The Alexandrian

Posts tagged ‘patreon’

I try to limit the number of non-content posts here at the Alexandrian, but it can be useful to occasionally take stock. And we haven’t had one of these updates in nearly a year, so you’ll have to bear with me. I’ve also been getting asked a lot of the same questions lately, and this would be a good opportunity to kind of bring people up to speed.

RATE OF UPDATES: Many of you have noticed the obvious, which is that the rate of updates at the Alexandrian has dropped again over the last six months or so. The primary reason for this is that the Infinity RPG has been chewing up a lot of my creative time. We’re hoping that the core rulebook will be getting delivered soon (although, to be honest, we’ve been hoping that for a long while now). Once that happens, things should loosen up a bit and I’ll be able to dedicate a bit more time to the Alexandrian.

(There’s also another project — this one still top secret — which I’m hoping I’ll be able to make some announcements about shortly. But that’s also been pending for awhile now, so… it’ll happen when it happens.)

You may recall that, when I launched the Patreon for the site back in December 2014, I mentioned setting up the patron options to be for a paid-per-post format for exactly this reason: The Alexandrian won’t always update regularly (although the patrons make it possible to update it a lot more than it would be otherwise), and I don’t want anybody paying for content unless that content actually exists.

As a reminder, this really offers the best of both worlds: If you’d really prefer to make a monthly contribution, set your contribution level to the amount you want to contribute and set your maximum contribution to the same amount. As long as I post something each month, you’ll make the monthly contribution you want to. (When pledging without a maximum contribution level, however, remember that the ideal update schedule for the Alexandrian is Monday-Wednesday-Friday each week, plus bonus content. So if you backed for $0.10 per post, you’d be spending $1.20 or $1.30 per month to support the Alexandrian.)

GOAL LEVELS: Since my last update, you may have noticed that some of the funding levels for the Patreon goals have changed. There’s a couple of reasons for this.

First, because of people setting maximum pledges the amount of money Patreon reports me earning per post is not really accurate. For example, if it says I’m making $50 per post then that’s how much I make for the first post each month. Subsequent posts then drop if people have reached their maximum contributions. In practice, by the end of a full month of updates I’m making a little over one-third the amount per post Patreon is claiming. Goal levels were shifted up slightly to reflect the reality of what I’m getting paid (in large part because the higher funding goals were set with the expectation that I’d be able to pay for graphics, maps, and other elements which are part of them.)

Second, Patreon changed the way that they calculate the amount of money paid per post. Or, rather, they’ve changed the amount they publicly claim is being earned per post. When I first set up the Alexandrian Patreon, they reported the total amount pledged for the first post. They now run that number through some sort of weird, black box algorithm (which they don’t share with anybody as far as I can tell) and then spit out a number which is supposedly a more “accurate” reflection of how much I’m actually earning (supposedly based on how many pledges were declined when they attempted to charge credit cards in previous months, but the math on that doesn’t actually add up). When this happened, goal levels were then shifted down a bit to reflect the fact that Patreon was now routinely under-reporting how much my patrons were actually pledging.

PATRONS OF THE ALEXANDRIAN: When new patrons sign up to support the Alexandrian they receive a message asking them for specific permission to list them on the Patrons of the Alexandrian page. I would love to recognize everybody who helps to make the awesome content here possible! But some people miss the message and then later e-mail me to ask why they haven’t been added to the list. I’m guessing others miss the message and never e-mail me, so this is just a quick reminder for all my patrons: If you want to be recognized as the wonderful people that you are, please send me an e-mail and give me permission to do so!

 

$0.10? $0.25? $1.00?

Patreon for the Alexandrian

… even the smallest of pledges can add up to wondrous things.

It’s been seven months since I launched a Patreon for the Alexandrian. Over the past couple months I’ve slipped on the regular Monday-Wednesday-Friday update schedule I’d been hoping to regularly maintain, but despite that I feel like it’s been a really significant success. I’ve already been able to dwarf the amount of Alexandrian material that I was able to produce in 2014, and we’re only a little over halfway through the year. So I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my patrons for helping to make the nifty stuff I’ve been able to share with all of you over the past half year a reality.

