Want more Cannes-Can?
** Obvi, why else would you be here? **
You can have more. Here’s how.
I recently joined the wonderful world of Patreon. If you’ve never heard of it (I hadn’t until very recently), Patreon is a website devoted to helping creators of all kinds (writers, artists, musicians, for example) receive on-going patronage for the content they’re creating.
Every creator will have their own reason for joining Patreon. Mine is really quite simple: writing is a full time job. No, seriously. I don’t just want for writing to be my full-time job, when I factor the amount of time spent doing the actual writing, the research, the self- and book-promotion, the website maintenance, and everything else that happens behind the scenes (or right on the main stage), it is equivalent to the amount of time spent at my actual job (possibly more, or it would be if there were more hours in the day). The difference between my J.O.B. and writing is that I don’t get paid to write. Quite the opposite in fact.
What about book sales?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! *deep breath* AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!
Okay, I think I’ve got it together.
Hard truth: your J.K. Rowlings and Steven Kings are rare. Most writers don’t actually make that much money writing and publishing books and many of them have to have other jobs just to make ends meet. I hate to say it, but the starving artist cliche exists for a reason.
Whether an author chooses to self-publish or traditionally publish, there are a number of time and monetary investments necessary in order to be “successful.” I’m going to focus specifically on marketing, because it is far and away the most costly from a time, energy, and potentially monetary point of view. 99.9% of writers (again, whether self- or traditionally-published) are pretty much responsible for all their own marketing. A traditionally published writer gets a little help, but they still do most of the grunt work on their own. To market effectively, here are a few of the things you’ll need:
To start, you need to have a website. This day and age, it is a must. If you don’t have the funds to pay someone to build and maintain a website for you, guess what? You get to learn how and do all that labor yourself. *check and check*
A visible website needs lots of fresh new content. Someone (ahem, you) gets to create all that content. Regularly. *check and I’m working on it*
Everyone in marketing will tell you that you cannot run a modern business without social media. If, like me, you actually hate most social media, this is not a fun hobby, it’s a chore. You also have to make sure that you’re doing more than book promotion. If every post on your feed is “Hey! Buy my book!” it seems really spammy and no one likes to be spammed. That means you need to spend time building an audience and showing people that you’re a real, live, interesting person worth following and engaging with outside of your writing. Then, maybe– if you’re lucky– some of those followers will take interest in your book. Some of them might even buy it. Woo hoo! *check…ish* (I tried doing the Facebook and Twitter thing and they are not for me; I just can’t)
Let’s not forget cons, signings, and other public appearances, most of which involve some degree of author/registration fees, travel expenses, giveaways, sponsorship opportunities, food, booze, and any number of other costs that, yes, we pay out of pocket to be there for. *check, check, check*
Basically, I do a lot of work and, while I love most of it, yes, it is work. These are things that are “job requirements” of career writing that will likely never be reflected in my actual book sales. I love writing, but I’d prefer not to forever and always be a broke-ass bitch in the pursuit of doing a job I happen to love. Just saying.
So, why Patreon?
Because it allows me an opportunity to A) receive compensation for the time, energy, and out of pocket costs I invest in creating my collective body of work, not just my book sales, and B) it allows me one more way to connect with fans of my content. (Did I not mention the perks?)
What’s in it for Patrons?
That varies from creator to creator, but for my page, I tried to think of content and perks that would be interesting to me and worth my investment if I were considering patronage. (P.S. the smallest possible contribution is $1 per month, which will earn you access to almost everything on my page, so I did work to keep myself and my content accessible).
Curious about my perks? Pop on by. It doesn’t cost anything to take a peek. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it. You know you want to 😉
Patreon // https://www.patreon.com/roselynncannes