Hello, readers! I don’t often make posts where I pull back the curtain a little bit, but I’d like to keep y’all updated on what’s going on behind the scenes! The past six months have been ridiculously amazing for me! I went on a huge tour of the eastern half of North America, attended a ton of cons, introduced Double Features here on Mark Watches, re-designed my online store, was nominated for a Hugo Award, and basically EVERYTHING FOREVER IS SURREAL.
There are a lot more of you these days, too. A whole lot more of you. I had a bunch of ~drama~ in the past year involving video commission hosting, but choosing Rackspace has helped take stress out of my life considerably! If you’re not familiar with policy about video commissions, they are archived them on MarkDoesStuff.com for $0.99 an episode!
I’ve gotten a few questions on Tumblr/Twitter over the past few months about why I’ve moved toward this model, and I’d like to explain that with this post, which will also help explain why I’m asking folks to contribute only if they can. There are a lot of you. There are so many of you that the cost of hosting Mark Watches videos now exceeds the cost of my rent. Which is fine, because I don’t have to worry about bandwidth, everyone gets the videos for free, and everyone wins. But it’s costing upwards of $800 – $900 a month just to keep Mark Reads and Mark Watches going. (I wrote this in September; as of January, this has already doubled. WHOOPS.)
To do the math even further, that means that to just pay for my sites to exist, I have to do 32 commissions. 32. That doesn’t include my own personal rent, phone bill, Internet bill, and eating, not to mention all the traveling I have to do in order to promote myself and keep this Internet experiment afloat. (I think you can now see why I’ve rearranged my schedule to do Double Features.)
So! This post isn’t announcing any changes. We’re just going to continue on the same way as always, but I wanted to just let folks know how I’m making this all work. That’s partially to explain to the people who are angry or frustrated by having to pay for older commissions. The logic for that is that I simply cannot afford to host a perpetually live and free archive of videos that eat up bandwidth. (Y’all download terabytes worth of videos per month.) It is also to dispel this weird rumor that I am getting rich off of this. I am not comfortable sharing how much I generally make, but let me put it this way: I am in debt thousands of dollars to my boyfriend, and I don’t even make a third of the cost of living for San Francisco in 2013. I am not rich at all, and I am not even close to being well-off or comfortable. I can certainly make this all run every month, though!
Basically, if you can help, I thought I’d put up a post with various methods of assistance that you could provide for me, but also to say that if you can’t, that is perfectly fine, too. Mark Reads and Mark Watches are not contingent on your ability to pay anything. Ever. I love doing this!
So, how can you help?
1) Purchase a video commission! They are $20 per episode, per chapter, or for 30-35 minutes for a Mark Reads video.
2) Buy a book! I have plenty of them in my webstore, including the complete Mark Reads Harry Potter series for $24.99. You can also by physical versions of many of my books on Lulu.
3) Donate to me through Paypal! The minimum amount is $5.
4) Purchase anything on Amazon.com through this link. I get a small percentage of anything you buy on Amazon.com after you click that link. It’s anonymous, and the more folks buy during a month, the higher percentage I get.
5) Purchase something off of my Amazon Wish List for me. There are other costs of doing this, namely buying books are supplies. I’ve put the remainder of the upcoming books for Mark Reads that I do not own, as well as season 1 of Supernatural on DVD (since this has the original music and Netflix does not). There are some other items I’ll randomly stick on there as well if you’d like to help out!
I will probably periodically remind y’all about this post in case the cost gets too prohibitive in the future. For now, though, thank the many people in this community for like… well, even having to worry about this is kind of awesome. I never expected this site or Mark Reads to become so popular, so I don’t want that to escape me. Thank you so much!
Mark (Who Does Stuff)