Funding The Purple Crayon:
3rd Quarter, 2002

This is a report on the commissions paid by Amazon and other web sites to The Purple Crayon, to show what progress has been made towards paying my expenses and labor and making it self-supporting. My goal is $200 per month, or $600 per quarter. We've almost reached $150 per month. If this keeps going up, I can spend more time updating and adding to the site.

Please note that I know only what has been sold, for what price, and with what resulting commission. I do not know the customers or anything about them.

Overview: Amazon sold 442 items, earning the site $368.78, a big jump from the previous quarter. Of the other companies I refer to, only Bookcloseouts ($32.03) and Alibris ($23.16) brought in any significant commissions. Non-Amazon sites totaled almost $75, so the total for the quarter was nearly $450. That's a good increase from $285 the previous quarter.

Of the Amazon sales, 69 items were bought immediately after clicking to Amazon, earning The Purple Crayon a 15% commission. The rest were bought later, meaning a 5% commission. As usual, most items bought at Amazon were books. These included 77 copies of my book and 20 copies of Children's Writers' and Illustrators' Market. People also bought 36 non-book items, mostly music CDs. Amazon pays me a 2.5 % commission on "Marketplace" sales; these are typically used books sold by third parties from the Amazon site. Sixty-one of the items sold were Marketplace items--a depressing increase from the previous quarter.

How things were bought: About a quarter of the Amazon items, and all the other sales, came from links on the Bookstores page (or somewhere else) to the bookstore's home page. Most of the Amazon sales are still coming from individual book links. That's fine, but those are time-consuming for me to create and maintain. I hope to get more income from the general links.

What this means: The good increase in referrals is the payoff to an effort I made to put relevant books in front of people on popular pages--pages which people come to straight from search engines, looking for information on just one subject. The books on the Primer on Agents page are a good example. I also experiemented with banner ads on my links pages. I don't think they are doing much, but they don't hurt. With the site's new home page, I'm also experimenting with referral links right there where people enter the site. My concern is not to get too commercial. I don't think I have yet.

Next steps: I will probably continue to add relevant book links when I add new pages, and I will try other things. I don't want to do a lot more. It's time away from the site, for one thing. This is the last of these quarterly reports. The next will be an annual report, and I'll do other updates by email.

Please remember to come back to the Bookstore page on my site when you are doing online book shopping. In the long run, the more people who bookmark and then use that page, the larger the number of purchases that will be credited to the site. You can also promote it by linking to it from your site, or by linking to any other page or pages that interest you.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about any of this.

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