Funding The Purple Crayon:
Final Report on 2004

This report covers the income that The Purple Crayon received in 2004. 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 decided that I couldn't continue to do it on a volunteer basis. This year, both Amazon and Google AdSense have done very well for the site. As I noted in my 2003 report, I've actually dropping some of the other programs.

  PC Editorial
Bookcloseouts Alibris eBooks Overstock Total
1st 1/4 $60.00 $580.37
$22.83 $16.76 $3.45
2nd 1/4 $170.00 $329.44 $681.05 $54.75 $10.45 $1.15 $15.06 $1,261.90
3rd 1/4 $120.00 $545.56
$39.03 $6.58 $3.59 0 $1,280.65
4th 1/4 $90.00 $563.95 $601.79 $78.34 $4.56 $1.15 $2.85 $1,342.99
Total $440.00 $2,109.32 $2,621.52 $194.95 $38.27 $9.69 $19.06 $5,432.81

Comments: This was quite a year. The Purple Crayon's income more than doubled, thanks largely to the addition of Google Adsense late in 2003. But Amazon did well too, largely because I have started adding more book reviews on the site, which both provide good information and help provide income for the site. With the exception of BookCloseOuts, no other program generated much income.

Counting the commissions I charge against my freelance income, average income per month was a little over $450, which gets me pretty close to the $600 per month that I believe will cover my (minimal) costs and pay me reasonably for the time I spend on the site. More than that would be better, of course, as it would mean I could reduce time spent on freelance work and put that time into the site.

Next steps: I feel that I've figured out what works for the different programs I use on the site, and you'll probably have noticed that I have actually reduced the presence of banner ads. I plan to reduce them further. On places like Margot Finke's "Musings" columns, the ads for Amazon, Alibris, and such were just being ignored, so I've replaced them with links to other parts of the site and one prominent search box for BookCloseOuts. You'll see more of that around the site--BookCloseOuts recently made their site easier to use, and for me to link to in useful ways. So there will be more of BookCloseOuts, a company I like to shop at personally, and which nicely complements the other programs.

I may also experiment with selling ad space (nothing garish, of course) to a few appropriate companies, but haven't decided about that yet.

My goal is to keep the ad presence to a minimum while still generating income. Note that I am dropping Overstock, but will maintain minimal links to, Alibris, Amazon Canada, and BookSense where I think the presence of the link is actually a service to visitors.

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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