Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#2
I'd definitely recommend $1 as the lowest tier, for people who want to support your writing but can't afford more. Beyond that, I couldn't say, because I use a different delivery model (I charge per post; all patrons get the post at the same time, but get charged different amounts--$1, $2, and $5; I don't have a tier for $5, but several patrons have pledged it anyway).

Some authors can manage more expensive tiers (sometimes significantly more expensive), but since my posts are roughly 12k to 13k words on average, and I'll occasionally put out two in one month, I decided not to add higher tiers.

I think the highest-grossing creators in the "web serial" market all charge by the month instead, with tiers based on how many chapters ahead you can read. However, I think the highest-grossing creators are in that category simply because that's the model that most web serial creators use, not necessarily because the model itself is better.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#3

IvyVeritas Wrote: I'd definitely recommend $1 as the lowest tier, for people who want to support your writing but can't afford more. Beyond that, I couldn't say, because I use a different delivery model (I charge per post; all patrons get the post at the same time, but get charged different amounts--$1, $2, and $5; I don't have a tier for $5, but several patrons have pledged it anyway).

Some authors can manage more expensive tiers (sometimes significantly more expensive), but since my posts are roughly 12k to 13k words on average, and I'll occasionally put out two in one month, I decided not to add higher tiers.

I think the highest-grossing creators in the "web serial" market all charge by the month instead, with tiers based on how many chapters ahead you can read. However, I think the highest-grossing creators are in that category simply because that's the model that most web serial creators use, not necessarily because the model itself is better.


That is extremely interesting, thank you.

I'm going to go with per month rather than chapter as I'm looking to try to develop a sustainable income stream from writing. Though I guess I could always just use your model and post at least a chapter (or batch of chapters) per month. I'll certainly be posting at least a chapter a month anyway. But that keeps up the pressure more than a monthly set income does, I think.

It's very interesting that you think the monthly model is simply more used, but not necessarily better. Does the fact that the highest grossing serialists use it not at least suggest that it is the more effective?

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#4
P.S. I meant to add this to my initial post but I pushed the button too early.

There are different strategies for when to start your Patreon, but you may wish to consider waiting until you have a significant number of readers. If you open your Patreon too soon, it may languish for a long time with hardly any patrons. Some readers will be reluctant to support a creator with very few patrons (say, less than 20), because it could be abandoned at any time. Only a tiny percentage of your readers will become patrons (say, 1% to 3% as a best-case scenario for most authors, and getting to 3% will take time). If you have 2000 readers, then you might be able to hit 20 patrons fairly quickly, and then build more slowly after that.

On the other hand, if you launch your Patreon when you only have 20 readers, then you might not get any patrons at all, for months, which I'm sure would be discouraging.

To get more readers, you might search the forums for recommendations on how to hit Trending. (I didn't know about Trending when I first started here, so I never got onto it, but luckily I built up a larger reader base on other sites.)

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#5

Faenon Wrote: It's very interesting that you think the monthly model is simply more used, but not necessarily better. Does the fact that the highest grossing serialists use it not at least suggest that it is the more effective?


The highest grossing per-post web serial author (that I'm aware of) would match the highest grossing monthly authors (that I'm aware of) if he was still posting two chapters per month, but he's scaled back to one per month. (He tries to do more, but each of his chapters is 30k words, and that's a lot of writing and editing.) He makes over $6000 per chapter. The highest monthly authors are in the 10k to 12k range, maybe 15k.

My numbers are a few months old, but all three authors are fairly stable, so I doubt they've changed too much.

Most authors don't make anywhere even close to that. Like, by two orders of magnitude. Very few authors can make a living solely from Patreon.

Note: I'm not suggesting to use my model. I'd agree with your plan to charge by the month simply because that's what more people will be expecting.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#6

IvyVeritas Wrote: P.S. I meant to add this to my initial post but I pushed the button too early.

There are different strategies for when to start your Patreon, but you may wish to consider waiting until you have a significant number of readers. If you open your Patreon too soon, it may languish for a long time with hardly any patrons. Some readers will be reluctant to support a creator with very few patrons (say, less than 20), because it could be abandoned at any time. Only a tiny percentage of your readers will become patrons (say, 1% to 3% as a best-case scenario for most authors, and getting to 3% will take time). If you have 2000 readers, then you might be able to hit 20 patrons fairly quickly, and then build more slowly after that.

