Thinking About Patreon

Bob and I have been thinking about doing another online writing course, this time through Patreon. We’d do a response to the HWSW writing posts from fifteen years ago, one of us writing the new response and the other of us responding to that, followed by the old posts just for reference. Then we’d do another post talking about a scene from one of our books and apply that week’s lesson to talk about what we did right and how we’d revise today so there’ll be a specific example. Three posts a week for four (or in some months) five times a month. The first tier would be $5 a month; there’d probably be a second tier, too, but we need the first tier to be solid, useful, and educational first.

We’re working on the Table of Contents now, and we have a rough draft. Since you’re my guinea pigs (and now Bob’s), the Table of Contents is below. For those of you who are interested, could you scan it and see if we’re missing anything? Any and all comments are welcome.

(Note: The dates are just tentative; we have no idea when we’ll start. The titles in the parentheses are the titles of the post from the old HWSW.)

He Wrote She Wrote Again

August 28: Introduction

Sept 5 The Heart of Your Story: Idea, Character, or Conflict. (The One Sentence Idea)
Sept 12 The Focus of Your Story: Plot vs Character (Situational vs Character ideas)
Sept 19 Conflict (Protagonist vs. Antagonist)
Sept 26 The Core of Your Story (The Central Question)

October 3 Character (Character Development)
October 10 Goal (External and internal Goals)
October 17 Motivation (Levels and Types of Motivation)
October 24 Vulnerability (Character Traits, Needs, Flaws, and Change)
October 31 Arc (Character Arc)

November 7 First Person POV (First Person)
November 14 Third Limited POV (Third Limited)
November 21 Third Omniscient (Third Omniscient)
November 28 Handling Multiple PoVs

December 5 Dialogue (Dialogue)
December 12 Sidekicks, Ficelles, Minions, and Spear Carriers
December 19 Family, Friends, and Lovers (Relationships)
December 26 Community (Community)

January 2 The Basic Linear Plot (Narrative Structure)
January 9 Beginning (Beginnings)
January 16 The Mess in the Middle:Expectation and Escalation (Expectations)
January 23 Ending (Climaxes)
January 30 Subplots (Subplots)

February 5 Scene Structure (Scene Structure)
February 12 Crowd Scenes
February 19 Action Scenes (Action Scenes: Violence)
February 26 Love and Sex Scenes (Action Scenes: Sex)

March 4 Unity (Unity)
March 11 Focus (Goals and MacGuffins)
March 18 Bookending (Beginnings and Endings)
March 27 Plot and Character (Plot Arcs, Character Arcs)

April 2 Time, Place and People (Setting)
April 9 Codes (Symbols and Metaphors)
April 16 Repetition and Motif (Repetition and Motif)
April 23 Theme (Theme)
April 30 Structure as Meaning (Structure as Meaning)

May 7 Revising: Conflict Box and Turning Points (Story Editing)
May 14 Revising: Outlining (Outlining, Tightening the Story)
May 21 Revising: Collage, Soundtracks, Sensory Details (Collage)
May 28 Revising: Critiques (Beta Readers)

June 4 Working with an Agent
June 11 Working with an Editor (The Editorial Letter)
June 18 Copy Editing (Copy Editing)
June 25 The Cover

July 2 Social Media
July 9 Reviews
July 16 Booksignings and Author Talks
July 23 The Writing Life (Being an Author)
July 30 Good Luck with All That (Conclusion)

63 thoughts on “Thinking About Patreon

  1. I would subscribe and read it. I can not fathom becoming a writer, but I am really jealous. (Spent 10 minutes revising 2 sentences. I could not live long enough to write a single chapter. How do you do that? Oh wait, I can subscribe)

    1. Also, here’s the thing about Patreon. It’s good to have a low level, like $1 or $3 for the people who just want to support you and aren’t there for content. You can give them an occasional pet picture or a glimpse of the “Why haven’t we killed each other yet” email exchanges. But you might be surprised by how many people will sign up just because they are fans.

