Tony Talks #9: Friends, Patrons, Countrymen…

So I’ve gone and done it, guys… I’ve launched a Patreon for Cultural Conversation which you can find here.

Some of you may subscribe to, or know about, my fairly successful Patreon for The X-Cast, my X-Files podcast, which has built a terrific community around itself over the last few years, so I have some experience with the platform. It’s a great way to try and make a little income doing what you love and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Originally you see, my hope was for Set the Tape to be a financial going concern but for various reasons (chiefly my own effort in doing it), that didn’t really happen, for me or the writers Owen and I assembled. Maybe we should have launched a Patreon for that site, I don’t know. Either way, this seems like an easy to maintain optional means of funding what I do for love anyway, which could facilitate me writing more full time.

FYI – nothing about the site will fundamentally change with this. I’ll still write with the same frequency. Some stuff will just end up a bit more bespoke and become Patron-only…

So why should you donate your hard earned moolah to help me out?

Well, first and foremost, I hope if you’re reading this you like me and you like my writing.

As I know you’ll know, writing–especially the longer form stuff I try and do–is a time consuming labour of love. I work it in around my job, my marriage (to the supremely patient, far more than she gives herself credit for, Mrs Black), friends, family and any other hobbies. Writing is my chief passion in life, so I scope out the time I need where possible to do it, but having some supporters helping relieve some of the financial pressures in life to help do that would be wonderful.

What I’ve tried to do is make the tiers fairly cheap. You can get most of the fun extra stuff I offer between $2-6 dollars a month, or if you’re in the UK between about 80p-£8. Given most people might spend that on a coffee or two, for a month’s worth of bespoke stuff from me alongside anything else I’ll be penning, that doesn’t seem like a bad deal. Some of this goes through tax & Patreon fees so I won’t see all of it, but I’ll make a little extra top up from it per month to my main income.

Bespoke wise, here’s a little more depth about those tiers… (prices as of April 17, 2019 exchange rate)

$1 (77p) a month –

This is really all about keeping me going with a tiny amount to say “well done!” for all the graft and keeping you entertained on social media moaning about Star Trek: Discovery or retweeting funny stuff, both of which I am sometimes wont to do.

$2 (£1.53) a month –

Anything I write for this site, you get it earlier. Could be a day, could be a week, could even be a matter of hours, but as a Patron you get complete exclusivity.

$3 (£2.30) a month –

Early access as above PLUS if you pick any movie (not in cinemas), I’ll write about it for you. Or at least I’ll put it in a Patron poll and we can all decide which one to do, if I get loads of submissions. One movie a week is definitely doable, at least.

$4 (£3.06) a month –

Everything above PLUS I’ll write about any given popular culture topic you’d like my thoughts about, so get your thinking caps on!

$5 (£3.83) a month –

Everything above PLUS if you pick any TV show (completed), I’ll start doing episodic reviews of it. Think about it – you could make me review something as terrible as Star Trek: Voyager. *shudders*

$6 (£4.60) a month –

Everything above PLUS you get an invite into Castle Black, a Discord chat zone talking anything you want, including a monthly voice chat shooting the breeze. Discord is a fairly new app but it’s a neat way of combining the old MSN messenger style service with Skype, I guess. It’d allow me to get to know some of you better & forge more of a community around Cultural Conversation, which I think would be cool.

£10 (£7.66) a month –

Everything above PLUS you get an insight into my creative process nobody else does. Ideas, special Tony Talks diary entries, notes, and some inner workings about my book progress & ideas and such. You’ll be my confessional creative priest.

So if any of that sounds enjoyable, do consider becoming a Patron of my work and of the site. Money is always difficult to part with, especially in these austere times, but by supporting me I could end up writing cool stuff for you I never would think of myself.

Even if you consider it, I appreciate it. If you do become a Patron, can’t wait to see you on the other side!

Tony x

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