Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Patreon Emergency

So. Patreon.

Until last week, if you pledged $1 an essay and I wrote 4 essays, you would have been charged $4, of which I would have got about $3.40. 

For reasons best know to themselves, Patreon have decided to start charging punters 35c and a 2.8% cover charge on each donation. So now, if you pledge $1 and I write 4 articles in a month, you will be charged $5.55 and I will recieve $3.80. Slightly better for me: much worse for you.

Brits who pledge $1 (US) will pay £4.15 (UK) of which I will see £2.84 (UK).

This seems specifically set up to harm small creators, discourage small donations, and break the crowdfunding / micropayments model which was the whole point of Patreon.

I currently have 44 followers giving me between 1 and 5 dollars per essay; I banked about 200 quids last month. I work part time in a library: this is a significant contribution to my income; and it is more than I could make in any other kind of freelancing. (I was getting about £40 a writing for geeky magazines; and only a matter of pence for local arts reviews.) 

The Patreon model gives me the freedom to write the kind of stuff that I want to write and that at least 44 people want to read. 

I did consider using Kickstarter to pre-sell the eventual Big Book Of Spider-Man essays -- which will consist of the 1963, 64 and 65 volumes, plus an fourth "after Ditko" section. Only backers and purchasers would get that additional material. But I concluded that it made more sense to continue to post everything on the blog: ten new essays would have bagged me $700 on Patreon; selling 140 books with a $5 mark up is pretty unthinkable.

What I propose to do for the moment is therefore: nothing.

If you are okay with paying an extra 35c per essay / $1.40 per month then you don't need to do anything, and we can carry on as before. Thank you for your support. 

If you don't want to pay the extra money to Patreon, I strongly suggest that you multiply your donation by 4 and set your "maximum" to the same amount. So if you pledge $1, change it to $4 with a maximun of $4, and you'll pay $4.35. at the end of the month. So you only pay for the first article and I get the same money I would have done anyway. Thank you for your support. 

So far only one person has cancelled their backing (and one person has already done the times four thing.) Thank you everyone else for sticking with me.

"But never mind all this commerce -- what are you going to write for us?"

The next thing I write will definitely be on Doomsday Clock. (Doomsday Clock? Doomsday Cock more like.) I suspect my short essay on That Tim Farron Column will see the light of day thereafter. (How can you have been leader of the liberal party and use the word "liberal" in four different senses in the same sentence?) Then the long overdue piece on Homecoming. (The best Spider-Man movie by virtue of not actually being a Spider-Man movie.) There may be something on TV on Christmas day I'll have words to say about, and I am going to the movies at midnight on Wednesday. And then it's back to Spider-Man 31 - 33. (I understand they have given general satisfaction, sir.)

So if you are already backing me, my continued thanks and hang in there. If you are not backing me and think any of the above sounds worth my time and effort, then please think about joining the happy band. If everyone reading this donated $1 a month, my monthly income would be, er, 75p times my current readership. 

If you haven't got a penny, a hapany will do. If you haven't got a hapany then God bless you. 

Other midwinter religious festivals are available.

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