So 6 weeks or so ago I had a rant about Patreon shitting on their adult content Creators and putting my planned Patreon launch on hold.
Last week I bit the bullet. I need some way of showing I can make money from my creative endeavours and Patreon seemed like the best/only way I could do that on a reliable basis. I trimmed back the “adult content” side of what I would do/offer for it and designed myself a nice Patreon page with some rewards for patrons including, at the top end, getting your own story or piece of music written for you.
Well, fuck that.
Patreon have now shat on 90% of Creators AND Patrons in one ginormous cock-up of a fees restructuring.
One of the Creators I support explains it in a public post but what it boils down to is that small contributions are going to be charged much higher “transaction fees”, making it hard to support lots of people.
At first it looked like it was just a money-grab, but many wiser heads than me have dug into it and seen some really messed-up thinking, while Patreon themselves have described the logic as making it easier and more logical for patrons – fixing a situation where sometimes you’d get double-billed when you first signed up because of the way the billing cycle works. Unfortunately, this makes it far worse for me as a patron – I liked the simple, 1st-of-the-month system – I could budget for it on my financial cycles (whether monthly or weekly) and make sure I knew how much to have available on what day.
By revealing that they really only care about Creators with a certain level of success, Patreon are trashing their own USP (that people can support creators they love and admire who aren’t necessarily well-known or “successful”).
But this really sucks for me, personally. I was expecting to get mostly small-scale patrons – the ones who will be hit hardest by this change – and hopefully one or two big regular payments, enough to give me some breathing room financially and free up time so I can work on making even better stuff. And, you know, pay other people to design covers, do editing for me, and such, on my stories.
And as a Patron, it sucks even worse. I support a few Creators at the moment, all people whose work I love and who have made their appeals resonate. There’s about as many more whom I have been thinking of adding to this list recently. All of them are low-tier pledges, and therefore hit hardest by the changes. I can’t afford to take on those changes – as I said at the top, I need to find a way to demonstrate reliable income from what I do! I pledge $1 or $2 pledges because that’s as much as I can manage. If the cost to me of my $1 pledges go up to $1.40-odd, then to me that means I just stop my pledges. I could, I suppose, choose one or two to keep at the same level and sacrifice the others to pay for it, but in truth this seems not worth it. And it certainly means I won’t support any new Creators because at the back of my mind will be that extra charge.
So I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the Creators I’ve chosen to support (and those I was thinking of supporting), and also a heartbroken “sorry” to them. But I just don’t have the means to support you through Patreon any more.
The Creator I linked above has migrated to a platform called LiberaPay and I may follow, or explore elsewhere for my own fundraising. I get the feeling I’m going to be donating via a number of different sites in the near future when it comes to supporting my favourite creators, too. And if any of you are reading this, I hope to hear soon of where I can give you what little money I can spare.