Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Competition accounts 2013-14

I want to make this quick, so I'm only going to use round figures here. The accounts are submitted in detail to the IRS as part of my trading company Object Tree Ltd.

The entry fee was £6 this year and all went through Submittable .com, which takes about a dollar per entry. I created the Southernmost Point poetry collection out of the proceeds of the competition, as well as the competition anthology New Short Stories 8. There were 381 entries, resulting in an income of just under £2,000 plus sales of books at the event of £70. Out of that take cash prizes £600, and two books including copies for authors and contributors, which came out at approx £400 each, all told. That's £1400 roughly accounted for. I also paid for my web server, which hosts the websites for Willesden Herald and New Short Stories, out of the money; that's another £270 (Webfusion VPS starter pack annual price). That leaves us with £400. The venue was £45, wine/water/nibbles £65, leaving us with £290. Mugs and p&p take us down to about £200. Although we're in the black this year, this can be balanced against losses in previous years, I think. Only ever wanted to break even and it appears I have done so, or a little better. So that's that. :)

P.S. The accounts for 2012-13 were published in updates under the Kickstarter book project* for that year. Actually I see we were in the black then as well. So that's good. I've spent a fair bit on software that I use and plugins for the WordPress site, which I probably haven't counted, so there's not a lot in it either way. For example I use three plugins from WooCommerce to run the online bookshop and they cost about £20 each. Etc. You can find other previous years' accounts by clicking the accounts tag.


* Copy of relevant text from the Kickstarter project introduction and updates, for ease of access and in case Kickstarter archives it away:

From Kickstarter project description/introduction:

Here is why we need the money and for what it will be used. First of all a summary and then the detail. I should explain that even though we only really need £400, to get that £400 we have to raise £800 here to cover the cost of the rewards, i.e. the books and mugs, plus shipping. What will we do with the £400? It splits into about £200 to publish the book and £200 to fund the authors' five copies each. That's the summary, now for the detail.
Background 1, entry fees: We had 340 entries this year, at £3.00 making a total of £1020. Less 10% PayPal commission, that left £918. Less prizes, £600, left £318. [Correction 30/3/2013: 340 - 13 unpaid = 327 @ £3 making £981 - 10% = £883, less prizes £600 leaving £283.]
Background 2, website: There were a few incidental expenses but the main other one was when the website had to move to a new server and I paid a year in advance to get the cheaper rate. Even if we hadn't moved, the cost would have been about the same, but we had to "ante up". With the new server comes the latest version of PHP, enabling the rebuilt WordPress-based New Short Stories website. That took away another £200. Together with other incidental expenses - the prize mug etc, somehow or another we are now down to under £100 in the kitty. [Correction 30/3/2013: Have found the difference in 13 unpaid entries (see above). Kitty actually down to under £50.]
To publish the book is not all that expensive, in fact £200 covers what we do, (we set it up for print on demand), but there is also the small matter of 50 copies to send out, five to each of the contributors to the book, plus three more due to friends for helping with the competition. Now that plus postage eats up about £5.50 per book, at cost. There's £290+ right there.

From Kickstarter project updates, in case they archive that away

A rough calculation shows that about £640 + £50 for books for the launch (if and when - see below) has been used out of £830 that I got from Kickstarter after they took their commission. All the figures here are approximate. I just want to get an overview on here, as it makes me feel better about it. It's a big responsibility.
The way I get that total is as follows (all approximate figures, remember): Contributor, designer and judge copies (total 53): £220. Mugs (turned out expensive at about £15 including postage) 12 x 15: £180. Book setup and proof: £100. Individual books x 27 for backers, including postage to me and onward postage from here (very approx. - might be more after some of the distant addresses): £140. 
220 + 180 + 100 + 140 = £640. Plus about 50 for the extra 12 books I added for the launch = £690. 
830 - 690 = £140 left over.