Supporting Speculative & Dark Fiction Creators via Patreon!
by Joe Mynhardt and fellow Patreon creators
I’ve been a creator and supporter of fellow creators on Patreon for quite a few years now, and I really feel that more people should give it a shot. Whenever I mention Patreon on social media, there are many folks who aren’t exactly sure what it’s about, which of course makes them hesitant to try it out.
So what is Patreon?
Patreon, founded in 2013, is a membership platform that provides business tools for artists, writers, creators and more to run a subscription content service. It also gives artists the opportunity to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.” Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per creator’s post (with the patron setting a maximum limit, of course).
So Patreon allows creators to interact with fans and get financial support for their work. Patreon, in turn, takes a small cut of the money before paying it to the creator. For the creators, it’s a great platform with easy-to-operate features, so the money Patreon keeps is well worth it. Creators also have goals, and if a certain monthly income is reached, they’ll increase the benefits to their patrons. Crystal Lake’s next goal is to pay bonuses to our authors, and only patrons can make that happen.
It basically comes down to supporting an artist or company on a monthly basis, with different tier levels at different prices. Tiers can start as low as $1 a month. You can search Patreon for a creator according to your likes and hobbies, and the creator, in turn, does their best to make you feel like it’s money well spent.
“Patreon provides an opportunity to get exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes access to artists I truly enjoy. Sometimes owning the book or the art isn’t enough. The one-on-one interaction with the artist makes Patreon a no-brainer.” – Chuck Buda
So give Patreon a try, even if it’s just for one month. If you join now, you only have to pay at the end of the month. Plus, you’ll immediately be able to check out previous posts and freebies in the tier you selected. Try some of the creators below, and check out who they support (there are a lot of great pages on Patreon). Look for your favourite artists or creators. Perhaps become a creator yourself.
A few Patreon creators worth checking out:
“As one of the world’s leading independent publishers, we offer tiers targeted at readers and authors alike. Depending on which tier you support (starts at $1 a month), you’ll receive everything from free eBooks, behind-the-scenes access, input on certain projects, early cover drafts and cover reveals, exclusive interviews, paperbacks, author support, author workshops and mentoring, and even social media support for authors. We even have a $12 a month tier that gets you every single title we release, before the book even hits the shelf. Our most popular tier is the $7 a month option (well worth the investment).”
“I’m a huge fan of Patreon, both as a creator and as a supporter. I’ve pledged to Crystal Lake Publishing and Blood Bound Books, both amazing companies, and in exchange, I get signed books, sneak peaks, marketing advice, and all sorts of bonuses! As a creator, I get to interact directly with my biggest fans, giving them exclusive material, or even letting them choose the next story direction. It’s a great platform, and it keeps independent creators in business, giving them the best, most unique material around.” – patron Kevin Holton, author of At the Hands of Madness
“My Patreon is aimed at writers and readers. For writers, I’m offering critiques and developmental editing along with weekly writing prompts and monthly chats with guest authors, editors, and publishers—bestselling author Jonathan Maberry will be my February guest. I’ve also set a stretch goal for online writing workshops.
If you’re a reader, you receive weekly poems, monthly stories, and monthly excerpts from my Lovecraftian southern gothic novel along with occasional book and movie reviews. I plan to post excerpts from other new novels in the future.
If you sign up for the manuscript critiques, you have your choice of submitting 2K, 4K, or 5K words per month. If you’re working on a novel or trying to get more short stories written and you want regular, professional feedback or someone to give you a monthly deadline (or both!) this could be a good choice for you.
“I appreciate Lucy’s Patreon for the original work she creates there, and the ways she gets into the creative process and her tips for aspiring professionals—especially the monthly chats!” – patron Matt Wagner
“The This Is Horror Podcast specialises in horror fiction. Most episodes we either interview a horror writer, publisher or editor, or we’re hosting a special author-narrated short story episode. We have already featured so many wonderful writers including Joe Hill, Stephen Graham Jones, Lisa L. Hannett, Helen Marshall, David Moody and Richard Thomas. Our critical acclaim is growing, too, and we’re very honoured to have placed in a list of great podcasts for writers on LitReactor. We’re aiming to bring you more author interviews and stories on a weekly basis. We’re proud of what we’ve built and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”
“Patreon is a great way to support a company in ways that are affordable for everyone. All levels of donation can be chosen, and even the smallest makes a big difference for the company. YOU decide what you can give, and in return, you get the perks/extras/gifts which are clearly listed for your level of contribution. I’m new to using Patreon, and loved the idea of supporting a great company as much as I loved the gift/perk I received for my support!” – D.L. Robinson
“Luke Spooner is an amazing artist. Patreon gives me a chance to both support his work and get a look behind the scenes the wider scope of the work he does.” – Jeremy Zimmerman, author of the Kensei series and co-editor of Mad Scientist Journal.
