I always like to be open about where the money comes from and goes to in the Willesden Herald short story competition. You can also find the previous years' accounts by clicking on the accounts tag below. Note: the annual competition began in 2005/6 but did not run in 2015, 2018, 2020 or 2021 (ref. History of the competition.)
We're probably in the red when all is finalised but it all depends on whether the library charges for the use of the Performance Space. These are my own accounts, I no longer run a limited company and I don't make any money from the sale of books online, which all goes to the publisher*, which also runs at a loss by the way - as the number of sales doesn't even cover the annual Ingram fee, but let's leave that aside for now. We do it for fun, I suppose.
In the rare case when an author asks me to organise a "short run" print of 10 or more copies for themselves, I send them at cost plus £1 per copy for my trouble, which makes it virtually at cost as my time is next to worthless (full disclosure!)
I have the itemised details on a spreadsheet here, but the totals are as follows, using $ exchange rates that were current at the time, where applicable. Submittable .com collects the entry fees which they then remit in $USD minus $0.01 per entry + 5% of the total via PayPal and PayPal take their cut too when converting to £GBP.
- Entry fees for 371 entries @£5 after Submittable's percentage, paid in dollars: $1646.28 into PayPal, after conversion to pounds at the then rate and PayPal's cut, we got: £1390.95
- Book sales at results/launch event, 17 x £5 = £85
- 10 extra books sold direct from order received. £51.44
- TOTAL: £1527.39
- Prizes to contributors: £950
- Fees for book designer and judge's introduction (only fair as all the writers are paid): £200
- Book setup and Ingram annual catalogue fee $80 + $12 = $92, paid in pounds: £84.16.
- 47 books ordered including p&p: £188.96
- One month Spotify sub paid to get music for the event build up (yes, I did & cancelled): £9.99
- Postage to UK, France, Ireland, India, Australia & Greece + prize mug + Jiffy bags: £92.07
- TOTAL: £1525.18
We're up £2.21 but we have yet to receive an invoice from the library for the space and we're hoping they will see the cultural value in the Willesden short story competition and waive the fee. Otherwise we'll be out another £80. (And if that lands, I will update this report.) So probably down £77.79.
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