The Patreon is off to a nice start. I've been thinking about, well, everything lately. What is the nature of this Patreon thing anyway? With most Crowdfunding sites, the Creators want to Create a Product, but they don't have the money to create and/or distribute the Product they want to create. So, they use Crowdfunding to hopefully raise the funds they need from other regular folk in order to produce their product. Patreon is different though. With Patreon, a Creator already has a Product, whether it's Art, a Webcomic, a Blog, Music, a Podcast, or Youtube videos. These Products don't make them traditional money, so they go on Patreon and ask people to help support this Product they create that makes no money. In theory, small monthly donations from a large number of people help the Creator get by.
When I started this new Patreon thing, I did it like I do everything. I dove in headfirst, willy-nilly, and just threw things out there. This be how I roll. Then I started thinking about it. The point of this whole thing I'm doing is to create Cool Stuff and make money off of it, specifically, enough money to make a living. I make comics, and I sell them to a handful of people online and at conventions. Comics take time to make, and the payday's not so great (I make around 20% of the cover price in profit). I'm also Painting. These also take time to create, and I charge a lot, because the materials are expensive, and it takes a looooong time to sell just one (I think it took over a year to sell one once). I've started a secondary online store on another site (more on that another time), but I figure it will be awhile before any of those sell.
Which brings us to the Patreon. I'm starting to think of the Patreon itself as a sort of product. It's like a virtual newspaper in a way. Or maybe a magazine. The content of a newspaper or magazine depends on its circulation. The more readers/readers' dollars that a newspaper has, the more articles, comic strips, and ect the paper has.
Right now, my "Paper" has a readership of 2 people, and I feel like, for a humble readership, I'm providing a pretty decent "Paper". There's a Daily Sketch Diary, so there's always something new, every day. There's a page a week of "Amigos", which is exclusive to Patreon, which I think is a nice Thank You for my Readership. And on Friday there's Fan Art Friday. So, a pretty nice rotation of material when you get down to it.
But we can do better, right? The way I see it, the more of a Readership the "Paper" has, the more features I can afford to add to the paper. So, I have developed a string of Goals on the Patreon that reflect this plan thing. If I meet these goals, cool, I will add new stuff and it will be awesome. If not, eh, less stuff I have to worry about. Here's my Goal List:
$10/Month -- I hit this, I'll start a new Ultra Dolphin Bros strip that will run every Wednesday. Think about it! Weekly Ultra Dolphin Bros! I'm currently testing this out over on another site, but I'll run it weekly if I meet this goal.
$15/Month -- What's a paper without an Editorial Column? If I make this Goal, I'll start a weekly Blog Column (also on Wednesdays) where I talk about comics. And yes, I will write extensively about Jack Kirby.
$20/Month -- I've been running old Quixote Coyote strips on the Patreon lately. I'm gonna stop that at the end of this week. I love Quixote Coyote, but the strip is costly, both in time and money. If I can get the Patreon up to this Goal, though, I could afford to do the strip full time, Monday - Friday. Full time, Quixote Coyote, baby!
$30/50/75/100 -- Basically, this series of completley impossible goals would fill up the rest of the week with a page of a different 7 Worlds spin-off.
Anyway, that's my crazy thoughts.
Joseph Morris is the Owner and Operator of TORC Press, a Small Press Comics Publisher based out of Central Illinois. He has published over 150 comics.