Aleksandr Voinov is creating GLBTQ/queer fiction
21

patrons

Who am I?

I'm an author with a day job and big plans; I have written circa 60-70 novels, novellas and short stories - at some point I'll come back with an exact estimate, but that's a pretty solid guess at this point. I've had not one, but two agents, won many Rainbow and other awards, finalled  in the Lambda Literary Award, and my books have been published by big and small publishers, ranging from Random House/Heyne, Harlequin/Carina Press to Samhain Publishing and Dreamspinner Press. My books have been translated into Japanese, German, French and Italian (and at least one fan translation into Spanish). They always feature queer main characters who fall in love, have adventures (often both) and generally thrive and prevail. In 2015, I struck out on my own as self-published author because I wanted to publish books closer to the date they were actually finished. A traditional publisher will sit on your book for 8-24 months, which is all dead waiting time. I wanted to get my projects simply faster into the hands of my readers. In addition, being an independent operator means I can produce my own audiobooks and write the books I want to write - rather than write to market or a publisher's specifications. 

So, why Patreon?

Maybe let's start with what this is not. This is not an attempt to quit my day job and get me a living wage from my writing. I really like and enjoy my day job and I work in an industry that pays me well and takes care of pension payments and healthcare. [This part may get updated should my industry decide that mass layoff are necessary to survive Brexit, but hey, right now I'm good.] That said, should this be stupendously successful, I might at least consider going part-time, which would allow me to spend more time writing. Let's consider this a far distant goal for the moment. One I'd really not mind achieving.

So, what would you be helping me with?

This one is a two-for-one. 
There's a thing I really want to do, and that's to get more of my work made into audiobooks and different languages, namely German, French and Italian. Those cost a lot of money - producing a decent quality audiobook of a novel easily runs into $2,000-3,500 each, and that's just the narrator's time. I've had a couple audiobooks produced and the money I get back doesn't pay for creating the audiobooks in the first place. Translations run into $1,500-3,000 easily, depending on the language. It's a rare translation that makes that money back.

I make some money from writing, but that doesn't stretch very far to pay for audiobooks or translations, and I don't want to produce more cheaply than that - in audio and in translating, as in everything, you really get what you pay for and I don't want to stiff a fellow creative on their fees to be able to afford those shiny extras. You'd help me produce versions of my work I couldn't otherwise afford to make, and allow me to make it accessible for people who prefer to listen to them or read them in their native language - and you'll have my gratitude.

A more personal reason is this: I'm here to build a community. I've hemmed and hawed about this for years, but I've finally reached the conclusion that my other social media platforms are not great at enabling community. Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter don't seem really useful to connect on a constant basis with my readers (I don't even know whether people see my updates on Facebook since I refuse to pay them to "boost" my posts), and if they are, they're not great at sharing content such as PDFs or text. A community would help me to get a better sense of who you are, what you enjoy and whether I'm on the right track. I've met plenty of readers on my travels and during cons and via email and Twitter and Facebook (and none of that will change - I'm not locking myself behind a paywall), so I have a bit of an idea, but I think that could get a whole lot better - especially considering that Patreon is a perfect platform to accomplish that. Being a writer can be very navel-gazery, because we sit in a room in front of a screen and mostly talk to people who don't exist, and very often we only hear from readers whether they loved a certain thing many months (or years) after the book is out and our head is full of the new one.
I'd like to cross that distance and close that gap. I want to make the process immediate for both you and me. I really believe it could be a hell of a lot more fun. We'll get to talk about characters, plot twists, new project ideas I'm tossing around (you likely even get a vote on those), and just hang out and enjoy the experience. I believe feedback will make my journey better and motivate me to write when I might be feeling flat (it happens). It's easier to write when you know people care and are actually waiting for that next chapter.

What can you expect? 

If you've followed me on Twitter or Facebook, you'll know I'm pretty active on social media and will post snippets and random stuff relating to books I've written, but mostly books I'm currently working on. This Patreon will be like that, but have much more content and be even more interactive. 

Depending on the tier, this is what's in it for you:
- The happy feeling of supporting me as I create more than I could normally do, faster and better.
- Random stuff, like playlists, inspirations, book reviews/recommendations. My brain is a busy and colourful place, and you get a front row seat to see me work, think and plan
- Blog posts, snippets and even full chapters (in first draft) of the book/s I'm currently working on as I'm working on them, typos and messy bits including. Once a chapter is ready, it gets posted here. You can discuss it with others and with me, and you'll get it at the same time as my close friends and beta readers. I'll read your reactions, answer questions and might even use your feedback to make the book better.
- You'll get an absolutely unique insight into the books as they grow - I'll be writing a "director's commentary" version of every piece I post that includes my thinking on the piece, maybe research notes, playlists or photos; whatever is suitable for the piece.
- Deleted scenes (should I delete anything - I very rarely do)
- You get to name characters and vote on new projects
- You get to see new covers and blurbs first 
- You'll get the finished audiobooks (this is limited to the number of audiobooks I get to give away)
- I'll add you to the "thank you" section of the books you've supported
- I'll dedicate a story/book to you
- I'll be available for monthly Q&As (interactive video chat)
- I'll read the tarot, make candles/soap, or post stationery (all shipping globally)
[This list may expand with swag tiers, once swag become available, ie once I decide what I want to make; another option is to add workshops/creative mentorships] 

