Running an SF/F magazine: the most pleasant part?

Nov 21st, 2009 | By | Category: CG Blog

First, I apologize if this post is a little unfocused; I’m feeling ill at the moment and may not be the most coherent.

Since Kay made her post about our need, and I followed up with my post about our finances, an amazing number of people have responded. Dozens of people have posted about our situation in blogs and on their sites. The result has been that we’ve seen an impressive rise in anthology preorders, single-issue sales and straight subscriptions.

Moreover, people have gone even further. We’ve received a number of straight-up donations (at several people’s recommendation I added a Donation button more prominently on the site); several former contributors have made their own offers, like offering to sign copies for anyone near them who buys a copy, and even offering to enter names of people who support us in a drawing to win free hand-knitted gear. A couple of writers have even offered to let us publish their work for free – even when we’d already agreed to pay them for it.

All of this combined has made a huge dent in our losses. Hence the title of this post… our biggest thrill from CG is in seeing how people respond to the work we do. When words like “awesome”, “ambitious” and “fantastic” are used in reference to CG, while readers and contributors rise to the occasion with financial support, it’s a lot easier to swallow the $$ loss.

Below, I’m going to explain where we stand as of now. (I’ll try not to be long-winded, but I think it’s important to explain our rationale for how we’re proceeding.)

A lot of people have asked me or Kay “What do you still need to earn to break even?” We can’t answer this question without being misleading, because, to put it bluntly: we are not going to break even. We were over $1500 in debt on the year as of 2 days ago, and it would probably take a Neil Gaiman webfail (like Kay mentioned) to overcome that deficit. As I’ve said before, we knew when we started that we were going to lose money on Crossed Genres, at least for the first year and probably longer.

Rather than dwelling on past losses, we’ve think that we should focus on minimizing loss in the future. With that in mind, we decided to look at what’s coming between now and the end of February. We chose that span because we have some “extra” projects happening or beginning in that time: the anthology, for example, and beginning the serialization of A Festival of Skeletons for subscribers.

After February, our expenses even out. We will continue to pay for those normal expenses out of pocket, and any new projects we want to take on will have to be financed beforehand. This means we’ll still be funding the monthly CG ourselves, and how much it grows beyond that will depend on how much our readers want it.

I figured out how much money we have as of right now (or will have, once Amazon/Createspace send us what they owe), and what our expenses should be between now and the end of February. Then I added our regular monthly out-of-pocket contributions between now and Feb. 28. Based on all of that, we are currently about $125-150 shy of what we need.

That is not bad at ALL. A couple of days ago that number was… well I’m not exactly sure, to be honest, but it was almost certainly quadruple that or more. The help that we’ve received so far has made a HUGE difference.

But we do still need that $125-150! If we can get that last boost, it’ll get us through the next few extra-expensive months, and from there we can afford to stay afloat even with minimal revenue.

So whaddya say? Want to help us overcome this final hurdle?

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