Back in late July, we launched our second Kickstarter to fund another year of Apex Magazine. Fortunately, the project was successful and we are set through 2022.

Running a major Kickstarter is difficult, and I’m impressed with the other publications who do them annually. They have my respect. Once the latest Apex Kickstarter was finished, I promised myself that it would be the last one we run for funding the zine. Starting next year, the zine will have to operate purely on a subscription model.

Prior to our hiatus due to personal health problems (see titanium jaw), we operated in the black using a subscription model. Is it possible to reach that goal once again? We will see!

As far as zine accounting goes, it’s not that complex. Throwing together a quick profit/loss statement tells you the obvious things. Paying authors, by far, is the biggest expense. Money earned via subscriptions is, by far, the biggest source of income.

Other expenses includes artists, editors, podcast production and narration, web hosting, and software subscriptions.

Other income includes single copy sales, advertising, and a few dollars in merchandising.

After some heavy spreadsheet usage and running numbers through a calculator, we determined that Apex Magazine needed a net gain of 500 paying subscribers over the course of the next 12 months.

Thus the Apex 500!

This is what a happy and full alien head looks like.

We’re going to use our alien head as a measure of how we’re doing toward our goal. When the alien meter is completely black with red eyes, we have hit our goal.

Subscriptions aren’t the only things that fill the meter. If someone makes an ad buy for $250, that’s approximately 24 subscriptions, so the meter will go up accordingly. If someone purchases five issues at $4.99 each (for $24.95), that will count as a subscription. And so on.

Want to help fill the meter? Here are some ways to feed the alien head.

We’ll update the alien-o-meter each week to let you know how the Apex 500 is coming along!