As many of you may know, in addition to writing and promoting my own fiction and poetry, I’m also the Editor-in-Chief of Bindweed Magazine, which celebrated its 1 year birthday anniversary on 3rd April this year. Bindweed Magazine is truly a labour of love; I receive no government/Arts council funding for my magazine. It’s entirely independent. I read submissions for free and with the help of my writer hubby, Joseph Robert, select poetry and fiction that we feel has literary merit to publish – online every 4 days and in a print anthology 4 times a year.
In a day and age of publishers charging writers ‘submission fees’ to enter work into competitions, or ‘reading fees’ to consider their writing, I am proud to read, select and publish writers without charging anything. I use Lulu to create the print anthologies, which costs me nothing, and set a token retail price for customers to buy copies. In the interests of full transparency, here is a summary of my costs for Bindweed’s first year:
What I paid:
Issue 1 proof copy = £6.33
Issue 2 proof copy = £5.91
Issue 3 proof copy = £6.09
Issue 4 proof copy = £6.03
Net royalties received from sales (After deductions by Lulu and Amazon)
Issue 1 sales = £5.51
Issue 2 sales = £4.11
Issue 3 sales = £15.41
Issue 4 sales = Not yet known (current issue on sale)
= 15.41 + 4.11 + 5.51 = 25.03 – 6.03 – 6.09 – 5.91 – 6.33
Time spent publishing the Ezine:
1 hour × 90 poets/ writers (including light editing, promotion on Facebook and Google+) = 90 hours.
Average 14 hours × 4 print anthologies (including formatting work for the manuscript draft, designing the cover, uploading to Lulu) = 56 hours.
Estimated total time for publication on Ezine and print anthologies for Issues 1 to 4:
= 146 hours
So, £0.67 is how much I have earned for running Bindweed Magazine for 1 year, including a lower estimate of 146 hours of work. Why the heck do I do it then, I hear you say?!
Because I want to continue to provide a platform for writers and poets to market their work and create a product that contributors can be proud to be a part of! My glossy little A5 sized magazines certainly look a treat on a shelf and hopefully can give readers and writers a satisfaction that goes beyond the safe, boring, academically-churned-government-cauterised literary zines often spewed in the face of many austerity-starved and sadly dying Indie zines. Not Bindweed! This poverty-flower will keep creeping over the manicured-money-blooms regardless of spending cuts.