That Man Behind the Curtain: July 2018

Books for sale on a table.

Selling books at the Handmade and Haute Craft Show.

We had a few new marketing experiments in July. How well did it work out? Well, let’s look at numbers.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.
Web Resources: (-$17.06)
Stories: (-$180.00)
Art: (-$741.85)
Advertising: (-$1,661.59)
Processing Fees: (-$22.38)
Printing: (-$33.68)
Donations: $107.71
Online Book Sales: $31.12

Total: (-$3,296.64)
QTD: (-$3,800.46)
YTD: (-$4,187.66)
All Time: (-$27,925.59)

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.

Art last month included additional costs for interior art for Battling in All Her Finery.

As mentioned last month, we hired a publicist and decided to upgrade our Hootsuite account. The monthly rate wasn’t prohibitively high, but  it had to be paid for a year in advance. That stung a bit.

Well timed with the rise of our publicist hire, we decided to participate in the Smashwords Summer/Winter book sale. A lot of our older quarterlies were free, and our newer books and bigger anthologies were heavily discounted. We had 242 books bought from us, 159 of which were MSJ related. Unfortunately, most of those were free books. We made $7.88 from these sales, $5.90 from MSJ titles only. On the one hand, it’s a bummer we didn’t make more cash. On the other hand, we know all too well how hard it can be just to give books away. Hopefully we have some return readers in the mix.


We were closed to submissions in in July. Our all time acceptance rate is 35.7%.


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

Patreon: 28 (+0)

Facebook: 1,999 (+14)

Twitter: 640 (+10)

Tumblr: 318 (+9)

Mailing List: 159 (+6)

Google+: 65 (+0)

Instagram: 135 (+9)


Last three months:

July 2018: 1,297 visits, 964 users, 1,953 page views, peak day 90 visits.
June 2018: 1,899 visits, 1,271 users, 3,125 page views, peak day 109.
May 2018: 1,713 visits, 1,353 users, 2,512 page views, peak day of 82.

Last three Julys:

July 2017: 1,216 visits, 914 users, 2,210 pages views, peak day of 84 visits.
July 2016: 848 visits, 647 users, 1,534 page views, peak day of 47 visits.
July 2015: 1,509 visits, 1007 users, 2,753 page views, peak day of 120 visits.

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