“Hmm… Why should you support Carrion House Illustration? For starters, if you enjoy interacting with the person you support I can assure you that Luke does respond to questions and acknowledges comments made on his page. Not only do you get sneak peeks at upcoming work you also get looks at never before seen pieces. Not only that, Luke tells you exactly what he does to create his work, and this is at just the $1 level. That’s a dollar a month well spent! Contribute a bit more and you can see a video of him creating his work first hand. The more you contribute the better the rewards for being a supporter. I support a few creators on Patreon and I have to say Carrion House Illustration is probably the most active and attentive creator that I support. Check it out and see for yourself! There’s no commitment.” – Paula Limbaugh
Project Entertainment Network is a podcast group focused on giving listeners 25 unique podcast shows with about 100 episodes released a month!
-For those who can’t get enough or want to watch and read exclusive content from the hosts, our Patreon page offers a few different tiers to share with you.
-For $1 you’ll get bonus episodes, crossover episodes between shows, exclusive fiction from author hosts, book reviews, videos and more.
-At the $3 level you’re entered into a drawing to win signed show notes from one of the podcasts. Who knows who it will be this month: Brian Keene? Jay Wilburn? Chuck Buda?
-For $5 a month you also get a network swag pack mailed to you each month, stuffed with bookmarks, magnets, bracelets, bottle openers… each month there are new items added!
-$10 gets you all of the previous levels plus a signed postcard from one random podcast each month. Collect them all!
-We even offer something for advertisers: $100 level gets you two advertising spots on 2 different podcasts on the network of your choice (not The Horror Show with Brian Keene but any of the other 24) and you save $20.
-For $135 you get two ads and one of them is The Horror Show with Brian Keene (a $25 savings).
“The Project Entertainment Network’s Patreon page is always fresh and new. All of the podcast hosts make appearances on the Patreon page from time to time. There is a lot of bonus material and swag that Patreon supporters have access to and it is very much worth the money to support this network.” – Somer Canon
“I write the type of novels, comics and short stories your parents warned you about! Terrible tales that scandalize sermon writers and bring hot sweats to Sunday school teachers, work that’s highly imaginative and often thought provoking. I’ve won a few awards including a This Is Horror Award for my collection Dead Air, an ERA award for my educational graphic novels Battle Cries and a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival.
My Patreon page is aimed at building a personal relationship with readers and writers. I offer a writer’s surgery, the chance to read my work before anyone else does, the opportunity to appear in the acknowledgements in my books, as well as the chance to appear on YouTube with me. I will also read and critique your work and advise you where to place it and how to promote it.”
“I support at least five Creators on Patreon including Crystal Lake Publishing. It offers me a convenient way of paying the same amount monthly that goes direct to the artist or author helping many of them top up the limited income offered by a creative career. We all know, particularly if you’re a writer, that creators spend a great amount of time trying to get gigs but not always successfully. Patreon is a way of offering a little financial assistance and a social media agency.” – patron Theresa Derwin
My Patreon is offering monthly original fiction. $4 gets an installment of my serial story, A Far, Distant Place. For $8 a month, you get Far Distant Place plus chapters from my serialized story, The Glasses. $10 a month gets you Far Distant Place, The Glasses, and chapters from another serialized story, The Last Pitch Before Nightfall. $15 gets you all that, and trade paperback editions of each story when they are completed. Also, I offer regular freebies to my patrons: older short stories which may not have gotten as much exposure as my other work, or even partials that for, one reason another, I was never able to finish, or trunk stories that were rejected, and my reflections as to why think they were rejected.
Why do I have a Patreon? Well, it seems I experience long periods of “drought” between projects, in which no fiction is available to readers. But, I still write every single day. Have been for the past ten years. Sometimes, I feel as if all that writing doesn’t always go anywhere. I have a USB drive FULL of partial stories. I want these stories completed, and I want to bring a little more focus to my daily writing discipline, while filling those gaps, preventing “dry periods,” so my fiction will still be available in between releases.
“As a novice writer I’d often wonder what others creative processes were like. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing professional writers’ manuscripts, notes, and concept art. Those ‘sneak peeks’ made me feel even more connected to both the work and the author/artist, but they were rare and still had the feeling of an outsider looking in.
Then there came Patreon.
Patreon allows me to not only directly support art and artists I love, but to put me in the room as the creative process is going on in real-time!
Crystal Lake Publishing is truly an artist-first platform. Patreon is truly an artist-first platform. When any of Crystal Lake’s books comes up in conversation my first question is always, “Are you following them on Patreon?” – patron Mark Andrew, Emporium Purgatorio