We mentioned this on the podcast yesterday, but we want to talk a little more about how the Rachel and Miles X-Plains the X-Men Patreon works, and what it is and isn’t.
Patreon is a crowdfunding site designed specifically for serial works. Kickstarter is a great way to raise funds for one big thing; Patreon is better suited to people making a lot of little things over a longer period of time–like podcasts. Patrons pledge a given amount per unit–that can be per item made, or per month (ours is per month, not per podcast)–and can also do things like set monthly maximums to keep from going over budget.
So, what does this mean for the podcast?
We’re solidly committed to keeping Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men both free to download and free of outside advertising. Neither of those things is contingent on the relative success of the Patreon. Neither of those things ever will be.
Then why are you asking for money?
Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men takes a lot of time and an increasing amount of money to make happen. As our listener base has grown (awesome!), so has the cost of hosting (not awesome!). We also use a lot of varyingly accessible source material, and we do our best to get it all through legitimate means–which adds up pretty fast, even with a pretty good industry discount at our local comics shop, and services like Marvel Unlimited (which is great but far from comprehensive).
But the real issue is time. Every episode takes about 6-10 hours of work, between research, writing, recording, and things like the write-up and visual companion. There are a lot of things we’d love to do on the podcast or offer on the site that we don’t currently have the bandwidth to put together.
That’s where the Patreon comes in. Rachel is a freelance writer and editor, and the main goal of the Patreon is to let her fold more of the X-Plain the X-Men stuff into her professional workload, as a paid gig. That’ll mean being able to devote more time and energy to more features–things like long-form written posts, giant-size annual episodes, weekly video reviews of current X-books, and more.
What about other stuff, like a one-time Donate button or a bookstore affiliate?
We’ve talked about setting those up, too, and we probably will eventually. Right now, it’s mostly a matter of how much time we have to invest, and where it’ll be best spent, and neither of those was as high on our list of priorities as the Patreon.
If the podcast is staying free, what do we get for donating?
The warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting media you care about!
WAIT, NO. There’s also STUFF!
In no particular order, here are some (but not all) of the incentives we’re offering:
-Fancy foil-variant stickers, because it’s always 1996 in here.
-Tote bags, for lugging around those huge Omnibus hardcovers.
-Semiannual comic-book care packages, featuring semi-random backissues, weird comics-related ephemera, and personal notes (AKA the “No one in Portland buys backissues and we’re running out of box space” reward.)
-Bespoke answers–hand-written and wax-sealed–to your burning X-questions.
-Access to a secret backstage blog, where we’ll be posting scripts, show notes, and other behind-the-scenes stuff.
There are also a series of Milestone goals, based on the total amount pledged–think of them as the badass team-up moves of Patreon. Those are things like additions to the site, video reviews, regular text posts, giant-size annual or semiannual episodes.
Whether or not you choose to pitch in to the Patreon–thank you for listening, and thank you for your support!
Many, many thanks to Graeme McMillan, who helped us a huge amount with navigating Patreon; and to Anne Moloney, Ben Coleman, and Scotty Iseri, who collectively made the video happen.