For all of you who are waiting for physical rewards from the Kickstarter campaign, I have ordered copies of StoryHack from the printer. They told me I should expect them to come in no later than the 17th of October. They’ve beat their estimates on a large order before, though. May they print and ship quickly.
Now, after I deliver the goods, what is next for StoryHack?
The magazine is a labor of love for me. I don’t need or expect it to ever be a real part of my income. That being said, eventually my wife’s vast tank of patience will run out and I’ll have to stop feeding it from my own pocket. So the plan is to publish at least another 5 issues. (3 or 4 a year, depending) If by the end of that time the magazine is self-sufficient, it’ll just keep going forever. And as the magazine becomes more profitable, I’ll pay more to the authors & artists. I think the fact that the Kickstarter campaign funded despite the fact that I am a nobody without any big name connections or large audience shows that readers are hungry for a quality publication.
If by that time the magazine is not self-sufficient, well, then I’ll just publish when I can, or suffer the indignity of becoming a token-payment market. But that thought makes me sick to my stomach, so let’s spend no more time considering it.
What you can do to keep this ball of pulp rolling?
The biggest thing I need right now are reviews. If you’ve read Issue 0 or 1, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or anywhere else it’s appropriate. Also, if you see me in real life, a high five would not go amiss.
And what am I doing before I start on Issue 2?
I’m going to run some marketing tests. Without much of a backlist, I don’t think dumping a lot of money into marketing is the right choice. When a new reader finds StoryHack, it would be nice to be able to sell her 4 issues rather than 1 or 2. But I know there’ll be a learning curve, so I’d better start learning.
I’m building a better submissions process. Doing everything via email is rather inefficient. I have plans to make a system that would shepherd stories from submission all the way through editing and approvals. But for Issue 2, I’m just going to have the software ready for the submission/accept/reject process.
I’m setting up a subscription option. It will bill when I release new issues. The plan is to make it $2.99 an issue for electronic versions, and $9.99 for printed (shipping included to U.S.). Printed subscribers will also get the electronic version. I will also try to throw in at least one fun freebie per issue like the extras I included to all backers of the Kickstarter. Price everywhere else will be $3.99 for electronic and $9.99 for paperback-only.
I know this is a wild dream, but If I could somehow get about 300 physical copy subscribers, I can speed up and simplify the printing and shipping significantly so that my grubby hands don’t have to touch a thing. And at that level, I think payment to authors would be up around $0.04 per word.
That’s about it for now. Thank you everybody for your continued support.