Ben and Tim on Patreon

The Importance of Supporting Creativity

In Random by Jay Bell

Ben and Tim on PatreonThe internet has made it possible for people to be creative and earn a living from it. That’s a wonderful thing which has allowed all sorts of previously overlooked genres to thrive. Gay fiction is the perfect example. Not many publishers were willing to take a risk on it before. Now it doesn’t matter, because authors can market directly to interested readers and still earn a living. That’s how it is now at least. That could very easily change at any moment. The best example of this is YouTube’s adpocalypse. You can read about that here, but basically a simple change of policy saw independent creators’ revenue drop by as much as eighty percent. I love YouTube. I watch all sorts of specialized videos that would never be popular enough to make mainstream television or even streaming services. Already some of my favorite creators have taken day jobs to make ends meet, and that means they aren’t producing as many videos. Soon we’ll see many of them quit. Most artists aren’t in it for the money, but we’ve all got to eat and contribute to our households. That’s why for the past year, I’ve been trying to establish an alternate source of income. For me, the solution is Patreon. I’ll be pushing that platform quite a bit this year, and pouring more energy into it. At times it has been like working an additional part-time job, but it’s worth the sense of security. If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it’s like Kickstarter except you contribute a small monthly amount to keep a creator going. Much like Kickstarter, there are perks. I’ve already written a book with my supporters, they’ve made it possible for me to start the Something Like Summer comic and help support another artist, and there have been many times the extra cash has saved my bacon. It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I’m not looking for a handout. I’m trying to repay the generosity through new stories and more, so it would mean a lot to me if you at least checked my Patreon page to see if you’re interested. Writing is not without its expenses. Aside from the obvious ones, like paying for editing services and advertising, some are extremely daunting. The audiobooks in particular are a huge investment, and it has gotten to the point where I really can’t afford to have them produced. I break even eventually, but it’s hard coughing up thousands (and thousands!) of dollars each time, not knowing if a similar policy change could bite me in the ass. Amazon already reduced the royalty amount that authors receive from Audible. If they do so again on any of their platforms, it could be ruinous. That multiple publishers have recently shut down in this genre should tell you just how lucrative it is. Not very, but I believe in these stories, and I don’t want to quit. So if you get tired of me singing the praises of Patreon, please keep in mind, this isn’t a money grab. It’s me working harder in the hopes of surviving.