Now that the Patreon has been a reality for several months, I’ve updated the project page to reflect its success and also provide a clearer explanation of the flexibility that individual patrons can have in supporting the Alexandrian. It’s amazing how large an effect people can have when they act collectively. You might feel that something like Node-Based Scenario Design isn’t worth more than $0.05 or $0.10 per post to you. And you might feel like that nickel or that dime wouldn’t make a difference. But if we can get 20 or 30 people who are all willing to give that dime, then it can make a big difference.

So… what’s next for the Patreon? Right now we’re at a point where the Patreon is making it possible for me to push away some of the undesirable freelance projects I was previously working on, which means more time for creating material here at the Alexandrian. If we can push the Patreon up to the next level, then we reach the point where I can start investing significant resources into creating material for the Alexandrian.

THE PATREON

My name is Justin Alexander. I’m a writer of things. I make my digital home over at the Alexandrian, which serves as a repository for my thoughts, my writing, my reviews, and my gaming.

Over the years I’ve written a number of essays about roleplaying games for the Alexandrian which people seem to find nifty. These include stuff like:

As 2014 came to close, however, I realized that due to changes in my professional life the time I had previously committed to creating this kind of niftiness had dwindled away. I had been working on Thinking About Urbancrawls since the beginning of 2013 and I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to finish it while I was scrabbling for freelance work to make ends meet.

So I turned to Patreon and, with the help of my wonderfully generous patrons, I’ve been able spend less time scrabbling and more time bringing the nifty back to the Alexandrian. When I launched the campaign, I said that I’d like to be able to develop material like:

As I write this updated pitch in the summer of 2015, several of these projects have already been completed. My patrons have also made possible The Principles of RPG Villainy, original RPG scenarios like The Last Precept of the Seventh Mask, the completion of the Hexcrawl and Film Banging series, and the Alexandrian Remix of Eternal Lies.

It’s been pretty amazing!

And hopefully it’s just the beginning. With increased patronage, I’ll be able to tackle even more ambitious projects in the future!

THE WAY IT WORKS

The goal is for the Alexandrian to update on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In general, that means you’ll be supporting 12-13 posts per month. So if you backed for $0.10 per post, you’d be spending $1.20 or $1.30 per month to support the Alexandrian.

The reason I do a per post contribution instead of a monthly contribution is because the Alexandrian doesn’t always update reliably. I don’t want to feel guilty if there’s a month where I can’t produce as much material and I don’t want you to feel ripped off.

If you’d prefer to do a monthly contribution, however, Patreon offers the best of both worlds: Set your contribution level to the amount you want to contribute and then set your maximum monthly contribution to the same amount. As long as I post something each month, you’ll make the monthly contribution you want (and no more).

What you’ll never pay for is all the other content that gets scheduled around the the long-form essays, the in-depth reviews, and the awesome game resources that make up the Monday-Wednesday-Friday content. That includes features like Thoughts of the Day, Check This Out, Shakespeare Sunday, and the RPGNet archive reviews. All of that stuff is just a bonus: You don’t have to pay for it, but you’ll still get to hear me blather on about Star Trek’s Prime Directive or ponder the application of Three Point Plotting to RPG scenario design.

$0.10? $0.25? $1.00?

Patreon for the Alexandrian

… even the smallest of pledges can add up to wondrous things.

Over the past couple weeks you may have noticed that I’ve been going back and finishing a couple of old essay series that had been left incomplete. These are actually a lot more time-consuming to accomplish than you might think because the first thing I have to do is go back and re-read the original essays in order to get back into the flow of the thoughts that were left unfinished. The reason the series ended up unfinished in the first place is because I would get distracted by projects of a higher priority. The reason they stayed unfinished is because it was hard to justify the large chunk of time required just to review the existing material. (In a couple of cases I actually started reviewing the material multiple times, only to once again get distracted more pressing demands.)

The reason they’re getting finished now is because of my Patreon. My patrons allow me to push less interesting projects to the side so that I can devote the time and effort necessary to continue creating material here at the Alexandrian.

