Thursday, May 8, 2014

Experiments in Crowd Sourcing

by Allison Pang

When it comes to marketing trends I tend to sometimes be a little behind the curve ball. Sure, I'm on most of the social media sites (except for ones I care little about, like Vine, or any sort of video good for me, thanks.)

And I've thought about doing a Kickstarter to get some self-publishing projects out there, but it's still not something I want to hop into just yet. (And I really need to sit down and plan out the concepts more - there's a lot of coordination that needs to be done.)

But I did stumble across something relatively new a few months ago: Patreon

In a lot of ways, Patreon is like Kickstarter. There are goals and reward tiers, but the difference is that it's an ongoing donation - or maybe more like a subscription. Patrons choose to contribute a certain amount per month or per item of content. (And they can set a max, so they don't go above a set amount per month.) In return, they get access to whatever reward tier they're subscribing to.  (And reward tiers are hard - obviously you want to give people something for their buck, but not something so huge or complicated that the effort outweighs the value. But it's hard to know sometimes without actually trying it.)

For something like my web comic, it seems like an idea thing to try - if only to offset the cost of webhosting and art supplies. (And ideally, if we get enough, it will help Aimo and I to look at getting Fox & Willow ready for print, or even start some additional projects.)

It's an experiment, though - we've only been up for a few weeks, and I'm learning both how to manage the patron system and figure out the best way to advertise it. Like so many other things, I'm not a huge marketing person - it's pretty easy to fall into the obnoxious category and the last thing I want to do is turn people off.

Anyway, you can check out the Fox & Willow Patreon page here. :D

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