Where the money goes


Let's answer a question many of you have: What do you do with the money I pay to run a promotion with The Fussy Librarian? After spending most of Saturday preparing my taxes, I have the answers. 

First, however, let's start with revenue because I have that data, too.

REVENUE ($60,610)
FEES ($50,100): 
This is what you pay The Fussy Librarian to run your promotion. Pretty straightforward. 
January 2014: $161
February: $1,116
March: $1,219
April: $2,302
May: $3,036
June: $3,036
July: $3,302
August: $5,240
September: $7,129
October: $6,265
November: $8,916
December: $8,377

The slight dip in December was due to authors taking a break during that week between Christmas and New Year's. Both January 2015 and February 2015 fees trended higher.

COMMISSIONS ($10,510): This is the money Amazon pays me when someone buys one of your books or anything else (like a computer) during their visit to Amazon after they've clicked on a link for a priced ebook (i.e. not free) in the daily email.  

EXPENSES ($85,782)
LOAN REPAYMENTS ($8,164): Last summer, I decided to move ahead on growth but I wasn't comfortable with increasing your fees. So I took out a loan that had to be paid back.
MARKETING ($60,241): A lot of the year was spent experimenting to see what works and what doesn't. Nineteen different experiments — everything from Book Brawl to Facebook and Twitter to big New York agencies. This year will be much more focused now that I know what works.
OPERATIONS ($14,827): Includes website hosting and programming, the daily email send, social media accounts, mailing list management, email delivery analytics and consulting, PayPal fees, and author refunds when a promotion date wasn't available.
PERSONNEL ($2,500): That's me. I paid myself $2,000 in December and squirreled away another $500 for the taxes.

So basic math shows Fussy had an operating loss in 2014 of $25,170. That money came out of my own pocket. I planned it that way, knowing I had to grow the business so I could quit my job last fall. 

This is the last year that Fussy will operate at a net loss, of course, now that it must be a source of income in my household. (My wife is a nurse, but nurses are criminally underpaid for what they do.) There's a mortgage to pay, one car loan, dog and cat food for six, and now, about $3,000 in medical bills. (The lymph node biopsy was negative, by the way. Woohoo!) If I had to guess, about 60 percent of revenue will go towards expenses in 2015 and 40 percent will go to my salary.

Why share this with you? It's not to boast about growth or have you feel sorry that I didn't personally profit more in 2014. It's because I've always been open and transparent with you. It's how all businesses should be with their customers.