Bill Willingham, author and creator of Fables, has sent out the following missive about his new move to Patreon.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The good news is I can count the number of mass emails I've ever sent out on one hand. The bad news is this is one of those (very few – I promise) times.
Having shot my mouth off too many times about the new opportunities and legitimacy of online publishing, I thought I'd better get with doing some of it myself, or face real charges of hypocrisy.
So I've started a Patreon site, on which I am publishing some short stories and some novels – not every short story or every novel, but a goodly amount of both.
If you'd be at all interested in reading them, this is where you go: Go to Patreon.com and type Bill Willingham in the search bar, and you'll find me. From there you can join for one-to-five dollars a month, for all sorts of stuff. Yes, you can also join for ten bucks a month, for more behind-the-scenes stuff, but it's the low range fees I'm really after. Lots of readers for only a little bit a month.
If you like what you find there, I wouldn't be averse to you talking it up amongst your genre-loving friends and such.
If you find it isn't your cup of tea then by all means don't join, at any level. I'm doing okay financially and am absolutely not asking for charity. Please, please, please, don't feel in any way obligated, just because I am beloved to you, with true belovedness.
Thank you so much and sorry once again for the community email.
A quick trip to Patreon finds the page in question. With the promises of stories to come.
This is where I plan to bring you the bulk of my prose short stories and novels, and the new worlds I've been creating since we brought Fables to a close.
To do so I've hired a full-time in-house editor (because I'm serious about not having to leave my library/writing room in order to get things done), to make sure each tale is clean and professional, up to the top industry standards, before it goes live.
Here's some of what's coming up:
The Known Magical World
For the moment I don't have a more elegant title for it, but if I think of one, I'll change it faster than two shakes of the proverbial lamb's tail.
Most of what I write these days (not all, but most) takes place somewhere in this sprawling fictional universe. It's urban adventure fantasy, where the magical nature of… well, nature… isn't a secret. Wizards are licensed and regulated. Lycanthropes better be wearing their dog tags and they better be up to date. Vampires are — actually, they never act up, so don't worry about them. And don't call them vampires, or heliophobes. It's rude, they don't like it, and their lawyers are the best in the world. We're calling them Hemo-Americans now. This is the bureaucracy of the fantastic, and the places where it doesn't function well is where the tales take place.
Within the Known Magical World we'll have several ongoing series of books and stories. There's the adventures of Thomas of the Harrowing, a banished half-breed prince of the Unseelie Court, who makes his living as an unlicensed mercenary.
The Finn and Fimbul books chronicle the adventures of the Remarkable Mr. Finn and his next door neighbor, Mary Fimbul. He's a talking ape who is also a fully Licensed Private Hero. He specializes in old fashioned investigative work. She's a tough little girl (as in: can bench press a fully loaded school bus). They look out for each other.
The Beowulf Adventures. He's the guy from the legends, who managed to survive the dragon that killed him in a highly unpleasant way. Now he works for the Saint George Group, a private hero agency that specializes in removing monsters from the world. Some readers will note there have already been two Beowulf novellas published, along with three short stories, in the distant past. I've dusted off those old tales and expanded on them, so that we can present them again, along with the new stories.
And there will be more. So much more.
Golly. I see I haven't even begun to tell you about the Night Train stories, or the tales set in the Big Shady (think Big Apple, but perhaps a touch more sinister), or the thing with the Space Pirates, or…
Suffice it to say, there's lots of stuff in the pipeline.
Here then is the invitation. If these stories seem interesting to you, please consider joining up. As you can see off to the right, there are three main levels at which you can arrange to read these stories, ranging from one to five dollars a month. After that there are other levels of participation, for more esoteric rewards, but the first three levels are the meat of this place, commanding (one hopes) your interest and attention.
As for those three levels…
Pledge $1 or more per month
You'll receive access to the first floor of our three-story library. This floor contains all of the short stories I've added and will add, at the rate of at least one new story per month, and often more.
Pledge $3 or more per month
You'll not only receive access to the first floor, with everything described above, but also access to the second floor of our story library. On the second floor we have the novels. At least one new chapter (but often more than one) of my current, in-progress novel will be published monthly, and you can read it here, on the second floor.
Since the novels are intended for first time print publication (when completed), what you'll get here will be draft chapters, but fairly polished drafts. In essence, up here on the second floor, you'll join my rag-tag legion of first readers, with the possibility of influencing the final version with your feedback, questions and critiques.
Do take note that some of the novels, in whole or in part, will only be available for a limited time. If I kept them here forever, they'd be considered published, which defeats the purpose of the draft-stage, right? So, do please keep this in mind when deciding whether to join us at this level. We will of course give you plenty of advance warning when books (or chapters of books) are about to cycle out of play.
Also, of course, thank you!
Pledge $5 or more per month
Of course your pass to the third floor includes full access to the first and second floors, and everything therein.
This is the floor reserved for fellow writers, including current and future prose storytellers.
Here on the third floor is our writers' study and workroom. Every month I'll post essays, notes, harangues, and hard-won lessons about the art, craft, and (often brutal) business of writing. I can't teach you everything you need to know about writing, but I can share those things that I've learned – occasionally to my regret.
Also, as a bonus, since I'm getting along in years and have more ideas for stories than I'll ever get around to writing (or in some cases finishing tales already begun), I'll post those ideas here, available to whomever cares to make use of them.
These ideas aren't free, nor should they be. You're paying five smackers a month (okay, some of that goes towards the stories you get to read) to receive and sift through them for the valuable bits that will spark your many stories to come.
Some will be universal ideas that everyone can use (including myself, if I ever get around to it), without diluting the whole, while others will be things that one had better exploit quickly, before one of the others writers up here on the third floor beats you to it. Yes, that could create a bit of a Darwinian, Lord of the Flies, Thunderdome sort of enterprise, but therein lies much of the fun. The third floor can sometimes get loud and boisterous.
So, no, Bill isn't giving his ideas away. He's charging five bucks a month for them…