Business Plan

Summary

Plunge is an electronic literary journal devoted to the promotion of queer women within genre literature. Each issue focuses on a different theme and will contain stories, poems, and articles related to that queer women or issues of interest to queer women within that theme.

This journal was conceived on January 3, 2012 on the founder's Dreamwidth journal. After interest was shown, the founder continued developing the idea, finally deciding on January 8, 2012 to create the journal.

The founder is Ailelie (ailelie.dreamwidth.org).  She uses the pseudonym Aileen Nichols.

This business plan will lay out the current five year plan envisioned for the journal, including the first year budget. In brief, the journal will publish twice in its first year, then quarterly afterward for a total of 18 issues in five year. The journal will also publish at least one compilation of work from the journal in book form.

 

Market

Plunge is targeted toward queer women and allies who enjoy queer and genre literature and related nonfiction.

Currently, the bulk of genre short stories for queer women are primarily found in short anthologies. Some magazines may publish one or two per issue, but they are not the focus. For poetry, there is the Lavender Review, but I've not yet found another. Nonfiction is more easily found, but articles may not touch on the same themes as Plunge will. As a serial with clear queer and genre foci, Plunge will fill this gap in the market.

Plunge will be available freely online. Newsletter subscribers will have access to exclusive interviews with the creators, previews of upcoming issues, and other TBD extras.

The eventual Plunge print compilation volume will be priced at the time of its creation. Subscribers will likely receive a discount.

 

Organization and Management

Plunge is founded and managed by Aileen Nichols. Nichols is an education researcher in her late 20s currently living in Chicago. She is in charge of everything related to the journal currently. Her undergraduate degrees were in comparative literature, history, and Japanese. Her graduate degree was in education policy. While Nichols is not queer herself, she greatly enjoys reading femslash fanfiction and queer books such as the Kate Martinelli series by Laurie R. King, the Lindsay Gordan series by Val McDermid, the Lyremouth Chronicles by Jane Fletcher, Jane Lawless mysteries by Ellen Hart, and others.

Nichols decided to start Plunge because these are the stories she wants to read.

 

Marketing

Plunge will be marketed through word-of-mouth, ads in QUILTBAG periodicals, listings in market journals (e.g., Dustbooks and Writer's Market), and advertising materials sent out to leading LGBT bookstores around the United States.

Plunge will also apply for all prizes and awards for which it is eligible.

Nichols will also attend relevant events around Chicago and spread information that way.

 

Product Line

  • An electronic literary journal available for free
  • Archives available for free for members of the website
  • Issues for sale in eBook formats (i.e., ePub, mobi, and pdf)
  • Promotional bookmarks
  • Subscriber benefits (interviews, audio files, previews, etc) (Initially free, but may change to a paid model)
  • Printed compilation volume available at a competitive price

 

Funding and Budget

On March 6th, 2012, Nichols finished raising $2102 through Kickstarter. This money will fund the first two issues of Plunge, as well as other start-up costs. The budget is below.

PurposeExpenseProjected CostActual Cost
Website Domain $10 $10.87
Hosting $200 $180
Design $500 $0
Banking Low Account Fees $170 -?-
Marketing Mailables $175 -?-
Online Ads $85 -?-
Issue One Fiction $60 -?-
Poetry $40 -?-
NonFiction $30 -?-
Editing $250 -?-
Issue Two Fiction $60 -?-
Poetry $40 -?-
NonFiction $30 -?-
Editing $250 -?-
Total $1900 -?-

 

Payments

Plunge will initially offer a flat payment for contributions. As funding increases, payments will also increase.

Editors, designers, and others who help Plunge operate will be negotiated with on an individual basis

 

Five Year Plan

Year Zero (2012): Raise funds, create essential documents, set up website, select theme, open for submissions, select contributions for first issue


Year One (2013): Publish in February. Open submissions for August. Publish in August. Troubleshoot. Sell at least 10 copies of each ebook issue. Increase newsletter subscribers to 100 people. Raise $850-$1700 (if the former, we would need to raise an additional $850 in the first half of year two) for Year Two. This money will cover hosting and contributers. A single issue (contributors, editor, hosting) costs just under $400.


Year Two (2014): Move to quarterly schedule (F/M/A/N). Raise at least $400 per quarter. Sell at least 15 copies of each ebook issue. Increase newsletter subcribers to 150 people.


Year Three (2015): Increase quarterly fundraising to $600. Increase sales and subscribers by 20%. Execute ebook compilation volume, or possible other ebook project.


Year Four (2016): Organize live readings events. Increase payments to .01/word or more (will depend on how much money is raised per quarter in year three, as well as any potential grants/sponsors/etc). Increase quarterly fundraising to $700.

 

Year Five (2017): Publish a 'Best Of' volume in either Dec 2017 or Feb 2018 in both ebook and print formats. Organize more live readings events. Possibly increase payments to $.015/word. Increase quarterly fundraising to $850. Increase sales and subscribers by 20%. Determine whether or not to continue creating Plunge. Draft a new five year plan.