenings.

So, I’ve been thinking about Patreon, if I set it to charge by the post instead of by the month it might motivate me more, and it might even offset some of the money I’m spending through Patreon.

Though, I’ve only seen a few writers on Patreon and what I’ve seen doesn’t look too promising. Sure, Rukis and Kyell Gold seem to be making more than my day job, and M.C.A. Hogarth is making a few hundred, but E.S. Lapso has just the one backer and he has around an order of magnitude more FA followers than I have.

I just don’t know. What do you all think?

My general sense is that Patreon works best for writers if you’re (a) already fairly well established at producing content on a regular basis, and (b) tend to write in a serialized fashion. I don’t mean just turning stories into serials, but having stories that relate to other stories, either as direct sequels or sharing an overall milieu.

Personally, I haven’t pursued a Patreon yet myself, because I don’t trust myself to be able to write on a sufficiently regular basis, and I do not write terribly well-polished first drafts – I’m as much a self-editor as I am a writer, and that makes me reticent to start a serial that I haven’t gone through a complete first draft of.

From my experience, FA followers don’t necessarily translate very well into people who are willing to spend money on your work. With artists, maybe more so, but with writing, not so much.

I agree that to be successful on Patreon you need to be fairly prolific, and I think you also need to have some kind of a fanbase already established. I feel like Patreon is designed to help monetize an audience you already have, more than it’s really helpful in terms of building an audience, at least where writing’s concerned.

I’ve held off myself because, like Chipotle, I don’t think I’d be able to produce work as often and consistently as I’d need to, but also because I don’t think I have enough of a fanbase, and having a Patreon with just a few backers would be more depressing than helpful to my motivation – basically, it would give me all the stress of having to produce stuff without enough benefit to make it feel worthwhile. :slight_smile:

Well, I made a Patreon a couple days ago offering a look at my rough drafts a couple months before I make them public. No contributors so far.