We are Mark Cotoia and Jaclyn Fleming, a soon-to-be married couple and fellow comedians who grew up in Toronto and now live together in Los Angeles. We've also spent a long time performing live and written comedy. Fanfiction Nation was launched in 2016 on the theory that fanfiction-based comedy could and should be consumed on a regular basis as a form of escapism and entertainment from the MADNESS around the world right now.
We love creating fanfiction to a freakish degree and wanted an outlet. So we put our own savings together and invested close to $1000 into this venture. This included website and logo creation, podcast hosting fees, and recording software and accessories.
Fanfiction Nation has had a great start and slowly but surely we've been developing a unique and enthusiastic listener base. In the last year, we've written and curated nearly 100 episodes, and Fanfiction Nation has become essentially a part-time job for us. We know two things now:
1) We want Fanfiction Nation to go on for a long time. The beta test is over. It works. We have listeners and viewers. We're obsessed with writing fanfiction comedy—it's some of the most fun we've ever had doing anything. This should continue for a long time, in some form or another.
2) We need to make Fanfiction Nation self-sustaining for this to work. The "fund Fanfiction Nation with savings" plan was fine for Phase 1, but it's not sustainable. Our savings are unimpressive. If Fanfiction Nation is going to go on for a long time, it has to be able to support itself.
Thinking about the long-term self-sustaining plan, we decided we don't want to use ads. Ads are annoying and hurt the user experience, and we can come up with a better way to do it. So far, we have one key method: Donations. We've had a lot of fans tell us that Patreon is a best way for readers and listeners to support our site. So we're trying it!
The way Patreon works is any fan can donate whatever they want per month and the donation is recurring each month after that. So anything, from $1/month up, is extremely helpful to the cause.
What We'll Use the Money For
Our initial goal is $3,000/month. That money will be enough to keep our site going, indefinitely. Here are Fanfiction Nation's costs:
- Hosting. We need a robust enough hosting plan to support the highest spikes in traffic we ever get so we don't crash during those moments and ruin my happiness.
- MailChimp. The service we use to email posts out to the subscription list. This fee grows as the email list grows.
- Ongoing web development. It's a website, so there are always upsetting glitches coming out of nowhere and occasionally, we add a new site feature. Neither of us has any programming skills, so we need to pay someone for this.
- Facebook post "boosts". When we announce a new post on Facebook, this makes sure that the announcement gets onto 1/3 or 1/2 of our Facebook followers' News Feeds.
- Us. We need to continue to eat things and wear things and turn lights on as we write and produce funny content for you.
Those are the basics. With those pieces covered, Fanfiction Nation can support itself.
We'd be happy to keep doing things exactly how we're doing them for a long time, and now we can. We'd also love to do even more if it becomes possible, which is where the stretch goal comes in:
The stretch goal will allow us to take Fanfiction Nation to the next level, enabling us to do things like:
- Producing more weekly podcasts
- Launching a web store
- Upgrading our audio and video recording equipment
- Having the ability to produce video sketches each week
- Paying for famous people to guest on our show
- Tour at Comic Cons
The stretch goal would be amazing to hit, but simply being totally supported by reader generosity makes us endlessly grateful, no matter what else happens.
Anyway, thanks for any support you can offer if you decide to, and thanks for being a reader!
– Mark & Jackie