They're lying about them. "With this update, creators will now take home exactly 95% of every pledge with no additional fees." That's a lie. They're adding a surcharge of $0.35 to EVERY INDIVIDUAL PLEDGE plus a fee of 2.9%.
They're then charging a 5% fee to creators on the amount left after Patreon takes this fee. If you pledge $1.00 to me, you'll be paying $1.38 overall. Patreon takes $0.43 of that, and I get $0.95.
THAT'S NOT 95%.
Even on larger pledge amounts, where $0.35 is proportionally less, the 2.9% fee means that it is still not 95%.
While I'm concerned at the increase in costs to you, my patrons, what truly concerns me is how dishonestly Patreon is advertising these changes. They mean to screw you and me, and gaslight us into thinking this is good and normal. Natalie Luhrs has a good breakdown of the details of the changes in costs.
Right now, you pay me. And I pay Patreon what's essentially a commission of 5% (plus various fees) for the service of connecting us, so you can give me money for services (and/or goods). I have no object to Patreon charging commission: it's what agents do. (Literary agents, real estate agents, recruiters.)
If Patreon wanted to increase that commission in order to cover their costs and make a reasonable profit, I'd understand. (I'd be annoyed, but I'd understand: commission of 10-20% is not unreasonable for services that connect people who make things to people with the money to pay for them.)
Instead, what they're doing is changing the entire system. They're now charging you for accessing a service that benefits me, and telling both you and me lies to make us believe this is a good change.
People who lie about money are not people who can be trusted to handle your money.
So. I'm on hiatus. Funding status has been switched over to per-post, so you shouldn't be charged at the end of the month. I'm not going to do any work here, and I encourage other creators to take the same stance. If Patreon makes sufficient efforts towards honesty and transparency, I may return.
But I'm not holding my breath.
This hurts me, financially. Your payments make up just under a quarter of my monthly can-be-counted-on earned income. (I don't earn a great deal of money right now.) But if I can't trust Patreon not to act in a predatory, gaslighting, untrustworthy fashion - they are lying! about money! to their repeat customers! this is a terrible decision on so many levels! - if I can't rely on them to act in good faith, with honesty and transparency...
Then I can't in good faith use their service.
If you want to continue to support my work and criticism, here are some things you can do:
- Buy a subscription to Locus magazine. (And encourage them to up their rates for contributors.)
- Buy my book.
- Hire me to copyedit your business documents. (I'll write a review dedicated to you if you do, because I'm looking to build a portfolio and client list.)
- Read my column on Tor.com and leave comments. (Encourage Tor.com to increase its rates for contributors.)
- Let me know about other opportunities to get paid for talking about books and other forms of SFF - my email is [email protected], and you can also find me on Twitter.
That's all she wrote, folks. Thank you for your support, and see you on the flipside.