What is Patreon? Free Trials Are Now Available!

Patreon artist and author Sara A. Noe


Today, I received an exciting update from Patreon—the platform has finally introduced free seven-day trials!

This is great news because I’ve been hoping for free trials for a while, and now I can invite my followers to see what all the fuss is about for themselves. But before we dive into Patreon itself, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I get about it.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform where artists, musicians, writers, and other creative entrepreneurs can share exclusive content with their fans, who pay a monthly subscription for access and membership perks.

I like to describe it as a backstage pass. I share quite a bit of content on my website and social media pages, but my Patreon subscribers get to go behind the scenes and see more of the creative process, not just the finished result. Depending on the membership tier, some subscribers have the opportunity to take a more hands-on role and directly impact the books.

Ghost Realm candle by Old Soul Artisan

What Types of Content Can You Expect When You Subscribe?

Every creator has the freedom to set their own pay tiers and perks, which can include merchandise, discounts, special announcements, early access, exclusive content, downloads, and more.

I have three different tiers, each one offering varying levels of exclusivity and engagement. Although the majority of my content is centered around the Chronicles of Avilésor series, I do also feature my artwork as well.

Level 1: Human

The entry-level tier is $5 a month. It’s like buying your favorite creator a cup of coffee every month to support their hard work! (Or in my case, maybe a bubble tea since I don’t like coffee.)

Patrons at the Human level get regular posts and reminders about upcoming events in their inbox so they don’t have to check my website for last-minute schedule changes. They also get early access to content before it’s released to the public, plus a handwritten thank-you note for their support and their name listed in book acknowledgments. Level 1 patrons also get 15% off Old Soul Artisan’s Ghost Realm candle and my online merch shop.

Here is the full list of membership perks:

  • Patron-only posts & updates
  • Handwritten thank-you note
  • Name listed in acknowledgments
  • Upcoming event announcements
  • Early access to content & new products
  • 15% off merch
  • Exclusive promos

Level 2: Kálos

My $10 mid-level tier includes all of the perks from Level 1 but brings subscribers much deeper behind the scenes. Kálos patrons not only gain access to worldbuilding content about the series, early book cover reveals, and glimpses into my creative process, but they also unlock timelapse videos to watch me create a new featured art piece every month.

Here is last month’s Patreon timelapse video showing the process of creating Kit’s character sketch.

Subscribers who join the Level 2 tier receive the full Kit emoji sticker collection in the mail, and ongoing patrons will receive any new designs that arrive later so their collection is always complete. Patrons at this level who are part of the Discord server gain access to a patron-exclusive channel.

The complete list of Level 2 perks:

  • Kit emoji sticker collection (including new designs)
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Worldbuilding bonus content
  • Art timelapse videos
  • Early book cover reveals
  • Access to Patreon channel in Discord

Level 3: Alpha

Alpha is my highest tier at $15 per month. Level 1 is a basic way to show support while receiving announcements and updates; Level 2 dives into behind-the-scenes content; Level 3 ups the ante as the most interactive tier while including all of the perks from the two lower tiers.

Alpha subscribers get exclusive sneak peeks at deleted scenes and current works in progress. They can also submit questions to either me or a character for a Q&A post. Top-tier patrons have a direct say in creative decisions by participating in polls (my Alpha subscribers named Ryland and Mateo in Blood of the Enemy).

Patrons who have been in the Alpha tier for a minimum of three months unlock some other cool perks! They automatically qualify to receive an autographed copy of the next book in the series (plus future books if they remain a subscriber) from the first print run. But they don’t just receive a book… they’re also in the book, and not just in the acknowledgments. They can have a place or minor character named after them!

Here are all of the membership perks that come with the Level 3 tier:

  • A place or minor character named after you in a future book
  • FREE autographed copy of new book releases + collectible pins
  • Exclusive sneak peeks at WIPs
  • Deleted scenes
  • Author Q&A submissions
  • Character Q&A submissions
  • Exclusive voting power in polls

How Do Patreon Subscriptions Help Creators?

I love having the freedom to express myself and create new content… but unfortunately, the creative process isn’t free. From hosting this website to publishing books, there are a lot of expenses involved. Monthly subscriptions from Patreon go directly into a business account that enables me to continue producing content by helping me cover costs for:

  • Business insurance
  • Website hosting & domains
  • Book editing
  • Ebook formatting
  • Audiobook narration & production
  • Marketing
  • Proof copies
  • Office supplies & materials
  • Art supplies
  • Vendor fees for events
  • Inventory orders

I operate on an extremely tight budget as I work to get my business off the ground. As an indie author, I don’t have the support of a publishing house behind me to cover production costs—it all falls on my shoulders. Which means that every little bit of support helps me clear one hurdle at a time as I work to publish the next book in the series and set up a booth at another event so I can meet fans and introduce the series to new readers.

For more information about how Patreon subscriptions and donations aid my business, check out the FAQ page.

Ready for a Free Trial?

Check out Patreon for yourself! Now with the new feature, you can try it for FREE for seven days. Access more than 100 exclusive posts, including timelapse videos, a tour of Saros Manor, a mapmaking series, deleted scenes, video bloopers, worldbuilding details, and more.

Note: your subscription will automatically renew after the trial period, but you can cancel your Patreon subscription at any time. Although trial participants can access past and upcoming posts during the seven-day period, they do not qualify to receive any merchandise or have their name in a book unless they become a regular subscriber.

If you enjoy the content during your trial, I hope you’ll consider remaining as part of my Patreon community after your trial has expired!

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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