That Man Behind the Curtain: October 2017

Jeremy Zimmerman and a Kitten

Jeremy and new MSJ Assistant Editor, Stormageddon Vogel-Zimmerman, Dark Lord of All.

October featured a few new things: We sold books at GeekGirl Con for the first time. We also did a different sort of promotion than we normally do.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.
Hosting: (-$17.06)
Stories: (-$75.00)
Art: (-$187.63)
Advertising: (-$149.09)
Processing Fees: (-$4.77)
Printing: (-$19.47)
Conventions: (-$45.00)
Shipping: (-$66.02)
Donations: $41.71
Ad Revenue: $0.48
Physical Sales: $379.00
Online Book Sales: $62.54

Total: (-$86.04)
QTD: (-$86.04)
YTD: (-$5,679.77)
All Time: (-$25,700.00)

As 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. (This does not apply to special content for quarterlies, which does not have a specific month associated with it.) Sales are for sales when they take place, not when they’re actually paid out to me. Online book sales reflect the royalties given after the retailer takes their cut. Physical book sales represent gross income, not counting the cost of the physical book. Donations include Patreon as well as other money sent to us outside of standard sales.

Our big bread winner this month was GeekGirl Con. This was our most successful convention to date, bringing in $379 in sales for Mad Scientist Journal related books. (And over $500 total once you include other books we sold there.) Most of our financial success from last month basically boils down to success at GeekGirl Con.

We also ran a promotion with a podcast called Sage & Savant, primarily with an eye towards promoting our new anthology, Utter Fabrication. This was different from other promotions in that we went with an option where it was more of a cross promotion. We posted about them on social media throughout October and also provided them content to use. Several of our past authors agreed to let them do audio versions of their stories, and did interviews with them.

While the podcast got a lot of traffic from us cross promoting, we didn’t see a noteworthy increase in sales (only two copies of Utter Fabrication sold online).  Most of our superfans already backed the Kickstarter earlier in the year, so we didn’t expect a huge number of sales. But if we’d hoped to reach outside of our usual audience, it didn’t pan out.

I’ll comment on other metrics below. We’ll be trying this again early next year to help promote our next Kickstarter. We’ll see how that goes.


In October, we were closed to submissions. Our all time acceptance rate remains 38.1%.


Below is the social media following we had at the end of October.

Patreon: 15 (+0)

Facebook: 1,709 (+8)

Twitter: 557 (-6)

Tumblr: 266 (+29)

Mailing List: 79 (+3)

Google+: 63 (+0)


Last Three Months:

October 2017: 1,408 visits, 1,134 users, 2,179 page views, peak day of 107.
September 2017: 1,666 visits, 1,266 users, 2,841 page views, peak day of 135.
August 2017: 965 visits, 762 users, 1,581 page views, peak day of 47 visits.

Last three Octobers:

October 2016: 769 visits, 581 users, 1,307 pages views, peak day of 65 visits.
October 2015: 671 visits, 477 users, 1,336 page views, peak day of 47 visits.
October 2014: 1,042 visits, 634 users, 1,845 page views, peak day of 81 visits

Traffic is up significantly from previous years, but down from last month. Looking over previous years, it looks like some downturn is typical for this time of year, especially in a month that we were closed to submissions. Most of our traffic came from Facebook, but I don’t have any indicators that we had many links pointed at our site from anywhere besides our own FB page.

Follow us online:
This entry was posted in Man Behind the Curtain and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.