Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dragon & Patronage

There’s just a small amount of editing to go on Dragon. For the most part, I’m pretty much done except for some rewriting in some sections. With that, it’ll be off for the second round of edits and proof reading.
If nothing major is caught, then Dragon will be ready to go! If something is found, I have adequate time to fix it to ensure my deadline of July 1st stands.
The past two-and-a-half years have been pretty rough. One of the downsides of being poor is when things break, you can’t afford to fix them. Worse, you cannot afford NOT to fix them. In this situation, something has to give. Even the most stringently kept budget will break under these circumstances.
With launch day on July 1st, I won’t see one penny until October 3rd  or 4th at the earliest. Even if I have extraordinary sales through the month of July, I’m still penniless until autumn.
The reason for this is because of the way independent authors are paid. Retail outlets pay of the author’s share of the sales proceeds 60 days after the close of the month that sales occurred. The reason for this is to give their accounting time to work out all the sales and to account for any chargebacks (returns).
For any sales that occur in July, the day that they close the books for the month is July 31. That means no payout until September 30. As that is on a Saturday, I don’t expect them to initiate the payout until the next business day which is Monday, September 2nd. Give a few days for processing, and I probably won’t see any income until October 5th.
That’s a long time to go without a payday.
I managed to pick up a part time job. That certainly helps, but it gets in the way of writing.
Grants are gone. The trump administration has cut the National Endowment for the Arts in the 2018 budget. So, there is no hope for getting assistance that way. trump seems to feel that there is no return on investment in art. I wonder what J.K. Rowling would think about that? On the £8000 grant she received from the Scottish Arts Council, the Harry Potter series has grossed more than $25 billion—significantly more than trump ever made in his lifetime. And Rowling has paid significantly more taxes than trump ever did. And the franchise has generated thousands of permanent jobs—unlike trump who bankrupt many small businesses and put thousands of people out of work.
Friends and family? No. People are stretched too thin today. And I’ll be the first to admit, writing is a dubious investment. It takes years before one sees any real return. I can’t ask for handouts because I really don’t know when I’ll be able to pay back a loan.
But many hands make light work.
This is why I just set up a Patreon account.
What finally got me to this point was the brakes on my car failing—a moment of excitement I could very well have done without. It was a very unpleasant feeling when I stepped on the brake, there was a loud thump, and my car kept going merrily along without the pause I was hoping for.
Fortunately, luck was with me in that moment. I had just passed through the busiest intersection in my area not more than a minute before. Had the brakes failed just one brake-usage earlier, this would have been a much more unpleasant story. Second, I was turning into a parking lot when it happened; much less traffic to contend with. Third, my instincts kicked in immediately and I downshifted the engine to use engine-braking to stop the car. Aside from a bit of lurching and the look on my face, I don’t think anyone noticed that something had gone wrong with my car.
Well, they might have noticed the chunk of metal that used to be the brake falling off my car. The ride home was happily boring, though a bit technically challenging.
It took me nearly three months to save up the money I needed for the parts to repair the car. There are still further issues that need to be addressed, but I just can’t afford right now.
The event finally convinced me that I needed some help.
Patronage for writers is not a new concept. It merely fell out of vogue during the 19th and 20th centuries as writers began to generate more income due to modern publishing technologies. 
Growing further from this, today’s publishing technology has opened a new paradigm that allows authors such as yours truly to publish themselves. The problem is, a self-publishing author does not have a publisher to support them with advances until sales pick up.
I picked up the part time job to help make ends meet. It takes up about 60% of my productive time, which slows down my writing process immensely. Additionally, at minimum wage it falls short of actually making ends meet.
So, Patreon it is.  I figure it is going to be a while before I really start to pick up any support. But if I don’t do anything, then nothing will happen.
Thanks for your support! (If you can.)