That Man Behind the Curtain: May 2012

I have a few quick notes regarding some small changes at Mad Scientist Journal this month.

The first is that my wife and fellow author, Dawn Vogel, will be officially listed as the Assistant Editor. She’s been doing all the edits to manuscripts the last couple months, so this is just making it official.

Also, we are trying out a new artist on a few stories. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is providing some photos to go with stories. This is not a replacement of our previous artist, so there will still be art from Katie. We’re just trying to diversify things a little so that it’s not all riding on one person’s shoulders.

And now, let’s peel back that curtain.

The Money Aspect

All numbers below are costs. I have a donation that will technically kick in later, so I have not included that.

May 2012

Hosting: $17.06
Stories: $35.00
Art: $110.00
Advertising: $68.91
Paypal Fees: $6.06
Total Cost: $429.66
YTD: $667.40
All Time: $773.15

To add a few notes:
As with last month: Some of the writing and art was paid for before May, but I’ve listed it in the month of in order to highlight the cost of the actual content for that month. I similarly haven’t listed the cost of stories for June that have already been paid for. Also, I’ve opted to pay the Paypal fee when paying writers and artists.

This month only had four Mondays instead of five. Plus we had one story that was a reprint. So overall, the cost for stories was lower this month.

On the other hand, I had Katie do a bit of graphics work. So three illustrations for stories at $30 a pop, plus $20 for some photoshop work.

I had a small incident regarding advertising with Facebook recently. When you’re setting up an advertisement on their site and you set your budget, you have to specify whether this is the lifetime budget for the ad or the daily budget. Facebook defaults to daily. Can guess who failed to change that to lifetime budget? I caught it on the second day. On the brightside, it doubled the number of people who “Like” the Facebook page in about a day. Yay?


Five stories were submitted in May. I accepted all five. Which gives May a 100% acceptance rate.

To date we’ve received 31 submissions and accepted 19, whcih comes out to a 61% acceptance rate. We have enough content to continue going through early August. I’ve also remembered that my contract requires me to publish the story within a year of acceptance. So if I get out to a year of content I’ll need to close to submissions.


I meant to include some comments on how much traffic we’ve received last month, but forgot. So there’s a bit of retrospective here. I’ve been using Google Analytics to track my traffic because it’s free.

April had a total of 1,152 visits to the site. This consisted of 985 unique visitors, 1,682 page views. There was an anomalous spike on one Monday when the site received 654 visits. One of the stories went wild on StumbleUpon. I’m not sure why. Otherwise the highest daily traffic was 45 visits.

May, by contrast, had a total of 790 visits. This consisted of 593 unique visitors and 1,325 page views. Our highest daily traffic was 81 visits.

Most of our traffic has come from our Facebook page, in part because Facebook ads makes it very easy to drive traffic to your Facebook page. (And through that, to the site when there’s new fiction.) I have not taken as much time to build up Twitter and Google+ followers. Google+ has a link about promoting your page, but it just has you share your page to your followers. Which is kind of unhelpful. Twitter has a whole small business guide, which I’ve now downloaded.

Even discounting our freak incident, StumbleUpon has somehow been the solid #2 source of traffic.

And that’s the behind the scenes for this month.

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About Jeremy Zimmerman

Jeremy Zimmerman is a teller of tales who dislikes cute euphemisms for writing like “teller of tales.” His fiction has most recently appeared in 10Flash Quarterly, Arcane and anthologies from Timid Pirate Publishing. His young adult superhero book, Kensei, is due out in 2012. He is also the editor for Mad Scientist Journal. He lives in Seattle with five cats and his lovely wife (and fellow author) Dawn Vogel.
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