A Patreon crash course, and its piece in the 404 puzzle

We’ve been chatting about Patreon a lot since we launched a few weeks ago, but we know not everyone’s familiar with what it is so here’s a crash course on Patreon, how we’re using it for 404 Ink and how you can be involved.

What is Patreon?
Patreon is a leading crowdfunding website that supports creators on a subscription-based model, either with monthly payments, or per project. We've opted for per project.

So, it's basically Kickstarter?
Not exactly. While a crowdfunding website like Kickstarter, Patreon allows a rolling support system instead of Kickstarter's one-project, one-off support scheme. Think of it as with Kickstarter you're supporting a single project at one time but with Patreon you're supporting the creator and all the products they create.

How does that work?
You can pledge to support us via Patreon and we will charge twice yearly. Our packages include a print subscription, digital subscription, and a $1+ option just to support us but also get access to all of our Patron-only posts. You do not pay until we have the magazine ready to go. Pledging is saying 'sure, I'll buy this' for when, and only when, we decide to take your pledged amount. Unlike other subscriptions, we’re waiting until the magazine is ready to be posted rather than taking payment up front. We will take payments in November and May. We've got more information on our Patreon page.

Why would I subscribe?
For one, we hope you like the look of what we’re making and want to subscribe to it! But it will also give you the magazine for a lower price (including postage), access to Patron only posts, first looks at everything going on at 404 and more. We do have a lot of plans…

Why not just do a normal subscription?
We're big fans of the crowdfunding philosophy - we support creators across Patreon and Kickstarter. It's obvious to us that this is a new, more modern way to offer subscription that helps us build a community along the way. We want to offer behind the scenes options, even the chance for supporters to influence and shape how the next issue will come together. This is the best way to do that. The magazine will also be available through our website so you don't need to join us on Patreon, although we'd love you to! For the latest information, you can also sign up to our mailing list.

Do I need to have an account with Patreon to pledge?
Yes, you do. But Patreon is a great website and you only receive updates from creators you support or subscribe to. If you have any questions, their FAQ pages are packed, from a simple 'What is Patreon?' to a detailed breakdown of any queries you might have about backing a creator on Patreon. More on that here.

Patreon is very orange.

Patreon is very orange.

I’m not American… why am I paying in dollars?
We’re based in the UK, but Patreon is the leading subscription-based crowdfunder in the world and is an American company. This means we have to deal in dollars, but it all runs the same!

Okay, so then what?
You pledge, we have your subscription listed, we will charge for that subscription in November when the magazine is due to be released, and then we will send it out. It’s a subscription model that means you only get charged when we’re ready to go, and also means we receive nothing until the job is done.

Can I cancel my pledge?
Yes you can, at any time. While we hope you won't want to cancel your pledge it can be done at any time from your account with no penalty. If money is tight in the months we're releasing the magazine (November and May) it is possible to cancel your pledge and come back to us at a later date (though you will miss out on receiving the magazine should you cancel your pledge prior to publication). 

That's it?
That's it. Instead of supporting a product alone, you're also supporting a publisher and receiving what we make in return, plus lots of gratitude and extras. We have high standards for all that we do, but with paying backers already in place, and publicly visible, it's an added way to hold us to account on our goal to publish exciting writing and brilliantly designed books and lit mags. 

Where do I sign up?
Glad you asked. You can check out our page, read more and support us over at patreon.com/404ink.

I still have questions!
That's fine! Drop us an email at hello@404ink.com or a tweet on Twitter @404Ink. We're a friendly (if snarky) duo!