Early last year, I decided to bite the bullet and set up a Patreon account. There are a number of reasons for this. Simple pragmatism was one. Multiple income streams are a necessity for a professional writer, these days. But I also had a desire to see if I could make it work. I’ve tried various forms of self-publishing over the years, and Patreon’s relatively idiot-proof set-up appealed to me – simple, efficient, with minimal investment, and potentially maximum profit.
With the first year safely in the bag, I find myself cautiously optimistic for 2018. My initial assessment of Patreon as a minimal investment income stream – the way I use it, at least – was proven solid. As an alternative to the regular submission grind, it has significant benefits. Immediacy for one, as well as a direct connection between myself and my readers. Too, it allows me to make use of short stories that were accepted for publication, but failed to appear in print, as well as those that never managed to find the right market. And, frankly, Patreon was ready-made for reprints.
All in all, I’m highly satisfied with the way this experiment has turned out. That said, I intend to make better use of my Patreon in the coming year. I’ll be posting fewer stories, for one thing, but attempting to publicise them in a more effective fashion – several of the ones I posted this past year completely fell through the cracks. I’ll also be conducting research throughout the year, in order to find out what current patrons want to see more of – and what might encourage potential patrons to give things a look.
But for the moment, why not check out my newest patron-only story, “The Second Occupant”? It features mummies and magic in Jazz Age London, and finds the Royal Occultist and his assistant pitted against a nightmare out of time, as well as an all-too human evil.