If you would like to, and have a small sum of money you would like to donate, we have signed up with Patreon.
Patreon allows folk to sponsor creative content, and we have creative content in spades. Did you know we have one of the largest collections of LGBT poetry online anywhere? So we've set up our donation page to see if that appeals to our readership. We don't need much to break even each month.
Very little. The server costs us $50 per month, The domain name and our site backup service costs us $40 per year. We also have a couple of other small fees to cover, so it works out at $63 per month in total. All we need to do is to cover the costs, month by month, to keep the site free, and you can help us if you like. The site will always be free to read, and with no tacky adverts! What we need is a handful of loose change from time to time, when you feel like it, and most certainly not a huge gift. That would be embarrassing.
If you think of it as buying a friend an occasional cup of coffee, that is just about right, and the right level of occasional sponsorship.
We are not a two tier site. There is no concept of 'membership'. We grant no special privileges to readers or authors alike. All are equal here. There is no early publication in a privileged area for those kind enough to buy us a cup of coffee, there is no queue jumping for authors who donate. We could do that, but we will not do it. This site is for all, equally.
Our gratitude, though we will not email you to thank you. We think you deserve your privacy. And the unspoken gratitude of those who read and use the site and may or may not contribute to it themselves. Authors will thank your in their hearts for your generosity because the site is here. Questioning teenagers and the adults they become will thank your generosity. But, most of all, you'll get a warm feeling that you have paid your enjoyment of the site forward to someone else whom you will never know.
We think that's good. We reckon you'll think it's good, too.
There might be just a small one. A donor told us that he was surprised to have found a foreign currency charge on his credit card bill. His was 70 pence or so. That fee depends on the terms and conditions of the card issuer, and may vary from company to company. He is in the UK and Patreon donations are in US Dollars. So there was a fee levied by his credit card company to make a non Sterling transaction. If this will affect you, which it will if your card is not a US Dollar card, please simply make a slightly smaller donation to reflect your credit card company's fees.
US Dollar cards are not affected by this.
This is outside Patreon's control and very definitely outside our control, too. We guess everyone (except us!) has to make a profit, and without their making a profit the world would not work, so we seem to have to accept it. But you can always ask your credit card company to lower their charges. If enough folk around the world do that, just maybe…
It has always been very important that a web site that offers gay and bi teenagers and the adults they become access to health advice, and teenage gay romantic and erotic stories by quality authors is free, free, free.
Imagine having to ask mum and dad if you can charge a teenage gay site subscription to their credit card! That is just not going to happen, and that is why we have always been free.
So far we've done it through various channels, but we're about to hit a brick wall. The site has always been free and always will be, but we have a problem. For the past many years we've been able to cover the server and domain costs by creating other sites, entirely separate commercial sites, and using advertising on those to pay our way. The problem is that the bottom has fallen out of the advertising market and the revenue has fallen of a cliff.
We used, many years ago, to have a PayPal donation scheme. PayPal's morality police turned up one day and cancelled the entire PayPal account because they didn't like the idea of a teenage gay romantic literature site. No sense in crying over spilled milk, that's when we created the adverts on other sites as a scheme to pay for this server.
We can't use adverts on the site for 'terms of service' reasons (Adult site, etc), and we hate the idea of even looking as if we are profiting from the work of our authors, and adverts look so tacky anyway. If they offend me then they offend you, too.
So today, 23 March 2016, we have started a new scheme to let those who would like to, make small donations to keep the site free.
If you want to discuss the future of (eg) the use of Patreon, this forum thread is where we are discussing it. I want to get it right. Equally, I can't dip into my own pocket for the total each month. So I'm grateful for all ideas, and thoughts on the most acceptable places on the site, if any, to place requests for donations.
Their site will give you full details. As far as we can tell you may pledge, alter, or cancel a donation at any time that you like during the month. You are charged on the first of the following month. Patreon makes a profit, small, but reasonable for them to do so, and passes the money to our web site account shortly after that.