By W.S. Quinton and Egg Embry
Are you a fan of Kickstarter? Like the concept of Patreon? Then Drip may be for you. Launched by Kickstarter in 2017, Drip takes the Kickstarter crowdfunding brand and adapts it to the subscription content model embodied in Patreon. However, after a year in existence as an invitation-only service, in 2019 Drip will morph into a new tool that will be co-owned by Kickstarter and XOXO. One of the current RPG Drippers, W.S. Quinton, has shared his experiences on Drip with me, so when I read about this change, I thought I’d ask his thoughts on Drip, crowdfunding, subscription funding, Kickstarter, and his current campaign, Whispers of Persephone ~ The bloody book of Necromancy 5E. What follows is mostly Quinton, I asked for a few sentences to quote in an article and he wrote 1,300ish words that I decided to run with. Enjoy reading about his Drip experience.
EGG EMBRY (EGG): When did you launch your Drip page?
W.S. QUINTON (WSQ): October 2nd, 2018. My page has been active for less than a month and has so far attracted six backers for my current Kickstarter campaign, Whispers of Persephone ~ The bloody book of Necromancy 5E:
“All Original Necromancy Content New arcane tradition, spells, rituals, poisons, magic items & alchemicals. 5E 5th Edition DnD RPG”
WSQ: No, but it hasn’t been in operation for a month yet. My current subscribers are repeat backers and one person who has been a friend for years. My focus has been on promoting the Kickstarter campaign so slow growth is only natural.
EGG: Why did you join Drip?
WSQ: I was building a Patreon page in order to make available a monthly publication. I also wanted to take some of the material I normally offer on my blogs, concerning creating RPG books and crowdfunding, and give a more in-depth look at the process behind the scenes. I had literally advanced to the part where I was building reward tiers for the Patreon page when I received the email inviting me to Drip.
I’m a fan of Kickstarter’s public benefit structure as they give back to their community and make a huge difference in people’s lives. Being invited to join Drip was incredibly flattering as it is invite only. I’m still not certain why I was selected to be invited. There aren’t many RPG creators on Drip at this time, so being in a small demographic is exciting. There were two other creators who have been on Drip (I believe) for about a year now.
EGG: What options are available on your Drip Page?
WSQ: I have public posts which anyone can access without subscribing. I also have three subscription levels:
- The $1 subscription grants access to the behind the scenes news posts where I share information on coming projects, share play test documents of coming products, premier art for upcoming projects and go over things about crowdfunding and development (how to calculate your backer reward tiers for Kickstarter was particularly well received).
- The $3 subscription grants all the benefits of the $1 tier, plus the monthly publication. This monthly release details a character, companion, creature or monster, complete with original art/ stats/ a narrative/ example treasures/ story hooks. October’s release went out nicely, and the subscribers I’ve heard from so far were well pleased. This release was nine pages in all (counting the OGL and the cover/title page, with six pages devoted to content.
- The $6 subscription grants all the benefits of the $3 tier, plus the subscribers receive a little magic in the mail by way of a thank you post card where the subject of the monthly release is depicted in full color on side, with a few notes concerning it on the back. This is a nice way to show the subject at the game table in an easily transportable way. I sign each of those to the specific backer.
EGG: What are your thoughts on the transition from Drip to what comes next?
- There are features common to Kickstarter and other platforms that are curiously absent from Drip. By way of example, Drip doesn’t have a search feature native to its page. That means that current subscribers, if they wish to explorer other creators, have to page through all of the currently active pages. You can’t even sort by interests. This is something I assume will be addressed in the new build as it is such a common feature its absence is widely felt.
- Another feature that I as a creator cherish, is a widget to create code to embed a link on another page. I make heavy use of this feature from my Kickstarter pages and its absence is felt on Drip (for me anyway). This kind of feature makes embedding your page link onto your other online resources a snap. Drip’s new build needs this.
- Drip pages also don’t have a share to social media feature. Seriously, I’m not joking. Or, if they do, I’ve never been able to find it. So sharing the link isn’t hard, (you copy and paste it) but it’s not as easy as it is from Kickstarter or GoFundMe or Indiegogo or Patreon. With so many people sharing their pages, not being able to directly share your page slows your ability to point people to your page.
- That said, I love the idea that the new site will also be a public benefit corporation. The fact that the creativity of so many helps to raise funds that are used to benefit other people as well as enabling them the freedom to pursue their artist endeavors is incredibly appealing.
- That current Drip creators are going to be helped to migrate to the new resource is reassuring. In my first month, I’ve already released several posts, containing a lot of information. Within the coming year I imagine it piles up to quite a bit of data. I’m appreciative of any help they have to offer.
EGG: What’s your wish list of features you’re hoping XOXO will implement in the new platform?
- A digital download library for subscribers. I’ve not seen this on other platforms, and frankly I’m at something of a loss as to why not. As a creator, I would gladly pay for additional cloud storage on-site if it allowed subscribers to access titles and download them directly while retaining a record that they had the title. This would allow me to offer discounted finished products exclusively to the subscribers in a much more convenient manner, and allow new subscribers to access older releases without have to work it out with me so it could be facilitated. Yes, this sounds like Amazon’s library feature. It’s still a good idea.
- Subscriber chat feature/ native streaming tool. Kickstarter has Kickstarter Live. Since using it, I’ve loved it! I have a tremendous amount of fun hanging out with backers on Kickstarter, we field questions and chat about a wide range of things. I also bring guests on so it’s a fantastic way to interact with your audience.
- A space for embedding links to my other resources. I write a few blogs, I’ve started a YouTube channel, etc. It would be SO handy if I could just put a link on the Drip page as a button so subscribers could go find my other free material without a fuss.
- An archive: It would be wonderful to move old posts into an archive where subscribers could always go retrieve them. This would keep the page from being overly cluttered and allow people to access the latest data with ease. Add in a way to compartmentalize the archive (Play test folder/ monthly release/ game system/ comics/ children’s books/ whatever) and you’ve got a fantastic way to keep your page looking nice while putting vast amounts of information within reach of your audience.
- Systemic integration with online merchandise pages like Society6 or Printful. A great many artists sell prints of their work or otherwise make them available to their subscribers. It would be amazing if a way were found to implement such integration into one seamless whole.
Egg, I know that is a lot, but as the new guy on Drip I think I’ve found a few things I would definitely like to see improved. I also had a lot to say. There are more things about UI and record keeping but that stuff is largely boring.
EGG: I want to thank W.S. Quinton for taking my questions and writing this article on his own initiative. It was a great surprise! Where can fans find your Drip page?
EGG: Your blog?
EGG: Your social media?
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/wsquinton/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/LlSinopa
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sinopa.publishing/
NOTE: The Kickstarter for Whispers of Persephone ~ The bloody book of Necromancy 5Eends on Tuesday, October 30 2018 11:57 PM EDT. If you need dark, evil magic in your Dungeons & Dragons 5e campaign, Whispers of Persephone is worth checking out.