On the other hand, if you launch your Patreon when you only have 20 readers, then you might not get any patrons at all, for months, which I'm sure would be discouraging.

To get more readers, you might search the forums for recommendations on how to hit Trending. (I didn't know about Trending when I first started here, so I never got onto it, but luckily I built up a larger reader base on other sites.)
IvyVeritas Wrote:
Faenon Wrote: It's very interesting that you think the monthly model is simply more used, but not necessarily better. Does the fact that the highest grossing serialists use it not at least suggest that it is the more effective?


The highest grossing per-post web serial author (that I'm aware of) would match the highest grossing monthly authors (that I'm aware of) if he was still posting two chapters per month, but he's scaled back to one per month. (He tries to do more, but each of his chapters is 30k words, and that's a lot of writing and editing.) He makes over $6000 per chapter. The highest monthly authors are in the 10k to 12k range, maybe 15k.

My numbers are a few months old, but all three authors are fairly stable, so I doubt they've changed too much.

Most authors don't make anywhere even close to that. Like, by two orders of magnitude. Very few authors can make a living solely from Patreon.

Note: I'm not suggesting to use my model. I'd agree with your plan to charge by the month simply because that's what more people will be expecting.


Hmmm. My patreon is already technically launched, though I don't expect anyone to sign up to it yet. Can readers see how long a Patreon has been around? You have to start with '0 patrons' at some point, right?

I've done some deep research into 'Trending' already--many thanks for that tip.

I don't think I'll be able to make a living from Patreon. Not quickly, at least. But I have an opportunity to go from a very intense full-time job to working part-time next year, for at least a year, so I'd love to bring in a part-time income stream from Patreon with my writing.

That $6000/post person--was it the Mother of Learning guy? Or someone else? Who are the highest grossing web serial writers, from your research?

Thank you for your kindness and generosity in sharing knowledge.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#7

Faenon Wrote: That $6000/post person--was it the Mother of Learning guy? Or someone else? Who are the highest grossing web serial writers, from your research?


No, Mother of Learning wasn't on my list. Checking it out now, he's at $2124 per chapter, but it looks like the story ended a while ago, so I assume that amount was higher back when the story was still active. I don't know how much it was and I don't know how many chapters he posted per month. It's possible he would have been pretty high on the list.

The three stories I'm referring to are still active, but I'm not sure I should give out names. Two of them post to Royal Road, but they no longer make their monthly income public on their Patreon page. I got one of the numbers from when it was still public, and the other was mentioned by the author on Discord. The third author doesn't post here.

Yes, you have to start at zero patrons initially, but (personally I think) the shorter that time period is, the better. Potential patrons can see the history of your posts, which will give them a pretty good indication of how long it's been around. Some people might suggest starting earlier, even with a low reader count. Waiting is just my personal recommendation, but I don't have any data to say which choice is best.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#8

IvyVeritas Wrote: Yes, you have to start at zero patrons initially, but (personally I think) the shorter that time period is, the better. Potential patrons can see the history of your posts, which will give them a pretty good indication of how long it's been around. Some people might suggest starting earlier, even with a low reader count. Waiting is just my personal recommendation, but I don't have any data to say which choice is best.


Welp, there was me starting to load up my patreon with lots of content pre-RR launch, thinking that people will be more inclined to support if they see that they will get access to lots of stuff by signing up... 

I could delete it all and start again, but I think I'm just going to have to go for it and hope that seeing low patron numbers and lots of content initially won't put people off when I start posting on RR.

Anyone else on the forums want to weigh in on any of this topic? Any other views on best price for lowest tier?

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#9
I have had my patreon up for months and never gotten a single patron, so whatever I'm doing probably isn't the right solution for you. xD But I'm also very bad at locking any of my content behind a paywall, I just want it all out there and available, so that may have something to do with it.

From what I can tell, readers can only afford to support so many people, and they choose the ones where they get more out of the bargain than those who offer little in return.

I'm not sure it matters so much the price of your tiers, though having something small and affordable is probably wise, compared to the benefits you offer. A chapter or two (what I usually have) probably won't be enough to entice so many people as if you have large amounts of content available that are patron exclusive.

