Funding The Purple Crayon:
Report on 2003

This report covers the income that The Purple Crayon received in 2003. I'm trying to bring in enough income to compensate me for my time and expenses, and thus make the site self-sustaining in the long run. It's a time-consuming project and I realized that I couldn't continue to do it on a volunteer basis. The good news for this year is that by adding the Google AdSense ads selectively around the site, and crediting the site with a 10% commission for editorial work I did that came in through the site, we've reached my initial goal of $200 per month (final quarter of 2003 averaged over $300 per month.)

  PC Editorial Amazon Google Bookcloseouts Alibris Powells Abebooks eBooks Overstock B&N Total
1st 1/4 $60.00 $378.46 N/A $19.84 $4.96 $9.12 $4.67 $1.15 N/A $13.34 $491.54
2nd 1/4 $30.00 $270.28 N/A $54.54 $7.36 $4.68 $4.20 $0.00 N/A $1.84 $372.90
3rd 1/4 $40.00  $241.62 N/A $26.98 $31.43 $3.14 $5.54 $0.00 $5.44 $11.95 $366.10
4th 1/4 $210.00  $341.16 $461.14 $45.12 $25.88 $0.00 $1.38 $2.30 $3.13 $3.86 $1,093.97
Total $340.00  $1,231.52 $461.14 $146.48 $69.63 $16.94 $15.79 $3.45 $8.57 $30.99 $2,324.51

Comments: Google AdSense is such a good match for the site, being both productive and inobtrusive, that I'm very happy to have added it. Doing so has enabled me to cut back on other stuff. Some bookstores, notably Powells and, were just not doing much, and I'm dropping them. People go to Amazon, I have to say. So I've decided to focus on Amazon as the one general bookstore, on Alibris as the one used bookstore (dropping Abebooks), on BookCloseouts for remainders, and on for ebooks. I'll keep links to BookSense, the ABA's program, in only a few places, as it really doesn't draw any interest. But I can't bring myself to completely drop a site that supports independent booksellers.

Next steps: I'm already working on giving the site as consistent a design as possible, putting ads to the right on pages instead of on top, and have cut back on those companies that weren't working well. I will continue to do that. My main efforts will be to find the best places for Google AdSense, and to create more detailed book reviews, which both add useful information and bring in income. My new goal is $600 per month, which would enable me to start spending more time on the site and less on other work, which I hope would kick off a virtuous cycle--more new and updated content bringing in more visitors and more income, enabling me to spend even more time on the site...

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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