ISBW #387: Learning to strike out // Jacob Sager Weinstein interview [REPOST]

I’ve had some website issues lately, and this went up on the temp website, but not this one, so I’m posting this if you missed it, and the new one will go up tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience!

This one is all about WHY it’s all right to write poorly, and what it can teach you.

Guest: Jacob Sager Weinstein

Awardy Eligible Things!

It’s HEY I AM ELIGIBLE FOR AWARDS time again! So hang up your Hugo stocking and start singing those Nebula carols and cook the Locus beast! Here’s what I accomplished in 2017:

  • Eligible for Science Fiction novel categories: Six Wakes
  • Eligible for Nonfiction/Related Works categories: I Should Be Writing
  • Eligible for Podcast/Fancast categories: Ditch Diggers and I Should Be Writing
  • Eligible for Semi-Prozine categories: Escape Pod
  • Eligible for Best Editor (Short form): Mur Lafferty, Divya Breed, Norm Sherman (Escape Pod editorial team of 2017 – please include each name if you’re inclined to nominate one of us) 
  • Eligible for Best Short Story: “Not for Nothing” (From a Certain Point of View)

Did I forget something? Probably. I’m bad with the “what hat am I wearing at this point in time?” problem.

Not-Me Work That’s Awesome Too

I don’t like to promote too much of other people’s stuff for awards time, partly because I feel so bummed when others post their favorite stuff and my work doesn’t make the cut. I’m a softie. But I would like to put forth a few things I enjoyed, namely:

  • “An Unexpected Honor” for Best Related Work — although B&N published it as a flash story so maybe it’s eligible for best short story: this was Ursula Vernon’s wildly popular and completely absurd Hugo acceptance speech about whalefall.
  • clipping’s The Deep for Best Short Dramatic Work: (they continue to push the envelope with SF storytelling in hiphop.)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn for Best Long Dramatic Work: (This one was amazing, because I felt I had the whole thing figured out, but no, it still blew my mind.)
  • The Good Place Season 1 for Best Long Dramatic Work: (If you want to go Short Dramatic work and choose one episode that aired last year, I’d vote for “Chapter 14: Everything is Great!” with “Ch. 10: Chidi’s Choice” and “Ch. 12: Mindy St. Claire” as close, tied seconds)
  • Alasdair Stuart for Fan Writer, one of the hardest working and least self promoting people I know.
  • The other podcast magazines from Escape Artists: Podcastle, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders for Semipro Zine and Best Short Fiction Editor(s).  (All four podcasts have been releasing free short fiction for years, with little recognition.)

Patreon done F’d up real good

Because it’s swirling all around me, I assume everyone has heard of the mind-boggling change to the Patreon fee structure. But since some of my followers just got the news I had a Netflix option (which has since run out; they had it for three years), I will spell it out for you.

  • Before: You pledge $1. You pay a dollar. Patreon takes a fee (apparently it varied anywhere from 12-20%). I get the rest.
  • Now: You pledge $1. You pay $1.38. Patreon takes a fee, I get the rest. (The math: where Y is your pledge, (Y x 2.9%) + $.35.)

Patreon is trying to sell it as the creator gets more money and we all want that, right? Under the new structure, creators take home 95% of the money. But they passed the fees on to you.

Well, 38 cents isn’t really a big deal, right? You can barely park in a city for 15 min on that. But here’s the catch: that’s 38 cents per person you support with $1.

Many people like to spread their support around, throwing $1 pledges at several creators. Before, if they supported 10 creators, they paid $10. Now they are charged a fee for every pledge, so they will pledge a total of $10 and pay nearly $14.

Now it’s starting to look kind of sketchy. OK. Really sketchy.

Choosing to increase your fees, or ask for more money, is a frightening job for creators. We are often on limited budgets, and are humbled and amazed that someone wants to give us even a dollar. And for me at least, the one dollar supporters add up. I make not-insignificant money from those dollars.

The result of this? My canceled pledges for the last day:

Screen Shot of Patreon Support loss

This is very minor compared to a lot of people’s.

Supporters are leaving. I have lost a few, and many more have reduced their pledges. I know creators who have lost dozens. I don’t blame the supporters at all; I support many people and am going to have to look at my own pledges and decide how I want to spend my money based on my fee increases.

So what do we do? Let Patreon know we’re unhappy, that’s for sure. But I’m looking into other options. Currently, you can support me via PayPal Me and Buy Me a Coffee These are less than ideal solutions since they aren’t based monthly and a reward structure is MUCH harder to handle. But if you feel the need to leave Patreon but still want to support, you can. There are other crowdfunding sites I’ll be researching today, so I’ll keep you informed.

Thank you for all the support you give me.