First check

Got the first check from the printer today for copies ordered. We said early on that we’d be open about the money, so here goes.

The check was for $157.14. That covers part, not all, of the sales we’ve made so far. Lulu breaks things up into periods, then closes out the period and sends the creators a check within the next month or so. Still, it’s revenue.

For the expenses, besides whatever startup on PO Box and webpage, I’ve ordered $446.64 worth of Needle #1 and #2. I’ll probably order another shipment tomorrow. Those go to contributors and reviewers and whatnot. That doesn’t count postage. Sending Needle to folks in the states is about $2.40 per copy and to the UK and Europe it’s about $7.50 per. I haven’t sent to Guam or Thailand, yet, so I don’t know what that would be.

With Needle #1, I ordered many more “review” copies and sent to people than I did with Needle #2. Not a huge difference, but some. I wasn’t sure who would be interested and wasn’t sure who would cover the launch. The big idea was to get coverage for some writers we like. I mean, that’s the whole point of the magazine, right? More people reading great writing? So that was the idea. I’m not sure of the return on coverage, but we had many folks who were really nice about covering Needle, and for that I’m full of thanks.

Anyway, that’s it. We haven’t lost enough yet to put us in the Forbes 500, so don’t worry. And, no matter what the cost, the return on investment has been fantastic. Seriously. Have you seen this magazine? Read the stories? Fallen in love with the authors? Yeah. Me, too.

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12 responses to “First check

  1. So, that $157.14 is for both issues? What’s your cut of each sale, and do you forgo that cut (and thus get a discount of sorts) on copies that you order of your own product?

    Thanks for sharing this info, by the way. Nobody is getting rich, clearly, but it is nice to see in black and white what it takes to do something like this for those of us who have thought about it or lamented that others didn’t give it a try.

  2. No, that’s part. In fact, the part that covers takes us to the end of June. So the part that it covers doesn’t include anything the last couple of weeks. We won’t see that for some time, following the pay period idea and later distribution I mentioned.

    And, yeah, we talked about what the price above cost would be when we started out. Seven bucks for a copy seemed about right and is just a bit above what it costs. Some had suggested charging two or three or even five dollars more than cost. We felt that put the price too high. Yeah, you’re basically getting an anthology, but we want to get more copies out there, so more people can read the stories and “meet” the authors.

    And when I order copies one thing that helps is that I buy in bulk, a discount in addition to the creator discount. If not for that, the amount spent would be much higher.

    And the major expense, it seems to me, is the time that John puts into the design and Naomi and Dan and Scott — and now Mr Blackmoore — put into reading the submissions [EDIT: and proofing the pages]. So when you think about “what it takes,” you have to remember that it takes very smart, very talented, very generous staff members AND WRITERS to put something like this together once, much less every quarter.

    And thanks for reading and supporting the mag, John.

  3. Very interesting. Let’s face it, most people who put out a magazine, print or on-line, get paid in love and respect (if they get paid at all). On that score I hope you guys feel you’re coming out ahead.

  4. At this rate I don’t know how long you can keep sinking money into NEEDLE, Steve. But as long as you and John are in the game, I will be, too.

  5. After going fast and lose the last six months, heroin happy and not give a fuck lean, mean and street reckless, I did this hellfire bombastic 170 mile per hour dive into a spur of the moment decision to cold kick – save a bit of dough, maybe a lot of dough, maybe even get myself back into the human race although I was still unsure I belonged and it was possible I’d gone into the pleasurable warmth of opiate hideaway and lingered till I was a happy prisoner for exactly that very reason – I didn’t belong here as a rational human or anywhere else human’s have left their tedious footprint…I’m just saying.
    Into the third day of my own personal hell, at least I was able to sit upright – even concentrate, figured I might just do a little writing. I’d finished reading this new, streamlined-no fuck around magazine called Needle. Some vampire slut left it in the basement bathroom I happened to have locked myself in yesterday. The “hanks” a little more serious, wracked my brain. I was puking and shitting on myself in between screaming for my brother to let me out – pleading, begging , then finally calming down once I felt the first nudge of relief from the two Nebutals I’d gobbled up less than an hour before, i picked up The Needle, #2 and started to cruise through the stories.
    When I came to SHeeter’s contribution, I remembered vaguely that he’d emailed a few months back – told me about a few zines accepting submissions. Told me about Crime Factory. I replied that I was too busy destroying brain cells and digging the mad and uptight on the dark side to do any writing.
    He wrote back, called me an asshole, said, “Jack-Daddy, might be you got no brain cells left to lose.”
    We go way back. Once I saw real in his writing – saw he was no “Crime Tourist” googling for ideas, I let him into my twisted world of upside-down. Shit. I let him all the way in.
    Our shared disdain for all rules and governments and our fondness for serious firepower and fast motorcycles – Irish whiskey and kind bud made it pretty clear to both of us that at least we’d have one visitor at our funeral pyre to toss the match, bust a bottle of Irish and sing terribly.
    So I read the Needle in its entirety. Fucking smooth. And right on time. The world of noir lost Thuglit and gained what appeared to me as another earth shaker – black leather irreverent and nine millimeter loud. And yes, poetry is for pussies.
    There is not a chance, me feeling the way I do, that I’d write some asskiss praise. Thing is, I just don’t do that shit no how. But ya see, reading the stories ya’ll ran, then learning more and more about this scene, I am already feeling the vibe. Already hurrying my recovery so I can finally concentrate enough to pound out something “Pop goes the weasel” enough for one of your up and coming…It’s been too fucking long since I made words appear on this slow computer – old DellDemonic – a computer so slow and fucked up it didn’t even notice I’d been gone at all.

