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Patreon: Creator-focused crowdfunding website

edited February 2014 in The Toolbox
Have you folks seen Patreon yet? It's a crowdfunding site that's focused less on short-term fundraising for individual projects (like Kickstarter, Indiegogo etc) and more on long-term promotion of creators doing ongoing projects. Some creators (like Erika Moen) are using it to raise money for their digital comics.

I think it's a great model, and I want to try it out. The problem, of course, is that as a comics writer who doesn't draw, I need to team up with collaborators to do anything comics-based for it. (Although I may try it out as a way to fund short prose fiction pieces. Since I've been writing some anyway!)
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Comments

  • Yeah, I think the first thing I saw was the Gordon McAlpin thing.

    I would actually feel guilty doing comics with it, except maybe to pay an artist, but I have considered doing something else with it.
  • I just set up a Patreon profile. 100% of the money I make off it will go to artists. In exchange, I'm giving patrons a "backstage pass to my future" — behind-the-scenes news and art from upcoming projects, before it gets released anywhere else. I'm also going to throw in some short prose pieces set in the worlds of my upcoming comics projects — since that's something I can do on my own.

  • I am considering doing How To Comicbook With Justin Jordan - which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Ever week (or so) I'd do an article on some part of making comics, along with script samples, some art stuff from artists, etc.

    Call it 2 dollars a lesson, and for 5 a lesson you can ask me one question per week (maybe).
  • That would be great! I would totally pay for that.
  • Thanks!

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. I need to do some thinking and monkeying with Patreon, but I think it's a thing that could be a nice little side income.
  • I've been thinking about it since I first heard of it in December. Not for an extra project - though that's nice, too -, but for my ongoing comics which I'd then additionally collect in ebooks and stuff.
  • Gordon uses it to fund the comic (he REALLY wants his webcomic to be his sole income), but also offers a boat-load of pledge exclusive content. He works in vector, so his assets for creating the pages are all set - not quite sure how long it takes him to complete a page, though. 
  • For those of us who had no idea who Gordon is:

  • I strongly suspect Gordon made a strategic mistake in setting his particular thing as a monthly pledge, rather than a per comic thing.
  • The content I'm offering is short prose stories set in the comics projects I'm working on. Which is a fairly minimal commitment for me, since I mostly write these stories to "get to know" my new projects better and would be doing them anyway.

    The question is... do the fans of my established comics care about prose stories from projects I haven't done yet?
  • @JustinJordan - I like Gordon McAlpin a lot.  I'm not sure if his patreon schedule is right or wrong, but he's getting some buzz from it, which is good.  I was reading his Multiplex years ago when it was first starting.
  • edited February 2014
    @BrandonSeifert - not wishing to be a downer but do comics fans care about prose stories set in their favourite comic worlds regardless? I've read a few and some were even good but I don't think the general response had been good. It'll be interesting to see what the response is.
  • Brandon, It may work in this format, certainly worth a try, since as you say, its work you're doing anyway. FWIW: On the rare occasions that I see prose stories appearing IN comics, I almost always ignore them.
  • Here's mine:
    http://www.patreon.com/wonderealm
    Still have to add a video, but that'll come.  This is a genius idea... we'll see how it works out!
  • Brandon, I think that's a great idea. The fans who are fan enough to back a Patreon campaign should be exactly the ones who go for that.

    Or maybe it's just wsihful thinking on my part.

    Man, I should stop reading this thread, or I'll end up spending all the money I make with Patreon (hypothetically) on other people's campaings. Flattr all over again...
  • @marvinmann "On the rare occasions that I see prose stories appearing IN comics, I almost always ignore them." Me too. Reading prose requires such a different mindset for me that I don't read prose stories in comics. BUT I'd be up for reading prose stories about comics I like, if I were getting them another way — the same way I'm up for buying Doctor Who short stories through Kindle.

    @Owen_Jones I would argue that most prose stories about comics characters aren't written by the people who usually write the characters. You may be right though. I have no idea yet!

    Thanks @MaxVaehling!
  • @BrandonSeifert - That's a good point and having now spent a few hours wandering around the site, I can see the difference in focus between this and Kickstarter and their ilk. Go for it bro.
  • @BrandonSeifert I think that's a key point, prose in comics has a jarring effect because of the mental shift in formats. If, however, the stories were well written and available where I knew I was going to read prose I probably would like having access to them. 
  • So far I haven't seen it mentioned, but am I right in thinking Patreon isn't limited to USA-based creatives?

    I wonder if one reward can't be a private webcomic for patrons only. With a print edition only later on.
  • It isn't (I've seen non USA creators) and you can make a private webcomic, yeah.
  • developing, then... :)
  • edited February 2014
    "I wonder if one reward can't be a private webcomic for patrons only. With a print edition only later on."

    Sure. Password gated online, emailed to subscribers, as a PDF in a Dropbox or Google Drive only shared with patrons, etc. Entirely up to you.
  • Interesting site. I started a Patreon page. Have a look and tell me if it makes sense or if it's just wack.

    http://www.patreon.com/jasoncopland
  • Gabe really wants us to start one of these pages for Albert the Alien. I want to wait until after we launch the Kickstarter.
  • edited February 2014
    @JasonCopland - looking good.
  • @ShawnRichison Thanks! I might be doing it as a Kickstarter now.... :)
  • Kickstarter to me, is for particular projects (which this sounds like it might be) and this is overall more to support an artist/individual creator.  I'm in favour of doing both. :)
  • @JustinJordan - That's great news.  I just wish I had ongoing content to make the platform work for me.
  • What I am currently debating:

    My original plan, which I am still leaning towards, is giving only the people that support the lessons access to them. So you give a buck or two, I give you the lesson.

    But I do wonder if it would make sense to make the lessons free, with the idea that the Patreon is more a donation than a transaction?

    Which is how, I think, Erika Moen and some other do with webcomics. I don't have any real behind the scenes stuff for this, so not any additional enticements.

    I could maybe make SciFi Hercules the enticement. Dunno.
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