But, again, I have no personal experience with what works. Just observation. And even people with huge amounts of patrons, usually have a bottom tier at 1 or 2, where most people tend to end up.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#11
As someone who buys a lot of patreon chapters, $1.50 per chapter is about right to me.  

The price should be directly related to reader loyalty.  

If you have a really interesting fiction like Mother of Learning or Lord of the Mysteries, you can charge a LOT for less chapters.  People will pay.

If you have a fiction that can barely hold my interest and I can barely force myself to read the next chapter, then the price should be really low.  

Figure out where you are on this scale and price accordingly.  $1.50 is what I consider average.  

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#12

DarkD Wrote: As someone who buys a lot of patreon chapters, $1.50 per chapter is about right to me.  

The price should be directly related to reader loyalty.  

If you have a really interesting fiction like Mother of Learning or Lord of the Mysteries, you can charge a LOT for less chapters.  People will pay.

If you have a fiction that can barely hold my interest and I can barely force myself to read the next chapter, then the price should be really low.  

Figure out where you are on this scale and price accordingly.  $1.50 is what I consider average.


That's really interesting, thank you. It's good to hear from someone who actually buys chapters that you would spend $1.50 a chapter. I may price things at $1/chapter as that seems sensible and easy to understand. Although the argument from Patreon themselves of pricing the lowest tier at $2 or $3 is interesting too.

I'd like to think that my chapters are high quality--especially when it comes to the novels I've written more recently. I should also have enough stored up chapters to always be able to offer at least five early chapters in advance, with a tier for all of those of $5/month.

Anyone else with experience buying chapters please feel free to reply too!

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#13
Ok, so I've done some deep-dive patreon research now. Here are my findings:

It seems most of the highest grossing authors release 5-7 chapters a week, and have monthly tiers of $1, £5 and £10 (sometimes $2 or $3 for lowest tier).

The trouble with this for me is that although I have 150+ stockpiled chapters and so may be able to this initially, once those run out I will probably only be able to produce 1-2 chapters a month (I can write about 5-10,000 words a month at the moment).

So I'm probably going to land on a quality over quantity model of chapter releases, eventually. Thus I might end up going for a pay-by-post model in the end.

The problem here comes from the fact that a lot less authors use this model. It's harder to know how to do it well and it seems like it only works if you get extremely good reviews and ratings and take off that way. Anyone got any more insight into this?

I think for now I'm going to go with a $1, $3, $5 monthly tier model, with $1 per advance chapter, and see what happens! Any more thoughts from anyone before I commit?

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#14
To be honest, you should not expect any noteworthy amount of pledges if your planned monthly production is 5-10k words. Even per-chapter authors have a pretty high monthly output.

As other posters have mentioned it is also a bit odd that you're placing this amount of energy on Patreon when you don't have a reader base. Patreon is just a platform to monetize your fanbase, no matter if you're an author or some other type of content creator. To waste time and energy on it before you even have any followers is kind of to put the cart before the horse. 

Before you start worrying about these types of details you should see if your story can even pass the litmus test of getting to the first page of trending. And after that see if you can interest a few thousand readers to the point that they decide to follow your story. Personally, I believe that this should happen organically, but there are a lot of differing opinions on that. Some people think they've "made it" after using and abusing the Trending Algorithm, only to find that the story can't gather a following on its own merit.

If you're serious about making a living as a webnovelist then figuring out the "optimal tiers" isn't what matters. It would first be to figure out how to increase your monthly output from 5k words to at least 20-30k. With monthly outputs lower than that a serialized format isn't optimal, as there is nothing to serialize. It's better to release as a book on Amazon in that case. 

Webnovels is ultimately a quantity game.

That said, this is my reasoning around patreon tiers:
  • $1 Tier to draw in potential patrons. Low-value tier, at most 1-2 chapter access.
  • Increasing tiers up to $10. $10/month is the invisible ceiling of the average supporter. Tiers more expensive than $10 will not be a substantial source of revenue.
  • The value/$ for higher tiers should be better than the cheap tiers. For example 1 chapter access at $1, but 15 chapter access at $10. $10 Tier has 50% higher value/$ that way, which will hopefully motivate more patrons to become bigger supporters. 
  • It's possible to have vanity tiers above $10. But this is honestly only something that you should even consider after a year or two of running a patron successfully.  

