Sales have remained somewhat flat since the beginning. This is neither spectacular nor terrible. I'm playing for the long game, eventually the back catalogue will be so large and knowledge of it be so common that it will quietly start to turn a profit. At least that's the plan. Being excellent is easy, being consistent is hard.
I must stress here that there is no inherent nobility in running at a loss. I take no pride in it, it is not a good thing and I will put a stop to it as soon as I'm able. If you make something good and worthy you should be compensated and sustained by it.
Commissions are where the money goes. From the beginning I aimed to get to a point where I could pay professional rates and have consistently pushed them up there. Still, from this point I would need to triple them to match something like Weird Tales. Not happening any time soon. At some point I'd like to be able to pay myself similarly. Long game.
Net income: Around -£100 and 60something copies from breaking even. Pretty damn good considering the costs of replacing a printer are included there.
So other than numbers, what did we learn?
- I'd like to think I'm easy to work with but who knows. Either way, when working closely with another I feel the work is definitely stronger.
- I have absolutely no idea how good/bad The Undercroft is. I'm not used to this distance from the audience and am endlessly frustrated with it. Unless you hear the sincerity in their words, praise or criticism is hard to take too seriously.
- As I said the last time I did this, reviews are hard. I don't think a zine is a very reviewable thing, I know I've tried and failed. Do you talk about the work itself? What if it's an anthology work? Is the writing or collecting more important?
- I still dislike talking to people over the internet. You either sound hysterical or like an arsehole when tippety-typing.
- I want to get weirder. Everything so far has been quite tame and in the bounds of what you'd expect from a supplement. Some people have been funny about demon boobs on the cover of #3, I'd like to explore that discomfort some more. Not just through nudity and shock value (although sure, why not), but other ways.
- Bigger projects. There are 2 books in different stages of development that have taken ideas that were originally going to be blog posts or zine articles. There is a definite A, B, and C class system going on (you're currently looking at the C game).
- More issues. Short of me dying, I won't stop.
Hopefully someone finds this stuff interesting or useful. I certainly appreciated others doing similar when I was starting.