      1. And a TON of people will use that super low level just to see if they like the content, and then move up if they feel like it’s a good fit for them. This is a great recommendation, that $1 level especially gets a lot of people in the door. Once they’re hooked, they stick around

        1. Actually, I think the lowest level is going to be $5. $1 just isn’t worth it for the time we’re going to be putting in here, plus we have been advised against it by several different people.

          1. You don’t have to give the $1 level people or even $3 level people access to the main posts. My lower level people get cat pictures, but not sneak peeks at WIP, for example.

          2. Reality check. For $5 you can barely get a espresso and a pastry. Anybody who is seriously interested can do that. In fact $5 barely buys you anything any more. A croissant from a good bakery? But no coffee to go with it.

            I don’t write but one time I signed up for an online watercolor class that hit me up for over a hundred bucks. It was very good but I never did it again. Still that would be a 100 hits at a dollar.

          3. I heard and read that $1 was not a good idea. For this bit, maybe $2 is good, we’d just be talking about the collaboration and not teaching.
            If we go on and redo HWSW, I think that might be $5 a month.
            The good news is, we have weeks if not months to decide. First we write a book and move (to different places, I haven’t seen Bob in seventeen years).

  2. I found your blog after re-reading “Agnes and the Hitman” several years ago. That is still one of my favorites, and I just read it agin a couple of weeks ago. I love to read the comments here, but have been much too timid to write. I have been trying to get the nerve up to actually face my fears and write, so I would love to join this.

    1. You know, when you’re ready, you’re ready.
      I waited until I was 40 to start. Probably the smartest thing I did.

  3. This sounds super useful! I have a couple of thoughts, but I’m one of those horrible people who always has an opinion about everything. So feel free to ignore me, ok?

    1st, I could see constant references to the old posts causing confusion. I’m wondering if you really need to backtrack in every post? Kind of like the argument against flashbacks, why not move forward, write about how you do/view things now, and how your perspective has changed over your writing career, without posting a lot of old material that’s no longer quite accurate? It just seems complicated.

    2nd, if I’m understanding this, you’re talking about both you and Bob each posting 3 times per week, every week, for a total of six posts per week? 24-30 posts per month?

    That sounds like a really heavy posting schedule. Particularly if you’re planning on continuing this blog and progressing your books at the same time. As much as I would love to read all the things RIGHT NOW, this kinda sounds like the fast track to burnout.

    Often Patrons sign up for the opportunity to interact with the creator, so you’ll have that to take care of, as well. It might be worth starting a bit slowly? Seeing how much time it takes as your community grows? Maybe that’s my anxiety talking, but honestly, that posting schedule sounds challenging!

    Just in case any of this is helpful <3

  4. My first thought was that I have given up on trying to write fiction, but I would totally subscribe anyway because I really enjoy the HWSW posts. Then I read Kat’s comment, and I would much rather have more books, instead, if that’s how it might play out in terms of workload.

    I think if you’re trying to get new readers, and remind old ones who don’t read this blog-Instagram is the best fit for you; a lot less intense and more fun. Once you see how that goes, then maybe you could do a patreon and/or sell an electronic course.

    (Ultimately, though, I will read whatever you choose to put out there.)

    1. One of the posts would just be reposting the old HWSW post.
      The main post would be us talking about that topic now.
      And then because I think there should be a specific example, we’re considering the third post.

      The plan is to get most of it written ahead of time when we’re not working on the book (or getting ready to move, both of us as it turns out). Now that Rocky Start is almost done, we swap the book back and forth, so one of us has it and the other can be working on the Patreon posts.

      We were thinking about doing an Ask Us Anything About Writing day in the second tier, but we are just getting started on this, so who knows?

