But only if you’re really loud.
At this point we’re still a good ways short of the goal, unfortunately. But while the volumee of new monthly patrons has been frankly disappointing this go-around, a number of folks have stepped up with very generous one-time pledges of support, and I decided to count those towards the campaign goal (as some amount to multiple average monthly pledges). Heartfelt thanks to the LiA supporters who’ve come through since the last update: Ibrahim (Patron), M (Ko-Fi), and one-time supporters Steven S., Collectr, Robert S., Sharon, Laura S., Stephany, Stephen L., Brad S., Darrell, and Denis. Some of those folks have pledged before – and if I missed you this time, I apologize and please let me know so I can include you in the next roll call.
As to what happens if LiA doesn’t hit the goal this time? Well, I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it. None of the options are great but there’s no point in dwelling on them until it’s absolutely necessary. I’m not an optimist by nature but LiA supporters have always managed to make it happen – here’s hoping history repeats itself. As always, sincere thanks to all of you who read and comment, and especially those of you that support the site financially. You’re the best!
Latest update: we’re still moving up, but it’s a crawl. The net gain (remember that attrition factor I talked about below) is a long way below where I need it to be to call this fundraising period a success. This gets harder every time I do it, which is why growing the site is such a priority (more users means a larger pool of potential supporters). But the support levels have to be high enough to keep the site going in the first place. It’s a conundrum but I’m going to keep fighting to keep the site viable – and free for all.
Sincere thanks once more to everyone who’s signed on, and all LiA’s existing supporters. You’re the best.
We’re past a quarter of the way there, thanks to seven very generous LiA readers who’ve signed on as subscribers or made sizable one-time contributions. Thank you to Nathan, M, Page, Dave, NickK, Casey, Jason, and Tom K.! It seems like such a small number, 25 new supporters – but for LiA, it’s the difference between continuing to deliver the same content to all who come looking for it and having a paywall (or worse). Thanks to everyone who supports the site – I know we can hit this goal.
It’s that time of year again (I don’t plan to do these in September, but for whatever reason it usually seems to “fall” that way). The challenge in keeping LiA alive never gets easier, never goes away. Yet I keep at it, because I feel like I’ve built something here that some people genuinely find valuable, and I’m egotistical enough to feel proud of that. It’s way too much work, but I’d be very sad if LiA had to close its doors.
The background is this. I run this site completely solo, while working full-time. Site costs go up every year, and inflation has severely depleted my spending power (unfortunately patron spending power too, I get that) – especially with the Yen being at historic lows. I get new patrons every time I launch a fundraiser, and I’m immensely grateful. But there’s an attrition factor. I get a bundle of new subscribers in a short burst, but some of them drop away one by one as the months pass. It’s just the way this works – that’s part of the deal. But it does mean that after a year I’ve taken some steps backward after that little sprint forward.
The truth is that LiA exists on the knife’s edge. There’s no margin for error – my message from last year was no exaggeration. I’m just barely able to keep things going, but every time I lose a subscriber that knife’s edge gets thinner and thinner. Branching out to YouTube and commission work has helped, but those are also additional demands on my time.
So, in effect, my reality is the same. I need to make up for that lost ground to make LiA tenable for me, there’s no sugarcoating it. We’re not talking about living off the site here, just not having it be such a financial drag that I can no longer justify maintaining it. So I ask, as I always do – if you find LiA to be a valuable resource or just something you really enjoy, I would be immeasurably grateful if you could support it financially. Monthly patrons are of course the lifeblood of the site, but one-time contributions help too. Whatever you can spare, whatever you think it’s worth – it’s the difference between LiA continuing and going away,
Why is LiA valuable, in an age when anime websites might seem like relics? I’m too close to it to answer that impartially, but I think “community” is a part of it somewhere. There are endless places to go to read about and discuss the anime, manga, and LNs that dominate the fandom and commercial marketplace. I think LiA gives exposure to works which otherwise don’t get much of it (in English especially). I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a resource that delivers anime content more consistently than LiA does (including those with a full staff of contributors). Frankly I bust my ass to do so, and believe me, it’s not easy.
So how can you help? Fortunately that is easy, and there’s a method to suit all preferences.
Patreon – Monthly support. You pledge an amount per post, and can cap your monthly pledge at whatever level you choose.
Ko-fi – Here, you can offer a one-time “Buy me a coffee” or, like on Patreon, a monthly subscription (a flat amount per month, as opposed to by the post).
PayPal – As with Ko-fi, you can either subscribe monthly or make a one-time pledge of support.
Commissions – The newest means of supporting LiA, and a very important one. It’s been a successful launch, with many one-time projects commissioned, as well as a couple of larger crowdsourced projects.
YouTube – This one doesn’t cost anything – subscribe! It’s a long way off, but one of the steps towards monetizing the LiA YouTube channel is getting to 1000 subscribers.
As ever, the alternative of switching to a full paywall/tiered system is out there. I hate the idea, I hate that I have to consider it even more. If push comes to shove I’m honestly not sure whether I’d choose it over shutting the site down, but it is an option. The whole idea of posts like this, really, is to avoid having to face that unpleasant choice.
Last time, I set a goal of doubling my patron base. And we hit that goal – for a while anyway, before we lost some of those subscriber. This time around I’m setting what I think is a very modest goal, and the minimum I can achieve and still maintain things as they are – 25 new monthly subscribers/patrons. As ever, I’ll track progress here and individually thank every new subscriber in the updates.
A reminder – I do think it’s only appropriate to offer an incentive for new supporters, and a reward for existing ones. So – in that spirit I’m continuing to offer these groups:
Existing monthly patrons
New monthly supporters (Patreon, Ko-fi, PayPal) who sign up in the next 30 days
Supporters who give a one-time pledge of $25 or more who sign up in the next 30 days
The right to vote for one series for me to pick up for the Fall season (and future seasons) – the “Patron Pick”. This can be anything from the schedule that I don’t decide to cover on my own – whatever wins your vote, I’ll pick up. So far that’s included Koukyuu no Karasu, Mononogatari, Jigokuraku, and Helck.
Recognition at the end of future YouTube videos (and possibly posts too).
It goes without saying, but I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who supports the site. You are, plain and simply, the reason LiA is still here and, I would argue, better than ever. Thank you – and thank you to everyone who reads and comments. I love this place and you’re the reason it exists. For however long I can keep it going, I hope you’ll stick around and be part of the community.
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