Technology Meetup Recap: Patreon [3]

On Thursday, June 10, the American Booksellers Association held a Technology Meetup on Patreon [5]. 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 [6].

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 [7], 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 [8], 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 [9], 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 [10], 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 [11], which has a fee of 8 percent of monthly earnings.

More bookstore use cases can be found here [12]. 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.