  5. Are you really, really excited about this? If so, then more power to you. If not, I’d also rather see more books.

    1. For everyone concerned that this will take away from Jenny writing novels – this from Thich Nhat Hanh:

      “You cannot just sit there and write the story or the novel. You have to do other things as well. You drink tea, cook breakfast, wash your clothes, water the vegetables. The time spent doing these things is extremely important. You have to do them well. You have to put one hundred percent of yourself into the act of cooking, watering the vegetable garden, of dish washing. You must enjoy what you are doing, and you do it deeply. This is very important for your story, your letter, or anything else that you want to produce.”

      Substitute teaching for drinking tea, cooking breakfast, etc.

  6. That does sound like a comprehensive and yes, pretty heavily loaded schedule. If you cover all that, what will you do afterwards? Patreon is a longterm thing.
    My impression with Patreon was that people subscribe mainly to support their preferred artist or writer or other and get some personal glimpses and insider info now and again.
    You could space the course out to every two weeks perhaps and do shorter posts, dividing up the topics into bite-sized, snappy pieces. And I totally think you could get a book on writing out of this afterwards.

      1. Guess it depends on how much detail you get into and how much fun banter you allow in.
        Character development, for instance, i could see an entire post taken up on how to get across what the characters look like without just saying ‘ she was a short, stocky red-haired 40 year old’.
        The old catching sight of self in store window or mirror and adjusting blouse, cursing her short torso and realizing belatedly that the shade of pink really clashed with her red hair’. Or wondering what another character sees when they look at them, or straightening the photo of mom and appreciating the good genes handed down etc etc.
        i could see you and Bob riffing on this minor topic for pages of entertaining back n forth.
        Maybe that is not what you are going for, but I think what we enjoy when we read the ‘he said she saids’ is the spontaneous banter and the clashing of your differing opinions, the repeated ‘no zombies!’ etc. If you plan it all ahead you lose that.
        If you are going for a more serious writing course, it will be the most valuable one written in years ( but not as fun).

  7. I’m with the people who will sign on to anything you do, even though I don’t write fiction. I’m also in the “more novels, please!” category, and with those who worry about pace/burnout. I wasn’t here for the first time around, though I’ve read some of the HWSW posts. And I’d love to see a book about writing!

    And this is probably off base, but I’m singing with a chorale, as I’ve done for about 17 years, but this time, our first post-covid major concert, I’m exhausted. I think some of it is being more than 70 now, but the mind gets tired, as well as the body. (SO much to keep track of when singing!) I’m becoming a fan of doing only what I want/have energy to do. Also seeing the wisdom of a friend who says, “Everything is harder than it needs to be,” which I assume would be the case for managing a Patreon account. Sorry to be so negative about what is clearly an exciting idea–it’s been a rough week.

    1. No, I definitely tend to overextend myself, so that’s valid.

      But I love teaching and writing about writing, so this is fun for me. And we’re giving ourselves lots of time, so no pressure.

  8. I don’t know enough about Patreon to know if there’s interaction with subscribers, but if there is, perhaps stretch the topics out, so each one is two weeks, with one week for the post from you, and the second week for responding to any questions from subscribers.

    In other words, week 1 = Heart of the Story, with the post as you’re already envisioning it, and then week 2 = Q&A about the post, to clarify anything people found confusing, not to comment on anyone’s particular WIP. Unless you’re using this as preparation for writing a book, so once the material is done, you’ll turn it into manuscript form, and you want to have a deadline of less than a year to have a manuscript. In that case, perhaps collect questions anyway (for two reasons: first, so you can clarify anything that multiple people found confusing before it’s published, and second, so you can use the questions for subject matter after the initial material is complete).

    I agree with others that that’s an awful lot of content to produce, but I’d add that it’s also an awful lot of content for readers to digest.

    Oh, and something to keep in mind, if I understand Patreon correctly, is that once the proposed material has all been posted, anyone who subscribes at the end for a single month would have access to the full collection (I believe, although perhaps you could lock them at some point, not sure).