As I write this, my Patreon is at $47.50 per post. The reality is a little bit more complicated backstage because a lot of my patrons have set maximum contributions. So by the end of month my posts are actually only earning at little over $20. (Which is totally cool. The fact that people can very precisely control their spending is one of the really great things about Patreon.)

What I’d really like to do is convince enough of you to become my patrons to push my total up above $50 for the month of March. To encourage you to do that, let me share with you a couple of things about the way my Patreon works.

First, the Alexandrian updates on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In general, that means 12-13 posts per month. So if you backed for $0.10 per post, you’d be spending $1.20 or $1.30 per month to support the Alexandrian. Is the content you find here worth that much to you? (If not, that’s OK.)

Second, the reason I do a per post contribution instead of a monthly contribution is because the Alexandrian hasn’t always updated on reliably. I don’t want to feel guilty if there’s a month where I can’t produce as much material and I don’t want you to feel ripped off. If you’d really prefer to make a monthly contribution, fortunately, Patreon offers the best of both worlds: Set your contribution level to the amount you want to contribute and set your maximum contribution to the same amount. As long as I post something each month, you’ll make the monthly contribution you want to.

Third, what you’re not paying for is all the other content that gets scheduled around that Monday-Wednesday-Friday content. This is the Thought of the Day, Check This Out, Shakespeare Sunday, the RPGNet archive reviews. All that stuff is just “bonus”.

Fourth, if you back $1 or more per post you get Early Access. Which is kinda cool. But what makes it really cool is that you receive the early access updates in the form of a PDF. So if you’ve ever wanted content from the Alexandrian in an easy-to-save / easy-to-print format, this is a super easy way to get it.

For example, a couple days ago I sent all my Early Access patrons a PDF package containing the full, 12-part Hexcrawl series, the DM worksheet, and the two hexcrawl cheat sheets that will be appearing on the site tomorrow.

$0.10? $0.25? $1.00?

Patreon for the Alexandrian

… even the smallest of pledges can add up to wondrous things.

Site Update – The End of Ads

February 3rd, 2015

The second milestone goal from my Patreon has been completed: No More Ads!

Although the affiliate links and the links to my own books in the left sidebar remain, all of the garish Amazon and Google banner ads have been banished. I’ve coupled this with a utility-and-aesthetic upgrade to the right sidebar, which will hopefully make it easier for you to find all the cool stuff that’s tucked into the corners of the Alexandrian.

This also completes my first full month with Patreon. The day is young, but it’s proven to be a fabulous experience: I was finally able to prioritize finishing Thinking About Urbancrawls, which I feel has been a fabulous success. I’m also well on my way to lining up a full slate of posts for February (which patrons with early access have already begun to receive). Tomorrow night I’ll be hosting a Google Hangout with the Hangout Club, which (truth be told) I’m a little nervous about.

With some Patreon experience under my belt, though, I’m also a little more cognizant of exactly how things balance out on the back end. That means our next milestone goal — So You Want to Be a Dungeon Master? — is now scheduled for $60. We’re just $12.50 away from that and I’m very excited by the fact that we could every easily achieve that goal by the end of February.

Thank you to all of my patrons, who are helping to make these amazing things possible for all of us.

$0.10? $0.25? $1.00?

Patreon for the Alexandrian

… even the smallest of pledges can add up to wondrous things.

Yesterday I posted Don’t Prep Plots: The Principles of RPG Villainy. It was the first article here at the Alexandrian that was made possible entirely through the support of my patrons. I want to take a moment to call attention to the Patrons of the Alexandrian page I’ve created to thank them and recognize the contribution they’re making to the site.

This is the last post I’ll be making about my Patreon for awhile, but there’s a lot of nifty content coming down the pipe that will only exist because of the Patreon. Everyone reading this is going to have the opportunity to enjoy all that niftiness because of my patrons and I really can’t express my appreciation for that enough. It’s amazing to me that we’re basically only $7 away from the So You Want To Be a Dungeon Master? milestone goal. If just 30 people interested in seeing a step-by-step practical guide to GMing from me were willing to pledge $0.25 per post, I’d be able to start tackling that truly monumental project.

It’s so cool.

$0.10? $0.25? $1.00?

Patreon for the Alexandrian

… even the smallest of pledges can add up to wondrous things.

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