On Thursday, June 10, the American Booksellers Association held a Technology Meetup on Patreon. In this session, Mary Ellen Funke of Patreon discussed what Patreon is, why it is a valuable tool, bookstore use cases, and reviewed Patreon pricing.
A recording of the session can be found on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org.
Here are some of the top tips from the session:
- Patreon is a creator-founded membership platform. Funke likened it to a fan club, where you can add different tiers at different price points, each associated with different values and benefits.
- Creators can use Patreon to share secure and exclusive content, all behind a paywall. Payment is also flexible — patrons can pay monthly or annually. This can provide creators a stable monthly income.
- As an added benefit, creators have control over what they can post and make for their patrons. The service integrates with a wide variety of different platforms and creators aren’t beholden to an algorithm. Patreon also works with creators to create high-quality merch.
- As a benefit for their patrons, creators can use Patreon to foster community using services such as Discord.
- Here are benefits that might make sense for booksellers: monthly book recommendations; discounts or store credit; early access to in-store events; online speaker series; exclusive podcast; shout-outs; merch; community chat through Discord; first updates and exclusive posts; and book clubs or lunch & learns.
Here are some case studies of stores that have launched Patreons:
- Spartacus Books, launched in 2020. Currently, they have 63 patrons, and their community is growing. Benefits offered include discounts, voting, free zines, free rentals, t-shirts, favorites lists, and DVD rentals.
- From the Front Porch, launched in 2017. Their following is currently at 592 patrons and counting. Benefits offered include free shipping, podcast episodes, literary lunch breaks, newsletters with book reviews, and author interviews.
- One More Page Books, launched in 2019. So far, they have 99 patrons. Benefits include behind the scenes content, priority signing at author events, early access to events, favorite book videos, and exclusive sales.
- Golden Fig, launched in 2020. They currently have 47 patrons. Benefits offered include Discord, patron posts, recommendations, store credit, and thank you notes.
- Pricing for Patreon is standard. Most creators use Patreon’s Pro plan, which has a fee of 8 percent of monthly earnings.
More bookstore use cases can be found here. This session also included a Q&A at the end that covered more details about the payment process and other ways for bookstores to use Patreon to their advantage.