    And I agree with others that you should plan for the long run — what comes after the proposed material is complete? Maybe a series of Questionables, possibly derived from questions sent in as the material was released?

    I also like the idea of a really tiny subscription rate for those who just want pet pix and to be the first to know about pending releases (e.g., one Patreon I know about is for a sheep farmer, and he posts pix of the babies first on Patreon and then a few days later elsewhere) or fun quotes from your and Bob’s conversations, and maybe a teaser bit of a writing post — could be just a few paragraphs or an entire post, but not the entire series (to encourage those who are interested to subscribe at the higher rate for the writing stuff, giving them a sample so they can decide if it’s what they’re looking for).

    1. I like Gin’s idea about a monthly original post followed a week or so later by a topic-specific Q&A. Possibly the original post contains the link to ‘HWSW verson 1’ and comments on what’s changed in Jenny & Bob’s writing since then.

      A new post per week feels like a daunting amount of content for the potential follower, not only for Jenny & Bob.

      But I would definitely sign up, because I’ve learned a lot about the writing craft from following Jenny, and there are a million self-published authors out there for whom the existing ‘How To’ amounts to ‘Pay Me For The Secret To A Guaranteed Bestseller’ which, let’s face it, is bullshit. 🙂

    2. My first concern is providing content that’s worth $5.
      The real time sink on any of these platforms is responding to people. (You guys don’t count, I like responding to you.).

      As for the future, Bob and I can talk about how to collaborate for months, and I do like the idea of Questionables on there, so I think there will always be something. Bob has a lot of experience with self-publishing, for example.

      1. Here’s the thing about Patreon (and it took me a while to learn this, even though others had told me from the beginning that it was true). For the most part, your patrons aren’t there because they think the content is worth the $$. They are there because they think YOU are worth the $$, and they tend to support with whatever they feel they can afford.

        Yes, it is good to provide worthy content. And you don’t want to promise things and then do nothing (although I’ve had times when the world crashed and they got very little for a span of time, and no one cared). But for the most part, people aren’t there because they are buying a specific level with specific content. They’re there because they want to support you.

        1. Deborah is 100% correct. This is why some creators make a bunch of tiers with different dollar amounts, but then just give everyone access to everything. A lot of people find that people will simply pay what they can reasonably afford, and consider it good value if it helps support a creator whose work they enjoy.

  9. Interesting. I haven’t done Patreon yet (either as a content provider or consumer), but this style of entries feels more like a Substack type. Mostly because it sounds almost like blog posts ergo fitting a newsletter model.

    As a few others have said, what I’ve seen mostly working for authors on Patreon centres around bonus content (early looks at WIPs, extra stories, etc) or author interaction [particularly video or live-chat interactive group formats (even if following a theme)] or as a place to just plain show support. For bigger projects, Kickstarter is growing for authors, too, either for upcoming books or special editions of backlist books (or a combo of both).

    For indie authors who own all their book rights there are tonnes of ways to offer content to readers nowadays. But each one comes with certain expectations and time requirements. What your table of contents here seems to suggest is quite encapsulated and focussed on teaching, which borders on a non-fiction book and could easily be done as that type of project as well (meaning while it may begin as a project with subscribers it could also then be put out as a book after your supporters have had their “first dibs” experience. You could also expand on your contents to have live Q&A “classroom” sessions with your supporters.

    You have a lot of options in how you may approach this depending on your time and goals. Although, I suspect you would have a lot of readers happy to support your next book via Patreon and not just writers wishing to learn craft, So if you did have an account, you may want to consider having channels for both types of supporters (that could be blended or not depending on the supporter’s interests and tier level).

    1. We were thinking about two tiers, but again, this is early days which is why we wanted feedback from all of you.

      I have some posts from a site I used to have up that I was using to workshop the writing book I will probably never get to. I thought that, and the Ask Us Anything About Writing, and maybe looks at WiPs (although I do that here, too), but again, we’re in the brainstorming phase here.

