That Man Behind the Curtain: September 2013

It’s that dark time of the month when we lay bare our digits.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.

Hosting: ($17.06)
Stories: ($325.00)
Art: ($250.00)
Advertising: ($51.02)
Paypal Fees: ($15.20)
Donations: $0.00
Ad Revenue: $0.46
Book Sales: $14.29
Total: ($643.53)
QTD: ($1,229.24)
YTD: ($3,364.95)
All Time: ($6,681.00)

As per usual, I try to list costs for art and stories under the month that the stories run on the site rather than when I pay them. I also cover Paypal expenses when paying authors and artists.

This month was a bit steeper than usual. A bit more art than we’ve been buying. The serial cost a bit more than our usual collection of exclusives. Plus we bought enough exclusives for the next two collections. I bought ad space in the program for a burlesque show, as one does. (Boobs and the Bard: A Shakespeare Burlesque, produced by one of our regular illustrators, Scarlett O’Hairdye.) It was our most expensive month to date. Since previously we’ve been scraping by with getting exclusive content for our collections, it didn’t matter as much to try and put the cost in context like I do with the stories posted to the site. I just didn’t have the notation to record nine months worth of big purchases all done in one month.

On the flip side, it was our highest month for book sales to date. It in no way offset the costs, but it was nice to see Amazon tell me we made double-digits.

As an amusing aside: I was utterly thwarted in my attempt to promote the first part of the serial. I thought, “I’ll go big. Drop $30 to “promote a post” on Facebook. And then the ad stopped running after 50 cents. I couldn’t unpause it or anything. It was just done. All I could do was add more money. So I did. And then it ground to a halt. I wrassled with customer service, first in attempting to even find a way to contact them and then trying to convey my problem.

Their answer was, “Well, there just aren’t enough people to advertise to.” Which is not something I’ve encountered before or since. So despite trying to spend $50 advertising the first part of the serial, I only spent $1.02.


In September  we received 6 submissions, of which we accepted 2. This might be our lowest percentage-wise in terms of acceptance, 33.3%. But our all-time acceptance rate is still above 50%. 55.52%, to be precise.

This gives us enough content for the site through mid-January 2013.


September dropped sharply in terms of traffic, despite the serial we ran. We had a total of 1,060 visits, two-thirds of August’s numbers. Our traffic consisted of 661  unique visitors and 2,231 page views. Our highest daily traffic was 74 visits, which was the day we launched the serial. As best I can tell, just less of our readership was clicking through: Traffic from Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon all went down, even though we had more content. Was the increase in content too annoying? Or was it just a bad month for The World? I don’t know. I could speculate endlessly.

September’s search engine term for the month is “what were elephants like before evaporation.” Which is a good question. What were they like? Will the world ever truly know?

That’s all I’ve got for this month. Tip your waitstaff.

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