About that Patreon fee change…

This post originally appeared on my Patreon.

I didn’t understand the significance of the email I received from Patreon about fee changes at first. It was written in that shallowly friendly tone that customer-facing tech companies have nearly universally adopted as their style guide, that regardless of its actual content aims to disarm you. It took until I read Jimmy Maher’s explanation that I saw what was afoot. It’s a one-two punch.

First, patrons will pay the transaction fees for their pledges instead of the burden being shared between myself and Patreon. I can see arguments both for and against making this change. Personally, I always looked at the fees as the cost of doing business here. I certainly wasn’t losing sleep over them.

Second, patrons will be charged fees on each individual pledge, not on every credit card charge. These fees no longer have a direct connection to payment processing fees. They’re essentially Patreon turning up the revenue knob.

Patrons who spread their pledges wide-but-thin will feel the pain the most. About 60% of my patrons pledge $1. Already, I have seen one person cancelling their pledge. I wonder how many others will do so once the change goes into effect on the 18th.

I am not sure what I’m going to do. Right now, I am considering my options carefully. I had actually been thinking of adding reward tiers to this Patreon, and had been brainstorming what those could be in the context of open-source development. But now I am not sure where this will end up. I want you to know that I’m thinking about it, however, and I would like to hear your thoughts on the change in the comments. Am I overreacting? Should I think about changing something about my Patreon?

I’ll close with a thank-you to everyone who has supported my work on Twine, whether it’s been with money, an appreciative tweet or comment, or a contribution of code or documentation. What I find most gratifying about Twine is the impact it has had and continues to have. I am so happy that so many of you have made wonderful things with it.

Edit: Natalie Luhrs has posted a deep dive on the numbers involved.

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