Any advice on running my own newspaper?

Humousboy962Humousboy962 Registered User regular
edited October 2018 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright, In order to explain I'm going to use KD (Kuwaiti Dinar) but I'll translate the money in USD for you guys.

So I am running a Newspaper, The Weirdo and it's fairly popular with my schoolmates and family. Right now I expect to be selling 55 copies for each issue.

If I sell all of the copies (and I add the money my mom gives me for a big ad at the front) it's 7.5 KD/24.69 USD, but If I take away printing and salaries I have 3.95 KD/13.01 USD left, and since I have to pay of some debt from loans I've taken to pay, I have 1.95 KD/6.42 USD.

Seems simple, right?

The thing is though, I am very terrible at selling to my schoolmates, so I often have 3-5 unsold copies, which is only 300-500 fils, but I'm only making 1.95KD at best, so this is still a large amount.

As well as this, I want to hire 2 more people, One to write a critic piece, and one to help with the articles, at 1/4 KD a week, but I don't know where to start.

Any advice on how to improve my sales skills, and convince a couple of people to help me, since we're at a VERY expensive school (tuition is at 3,500 KD/11,519.73 USD) which is likely to make a 250 fils seem very 'small'

Edit: This is probably going to be the last year of The Weirdo, or I might keep it on till Year 11 (I'm in Year 8, just celebrated my 13th birthday a couple of weeks ago)

Humousboy962 on

Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    First up, selling 55 copies is not enough to justify additional hires. I don't know if your country has licensing/labor laws but those can also be a huge concern with hiring people, even unofficially. Doubly so as a minor and hiring minors.

    This is a student paper, and a hobby thing. Just be happy someone is buying and make what you can out of it.

    Re:sales. Newspapers are a dying thing with the internet. Why not just run a website (less overhead and printing costs, and you can make passive funding from advertisements and keep a backlog of your articles)?

    Baron Dirigible
  • Humousboy962Humousboy962 Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    hmm?

    Humousboy962 on
  • Humousboy962Humousboy962 Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    First up, selling 55 copies is not enough to justify additional hires. I don't know if your country has licensing/labor laws but those can also be a huge concern with hiring people, even unofficially. Doubly so as a minor and hiring minors.

    This is a student paper, and a hobby thing. Just be happy someone is buying and make what you can out of it.

    Re:sales. Newspapers are a dying thing with the internet. Why not just run a website (less overhead and printing costs, and you can make passive funding from advertisements and keep a backlog of your articles)?

    Like I said, I'm making 1.95 KD(6.41 USD) an issue, and hiring two people a week would cost me 1/4 each, so I'd be making 1.45 KD(4.77 USD) an Issue. A considerable decrease, but this would make it 100% possible to do it weekly, instead of Typically Bi Monthly, Making 5.8 KD(19.08 USD) instead of 3.9 KD(12.83 USD )

  • Humousboy962Humousboy962 Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    hi

    Humousboy962 on
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    (In case anyone else has to Google it: 1 KD == 1000 fils)
    Enc wrote: »
    First up, selling 55 copies is not enough to justify additional hires. I don't know if your country has licensing/labor laws but those can also be a huge concern with hiring people, even unofficially. Doubly so as a minor and hiring minors.

    This is a student paper, and a hobby thing. Just be happy someone is buying and make what you can out of it.

    Re:sales. Newspapers are a dying thing with the internet. Why not just run a website (less overhead and printing costs, and you can make passive funding from advertisements and keep a backlog of your articles)?

    Like I said, I'm making 1.95 KD(6.41 USD) an issue, and hiring two people a week would cost me 1/4 each, so I'd be making 1.45 KD(4.77 USD) an Issue. A considerable decrease, but this would make it 100% possible to do it weekly, instead of Typically Bi Monthly, Making 5.8 KD(19.08 USD) instead of 3.9 KD(12.83 USD )
    Things you don't know:
    -Will they actually write articles that add value?
    -Will you actually sell as many copies per issue if you increase frequency?

    You don't yet know if that weekly salary will translate to increased profits. I would start by paying them per article, rather than hiring them on as staff. Then could just buy the articles at the rate you need them, and contract more talent for the same money. It also incentivises them to find time to write more articles, if they have the time.

    Alternatively: Let's say someone's a really good writer, but, with their school work, only has time to get you one article a month or one ever. You wouldn't want to pay them by the week, but you might want their take on something. Structuring the payment on a per article basis will mean you can buy their article on the same terms as regulars; thereby not giving either cause to feel they are being compensated unfairly.

