Why I chose Ko-Fi to replace Patreon

By Holly Lisle

Today is the last day of my How to Write a Novel launch, so I’m pulling this post from an email that just went out. I apologize for duplicating, but this needs to go to all my folks, and this is….

Efficient. Today, I need that.

Quick catch-up if you missed it.

I left Patreon.

When I left, I had no plan. I only knew that I could NOT stay on Patreon.

Within minutes of that first email going out, though, folks from my email list were sending me recommendations, and I checked out every single one of them.

Thank you very, very much.

One of them fit me — what I’m doing, the way I prefer to work.

Which is as follows:

  • I pay for the service. Me. JUST me.
  • The money folks pay to support me comes to me. Just me.

Here’s why that matters: 

When the person receiving the benefits of the service is also the person paying for the service, the service provider is on the hook to be honest, ethical, and competent, or lose the customer. This is the way Ko-Fi works.  I am Ko-Fi’s customer, it is my Service Provider. The relationship is very simple.

When the person receiving the benefits of the service is the bait that draws in people who pay for the service, and all the company has to do to keep money coming in is hold on to its bait, the people lured in to help the bait are not customers. They are sheep to be sheared by the company, which keeps its bait dependent on its services (such as they are) and maintains the bait’s captive audience, misusing them in any way it chooses for as long as the bait needs the funding… until someone spots the flaw. This is Patreon’s model, and I was Patreon’s bait.

A good number of folks supporting me on Patreon were only there because I was there, and they did NOT like the fees Patreon charged them to support me. I didn’t like them either, but that was the only way I knew. Now I have something better.

If you’re here as my reader and you would like to fund me, you can do that here: https://ko-fi.com/hollylisle

So what else is good about Ko-Fi besides the fact that it will not charge the folks who support you?

  • The free account is really free. I started with the free account, but there were already folks asking for ways to create a monthly subscription. You have to have the paid account for that, so I upgraded almost immediately.

The paid account creates a direct connection between you as the creator and Ko-Fi. You pay them, and they make not a single dime off your patrons — so their board of directors, if they ever decide to have one, CANNOT look at the folks supporting your work as sheep to be fleeced (Patreon’s business model). The Gold benefits are much nicer than anything Patreon offered.

Gold allows me to offer a base support level (in my case, the suggested one-time payment of $3) but ALSO lets folks decide if they want to make that monthly, if they want to pay with a credit card instead of Paypal, and they can increase the amount to whatever they want (in multiples of your baseline cup of coffee) using the little plus and minus buttons. Every single person who comes in to fund you gets to exactly personalize their level of support. Which is just freaking awesome.You can create rewards. I’m still struggling trying to figure out what those might be. I don’t want to go with raw first draft fiction this time. So… Ideas? If you’ve got one, just reply to this email and let me know.

  • If you go Gold, you get a “magic link.” (An affiliate link, but someone over there likes the word ‘magic.’)

My Ko-Fi “Magic Link” – If you are a content creator and you “go gold” using this link, you’ll save 10% permanently. This is an AFFILIATE link, which means Ko-Fi will pay me $3 for each person who signs up using that link. I offer the link because if you decide Ko-Fi is a good fit for you as a creator, the 10% discount will help you, and the three bucks will help me.

But I know there are folks opposed to affiliate links, so if you want to sign up without using the link above, just go to my plain link: https://ko-fi.com/hollylisle

You can create a free account from there, and see what I’ve done with my page so far.  I’m still figuring out my rewards — there aren’t any yet, but there will be.

This is not a condemnation of any of the services recommended to me that I did not choose. This is only me letting you know the direction I did choose, and why Ko-Fi stood out as something that fits my needs and my preferences.

To all of the folks who leapt in with “take a look at this,” THANK YOU. You are amazing, and wonderful, and I’m deeply grateful.


P.S. I’m hoping someone will have a great idea for a simple, inexpensive, not-massively-time-consuming idea I could offer as a reward for folks funding me.  If you have such an idea, please reply below.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved