What is this site?
In December 2017, Patreon, one of our major sources of income, had a momentary lapse of reason (about fees) that ended driving out a bunch of supporters. That situation encouraged us to seek out alternative methods for people to subscribe or support our work at Clarkesworld Magazine. This website is a side effect of that. It’s a place where people can support us directly without having to go through any third parties that they may object to.
What is a Citizen of Clarkesworld?
Some people want to support us financially, but don’t want an ebook or print subscription. As a thank you for that support, they are given the honorary title of Citizen and included in the Census appendix of our annual (print and digital) anthology. That’s right, your name can be in a book. Honorary titles are granted at higher levels of support: Citizen -> Burgermeister -> Royalty -> Overlord -> Deity.
What formats do digital subscriptions come in? When do I get them?
EPUB, MOBI/Kindle, and PDF. As a direct subscriber, you get all three. New issues are made available for download on the 1st of each month. New subscriptions start with the next issue. You will be notified by email when a new issue is available. At this time, the download system requires a separate username and password from the one you use to purchase your subscription. We apologize for the inconvenience, but are working on linking the two systems. It will take some time to code and test, so we appreciate your patience.
Why is the print subscription so expensive?
A traditional magazine prints tens or hundreds of thousands of copies and can qualify for bulk mailing and printing discounts. That keeps their per-unit cost far lower than ours. Clarkesworld is primarily a digital magazine and has a print run below three hundred. This means that both our printing and mailing expenses are considerably higher. Despite the price, we make very little from selling these.
Where is my print subscription?
Your subscription starts with the next issue. December pays for January, January pays for February, etc.
On average, our printer is delivering that month’s issue to us on the 20th of the month. It takes 1-2 days to pack and ship orders, so they tend to be in the mail to you somewhere around the 22nd. US subscribers should normally receive their copies 3-4 days later, typically by the end of the month. That’s slower than we like and we are actively looking for ways to improve this process.
International subscriptions are shipped every two months (to reduce shipping costs) and can take an extra week or two depending on your local postal service.
If more time than that has passed, please email Neil. If a shipment is lost, we will replace it.
HoW Do I Manage My Subscriptions or Pledges?
If you want to check, edit, or cancel your pledges or subscriptions, log in (in the right hand column of this page) and click on account. You’ll have two tabs–profile and subscriptions–that will allow you to make any changes you like.
How much are you being charged in Fees to do this?
We pay a fairly standard credit card processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per charge. For example, we receive $0.67 from a $1 charge, $2.61 from a $3 charge, $4.55 from a $5 charge, etc. We also pay a flat monthly charge for the cart tool we use. In comparison, we only receive 70% of the cover price from subscriptions we sell through Amazon. Prior to their fee changes, Patreon took about 10% from each transaction to cover fees and overhead. Kickstarter’s Drip platform appears to be aiming to do something similar. There are advantages to us using a third party in some cases: they handle the customer service issues (time consuming) and sometimes provide services we can’t. Amazon, for example, can deliver an issue directly to your Kindle. We advise you to use the subscription/citizenship option that works best for you.
Direct Options — Third Party Options
Who/what are you working with to do this?
We’re using Memberful to handle the order processing and a Stripe account for credit card processing. We are using the Memberful WordPress plugin to connect membership features to this website. Digital subscriptions are handled through a self-hosted system. At this time, it is not integrated with Memberful–sorry, you’ll have separate accounts–but we’re working on linking the two together or finding something else that does.
I’m having a problem. Who do I contact?
Email Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org