    SmrtnikMcFodderBaron Dirigible
  • Humousboy962Humousboy962 Registered User regular
    (In case anyone else has to Google it: 1 KD == 1000 fils)
    Enc wrote: »
    First up, selling 55 copies is not enough to justify additional hires. I don't know if your country has licensing/labor laws but those can also be a huge concern with hiring people, even unofficially. Doubly so as a minor and hiring minors.

    This is a student paper, and a hobby thing. Just be happy someone is buying and make what you can out of it.

    Re:sales. Newspapers are a dying thing with the internet. Why not just run a website (less overhead and printing costs, and you can make passive funding from advertisements and keep a backlog of your articles)?

    Like I said, I'm making 1.95 KD(6.41 USD) an issue, and hiring two people a week would cost me 1/4 each, so I'd be making 1.45 KD(4.77 USD) an Issue. A considerable decrease, but this would make it 100% possible to do it weekly, instead of Typically Bi Monthly, Making 5.8 KD(19.08 USD) instead of 3.9 KD(12.83 USD )
    Things you don't know:
    -Will they actually write articles that add value?
    -Will you actually sell as many copies per issue if you increase frequency?

    You don't yet know if that weekly salary will translate to increased profits. I would start by paying them per article, rather than hiring them on as staff. Then could just buy the articles at the rate you need them, and contract more talent for the same money. It also incentivises them to find time to write more articles, if they have the time.

    Alternatively: Let's say someone's a really good writer, but, with their school work, only has time to get you one article a month or one ever. You wouldn't want to pay them by the week, but you might want their take on something. Structuring the payment on a per article basis will mean you can buy their article on the same terms as regulars; thereby not giving either cause to feel they are being compensated unfairly.

    Thanks for this. I feel like keeping this principle at heart will really help with keeping this going

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    If you are going to edit your posts to single words and then basically re-write them, you may as well make the edit the rewrite. Otherwise all you're doing is padding your post count and annoying me.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    EnczepherinSweeney TomShadowfire
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    When you say ~$6 an issue profit, you mean for the entire run? Like you are doing all this work and right now walk away at the end of it with six bucks.

    What can you buy with that locally? These numbers are sort of meaningless without knowing how far $6 goes in your country. Here that's not enough to get a fast-food meal.

    Enc on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Enc wrote: »
    When you say ~$6 an issue profit, you mean for the entire run? Like you are doing all this work and right now walk away at the end of it with six bucks.

    What can you buy with that locally? These numbers are sort of meaningless without knowing how far $6 goes in your country. Here that's not enough to get a fast-food meal.

    If I'm reading it right, a site from 2016 says a McDonald's meal was about 2KWD in Kuwait.

    PS4 Spiderman is about 20KWD.

    MichaelLC on
    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    That's not a lot of profit for the amount of work being done. I'm not sure how many people would accept the equivalent of half a McDonald's meal for writing articles/columns for a paper. It sounds like you are all teenagers in a pre-work situation at a school, which probably means this is all hobby stuff anyway so someone might want to do that a couple of times... maybe.

    If its a labor of love more than one of money, I would again suggest switching to a web publication. Especially if your customers are mostly friends and family, which is what it sounds like. Eventually your friends and family will get sick of paying to support your hobby, and having a cheaper presence will ensure not only that you can retain their readership without resentment, but also that you can eventually solicit a wider audience (since people not directly in contact with you will be unable to buy the physical paper).

    Consider something like Patreon to earn a per-issue fee for those willing to pay for it, maybe with exclusive articles or content.

    ArbitraryDescriptor
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Enc wrote: »
    When you say ~$6 an issue profit, you mean for the entire run? Like you are doing all this work and right now walk away at the end of it with six bucks.

    What can you buy with that locally? These numbers are sort of meaningless without knowing how far $6 goes in your country. Here that's not enough to get a fast-food meal.

    $6 net after $6 in bi-monthly(?) loan payments. So being able to double his issues would triple his net, in theory; now you're talking Netflix and a cheap Steam game a month (~$36).

    If he enjoys, why not. My hobby (the latter) just takes my money.

    Edit: Re: Patreon / web publishing
    Wouldn't be a bad way to transition from his last year at school to the future.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
    EncHumousboy962
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    All of this assumes your reader base is willing to continue to purchase content at a more rapid pace, which isn't always the case as well. There is a fine balance between rapid content and rapid consumption. For expenditures, many people might be comfortable at one issue a month, but not at one issue a week, etc. What that number is for the best ratio of income is something you'll want to track on trail and error over time.

    ArbitraryDescriptor
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