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So, let me throw my cards on the table. The site is NOT in financial difficulty. Hell, I'm not in financial difficulty (at least not the bad kind that forces you to live off ramen and easy mac). What we have here is me basically looking through my bank account and thinking "wow... look at all this money that I'm giving Amazon Japan and BK1 every month". And it finally soaked in that I really should try to get the site to pay for that stuff. We already make about $200 in donations every year... which is more than I ever expected, considering how inconspicuous I've made our donation section and that I've never asked for money since the site came back online last October, but it doesn't begin to cover actual costs.

I make a paultry $24,000 a year working full time for a little city in Texas, live pretty well considering the small income, and spend about half of my disposable income buying monthly magazines, weekly magazines, to-scan manga, and manga that I think may be worth translating but that I can't find for download anywhere (read: Franken Fran, Doubt, Deadman Wonderland, and a whole lot of things that turned out to be good enough to go into the private to-translate list or that sucked and were a waste of money).

For those of you interested in a cost breakdown, read the below paragraph, otherwise just ignore it.

The magazines cost $15 each (including shipping, which is ridiculous), that's $45 a month for the monthly chapters (DMWL, Fran, Doubt) and $80 for the weekly magazines (Shounen Sunday for Mixim... which I actually don't scan, but still purchase, and Big Comics Spirits for Undead)... those are a little cheaper in the shipping cost, so only $10 each. So for magazines alone, we're talking $125 a month in required costs (unless the leechers would prefer that we not release these chapters until they're compiled every five months). For the non-magazines, the costs vary pretty wildly depending on my funds for that particular month (I try to keep shipments down to once a month where possible to lessen shipping costs). Some months I literally only buy the magazines. Other months I'll buy 10 volumes of manga that look good. Mostly I'll end up getting a box with 4 or 5 volumes of manga that includes 1 or 2 that we already do or are planning on doing. each volume costs about $10 including shipping, so in a month where we buy all the magazines and 4 volumes of manga, the total cost hovers around $160. That can be lowered by purchasing from sites other than Amazon Japan (which has a terrible international shipping policy for small orders), but the magazines are always going to cost that much.

It's a daunting number... and if you saw my bank statement, you'd know that $160 is a pretty low amount when compared it to most of the transactions posted to the Japanese book stores. When we need something old or out of print, it comes from Yahoo Auctions and a middle man service that ends up making a magazine cost far more than Amazon's ridiculous shipping fees. My girlfriend tells me to help recoup losses by selling all of the free stuff that comes with the magazines that I get every month (figurines, mouse pads, plastic folders, cell phone straps, pen cases... you name it, I've got it), but it seems like a lot of hassle to put up all these little nicknacks on ebay just to get 5 bucks here or there, ya know?

All of this brings me to what I believe to be an inevitable conclusion. Either I need to stop buying all of this and simply discontinue monthly and weekly chapter releases in favor of volume scans, or we need a way for the site to pay for it. I've tossed around the idea of asking for people to donate books and putting a little 'scans donated by Smithy' (or whoever) thing in the releases. I considered selling off my nicknacks and the manga that the site won't be doing, but when you get down to it, if someone who loves manga as much as I do doesn't like it, then it's crap that no one will like. There's always a donation drive... I did two of those before the site went down in 2006 and they were both very helpful... but I hate asking for money directly, so that's out. And finally, I considered an all-around fundraisor that doesn't actually require a "donation".

I'm also offering up some nicknacks to people who'd like them. I'll go over the system on page two.

 

 

 

 

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