Where does the $ go?
Tomorrow is a magazine about figuring out what’s next. After seven writers and designers were laid off simultaneously, the crew banded together to create a one-off publication with their new-found free time.
After running a successful Kickstarter project and producing the magazine, the team just posted an update on Tumblr that breaks down some of the costs. All told, it’s a daunting figure — but one that nevertheless allowed for each contributor to receive some pay for their hard work.
Well, now that (most of) the dust has settled and we’ve made a magazine, we want to show you all how we did it. Er, at least how we figured out the finances. See the full breakdown here.
Major takeaway? We set our Kickstarter ask way too low. If we had merely hit our goal ($15,000) and stopped there, we’d have lost money on this endeavor. A lot of money. As it turned out, though, with our awesome backers funding us at three times our goal, some generous sponsorship from folks like MailChimp and Flipboard, and additional online sales, we’ve been able to pay ourselves and our collaborators a little something.
After we paid our startup costs and printing and shipping fees, how’d we allocate the profits? We divided them equally among three tiers: Founder tier (for those of us who have been putting in hours and hours since June and worked ‘round the clock during the magazine production period), feature tier (for contributors who pitched in on major aspects of the design, those who reported feature-length articles, and those who did a lot of fact-checking or copy-editing), and contributor tier (for illustrators and writers of shorter articles). Then we divided the money equally among everyone in that tier and rounded down, as we’ve still got a few lingering bills to pay and want to keep a small cushion in the bank account.
It shook out to about $1,000 for each of the founders, $500 for feature contributors, and $200 for other contributors. These figures are low. We openly acknowledge that they do not reflect the amount of labor that went into making the magazine. But this was a passion project for everyone involved, and we think that shows in the final product.
We were going to do a side-by-side comparison with what the magazine would have cost had we paid fair market rates, but once we started tallying it up, we realized it was just too depressing. Also, we’re still busy mailing out Kickstarter incentives like stickers and totes. Being your own shipping and fulfillment house is no picnic, people. Many thanks for your patience! And thanks again to everyone who supported us financially. We hope you think of it as money well spent.