I'm not the only one. I've been watching my fellow authors and artists weigh in over the last four days since this started, and ... wow.
Amanda Palmer, one of my favorite artists - and the reason I discovered Patreon - has a long post on her thoughts about it here. I read hers first, because I receive them in my email (as you may receive mine). But then I got on Twitter and started seeing long discussions between folks like me, who aren't as widely or generously supported as Amanda.
When I got that far into the discussion, I discovered something which disturbed me greatly: Patreon has outright said that their mission is to attract and keep only the creators who make them the most money. This goes against the concept which initially caused me to join: that all artistic creators, no matter what their products or their "fan base", are worthy of support, and of having a means to collect it from those willing to do so.
If you'd like to read what I did, and educate yourself properly, I refer you to these conversations. Bear in mind that the internet is full of salty people who like their cuss words, especially when things upset them.
Damien Wilkens, video game writer (Twitter)
Amanda says she's staying because this is where the people are, and where her opportunity is. I'm not angry with her. I don't consider it some sort of "betrayal of the little people" or anything. And I only pledge $3/mo to her. I'm one of those little people. But I respect her choice to stay, and I still want to support her as an artist.
However, I'm giving YOU all a choice. If you feel as icky as I do about the way Patreon is starting to look in terms of how it feels about we the creators, you can certainly drop your pledges. I won't be upset. I'm looking into alternatives. One is a site called Ko-fi, which takes smaller donations one by one, just not on a scheduled basis. (Same deal, you just have to remember to pay instead of having it taken automatically.) I have completely eliminated the $1 tier, and am offering Ko-fi as an alternative. More of the money reaches me, instead of a middleman, and your contribution goes farther. The other, Drip, is run by Kickstarter, and is not open to enrollment just yet, so it will have to wait.
Either way, YOU are my patrons, and I want your opinions on this. How would YOU like to go forward supporting me? I want us all to be happy. Let's chat. We'll do the serious stuff in this post, and next I'll share some roughs from my latest accomplishment, so you have something happy and fun to detox with after all this ridiculous money talk.
Love you all,