Being a self-published author is great. You have full control of pretty much everything with regard to your book: the content, the cover, the blurb, the formatting, the editor, the betas, the promotion, etc. It's a good feeling to be hands-on with something so close to your heart.
Being a self-published author is also hard. You have to spend a lot of your time, effort, and money to get the book published. Even if you can do some of it yourself, there are some things you can't do, like professionally editing (which is something you should never skip). The expenses add up fast and you have to cross your fingers that once you release you can at least make your money back.
Back when self-publishing first became a thing (when ebooks were hot and prices were reasonable), the market was booming and the authors who started then are still around and are quite successful. As time went on, though, everyone who dabbled in writing decided they wanted a piece of that pie and began publishing. Some were great writers, some... well, their work wasn't that great. It was poorly edited, had plot holes, horrible grammar, and one-dimensional characters.
Because of these poorly written stories, people became reluctant to read self-published authors unless they knew the books were edited properly. People also became pickier with what they were willing to spend their money on. While a large number of self-published books were between $0.99 and $3.99, it adds up fast. You may be able to get 10 books for $10 or 3 books for $12, if some were familiar with the author they'd opt for only the ones they knew and had lots of high praise from other readers.
It's been several years since the ebook first gained popularity. While some people continue to find success, others are struggling to keep going. Those who are struggling face a difficult decision: publish new books or quit while you're ahead. Investing more money into a writing career (or side job) when you can't guarantee any profit is a tough one, especially since writing is an enjoyable creative outlet.
This has been something on my mind off and on for the last couple years. I like the benefits of self-publishing, but breaking into the market and gaining readers and fans isn't an easy feat when it's a saturated market. I have several people who enjoy my work and read everything I publish, but I'm not well-known or remotely close to bestseller status. Continuing to publish is becoming more difficult. I'd like to keep at it for the next twenty or more years, but affording even the minimum cost isn't something I can currently do.
When I heard of Patreon, I thought it was an excellent idea for creators and fans. I don't like to ask people for money for nothing, so being able to provide exclusive glimpses of my work for a minimal amount of money a month sounded like a good alternative. Not only that, but it may be the perfect way to help me to keep publishing.
I am personally putting forth effort into bringing in more money (potentially looking for a full-time job in the next few months, plus working part-time in the evenings as a personal assistant for authors), but having a Patreon will help immensely in getting funds saved up for future books. There are a few projects I have in mind for the next two years, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to not only write them, but share them with everyone.
So I'm reaching out to you, my dear readers. If you're able to contribute $1 or more a month to my Patreon, I would be eternally grateful. I currently have seven monthly tiers available ($1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, and $12) with various rewards.
Let me tell you about the two lowest tiers. The $1 a month level offers a lot: exclusive teasers, first look at all covers before the public, monthly updates, and other random updates throughout the month. The $2 level will give you all that, plus articles on publishing, writing, and other random topics that I'm inspired to take on. If you choose the $1 level, you'll be paying only $12 in one year; with the $2 level, only $24 a year.
Patreon is a wonderful thing and I'm glad it exists and that I have the opportunity to share special things with you before I share them with the public. Even if you can't contribute to my Patreon, you can still support me by buying my books and telling your friends about my books.
If you are interested in becoming a patron, first of all THANK YOU. Secondly, please visit my Patreon page and go over the reward tiers to decide which one you like. If you can't decide, consider following me on Patreon and come back later. I do share a few public posts, including a monthly wrap up for all the patron only posts available. Maybe after you see what kind of goodies I post you'll know which one you'd like to do.