Hey, folks! Just a freebie here to address a few things that I wanted to give some attention to.
Transparency: My Patreon numbers so far
So far, I’ve been super pleased with how well Patreon has worked for me! Blogging is something I’m passionate about, and being able to do it without having to worry that I’m “stealing” time and creative bandwidth from projects I could get paid for is a god-send. One of the unfortunate realities of not living in a hippie utopia like Scandinavia is that I have to hustle to make my dollars count, especially with a toddler in the house. So Patreon is great in that it gives me the freedom to allocate my mental bandwidth more to my liking.
The patron-supported relaunch only happened six weeks ago, so I only have a month and a half of posts and two payouts (Patreon processes pledges and issues payment the first week of each month for the previous month) as data points. But here are some preliminary numbers and my initial thoughts. (I should state the obvious here – I love spreadsheets. Like, unhealthily.)
|month||Paid posts||amount pledged (processed)||amount received||total fees (credit card + Patreon fees)|
|Post topic||Total # Patrons||# Pledging Patrons||# Patrons Gained|
|Last of Us: women||24||25||1|
|Last of Us: Joel||25||23||1|
|Difficulty of satire||26||26||2|
|Male protag bingo||28||27||0|
|Circle of Hands||39||34||1|
|How not to fail pt 1||40||27||0|
I didn’t start tracking patron numbers and levels until recently, so I think I missed out on some good data. But an interesting picture is emerging so far. My initial thoughts?
The most positive features result in an unpredictable revenue stream. The ability to initially pledge at one amount and adjust later is great, because it lets people feel in control of the amount they want to spend as a patron and thus actually attracts patrons. But sometimes it can result in weirdness.
Like, there’s an interesting thing that happens where people pledge very highly to start with and then adjust downward later. It’s actually a positive thing, because every time I got a backer pledging at a high amount per post they actually messaged me to say “hey, I really want to support what you’re doing, but won’t pledge at this rate forever because of budget reasons”. And that is GREAT for me as a creator. Really, really great! But it has resulted in a couple weird downward dips. So I was appreciative that these patrons warned me in advance, because otherwise I would have been stressing about WHAT DID I DOOOOOOO.
Monthly caps, similarly, result in an unpredictability of revenue stream. And again, monthly caps are something I totally support! They’re a tool to help people feel confident that they won’t pay more than they want to, which is ultimately good for me. But it means that there’s a weird thing where a spike of new patrons in the second half of a month seems like a good thing, because they’re coming in fresh with no monthly caps that have been hit. But that’s a phenomenon where I feel like I need a lot more data points before I can analyze properly.
Hate spikes are actually pretty awesome. In advertising, there’s the idea that there’s no such thing as negative attention. Well, in social justice blogging circles that tends to be emphatically untrue. Hate-spikes like the one J Scott Campbell and his ilk sent my way are frightening, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting to deal with. When I was blogging for free, I would pretty much say I’d rather have a dearth of traffic than a massive hate-spike. And yet…
While the hate-spike was three of the un-funnest (yes it’s a word, shut up) days I’ve had in a long time, it also had a very concrete monetary benefit as it directly resulted in 10 new patrons. That’s almost a quarter of the patrons that I have now! As they say, the best revenge is living well. And I can’t think of a better “fuck you” than “I’m going to convert your hate directly into money”.
That said, I’m not about to go taunting Reddit or anything because I’m not stupid.
Status report! Posts requiring in-depth reporting.
I’ve mentioned previously that I was working on some posts (series of posts? not sure yet) about sex workers in games and disability in games. (Two SEPARATE topics, mind.) Work on these posts proceeds slowly – I’m still assembling an outline of how I’ll tackle this and the research needed is… daunting. The research file (a word doc where I dump links, quotes, and images) I have for disability in games is up above 10,000 words, with no sense of order emerging yet.
So if you’ve said to yourself, hey! I wonder what’s up with those posts… Working on it! But it’s a big task.
Self promotion! Our KickStarter funded the initial goal!
You guys! I’m so excited! Last night we hit our initial goal, which means the first series about Princess Kadri will definitely be happening!
Also, this week we started revealing the other princesses in the series that we are unlocking as stretch goals. Here is the lineup we have planned.
I desperately hope to be able to do ALL of them, because they are JUST. SO. AWESOME. Fayola is a trans princess who falls in love with the queen of another kingdom after she saves her and her daughter from a vicious ogre. Rowan just wants to go have adventures and gets tired of having to deal with an irritating prince who thinks she can’t because she only has one hand. Chandra is a princess AND sea captain who is pretty much a pirate princess. A PIRATE PRINCESS. WHAT I CAN’T EVEN. And Nayeli is a diplomat and fashionista who uses diplomacy to stop a war, because what’s the point of defining awesome as “things that aren’t traditionally girly”? Screw that. Girly and awesome are not mutually exclusive.
So yeah. Pleased as punch, and I hope our momentum continues so I get to do more awesome books about awesome princesses.
Toddlers are EXPENSIVE. It costs a lot of money to feed them, and even more money to pay people to make sure that they don’t kill themselves while you’re off earning money to keep the lights on. Sometimes I’m kind of amazed that we’ve survived this long as a species, because. Man. Toddlers.
 (I don’t know why I think this is hilarious. It just is.)