    Best wishes

    brian Murphy

  6. Graham — All good. Thanks.

    Brian — Exactly.

    Naomi — My thinking is that we’re going to catch up soon. Needle #2 expenses hit now, but we won’t see the revenue for a few months. At some point, we’ll be using revenue from the previous issue to pay the expenses on the current//next one. And we’re so far ahead of the game in terms of sharing great work, there’s no use worrying about the money. And we have such devoted folks working together — I’m looking at you, Naomi — and such talented writers sending in stories, that there’s no way we’re stopping this thing. Thanks for all the work.

  7. Maybe I missed it up there, but any idea on the number of copies that are being bought?

  8. Steve, you and your clan deserve a lot of high praise, it’s one thing to write great stories, but it’s even harder to get those stories out to people in a high quality magazine. You’ve got that and I hope Needle keeps gaining more and more ground. Issue 2 is amazing. Keep up the great work.

  9. Stephen — Yeah. And what’s really cool is that folks are going back and picking up the first issue when they buy the second. We’re not sending tens of thousands out the door yet, but word is spreading.

    Frankie — Thanks, man. And thanks for the Donnybrook prequel in this one.

  10. Thanks for accepting it.

  11. Jesus in drag. Read that piece of insanity /me, what could I have been thinking???? (Thinking is maybe not the word we’re looking for) Perhaps more afraid than embarrassed, I reread my confession – already my head swimming with just some of the reasons you would prefer I join a a fishing expedition outside of the pacific coast of costa rica – the Captain’s boat just recently stocked with new gear a tourist bought for him after feeling sorry when Jim cried as he told this amazing altruist how all of his rods and reels were confiscated his last trip0 out to Drake Island – a nature faker eco goover resort fo miles out in the Pacific.
    This idea swings and by the time the rest of QUapos hears it, already pools are gathering piles of wagers that we either 1: Never come back, die in the middle of a torential huricANE AS A RESULT OF A SMALL HOLE IN THE STERN, UNRELIABLE SPARK PLUGS AND NO SHIT…NO SHIP TO SHORE RADIOS AS WELL AS NO FLOATATION DEVICES…TALK ON THE STREET IS WE’LL NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.

    hIGH ON MUSHROOMS, MARIJUANA AND COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF BEER – OVER ELEVEN CASES FOR OUR SIX HOUR TOUR, WE SET OFF ONLY TO BE STOPPED BY cARLOS bOND THE cOSTA ICAN pARK dISTRICT rANGER WHO HAS JUST STOPPED US FROM TROLLING FOR SNAPPER AS IT APPEARS HE HAS A GROUP JUST UNDER WHERE WE ARE TROLLING – DIGGING THIS AMAZING CORAL REEF, SO HE’S STANDING, HIS HEAD OF WET BLACK CURLS TOSSED BACK, ONE BENT KNEE HIS FOOT ON THE STERN OF HIS RANGER BOAT AND HE CALL OUT TO US. sCREAMS, yOU ARE TROLLING OVER A NATIONAL RESERVE SO MUST NOW FOLLOW ME TO THE RANGER STATION.

    dRUNK cAPTAIN jIM IS YANKING OUT OUR LINES AND LAYING UP THOSE NEW POLES, POINTS THE BOUT TOWARD THIS ONE ONLY TINY SPOT OF LIGHT GREY IN FRONT OF OUR ESCAPING BOAT. cARLOS bONG LONG BEHIND.
    cAPTAIN jIM FIRST MOANS, THEN DROPS A JOINT, CRACKS SOME RUM AND LETS OUT A WHOOPING COUGH WHILE TWO OF US, bIG lOU AND MYSELF ARE STILL GIVING THE RECEDING GUY IN HIS RED WET SUIT AND CURLY BLACK HAIR, THE FINGER. jIM SCREAMS. “wET sUIT! a FUCKING WET SUIT? iN THE pACIFIC OCEAN? i FUCKING HATE THIS GUY AND HIS WET SUIT.
    aFTER WHICH, jIMM PROMPTLY FELL FLAT ONTO HIS FACE AND REMAIND IN THIS ANCEINT MARINER’S POSITION THE ENTIRE FOUR RIDE BACK WHILE WH THREAD THIS BOUNCING NEEDLE – HEADING FOR WHAT NO IS ABOSLUTELY THE OLNY PIECE OF IGHT ACROSS THE WHOLE HORIZON. iT’S TOO HILARIOUS TO WORRY.

    sEE? i AM A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT. SO EITHER BAN ME OR LET ME PROMISE A STORY ONE WHICH ALSO TAKES PLACE IN THE TROPICS, YEAH? wHY DON’T ibRIAN.