I see fellow authors being savvy with their income, diversifying revenues to support their dream as an author and I thought, “Could I do that?”
I dismissed the idea because, “Why would anyone support me?”
Now, I know, that’s my self doubt speaking. The same self doubt that told me I couldn’t self publish. I’m getting better at believing in myself and recognize that everyone has to start somewhere.
Not to spoil the ending but I now have a Ko-Fi account (more on that later…).
As usual, I plan to share what I found out and how I made my choice. Here are the main options I considered:
One method is to create an exclusive group for your fans. They pay a fee to join like a club membership and you reward them with things like training, exclusive content (short story, character art, etc), early access to your product, or shoutouts.
You create a community for your fans to join. You can include paid content and subscription plans to generate revenue.
Pro: Helps to build a community of loyal fans, and has different revenue methods.
Con: Creating the site can take learning and time.
It’s like a private club for your fans. They pay a monthly subscription and you reward them. You can set different tiers with more expensive tiers getting better perks.
Pro: You can establish a regular income from your Patrons and a strong connection with your fans.
Con: You need to provide regular content to make it worthwhile for your Patrons to stay subscribed.
Another option is to get funding for your project upfront. You need to sell your product/idea to get support. Often it involves rewards like early access to the product, or maybe for high contributors you’d name a character after them.
This is a crowdfunding platform where an individual (or group) can seek funding for a project. I recently saw an author on FB that did this successfully for his Sci-Fi novel.
Rewards are offered as incentives like getting the proposed product before anyone else. However, if you don’t make your target, you get nothing.
Pro: You will develop fans early on and can sell your book before it’s finished.
Con: You need to be committed to delivering your promises and confident it asking others to back you.
Indie Go Go
This is another crowdfunding platform. It is aimed at creatives and has tools to support campaigners with their project and getting support. It appears to be more geared towards tech.
Pro: Promises tools to help you start your project and beyond.
Con: Backers are looking for solutions to a problem and your novel is unlikely to appeal to this audience.
Go Fund Me
This crowdfunding site is aimed more at community projects and charities. You post a reason why you need help and people donate to support you. For example, needing help to pay funeral costs for a loved one.
Pro: Get financial help with your current project without pressure to provide rewards to sponsors.
Con: Most projects on the site appear to be charities so probably not the right audience.
I think this would be called crowdfunding too. The site accepts donations from donors in support of your creative project. Donors can set the amount and frequency.
For this platform you’d need people to be invested in your projects completion. You would need to sell the idea to investors.
Pro: You can establish a regular income from your donors and focus on your project.
Con: You need to persuade people to donate on a regular basis and there isn’t a way to reward donors.
This is more casual, like a tip jar. People give money as and when they feel like it. The idea is the tip is like buying the creator a cup of coffee or whatever their favourite drink is.
Buy Me A Coffee
You supporters can buy you a coffee to be paid to you instantly. They can even subscribe to pay you a fee frequently. You can offer perks as a reward or perks to buy like a shop.
Pros: You can focus on your project and not spend time each month making exclusive content.
Cons: Less incentive for regular donations.
This is another tip jar type site with no obligation on your tippers to give. Again, the idea is they buy you a virtual drink that the creator uses towards their projects. You can create a shop for fans to buy merchandise, and you can create rewards for your tippers but it’s all optional.
Pro: Simple page creation, and low maintenance or obligations.
Con: You cannot depend on tips as a regular income.
I hope this has helped you think about all the options out there. I’ve only provided a brief overview of each and recommend you find out full details for any you are interested in by visiting their website for their full terms.
There are other ways to earn a passive income such as ad revenue or becoming an affiliate for another brand.
I have decided to go with Ko-Fi. I like the no pressure approach to me and my tippers. I want to continue being able to help others no matter their means, and keeping my content free enables all.
When I said yes to self publishing, I had every intention of doing it all myself. But, should you wish to treat me to a cuppa tea to say thanks or to keep me going, now you can.
If you like this you will like:
Don’t put off writing your novel
The process of publishing a novel – part 1