  10. You’ve been extremely generous with this stuff on Argh over the years – so that it forms the majority of the how-to manual on writing fiction that I put together for myself a while back. I’d still love you to publish a book on it, but I know I need to either get writing myself, or not – I don’t feel I need any more information. I think doing this would probably pull you away from writing more books, and also from Argh – which is fair enough, though I do love this space.

    Do you feel you really need to do this to build an audience for your new titles? Because I think it’s slightly off-track for that. You’re such a perfectionist that I suspect you may be getting carried away with the social media thing. I think getting yourself interviewed for podcasts and websites – and by conventional media – would generate more buyers.

    1. Actually, one reason we’re doing it is to see if there’s a book here.
      Another reason is that Patreon actually generates some income. Not a lot, but it’s something.
      Mostly I’m doing it because I like to teach.

  11. I came here to say what everyone else is: that this sounds like too heavy a load, including to read. I’d have to be committed to the course to sign up for this, not just to you. My life’s very full already, I’m not sure I’d sign up.

    If you’re worried about value, compared to other patreons I support, you’d be giving people value for their $5 if you posted a third as often as this.

    And I reckon the old posts will just muddy the waters, great as they were at the time.

    So my (totally ignorable) suggestion would be, week 1, you and Bob both post on a topic, week 2 you do an example applying topic to your current wip, week 3 you reply to questions about topic.

    And I agree about having a really cheap tier. If you don’t want to have to do extra content for it, you could do access to just the week 2 posts for $1 or $2 a month. That’d give people access to snippets of what you’re writing, as well as behind the scenes info. That might be more the kind of material non-writer fans are looking for, especially if you threw in the odd snarky text exchange.

    1. I think one topic a month would be too little.
      But I think you may be right about requiring too much of the reader.
      So maybe the every two weeks is better. Must cogitate.

      1. Yes, me again. Patreon is best for short posts that don’t require much of the patron. Some authors post short stories and I’ll confess, I rarely read them. I don’t stop supporting the author, I just don’t have time for anything longer on a regular basis.

  12. Not a writer, I’d follow just to support. Whether I read the posts would depend, more on what else I was supposed to be doing than anything else.

    I follow a few web comics that way at their lowest tier. Generally I get access a day early which I don’t really care about. I do care that I’ve spent hours/years reading their work for free online and I’m glad to send (small) amounts of money.

    I have all your books, multiples even, but almost all used. And years of this blog. Which had been entertaining, yes, but also a connection out to the world and to friendly voices. Sometimes when I was very lonely. I can see why you would not want to sell this experience. But when you find things you are willing to be paid for I will buy them.

  13. Yes all in.

    Took creative writing for many years but I was too busy with full time work and granddaughters one day a week, and mothers to care for. My time to finish the books and revisit the completed short stories.

    Isn’t there a saying that it takes 10 -15 times to hear something to settle in the memory and must write over 10,000 + words? I need the structured schedule. Loving what you do is always a good thing.

    Beside you have 4 or so books in the pipeline, right.

  14. I’d definitely be interested. But I agree with the people who are saying it’s too much for the reader. That’s a hell of a lot of extra content to try and fit into my life. I’d be more than happy with one post a week. And because it’s good value and you say things so succinctly, I’d be fine with paying $5/month for that.

  15. I have not yet signed up for any author’s Patreon, mostly because I’d rather spend my money on books, but for this? I’d be one of the first to sign up. I have learned more from a single blog post of yours than I have from entire books on writing by other authors. I don’t care how many posts you do a week – just do whatever works for you and Bob. I’m in, regardless.

  16. I would pay a $5 monthly fee to your patreon account for Argh and the many years I’ve spent lurking. Thank you.

  17. I agree. Too much, too fast.

    Plus, there’s going to be the usual arguing since I am always right, yet Ms. Crusie rarely accepts that.

    For example. Flashbacks. I just wrote a brilliant one today to explain why people are shooting at each other in the present. There’s lots of violence and sex and emotional angst and a memory inside the flashback, which is essential to understanding the future of the story. So. Yeah.

