Patreon, and donating to magazines

Traditional Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid, Old Model, New Model, Etc.
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Dustin Adams
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Patreon, and donating to magazines

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:04 am

This post is two-fold.

1. To ask your thoughts on the new Patreon. If you're unfamiliar, it's a kickstarter-like crowdfunding site that allows you to donate a small amount monthly, for perpetuity, assumably. I've hooked up with a few, and I don't mind kicking in a few bucks to add to struggling, or successful magazines coffers. After all, most of them don't charge me for reading their stories, so why not?

They offer rewards, which are usually e-copies of the already free magazines, so the rewards aren't super motivational.

But I'm confused by the goals. Some suggest they'd need for example $400 a month to raise pay rates by like a penny. Am I ignorant of what it truly costs to run a magazone that to add $.01 to author pay scales, they'd need a huge flow of new cash per month? Or are they looking to cover initial costs, reliving the burden upon themselves first, before adding more? (This isn't a criticism, I'm just asking.)

2. Here's a list of a few I've found, if you're interested. (Tax deductible)
2x Finalist
1x Semi
2x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Flash1. Flash2. Short Story. My Semi-F

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Location: Michigan (more or less)

Re: Patreon, and donating to magazines

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:09 am

I have no problem paying for a magazine I read.

I have a huge problem donating to a magazine I submit to. Even if everything is 100% on the up-and-up, the spectre of conflict of interest is there.

My subscriptions to Analog, Asimov's, F&SF, and Clarkesworld are all through Amazon. My subscription to IGMS is through their subscription service, but I am satisfied that that service and editorial are independent offices.

So I am not comfortable with the Patreon model for magazines. I would be more comfortable in a field where I didn't work, such as music, but even there I would prefer to pay straight up for a finished product.

As to their goals... I don't have the numbers with me right now, and they're not mine to share, but I can speak in generalities about Digital Science Fiction. Publisher Michael Wills promised himself (and more importantly, his wife) that his pro-paying anthology/magazine would never take money out of the family budget. It would be funded initially from other internet marketing efforts; and after those initial funds were gone, either it would support itself on sales, or he would shut it down.

And as some of you know: he shut it down. Again, the numbers are not mine to share, but I can safely say that his quarterly sales figures were in that range but were not enough to sustain the magazine.

Now you're not talking about paying pro rates, you're talking about HIGHER rates: raising rates a penny for a cost of $400. That means around 40,000 words if their only costs were author payments.

But those aren't the only costs. There are editing costs, promotional costs, art costs, and others I can't think of. There's time spent in layout, story selection, author correspondence, contract negotiation and more.

I don't know what the "right" cost is for running a respectable pro or semipro magazine; but $400 per month doesn't surprise me.
Other worlds from award-winning author Martin L. Shoemaker

Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.

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Re: Patreon, and donating to magazines

Postby Fobok1 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:08 pm

My issue would be, with magazines, that Patreon is designed for the artist. It's supposed to be a way to support artists you like. For example, I automatically donate a bit to Peter Hollens every time he puts out a music video. I also know of those who produce Youtube Let's Plays and Twitch streamers using it, and that's awesome. Using it to support a business feels, to me, like cheating the system.
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