Thank you for your support!
Tiers
Dark Soul
$1 or more per creation
Thank you so much for pitching in! You’re making a real difference in helping me to achieve my goals. In return, you get access to the blog posts and random bits and pieces I’ll be posting (recommendations, playlists, updates on books, release alerts, when and where to meet me at conventions, and of course snippets from the story I’m working on, cover and blurb previews, etc).
Skybound
$3 or more per creation
Fantastic! I can’t wait to share each chapter of the current novel I’m working on with you. You’ll receive all chapters as they are completed. These are first drafts, hot and steaming off the press, and may still contain mistakes and such, but they should be very readable. You can discuss them with other patrons and with me, and you'll get it at the same time as my close friends and beta readers. I'll read your reactions, answer questions and might even use your feedback to make the book better. (Includes previous tiers)
Witches of London
$5 or more per creation
Oh my goodness! On top of the previous rewards, you’re really delving into the weird and fun place that’s my brain. I'll be writing a "director's commentary" version of especially interesting chapters I post that includes my thinking on the piece, maybe research notes, playlists or photos; whatever is suitable for the piece. In months where I post multiple chapters, I might have to limit that to 1-2 commentaries. You’re signing up to see what’s usually invisible once a book is finished. This tier also includes deleted scenes, though those are rare.
Scorpions
$10 or more per creation
Marvellous! On top of all the previous rewards, you’ll receive the books I’m self-publishing in an electronic format of your choice (ePub, mobi, PDF) for as long as you’re contributing at this level. I’m hoping to publish at least two, hopefully three or four new stories per year. Also, once I've hit a first income goal, I'll be launching monthly live Q&As, which you'll be able to access. During the Q&As, I’ll be answering questions around my work and writing in general or we could just hang out.
Doctrine Wars
$25 or more per creation
Fabulous! This is the audiobook tier. On top of all previous rewards, you also get a free download code for every audiobook you’ve supported. 
Return on Investment
$25 or more per creation
Awesome! This includes all previous rewards (except the audiobook tier) and you get to name characters, and I’ll include you in the “thank you” section of every book you’ve supported for as long as you’re a patron at this tier. 
Stationery Buddy
$100 or more per creation
Oh wow, thank you! This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100 tiers), and once a month I’ll send some premium stationery; I’m a huge stationery fan (in my next life I’ll be a stationery shop), and I’ll share my passion with you. Among the things I’ll send you are notebooks, normal pencils/mechanical pencils, and ens, – all of them are brand new and of makes that I've tested, approved and loved. Many of them will have been - or are - currently involved in actually creating my books. I’ll send this to you wherever you are on the planet, including a handwritten note about the items I found for you.
Guiding Star
$100 or more per creation
Ye gods! Thank you! This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and all other $100 tiers), but I’ll read the tarot cards for you once a month, via Skype or Google Hangout. I used to work at a tarot hotline, and have been reading the cards for well over 20 years, so that should be fun. 
Light in the Dark
$100 or more per creation
Thank you! I’ll be your light in the darkness. This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100 tiers), but I’ll make a custom candle for you and ship it to you wherever on this great earth you are. This might come in the shape of a large beautiful mug candle, or a whole lot of votive candles or tea lights. I might add some home-made soap or bath ballistics as well. Or all of them! 
Collector's edition
$250 or more per creation
*Overwhelmed* This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100/$250 tiers), and after I'm done with a book, you'll get the original manuscript of every story I've completed while you're at this level. To explain, once a story is completed, I'll print off one clean copy and then edit the text by hand - making comments, line edits and such on paper in a number of colours. This could be adding or taking out commas, this might be notes to myself. In any case, there'll be only one of them and I'll ship the whole untidy, likely coffee-stained, possibly slightly embarrassing mess to you. I can add a note to certify its authenticity, too. I have no idea if these will ever be "worth" something, but if you really, really love a story, and have the budget, I thought this could be cool.
I’ll do it for you
$250 or more per creation
*Speechless* This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100/$250 tiers), and I’ll dedicate the current book to you - ie all books I complete while you're contributing at this level.
Goals
81% complete
When I reach $250/month, I'll be launching live monthly Q&A sessions with me for the $10 tier and up. The money will allow me to hire a translator for one of my novels to be translated into German, Italian, or French; for starters, that'll be the Scorpion series, Nightingale, and the Witches series first, and then the others (likely one every 3-4 months).
1 of 5
Who am I?

