Stats before creating a Patreon?

#1
I was wondering about what stats you would aim for before opening a Patreon. Like, how many followers? Or maybe rather based on the number of favorites, since those might be more likely to pay money for your works? The ratio between the two of them? Average views? And what about hitting a specific rating? At least 4.50+ for example? Or maybe that’s something you’d just ignore as long as the other metrics add up. 

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#3

Yeah, I’ve tried to make sense of the numbers before. I looked at the statistics of some fictions here on RR and how well they did on Patreon.
There seem to be huge differences that I can’t pin down to a specific cause, though. Thought I might’ve missed something. 
But I'm still interested in other people’s thoughts on this matter!

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#4
Follow count is the biggest one. A patreon for under 500 follows is usually more of a tip jar than anything, though there are no hard rules and it all depends on what you wish to achieve. Conversions vary from around 1.5% of the follow count to 5% on average. And anything above 10% is exceptional. There are far too many factors to be pointed at to give a uniform stat view, since patreons of different authors offer different things. But having around 1k follows is a good starting size.

If the goal is to be earning around $500-$1000 though, then trying out with a story that gets to at least 2k follows will be better. 1k USD earned with a following of 2k is still exceptional, so in the end, it's all very relative. You can have a patreon set up at all points, wait for readers to ask for it, or to write another story and reach certain readership goals before you start.

It can be casual, or it can be your brand as an author. In the end it's on you. If you think your readers would be willing to pay money to read ahead, and if you think yourself up for offering certain benefits in return, then I'd say go for it.

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#5

Tinim Wrote: I was wondering about what stats you would aim for before opening a Patreon. Like, how many followers? Or maybe rather based on the number of favorites, since those might be more likely to pay money for your works? The ratio between the two of them? Average views? And what about hitting a specific rating? At least 4.50+ for example? Or maybe that’s something you’d just ignore as long as the other metrics add up.
Fwiw, I didn't check my stats, but iirc I had around 15k views or so when I opened my patreon 10 days ago. I opened it at that time because I had 10/25 of my promised advance chapters ready (5$ for 25 chapter).

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#6

Avitue Wrote:
Tinim Wrote: I was wondering about what stats you would aim for before opening a Patreon. Like, how many followers? Or maybe rather based on the number of favorites, since those might be more likely to pay money for your works? The ratio between the two of them? Average views? And what about hitting a specific rating? At least 4.50+ for example? Or maybe that’s something you’d just ignore as long as the other metrics add up.
Fwiw, I didn't check my stats, but iirc I had around 15k views or so when I opened my patreon 10 days ago. I opened it at that time because I had 10/25 of my promised advance chapters ready (5$ for 25 chapter).
Damn, 25 advance chapters sounds insane! Nice going

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#7
Rating shouldn't matter as long as you have enough readers interested in a Patreon.

I usually suggest about 2000 followers or regular readers across all platforms, so that if you convert 1% in the first three months, that'll be 20 patrons, which seems like a decent start. However, you have nearly 1000 followers on Royal Road alone, and I suspect Royal Road converts more patrons than other platforms do, so that might be enough? Hard to say. The story's conversion rate will increase over time, but it increases slowly, and if your patron count starts out too small, you might get discouraged (or you might discourage potential patrons from joining, if they see the small number and get worried the story will languish). Plus, who wants to file extra tax forms if they're not bringing in enough money to make it worth it?

Note that readers aren't the only thing that matters. The other piece that matters is you. Don't start a Patreon unless you can stick to it for the long term. Is this the story you want to commit to, potentially for years? While there's nothing stopping you from cancelling an existing Patreon before a story is finished, it's not great form, and it'll make people less likely to follow you in the future. At the same time, you do need a plan for either finishing the story, or arranging it in arcs or seasons (like a tv show). You can't just build and build and build without providing a payoff.


KrazeKode Wrote: Conversions vary from around 1.5% of the follow count to 5% on average. And anything above 10% is exceptional.


If you're seeing conversion rates above 10% by looking at Royal Road followers alone, there's a good chance those stories are posted on other sites as well. There's an upper limit to the number of people who are willing to pay for a story they can read for free, and I'd be surprised if that limit is over 10% (even if RR converts more than other sites do). That said, if anyone has actually managed to convert over 10% of their entire reader base, congratulations!

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#8
I made one at like 200 followers right in the middle of a ratings bomb all the way from 4.3 stars down to 3.88 stars at one point. Never advertised it, was starting to lose hope, but suddenly some people joined. 

Just be mindful that starting up with patreon is signing away a lot of your time. Personally I was very clear with my readers that the release rate depends completely on the popularity, because as authors cranking out 6 hours of writing for a 2k word chapter on a routine basis is not a small time investment. 

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#9

Tinim Wrote: Yeah, I’ve tried to make sense of the numbers before. I looked at the statistics of some fictions here on RR and how well they did on Patreon.
There seem to be huge differences that I can’t pin down to a specific cause, though. Thought I might’ve missed something. 
But I'm still interested in other people’s thoughts on this matter!

1. No advanced chapters and/or patreon set up too late 

2. Release schedule 

3. Stories with cliffhangers and intense plot developments do far better on patreon 

4. Wish fulfillment does best on patreon 

5. Inapplicable to royalroad, but nsfw does extremely well on patreon 

6. Some stories are simultaneously posted on scribblehub and webnovel to further magnify their exposure outside of just royalroad

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#10
I think audience matters. If kids are reading the stories, it's hard to get money from them. I've seen this with stories that have huge follower counts, but aren't objectively "amazing", (bad/mediocre quality of writing) and they open up a Patreon and get almost no people. So, it can vary, and yes, I think it depends partially on ratings. A 4.0 story with a lot of followers means that even many of the followers are rating it as "meh" (3.0-4.0), but still reading it. You will only get money if someone thinks your story is amazing. And they would surely rate it as a 5.0.

You can write off 99% of people who are not rating you 5.0: they will never click on your patreon, even out of curiosity.

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#11

Ararara Wrote: I think audience matters. If kids are reading the stories, it's hard to get money from them.
This is very true. I noticed ridiculously high conversion rate so far, which might be attributed to my story being one tailored for an adult audience, who are naturally the ones with more disposable income.


I've gotten 14 patrons in as many days, with a follower count of only 300something.

One even tipped me an extra 10$ over the monthly cost!

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#16

eric_river Wrote:
Tinim Wrote: Never had a backlog of even 1 chapter

Achievement Unlocked: Madlad Lv2

You steam ahead without a safety net, you’re very brave
Always rushing forward on the path you quickly pave
No backlog to comfort you, you’re out on the frontier
You look at the unknown future without any fear
PeoloveU I love it!

Though it is less bravery and more of a very slow working pace. Certain miscreants might even go so far and call it laziness instead.

Re: Stats before creating a Patreon?

#17

eric_river Wrote:
Tinim Wrote: Never had a backlog of even 1 chapter

Achievement Unlocked: Madlad Lv2

You steam ahead without a safety net, you’re very brave
Always rushing forward on the path you quickly pave
No backlog to comfort you, you’re out on the frontier
You look at the unknown future without any fear
I second this. I started building a backlog the instant my early release spam ended, and currently am at 25 chapter backlog, which is what I promised my patrons (5$ for access to up to 25 adv chaps)


At the pace I write I would probably double that by the end of next month, if not more.

That backlog also means I can write *nothing* and my release schedule would just go on unbothered till late next month.