Kris now has a Patreon.
It's there in the title, folks. Or, rather, it's here:https://www.patreon.com/user?ty=h&u=3388493
To explain why I'm doing this:
First, last year (2015) was my most successful year as a convention vendor, which was good, because I'd taken on a bunch more personal bills (health insurance, house insurance, etc.). I still only notched up about $9000 or so net profit for the year, which is only liveable because I own my house outright.
But the first few shows of 2016 showed an general downward trend from 2015, with a few exceptions. First, here's the net profit from all the conventions I've sold at to date in 2016, with the difference from 2015:
Ushicon 2016 - $493 (-238)
OwlCon 2016 - $300 (did not attend in 2015)
VisionCon 2016 - $300 (did not attend in 2015)
CoastCon 2016 - $574 (+112)
Texas Furry Fiesta - $1,354 (+689)
TexanCon - $395 (did not attend in 2015)
AggieCon - $335 (-118)
CyPhaCon - $699 (-401)
ChupacabraCon - -$260 (-100)
MobiCon - $125 (-661)
A-Kon - $522 (-1413)
NOLA Time Fest - $45 (did not attend in 2015)
So, except for March, everything was down, performing below expectations. The biggest reason for this is my T-shirt line, which has dropped sales gradually over the past twelve months and PLUMMETED in the past two months- I sold fewer than half the number of shirts at A-Kon 2016 I did in 2015, and at Mobicon the drop was TWO-THIRDS. T-shirts are my largest profit item, so when they go south, so does my income.
Put it another way: I need about $1000/mth to cover my basic bills, including minimum debt service on my credit cards. This doesn't count non-monthly expenses, like the new stove I need, the four new tires on my van which will be needed imminently, or other issues.
Convention sales are about nine-tenths of my total income at the moment, so let's add up the profits above: $4,822 net so far (not counting non-convention business expenses like web hosting, credit card merchant account, etc.). That means, with one convention left in June and nothing confirmed in July until the very end of that month, I'm more than a whole month's worth of bills in the red...
... not counting the cost of all the extra merchandise I bought specifically for the last two cons, almost none of which actually sold.
So financially I'm in a bind, and I no longer have confidence that things will balance out down the road at other conventions.
Furthermore, 2015's success, such as it was, came at the cost of my creative productivity. I was too busy working at conventions or preparing for the next convention to relax enough to WRITE. The most I could do was toss-off little snippets for a crackfic collective project. I struggled to work on Peter is the Wolf
, and everything else just fell flat.
I've been thinking about Patreon for a long time, but I hadn't wanted to commit to it until Peter is the Wolf Book 2's IndieGoGo project was cleared out. That's taking forever, though. (Book 3 will be handed off to a professional colorist, rather than wait for Ben and his day job to cooperate.) And I don't think I can put off the begging bowl any longer.
Now, I've tried offering commissioned writing and soliciting direct donations for my writing before, and with a few exceptions it was a failure. My muse often wouldn't cooperate with the requests of the commissioners. I'm hoping that a bit more maturity, and the Patreon platform, will reverse that trend.
If nothing else, I want to be able to relax and write, dammit.
So, again, here's the Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/user?ty=h&u=3388493
And I really hope this works.