I'm an author with a day job and big plans; I have written circa 60-70 novels, novellas and short stories - at some point I'll come back with an exact estimate, but that's a pretty solid guess at this point. I've had not one, but two agents, won many Rainbow and other awards, finalled  in the Lambda Literary Award, and my books have been published by big and small publishers, ranging from Random House/Heyne, Harlequin/Carina Press to Samhain Publishing and Dreamspinner Press. My books have been translated into Japanese, German, French and Italian (and at least one fan translation into Spanish). They always feature queer main characters who fall in love, have adventures (often both) and generally thrive and prevail. In 2015, I struck out on my own as self-published author because I wanted to publish books closer to the date they were actually finished. A traditional publisher will sit on your book for 8-24 months, which is all dead waiting time. I wanted to get my projects simply faster into the hands of my readers. In addition, being an independent operator means I can produce my own audiobooks and write the books I want to write - rather than write to market or a publisher's specifications. 

So, why Patreon?

Maybe let's start with what this is not. This is not an attempt to quit my day job and get me a living wage from my writing. I really like and enjoy my day job and I work in an industry that pays me well and takes care of pension payments and healthcare. [This part may get updated should my industry decide that mass layoff are necessary to survive Brexit, but hey, right now I'm good.] That said, should this be stupendously successful, I might at least consider going part-time, which would allow me to spend more time writing. Let's consider this a far distant goal for the moment. One I'd really not mind achieving.

So, what would you be helping me with?

This one is a two-for-one. 
There's a thing I really want to do, and that's to get more of my work made into audiobooks and different languages, namely German, French and Italian. Those cost a lot of money - producing a decent quality audiobook of a novel easily runs into $2,000-3,500 each, and that's just the narrator's time. I've had a couple audiobooks produced and the money I get back doesn't pay for creating the audiobooks in the first place. Translations run into $1,500-3,000 easily, depending on the language. It's a rare translation that makes that money back.

I make some money from writing, but that doesn't stretch very far to pay for audiobooks or translations, and I don't want to produce more cheaply than that - in audio and in translating, as in everything, you really get what you pay for and I don't want to stiff a fellow creative on their fees to be able to afford those shiny extras. You'd help me produce versions of my work I couldn't otherwise afford to make, and allow me to make it accessible for people who prefer to listen to them or read them in their native language - and you'll have my gratitude.

A more personal reason is this: I'm here to build a community. I've hemmed and hawed about this for years, but I've finally reached the conclusion that my other social media platforms are not great at enabling community. Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter don't seem really useful to connect on a constant basis with my readers (I don't even know whether people see my updates on Facebook since I refuse to pay them to "boost" my posts), and if they are, they're not great at sharing content such as PDFs or text. A community would help me to get a better sense of who you are, what you enjoy and whether I'm on the right track. I've met plenty of readers on my travels and during cons and via email and Twitter and Facebook (and none of that will change - I'm not locking myself behind a paywall), so I have a bit of an idea, but I think that could get a whole lot better - especially considering that Patreon is a perfect platform to accomplish that. Being a writer can be very navel-gazery, because we sit in a room in front of a screen and mostly talk to people who don't exist, and very often we only hear from readers whether they loved a certain thing many months (or years) after the book is out and our head is full of the new one.
I'd like to cross that distance and close that gap. I want to make the process immediate for both you and me. I really believe it could be a hell of a lot more fun. We'll get to talk about characters, plot twists, new project ideas I'm tossing around (you likely even get a vote on those), and just hang out and enjoy the experience. I believe feedback will make my journey better and motivate me to write when I might be feeling flat (it happens). It's easier to write when you know people care and are actually waiting for that next chapter.

What can you expect? 

If you've followed me on Twitter or Facebook, you'll know I'm pretty active on social media and will post snippets and random stuff relating to books I've written, but mostly books I'm currently working on. This Patreon will be like that, but have much more content and be even more interactive. 

Depending on the tier, this is what's in it for you:
- The happy feeling of supporting me as I create more than I could normally do, faster and better.
- Random stuff, like playlists, inspirations, book reviews/recommendations. My brain is a busy and colourful place, and you get a front row seat to see me work, think and plan
- Blog posts, snippets and even full chapters (in first draft) of the book/s I'm currently working on as I'm working on them, typos and messy bits including. Once a chapter is ready, it gets posted here. You can discuss it with others and with me, and you'll get it at the same time as my close friends and beta readers. I'll read your reactions, answer questions and might even use your feedback to make the book better.
- You'll get an absolutely unique insight into the books as they grow - I'll be writing a "director's commentary" version of every piece I post that includes my thinking on the piece, maybe research notes, playlists or photos; whatever is suitable for the piece.
- Deleted scenes (should I delete anything - I very rarely do)
- You get to name characters and vote on new projects
- You get to see new covers and blurbs first 
- You'll get the finished audiobooks (this is limited to the number of audiobooks I get to give away)
- I'll add you to the "thank you" section of the books you've supported
- I'll dedicate a story/book to you
- I'll be available for monthly Q&As (interactive video chat)
- I'll read the tarot, make candles/soap, or post stationery (all shipping globally)
[This list may expand with swag tiers, once swag become available, ie once I decide what I want to make; another option is to add workshops/creative mentorships] 

Thank you for your support!