    1. Also, I don’t believe you wrote anything with sex in it. You always scream and whine when I suggest you write the hot parts.

      So. No.

      1. Now, see, that is the kind of stuff you don’t wanna lose by over-working this thing. That first, fine, careless rapture. 😂

  18. It sounds like you’re thinking of Patreon content like a separate product, that has to be of value in and of itself. As a supporter I think of Patreon as a bit of extra support for what the creator already does to allow them to keep doing it.

    I actively avoid creators putting out lots of content as it makes me feel like I have to read it. A low tier with very little interaction gives someone an option if they just want to support you to keep writing books or to thank you for the joy the books you’ve already written bring to the them.

    1. Yes to this comment. It feels like you are treating Patreon as a platform on which you are selling a product on a subscription plan. Patreon is more like a tip jar for fans, and the Patreon-exclusive content is more like the mints you get with your bill. The creators I support via Patreon are ones who create free content that I love, like Humans of New York, historycoolkids, PostSecret, and Taylor Fitzpatrick. Patreon is my way of paying for the work they are already doing elsewhere, and the Patreon extras are their way of saying thanks for your support. I don’t expect the extras to provide the value for my monthly contribution; I’m *already* getting that value from their work. I mostly don’t care about the extras; except for Taylor Fitzpatrick (whose extras are exclusive stories about her existing characters), I usually don’t even read them.

      Your writing course sounds too meaty for Patreon. It’s also probably overkill for many of your current fans, who may not be looking for a course that intensive (or a course at all). Meanwhile, there’s a whole world of people who don’t know you but want to take a writing course, and they won’t find you on Patreon, because that’s not where you go to find classes. There are better platforms for offering online courses, where you would reach a much wider audience.

      I say, create a writing course, offer it on an actual course platform, charge a competitive price, and run it occasionally or let people start it whenever they want. You’ll become famous as a writing teacher, and you can turn the course into a book which will sell a million copies to people who want to improve their writing. In the meantime, set up your Patreon account so the fans of your existing novels, to whom you have already given a wealth of value, can show their love in the form of a monthly contribution. In exchange, take something you are already doing (e.g., the posts with screenshots of your banter-y exchanges with Bob) off the blog and turn it into exclusive content for patrons. Maybe throw in an update or a giveaway once in a while. Or write some bonus scenes of favorite characters. (I also agree with everyone who said to offer one or more low tiers, like $1-$3, but I don’t know how the economics of that works.)

      1. Like Squarespace? That sounds like a great teaching platform from what I’ve heard.

        1. I just looked at Squarespace and it looks way too involved for what we’re doing. We’re simple people.

          1. Super simple way to do this, again, just in case it’s helpful: Mailerlite is now offering unlimited websites, blogs, digital sales and subscriptions, paid newsletters subscriptions, AND password protected pages on your website that you can grant access to when you choose to/for as long as you choose to. It’s simple to set up, and it’s $10 bucks a month up to 1000 subscribers. You can charge a monthly membership fee or a one time fee, up to you. But if you want to do something in blog form/NL form that is salable, ML is a popular choice.

  19. I’m a big fan of Patreon. I see it as a way to help ensure that the kind of stuff I like to read/see/watch keeps getting made and as a sort of return for the enjoyment I’ve gotten from reading books over the years (especially as most of my reading is from the library or used bookstores, and that doesn’t seem like much goes back to the author that way). I think the posts sound interesting and I would sign up.

    I also agree that a $1 tier that’s a “I love what you do, take my money” is useful. There are some creators where I don’t know that I’d use the informative contents of the higher-tier levels but I still want to support them, and that’s a convenient way to do it.

    1. You said further up that you’d been told a $1 tier was a bad idea. I’d be interested in why.

      And you said it wasn’t worth the time you’d put into it. I’ve seen patreons where the $1 tier’s reward was “my undying gratitude”so it really was just a way to give you a bit of money.

