The Changes to Patreon and What It Means

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 75 hopefully very understanding Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the recent brouhaha that’s erupted over Patreon, I will sum up with a brief capsule description. Basically, because Patreon had so many different ways for the artist to structure their pledges, and because so many of those pledges involved small amounts of money on an individual basis, a lot of the artist’s income was being eaten up with credit card processing fees. Patreon wasn’t happy about this, but they didn’t want to remove the flexibility artists have for structuring their pledges and they couldn’t afford to just eat the fees.

They’ve come up with what they’re calling a solution. Starting Monday, December 18th, those fees are going to be passed along to the Patrons in the form of a surcharge on their pledges. The charge is 2.9% of the pledge, plus $0.35. Given that I’ve been charging my Patrons four times a month for their content at the rate of $1 to $2 dollars per charge, this amounts to an extra buck-fifty or or so every month every tier. I do not like this, but Patreon seems to be holding firm that there’s really no other way given all of the necessities of the platform.

I don’t intend to leave Patreon at this point, but I can’t really justify asking people to pay the processing fee an extra three times a month. So starting January 1st, I will be moving to a monthly charge instead of paid posts. That’s going to save folks about $1.05 a month from that surcharge. This does mean that there will be two paid posts (the December 23rd and December 30th posts) under the new fees and old system. If you need to unsubscribe for a couple of weeks as a result, I do understand.

The reward tiers will be changing to accommodate the new payments. It’ll be $4, $8, and $12 a month instead of $1, $2, and $3 a week. This isn’t actually a change, but it will look like one on the website. Please don’t panic; I’m not charging any more than I was before, it’s just going to be structured slightly differently. You should see the new version of the payment structure go up on New Year’s Eve.

And finally and most of all, I want to thank everyone who is sticking with me through all of this. I don’t know how much an extra dollar or two a month in fees means to you, but I don’t want to treat it casually or assume it’s trivial. I appreciate your support, and I want you to know that the people who pay for my stories really help to keep me going–not just in the sense of “you help put food on my table every month”, but in the sense that when I look at my Patreon every week, I know that there are at least some people who care enough about my work to make an actual sacrifice of their financial resources to show me. It’s really sweet and I want you all to know I notice. Thank you.

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