Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ko-Fi is The Latest Way You Can Support The Creators You Love

Artists depend on the support of their followers in order to make a living. We depend on you to read our articles, buy our books, grab our merch, and to tell all your friends about the things we're doing so we can (hopefully, at least) reach even more people. And, with the advent of crowdfunding, it's now possible for our fans and followers to help fund us directly. Whether it's by contributing to a Kickstarter for a big project, or becoming Patreon patrons for smaller, more regular projects, fans can directly support the creators they like with the click of a button.

Seriously, guys, every little bit really does help.
While Patreon is great (I would seriously be up shit creek without a paddle, rudder, or boat without folks contributing to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page), there are a lot of folks who aren't comfortable with it. For some people, they don't want the commitment of being automatically charged every month for their contributions. For others, they don't like that Patreon takes a cut of their donation. For some patrons, the recent Patreon SNAFU where patrons were going to receive additional charges over and above the amount of their pledges turned them off from using the platform entirely.

Those are all valid concerns. However, there is a solution that nicely solves all of them. Do you want to support a creator when you want to, choosing to leave them a tip when you feel they've earned it (or when you can afford it)? Would you rather not use Patreon, and ensure that more of your donation reaches your favorite creator's pockets? Then you should check out Ko-Fi.

Buy Me A Ko-Fi?

If you've never heard of it, Ko-Fi is a free-to-use platform that allows fans to support the creators they love when they want to, and how they want to. It functions as a kind of digital tip jar, allowing supporters to give a creator a one-time donation when they want to. For example, if someone wrote a great gaming guide, you might "buy them a coffee" with a $3 donation. Or if you saw a creator was having a tough time this month, you might want to drop a coffee or two into their tip jar to help them get back on their feet.

The difference between Ko-Fi and Patreon is that your payment goes through immediately with Ko-Fi, and Ko-Fi doesn't take a cut of the money. It goes to the creator, via PayPal. And just because you bought a creator a coffee once, that doesn't mean you're going to get tagged to do it again next month. You can give as often as you like, whether it's once a week, once a month, or just once.

Authors turn coffee into magic. So if you'd be willing to help fill the tank, it would be much appreciated.
There is also, of course, no rule that says you have to limit yourself to the platforms you use. Which is why I now have a Ko-Fi for The Literary Mercenary. It's new, and it's fresh, but you should keep an eye out for a button cropping up on the page somewhere. Until then...

That's all for this week's Business of Writing post. Hopefully some of the creators out there found it interesting, and look into the possibilities the platform offers. If you want to stay up-to-date on my latest releases, then follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. And, if you prefer Patreon when it comes to offering your support, then please become a patron on The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page. $1 a month helps out a lot, and I'll toss a free book your way as a thank you!

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