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#15

TheFirstDefier Wrote: To be honest, you should not expect any noteworthy amount of pledges if your planned monthly production is 5-10k words. Even per-chapter authors have a pretty high monthly output.

As other posters have mentioned it is also a bit odd that you're placing this amount of energy on Patreon when you don't have a reader base. Patreon is just a platform to monetize your fanbase, no matter if you're an author or some other type of content creator. To waste time and energy on it before you even have any followers is kind of to put the cart before the horse. 

Before you start worrying about these types of details you should see if your story can even pass the litmus test of getting to the first page of trending. And after that see if you can interest a few thousand readers to the point that they decide to follow your story. Personally, I believe that this should happen organically, but there are a lot of differing opinions on that. Some people think they've "made it" after using and abusing the Trending Algorithm, only to find that the story can't gather a following on its own merit.

If you're serious about making a living as a webnovelist then figuring out the "optimal tiers" isn't what matters. It would first be to figure out how to increase your monthly output from 5k words to at least 20-30k. With monthly outputs lower than that a serialized format isn't optimal, as there is nothing to serialize. It's better to release as a book on Amazon in that case. 

Webnovels is ultimately a quantity game.

That said, this is my reasoning around patreon tiers:
  • $1 Tier to draw in potential patrons. Low-value tier, at most 1-2 chapter access.
  • Increasing tiers up to $10. $10/month is the invisible ceiling of the average supporter. Tiers more expensive than $10 will not be a substantial source of revenue.
  • The value/$ for higher tiers should be better than the cheap tiers. For example 1 chapter access at $1, but 15 chapter access at $10. $10 Tier has 50% higher value/$ that way, which will hopefully motivate more patrons to become bigger supporters. 
  • It's possible to have vanity tiers above $10. But this is honestly only something that you should even consider after a year or two of running a patron successfully.  


Ok, thank you for your advice.

I have a separate patreon under my own name which has started to gather a little bit of steam, books published on amazon with positive reviews, and some magazine-published short stories and competition wins, so hopefully I have a shot at accumulating a readerbase.

I should perhaps clarify, I can produce about 5-10k words per month at the moment, while also working a full-time job and with a family. I have an opportunity  to switch to part-time from September next year, when I might be able to write more, hence I am investigating webnovel writing as a potential income stream.

But I'm still ultimately more interested in quality than quantity, for the sake of my own artistic integrity. I guess I'm basically looking for a way to monetise my posting of my drafts pseudonymously on the internet as I write them...

By the way, while we're here and seeing as you mentioned it, do you have any information about how the Trending algorithm has changed recently?

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#16
I charge $5 a month for chapters and release 4 a week. So approximately 10k words worth of content a week. I don't have that many patreon supporters and the ones I do have didn't start coming over until I reached trending. I used to offer a $1 and $3 tier but the only people that signed up for it dropped off and I decided it wasn't worth the upkeep to have separate tiers, at least for my schedule. 

I know my pricing is slightly higher than some authors and it will keep some people away. But the people that join, are dedicated readers and have stuck around for multiple months.

Re: What are the best amounts to charge for tiers on patreon?

#18

IvyVeritas Wrote: P.S. I meant to add this to my initial post but I pushed the button too early.

There are different strategies for when to start your Patreon, but you may wish to consider waiting until you have a significant number of readers. If you open your Patreon too soon, it may languish for a long time with hardly any patrons. Some readers will be reluctant to support a creator with very few patrons (say, less than 20), because it could be abandoned at any time. Only a tiny percentage of your readers will become patrons (say, 1% to 3% as a best-case scenario for most authors, and getting to 3% will take time). If you have 2000 readers, then you might be able to hit 20 patrons fairly quickly, and then build more slowly after that.

On the other hand, if you launch your Patreon when you only have 20 readers, then you might not get any patrons at all, for months, which I'm sure would be discouraging.

To get more readers, you might search the forums for recommendations on how to hit Trending. (I didn't know about Trending when I first started here, so I never got onto it, but luckily I built up a larger reader base on other sites.)


I have nothing to add but your story covers are gorgeous  peoblush