So, for the last three months, I've been signed up with Patreon, which lets you become a patron of the arts. You pledge whatever you like, starting at $1 / month, and in exchange, you get a feed of whatever the artist you support is creating (e-mailed to you if you like). Sometimes it's the same work they're putting out on Facebook and their own blogs; sometimes it's extra, private material. Hopefully, you'll see things you'll really love reading, and as well, you know that you're helping to support the artist in her work.
At first, I was just using Patreon for the cancer logs and poems, and it was great for that -- I had 25 patrons, pledging $46 / month, which was just enough to buy me some nice treats to help keep my spirits up during the cancer treatment. I'm ready for a change to that model now; there isn't nearly as much to report on the treatment as there was, as we enter a quiet, repetitive phase for the next few months, and as the semester ends, I really want to get going on some book projects I have underway. They are:
1) Flight, my science fiction novel-in-progress, in the same universe as _The Stars Change_ and "Communion." I'll be posting draft chapters as I write them, so if you like, you can follow along. These will be private to Patreon, since if I posted them publicly, I wouldn't be able to sell the book. It's about 50,000 words drafted (perhaps half the book), and I may be over-optimistic, but I'm hoping to finish a draft by the end of the summer.
2) Domestic, a book of poems about domesticity: keeping house, raising children, marriage and relationships, etc. These will likely be posted publicly as well as on Patreon.
3) Arbitrary Passions, a memoir (on its fourth draft!) about writing, polyamory, and Sri Lanka. I think this next draft may be the last one -- we'll see. I'm planning to post draft chapters of this privately to Patreon as well.
4) A Taste of Serendib, second edition -- I want to release an ebook edition of my Sri Lankan cookbook, with twice as many recipes, and lots and lots of photos. I'll be sending out test recipes through Patreon and possibly also on Facebook, etc.
The cancer logs will also keep coming there, but less frequently!
My hope with this is to really build the Patreon supporters this summer -- I'm curious about this new publishing model, and I especially want to know if I can earn enough this way to perhaps equal what I would earn if I taught a summer course. As an non-tenure-track academic writer, there's always this question when summer rolls around -- do you keep teaching, and keep the income steadier, or do you take the financial hit and invest the time in the writing (that is so much harder to get done during the frenzy of the semester)?
It'll take some extra time to be organized about my Patreon goals and rewards, but I think it may be worth it in a) some extra funding, and b) motivation to keep organized and keep writing! I'm adding something specific to the Patreon account right now -- for $2 / month, you can join the recipe club, and get a new Sri Lankan recipe every week, from May 1 - July 31 (as long as you're still a patron). And if you sign up (at any level) today (April 30), as a special bonus, I'll send you an entire book! I'll send you a PDF of Silence and the Word, a collection of poetry, essays, and fiction. It was published in 2004, but I think it's still pretty good. :-)
Let's see how this goes. :-)