The internet has given rise to several different methods for creative people to crowdfund their projects. Kickstarter, for instance, lets a person or team fund a specific project, giving supporters special benefits as the specific financial goals are met. But a number of my artist and writer friends have also turned to the Patreon website to build support in a more general fashion.
Patreon is a website where a creator garners the support and patronage of interested folks. Basically, patrons can give subscription support to a creator — either on a monthly basis or for specific projects (the creator’s choice on how the support is given). The idea of subscription patronage is actually not all that new. In the past, many poets in Britain used a subscription patronage system to fund the publication of their works — Robert Burns in particular used this method.
Patreon brings this opportunity to bring supporters into more regular contact with the creative artists.
For me, one of the strongest appeals of using Patreon in my audience building is the creative accountability that comes with it. If there are people out there who are generously giving me some support on a regular basis in exchange for “being in on” my creative process and the growth of a work-in-progress, I am more inclined to really apply myself to getting work done. I’ve always responded better to external deadlines than my self-set ones.
With that in mind, I’ve launched my Patreon page — and I hope friends, readers, and passers-by will consider joining my little community. The first work-in-progress that I am sharing with my Patrons is my novel Godiva – about the legend and the people that inspired it. A little bit of romance mixed with medieval politics, as it were.