Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#1
I wanted to know when most authors open their stories for Patreon supporters? 
Those that have Patreon active, when did you do so and how was the initial response? Did the Patreon took off right from the start or did it build itself over time?
I have a story that is less than 2 weeks old. However, it had 20 chapters and is nearing 200 pages. I will be offering up to 11 chapters ahead of public release. My initial at the moment is to wait for a month and start Patreon from next month. What is your take on it?

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#4
There's no reason not to have it set up in advance of it being needed. If readers click through and see nothing or just one day's flood of posts, that's no guarantee that you're serious and will continue to update as promised. If you show that you do post regularly and the content they want is available and will continue to be available, that might indicate you're worth following instead of just hitting the back button.

Disclaimer: I have no patrons so this is purely theoretical. But as a person who has clicked through to some patreons, when I see a mostly-empty page or a scattered handful of posts, I'm less likely to be interested in supporting that author.

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#5

Asviloka Wrote: There's no reason not to have it set up in advance of it being needed. If readers click through and see nothing or just one day's flood of posts, that's no guarantee that you're serious and will continue to update as promised. If you show that you do post regularly and the content they want is available and will continue to be available, that might indicate you're worth following instead of just hitting the back button.

Disclaimer: I have no patrons so this is purely theoretical. But as a person who has clicked through to some patreons, when I see a mostly-empty page or a scattered handful of posts, I'm less likely to be interested in supporting that author.



Thank you! This was quite insightful. I will definitely keep this in mind. :)

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#6
I definitely wouldn't release a Patreon page until you're fairly sure that you'll get a pledge. It looks bad when you have a page sitting there for a long time with no patrons. People follow herd behaviour and when it's been a while, it makes your Patreon page look undesireable.

As to readers, when it comes to Patreon, it matters less how many readers and more how engaged and excited about the story the readers are. If you have a bunch of people actively commenting every chapter and talking about how they can't wait for the next release, you know you're probably ready to open the a Patreon. On the flip side, even if you have hundreds of followers, if they don't seem particularly engaged and invested in your story, you might not get a single pledge. Clicking "follow" is easy and free. Putting down real money (which, even at $1 a month, is significantly more money than you'd need to buy a book of the same length) is a whole other beast.

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#7

unice5656 Wrote: I definitely wouldn't release a Patreon page until you're fairly sure that you'll get a pledge. It looks bad when you have a page sitting there for a long time with no patrons. People follow herd behaviour and when it's been a while, it makes your Patreon page look undesireable.

As to readers, when it comes to Patreon, it matters less how many readers and more how engaged and excited about the story the readers are. If you have a bunch of people actively commenting every chapter and talking about how they can't wait for the next release, you know you're probably ready to open the a Patreon. On the flip side, even if you have hundreds of followers, if they don't seem particularly engaged and invested in your story, you might not get a single pledge. Clicking "follow" is easy and free. Putting down real money (which, even at $1 a month, is significantly more money than you'd need to buy a book of the same length) is a whole other beast.



Hadn't even considered this. Thank you! :)

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#13
I agree with the folks who'd be worried about having your Patreon page show a tiny number of patrons, because other potential patrons might be less likely to take you seriously. If I see a Patreon page with 5 or 6 patrons, I assume it's an amateur who's just playing around (unless I take the time to do research and realize they just got started). It's okay to have a small number right at the beginning, especially if all your announcements say "Hey everybody, I just started a Patreon!", but you don't want the numbers to stay small for too long. I'd say wait until you have one hundred times as many readers as you'd like to have show up as subscribers, because 1% is an ambitious but achievable target to convert in a short amount of time. You can get higher than 1%, but it takes longer to build it up.

So if you want your Patreon page to indicate that you have 20+ patrons, don't launch it until you have at least 2000 regular readers (unless you decide not to worry about having a low patron count show up on the page).

If you don't hit Trending, it'll be hard to get a significant number of patrons from Royal Road alone, so consider posting on other sites, and read through the guides on how to hit Trending. I didn't even know Trending existed when I started posting here, much less how to get on it, so my readership built up too slowly for the story to ever reach Trending. Most of my readers (and most of my patrons) come from other sites.

Also, I'm sure this is self-apparent, but ... the best time to start a Patreon account is after you have a story that's good enough that people are willing to pay for it. (That's not a statement about your story; I haven't read it. It's just a general suggestion for anyone reading this thread for advice.)

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#14

IvyVeritas Wrote: I agree with the folks who'd be worried about having your Patreon page show a tiny number of patrons, because other potential patrons might be less likely to take you seriously. If I see a Patreon page with 5 or 6 patrons, I assume it's an amateur who's just playing around (unless I take the time to do research and realize they just got started). It's okay to have a small number right at the beginning, especially if all your announcements say "Hey everybody, I just started a Patreon!", but you don't want the numbers to stay small for too long. I'd say wait until you have one hundred times as many readers as you'd like to have show up as subscribers, because 1% is an ambitious but achievable target to convert in a short amount of time. You can get higher than 1%, but it takes longer to build it up.

So if you want your Patreon page to indicate that you have 20+ patrons, don't launch it until you have at least 2000 regular readers (unless you decide not to worry about having a low patron count show up on the page).

If you don't hit Trending, it'll be hard to get a significant number of patrons from Royal Road alone, so consider posting on other sites, and read through the guides on how to hit Trending. I didn't even know Trending existed when I started posting here, much less how to get on it, so my readership built up too slowly for the story to ever reach Trending. Most of my readers (and most of my patrons) come from other sites.

Also, I'm sure this is self-apparent, but ... the best time to start a Patreon account is after you have a story that's good enough that people are willing to pay for it. (That's not a statement about your story; I haven't read it. It's just a general suggestion for anyone reading this thread for advice.)



Thank you for the advice. Which other websites will you recommend? I am also posting on sribblehub and webnovel, but scribblehub lacks traffic while webnovel lacks reader engagement. 

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#15
I post on Royal Road, Scribblehub, and FictionPress, but my main goal of posting is to get engaged readers who comment rather than patrons. I keep posting there because I have those, not because they're really profitable. That being said, the number of people I've donating by PayPal has increased significantly since I started on Scribblehub. It's not the steady income of Patreon, but I'm not going to complain when someone randomly sends me $5, haha.

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#16

unice5656 Wrote: I post on Royal Road, Scribblehub, and FictionPress, but my main goal of posting is to get engaged readers who comment rather than patrons. I keep posting there because I have those, not because they're really profitable. That being said, the number of people I've donating by PayPal has increased significantly since I started on Scribblehub. It's not the steady income of Patreon, but I'm not going to complain when someone randomly sends me $5, haha.



Oh, I completely forgot FictionPress existed! thank you for reminding me. :)
SO readers from scribblehub prefer paypal over patreon?

Re: Patreon. When to open your stories to patreon supporters?

#17
I can't say for sure where the Paypal donations are coming from, since they're not associated with a message, and I certainly don't have a large enough dataset to comment on whether Scribblehub users broadly prefer one-time Paypal donations over the Patreon pledge system. That being said, it never hurts to have a Paypal account linked (you have no page to look bad if you don't get donations).