As a small press there are a lot of expenses to keep up with and not a lot of money left in the coffers after we've produced a book. Recently, we decided to add a few new revenue streams to help continue our mission to make the best possible books written by exceptional authors without having to take money from investors who would rather make loads of money than focus on publishing books by the underrepresented and unsung writers of our time who are all about creating art first and product second. Our team wants to preserve the edgy, funky, eclectic, foul-mouthed, and most of all, cooperative venture that is this company.
Our books sell. That's a fact. And many of our books sell out of their initial print runs because we have a very loyal fan base. But those sales rarely cover more than the cost to produce the book and bring it into the world. A book's profit is getting smaller and smaller every year with the rising costs of ink, paper, shipping, and warehousing, not to mention, other fees that continue to rise. Because of the rising costs, we came up with new ways to help support the press by offering different avenues for our supporters to help us continue our publishing mission.
It's also important for us to be transparent, which is why we're writing this post to tell you where the money is going. Let's dive into the financial ways to help support us:
Donations have always been used to cover operations and production, and, if there is any leftover, advertising and marketing get some cashflow. When it comes to making and sustaining a book, we use the profit from the sales of books first, and then use donation funds. These donations are very important because without them, we couldn't produce as many books or dedicate the resources it takes to make a book perfect.
Very recently, we decided to start offering merchandise such as clothing, tote bags, etc. online instead of just at book festivals and conferences. For years, we've been asked to do this. Finally, we had some time to give to this project. The profit from the sales of any merchandise goes directly to the PR, marketing, and advertising of our titles. Like most small presses, the budget for advertising and PR is small, so we are hoping that the profit from the merchandise will exponentially increase our ability to reach new readers. Just last week, we made enough to begin advertising directly on Instagram and that brought us several new readers as well as followers.
Another item that we recently started was a Substack newsletter with a free and paid option. All proceeds from the paid newsletter further the press's mission to become a name brand small press. What does that mean? Well, it means to continue up the ladder that is the publishing world, we need funds that allow us to get our books in front of book influencers and those who have the potential to help us get to the next level.
If you are subscribing, donating, or buying our merchandise, we consider you part of the press. Supporters (this includes readers of our books and the writers that trust us) of the press are integral in keeping Unsolicited Press moving forward. It's been nearly eleven years since we started the press and we'd like to elevate the press in the next five years. We can't do that without you.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting us in whichever way you do. If you're ever in Portland, one of our team members will be happy to buy you a cup of coffee or a beer or a lemonade and talk about everything and nothing.
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