Patreon For New Writers

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My Experience

I’m a writer with a day job, and my work experience covers digital marketing for small businesses/non-profits and database management for non-profit organizations. That’s just a fancy way of saying that I help maintain an accurate constituent database and update their Facebook pages.

In fall 2015 I created a Patreon page out of curiosity. As a fundraising platform it was still a new-fangled thing, and I was curious. My creator page did not actually go live with a proper “hard” campaign until January 2017, as several personal things affected my launch. After a soft and hard launch my pledges have stabilized, which allows me to pursue more creative projects I haven’t been able to do before! Continue reading

Patreon for Writers: Working with Artists

Probably the most fun part of doing any creative project is seeing your writing come to life via artwork. Those who seek to self-publish need a great cover, and who better than to turn to talented artists? However, working with artists can be more challenging than anticipated, and learning how to work with an artist can take some practice.

I’m no Picasso myself, however, I do create political cartoons for my local newspaper and create parody non-profit culture comics. I’ve had my fair share of dealing with newspaper publishers who don’t understand how much time some changes take and don’t charge properly for the time.

As of May 26th, 2018 I’ve been working with Artist and Illustrator Sam Dutter for my upcoming epic fantasy book The Hymns of Creation. While it’s not my first time collaborating with an artist

1. It’s a Business Relationship

While writers and artists share the same goals of making cool stuff, sometimes we’re tempted to think that the artists have the same goal.

Artists are not paid to read your book. Normally, a publishing house will have an art director in charge of commissioning cover art, but if you’re Indie then you’re the art director of your project. If you strike gold with an artist who loves your work AND wants to work with you on super customized artwork then that’s awesome! But don’t send them your entire manuscript and expect them to make something up.

2. Prepare Your Materials

If you’ve ever worked on a group project before you know that it’s a two-way street. If everyone doesn’t provide the materials needed one person ends up doing all of the work. All artists work in different ways, but they can’t read your mind.

Some materials to prepare:

  • A contract
  • References, including links to book covers and stock photos you envision
  • Book summary
  • Character descriptions

 

3. Always Let them know what you’re using the artwork for!

Don’t pull a Terry Goodkind and trash your artist on social media. That’s just bad manners!

Crowdfunding online is all about being social, which includes collaborating with your team members. Some artists may not want to be more involved, and that’s ok too. But if they do, then it’s a great way to mutually benefit each other via exposure after the initial payments go through.

Some tips:

  • Many Millennial artists spend years building up their social media presence. If you plan on using any part of the artwork for social media promotion be sure to let them know–they can help you resize artwork for social media.
  • Ask your artist to resize part of your cover for your Patreon page
  • Be sure to thank your artist on Patreon and, if they also have a Patreon page, be sure to link back to it.

4. Don’t Be Cheap

We’re all on a budget. I know. I am too. As Indie writers we have to be careful about how we plan our budget, and for many writers, it doesn’t seem worth it to sink a lot of money into a customized cover.

Some books may not need customized artwork, and that’s OK!

When we watch artists livestream their artwork it’s easy to think, “well, that sketch took them five minutes! They shouldn’t charge that much!” Remember that many artists may have spent five years studying to be able to do a concept sketch in five minutes.

Some tips:

  • Respect the prices they quote you. If you ask for more than your contract states don’t be surprised if they charge you for the service.
  • Their art equipment, especially for digital artwork, is expensive.
  • If money is an issue get quotes from several potential artists.

5. Have Fun!

Ultimately both the artist and the writer want to have fun–after all, seeing the cover makes your book seem real.

Up next: Running a Campaign

  1. Building your fanbase
  2. Build your Database
  3. Building your Patreon Page
  4. Working with Artists
  5. Ongoing campaigns: The Ask Event Model
  6. Collaboration and Launch!

 

 

Author interview: Hanna on hot air balloons

Interview!

Speculative stories

For this post, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Hanna Day, who has been of immense help with blimp-related information. Hanna is a social media consultant for non-profits and small businesses. We met on Scriphophile, which is a workshopping site for writers. Hanna is working on an epic fantasy trilogy, the first novel of which is called The Hymns of Creation.

Caroline: Hanna, can you tell us how you got involved in the world of hot air balloons?

Hanna: Hi Caroline! My aunt and uncle are both hot air balloon pilots, and ever since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to ride in their balloon. Things never quite worked out until the past two summers, as it was always the wrong weather or the wrong location or not the right time for a flight. Finally, after years of badgering them, I got to fly!

Caroline: I…

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Interview: Don Day Jr on Hot Air Balloons

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Meteorologist Don Day Jr (right) with the Red Bull Stratos Mission Control team during the 2012 project.

Hot Air Ballooning in Fiction!

Many writers of speculative fiction, while exploring their fantastical and scientific worlds, like to utilize different modes of transportation in their work. Yet even with magical worlds a few hard facts can bring the reader out of the story.

Meteorologist and hot air balloon pilot Don Day is here to talk about weather balloons, space jumps and hot air ballooning in fiction. Specifically, what writers, both realistic fiction and speculative, need to know. Continue reading

DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT! Hamilton at the Pantages

Having listened to the Hamilton soundtrack multiple times since it was released on NPR in 2015, I was curious about the musical. I happened to be one of those people who read Ron Chernow’s behemoth biography of Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury and one of three authors of The Federalist Papers, way before a musical was ever conceived. The biography was one of many to chose from for a AP Government project back in high school, though at over 800 pages it was quite daunting. Luckily for me I read quickly, and was immediately swept up into Chernow’s gripping biography of a Founding Father I knew very little about. Continue reading