Recent posts by Aleksandr Voinov

Tiers
Dark Soul
$1 or more per creation
Thank you so much for pitching in! You’re making a real difference in helping me to achieve my goals. In return, you get access to the blog posts and random bits and pieces I’ll be posting (recommendations, playlists, updates on books, release alerts, when and where to meet me at conventions, and of course snippets from the story I’m working on, cover and blurb previews, etc).
Skybound
$3 or more per creation
Fantastic! I can’t wait to share each chapter of the current novel I’m working on with you. You’ll receive all chapters as they are completed. These are first drafts, hot and steaming off the press, and may still contain mistakes and such, but they should be very readable. You can discuss them with other patrons and with me, and you'll get it at the same time as my close friends and beta readers. I'll read your reactions, answer questions and might even use your feedback to make the book better. (Includes previous tiers)
Witches of London
$5 or more per creation
Oh my goodness! On top of the previous rewards, you’re really delving into the weird and fun place that’s my brain. I'll be writing a "director's commentary" version of especially interesting chapters I post that includes my thinking on the piece, maybe research notes, playlists or photos; whatever is suitable for the piece. In months where I post multiple chapters, I might have to limit that to 1-2 commentaries. You’re signing up to see what’s usually invisible once a book is finished. This tier also includes deleted scenes, though those are rare.
Scorpions
$10 or more per creation
Marvellous! On top of all the previous rewards, you’ll receive the books I’m self-publishing in an electronic format of your choice (ePub, mobi, PDF) for as long as you’re contributing at this level. I’m hoping to publish at least two, hopefully three or four new stories per year. Also, once I've hit a first income goal, I'll be launching monthly live Q&As, which you'll be able to access. During the Q&As, I’ll be answering questions around my work and writing in general or we could just hang out.
Doctrine Wars
$25 or more per creation
Fabulous! This is the audiobook tier. On top of all previous rewards, you also get a free download code for every audiobook you’ve supported. 
Return on Investment
$25 or more per creation
Awesome! This includes all previous rewards (except the audiobook tier) and you get to name characters, and I’ll include you in the “thank you” section of every book you’ve supported for as long as you’re a patron at this tier. 
Stationery Buddy
$100 or more per creation
Oh wow, thank you! This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100 tiers), and once a month I’ll send some premium stationery; I’m a huge stationery fan (in my next life I’ll be a stationery shop), and I’ll share my passion with you. Among the things I’ll send you are notebooks, normal pencils/mechanical pencils, and ens, – all of them are brand new and of makes that I've tested, approved and loved. Many of them will have been - or are - currently involved in actually creating my books. I’ll send this to you wherever you are on the planet, including a handwritten note about the items I found for you.
Guiding Star
$100 or more per creation
Ye gods! Thank you! This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and all other $100 tiers), but I’ll read the tarot cards for you once a month, via Skype or Google Hangout. I used to work at a tarot hotline, and have been reading the cards for well over 20 years, so that should be fun. 
Light in the Dark
$100 or more per creation
Thank you! I’ll be your light in the darkness. This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100 tiers), but I’ll make a custom candle for you and ship it to you wherever on this great earth you are. This might come in the shape of a large beautiful mug candle, or a whole lot of votive candles or tea lights. I might add some home-made soap or bath ballistics as well. Or all of them! 
Collector's edition
$250 or more per creation
*Overwhelmed* This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100/$250 tiers), and after I'm done with a book, you'll get the original manuscript of every story I've completed while you're at this level. To explain, once a story is completed, I'll print off one clean copy and then edit the text by hand - making comments, line edits and such on paper in a number of colours. This could be adding or taking out commas, this might be notes to myself. In any case, there'll be only one of them and I'll ship the whole untidy, likely coffee-stained, possibly slightly embarrassing mess to you. I can add a note to certify its authenticity, too. I have no idea if these will ever be "worth" something, but if you really, really love a story, and have the budget, I thought this could be cool.
I’ll do it for you
$250 or more per creation
*Speechless* This tier includes all the previous rewards (except the audiobook and other $100/$250 tiers), and I’ll dedicate the current book to you - ie all books I complete while you're contributing at this level.