There is no sugar-coating it: sales of Geek Force Five: Volume One have been disappointing.
To date, 20 copies of the issue have been sold through Apple’s iBooks Store and 2 PDF copies have been sold through Lulu.com. Add this to the copies distributed to contributors, Kickstarter backers, reviewers, and quick-on-the-draw friends on Facebook and Twitter, and we’re up to 54 copies in circulation.
I hesitate to use the word abysmal, but it seems appropriate.
To say that I, as publisher, have failed my writers would be an understatement. 54 copies is nothing to sneeze at when you’re starting out, but I think we all expected to do better.
You’ll consider all manner of crazy ideas when things look this bad. I put out a PDF edition, for Christ’s sake. A PDF edition of my multimedia magazine. It was a cheat, and it wasn’t the full experience, but I wanted to “reach more readers,” so I did it. I even had “Create a Kindle edition” on my to-do list this week. A Kindle edition! Have you seen how shitty and uninspiring eBooks look on a Kindle? If we want to make a case to our hard copy-loving friends about why eBooks should be taken seriously, we need to do better.
Yes, I need to reach more readers for the sake of my writers, but I can’t do so at the expense of the magazine’s mission statement. I set out to create a high quality, great-looking multimedia publication. And that’s what I'm going to do.
So, there will be no Kindle edition. There will be no PDF edition going forward. This was a publication conceived to take advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the iPad and the tremendous control over look and feel that iBooks Author gives to publishers. Yes, that will limit our audience at first, but with all the iPads out there in the universe, and with Macs running OS X Mavericks now able to run iBooks as well, there’s a whole lot of potential readers.
Now I just have to reach them.