  20. Thanks for the comments. I think they’re on target. We were considering like a graduate level writing course and that’s too much. I think we need to slow down and also have something that is just plain entertainment.

    What if there is a basic 1 or 2 dollar level that’s just us tossing comments back and forth every few days or putting excerpts from our Spike working conversations up? I am always witty and pithy there, although Jenny tends to be grouchy.

    Then a 5 dollar level for the writing posts which we do every 2 weeks– an excerpt from HSWS, a new post from one of us, and a reply from the other

    Then a 10 dollar level where we answer questions every 2 weeks.

    1. What is your Spike?
      If that’s not a rude question🙂 , thinking of icebergs here

    2. PS: I looked up Deborah Blake’s Patreon- her pricing tiers look reasonable.
      And visuals— photos, video or cartoon drawings- most people seem heavy on the visuals

    3. I am never grouchy. I am always a delight.

      I kind of like the idea of $1 State of the Collaboration posts every now and then. I wouldn’t feel guilty about that.

      Must look into Squarespace.

      See this is why I said we shoot for a September start date, Bob. We have much to learn before we go public.
      Unless we’re doing $1 State of the Collaboration posts. We have a ton of those.

  21. Ditto on the “as long as it doesn’t burn you out or slow down your books” : ).

    Also — to me, it looks too long/lacking in breaks. I haven’t used or looked at Patreon, and this likely needs to be adjusted somehow, but perhaps you could group topics in a way that plans for some times off — perhaps all of December and all of June, or every time there’s a 5th week in the month. And/or, break this into 2 years’ worth of material.

    Thank you for loving the teaching!

  22. Your tentative schedule is much too often for what I see from other authors on Patreon.
    It’s 48 subjects – if you do one a month you’ve got 4 years of Patreon posts planned out, which would be a good start; Patreon is usually meant to be a longer-term source of income for artists, from people who want to support them making their art, in my experience.

    You mentioned 2 or 3 posts per subject – that could translate to one per week, if you add on a very short post for the lowest tier.
    Once a week is quite enough, more often could get to be a bit too much for a lot of patrons.

    The short lowest-tier post could be just a picture you took – if you like taking pictures of your pets, your garden, your collages, some funny thing you bought or were given, a pretty cloud you saw on a walk etc. (to end the month on a positive note), or it could be a very brief statement of what you’re working on, or what the subject of this month’s lesson is going to be (to start the month off, and give people the chance to upgrade to a higher tier if they are really interested in learning about that).

    You could still turn the complete course into a book, or sell it as an online course for a higher price simultaneously – for the higher price, people get faster access to tge whole course, instead of waiting for tge monthly installments.

    Marie Brennan over on Book View Cafe does something similar specifically for worldbuilding, one topic a month, a weekly post on aspects of the topic, and she collects the posts afterwards to sell as an e-book. Once a year on Patreon her subscribers get to vote on which topics she’s listed they’d like to see her tackle next year, and they get the weekly posts a week before they go up on the BVC blog.

    Other authors I follow on Patreon do a monthly post, with a picture & update on the horses, or a poem or recipe, or an update on how their life is going; and one mostly does two posts a month, a short state-of-the-author one for the lower tier, and a piece of the work in progress for the highest tier (maybe half or a quarter chapter, several chapters back from where she is now so it’s been through a rolling rewrite already), but has made it clear that the main promise there is that patrons will get the e-book once it’s done, and the monthly posts are extras and may be late or skipped sometimes. They just keep patrons reassured that she is in fact writing it, but during the editorial rewiting and proofreading phase there might not be new words to post, and she’ll likely say so in her state-of-the-writer update.

    So monthly or twice a month, or once weekly, are the most common patterns for Patreon artists. I follow 8 people there because I want to support them, and none of them does more than that, and I wouldn’t want more from them – life is busy enough already.

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