I’ve had a Patreon account for a few years now. I’ve never actually done much of anything with it. I’ve launched it a couple of times. The first time it was focused on coffee and doing bean roasting reports. However, right about that time I stopped being able to drink coffee, so there wasn’t going to be much content.
I relaunched it this spring and it was all about the short fiction. However I figure that I as well as everyone else was bored with that. I wasn’t excited about it. So I wasn’t going to do the work needed to get a lot of patrons.
Finally, yesterday, I spent the morning looking at Patreon, reading their blog, trying to figure out if I should continue with it or just shut it down.
One of the things that the Patreon blogs talked about was discovering your “why”. Why do you want to run a Patreon? Just wanting to make more money is not enough. There has to be more, both for you the creator (to justify your time) as well as for your patrons.
I didn’t want to create a lot of work for myself – I wouldn’t do it. I also didn’t want to cannibalize my sales by giving away too many copies of my novels. Plus, I have an audience here on Facebook. I wasn’t sure I wanted to try to move people from one platform to another.
I started playing around with the idea of a short, very focused Patreon, that would run for a limited time to reach a specific goal.
That’s when IMO brilliance struck.
I’ve always called myself writer/traveler.
What if I focused on the writing here, and on the travel, there?
In 2021, I will turn 60. We’re planning a big trip for that time. Since my birthday is in December, I want to go someplace warm. Maybe Easter Island. Maybe Patagonia. Who knows?
I will be doing research for the travel. Looking at maps, at history, at articles. I will do a lot of my planning “out loud” as it were.
However, all that travel planning is going to be done over on Patreon. The lowest tier will give you access to most of that. Possibly all of it, but I reserve the right to put some of the planning at a higher tier.
But wait! One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed doing is sending people postcards from places I’ve visited. At the next level tier you get postcards from me. Possibly birthday cards or holiday cards too. We’ll see how much I actually end up doing.
Plus, there will be fiction. I’ll send out short stories that I’ve published, as I really need to start publishing them and getting them off my hard drive. I don’t know if I’ll manage one per month, or if it’ll be none for a couple of months and then three the next.
At the next tier, I’m going to start sending you trinkets once a quarter. Little knickknacks that I’ve picked up while traveling. Trust me, it will be cool stuff.
Next tier you’ll get all of the above as well as paperback books.
I think that’s all the tiers.
I got really excited about the goals I set for myself. Once I reach a base level of support, I will start interviewing patrons about their travels, and with their permission, will start featuring them on my Patreon. At the next goal, I’ll collect them all together and do a fiction/non-fiction anthology on Bundlerabbit so that everyone can share in the profit. And at the highest level, I’ll randomly select patrons names out of a hat and will go travel to see them. I’ll pick someone new every six months.
I’m finally excited about my Patreon. I will start generating content on the site whether or not anyone signs up, that way I can keep it organized.
While I really only have the one big trip planned, there are LOTS of little trips. (Seriously. I wrote that up this morning and I’m traveling almost every month for the next two years.) In addition, I figure that I’m not re-learning Hungarian for nothing. At some point, there will be a trip to Budapest. And other places.
So come travel with me. Come someplace new. Let’s go explore new places together.