Our Fans Rule!
As you know, Fantasy-Faction is a not for profit website. For the past year we have been releasing articles, reviews and interviews each and every day. In total we now have over 50 members of staff, nearly 400 articles, reviews, interviews with superstars of the genre that I still can’t believe we secured.
Of course, with content like this it meant we grew… we got big… massive in-fact!!! I am proud to say, that as of 2012, we are one of the largest genre-fiction websites on the Internet. So, because of this high quality of content we have been able to attract between 1200 and 1700 unique visitors per day, without fail.
However, with the amount of images, the size of the forums (now over 2000 members and 30,000 posts) and the bandwidth that gets used as a result of that – we had to upgrade our servers numerous times as we grew from a small blog site to a thriving community during 2011. Well, in December, when we were hit with the server costs, Fantasy-Faction made the difficult decision to ask for donations from our readers.
Personally, I hated doing this. What I love about the Internet is that information is free and easily available. However, I knew that I wouldn’t personally be able to afford these costs and therefore we had good reason to ask for help. Response was amazing. In a little over four months, we have raised the £500 / $783 that I set as a target to raise in twelve months (which to be honest I never expected we would make).
I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated. Initially, I put your names down here – but I decided perhaps putting the names of people who have donated to our site was a bad idea for possibilities of you getting spammed and such. However, you know who you are. There were also four authors, who I am not so hesitant to thank on an open blog; Anne Lyle, Sam Sykes, Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan – all of whom donated generously to Fantasy-Faction and have our most sincere thanks for their donations and also everything they’ve done for fantasy-faction from forum participation, to submitting articles for our anthology, to agreeing to interviews.
Actually, I sent an e-mail to one of those authors today and I think perhaps copying and pasting that will give you an insight to my emotions at the time I heard the target had been met;
“When we started Fantasy-Faction I never imagined that we’d be able to raise £500.00 ($783) in donations, when you stop and think about it, it really is incredible. I mean, people giving money and getting nothing in return just doesn’t happen very often and it humbles me to think that people are willing to do that in order to keep Fantasy-Faction alive. So thank you so much for adding to that feeling. I promise in return I’ll keep getting high quality content up and pushing authors I think should be read ”
So, the donation target has been met! What next? Well, you will be pleased to hear that we can now remove the donations banner from the website and stop tweeting for donations! As I’ve said before – I HATE ASKING FOR MONEY. Therefore, we will NEVER ask for donations again. Instead, we have been pro-active, we have come up with a way to cover our server costs, give back to the community and hopefully launch the career of new Writers.
The Fantasy-Faction Anthology is a unique concept. Some of the biggest names in Fantasy Literature will submit short stories and articles into the anthology thus guaranteeing a high level of content and a wealthy readership. Names announced so far include; Anne Lyle, Mark Lawrence, Douglas Hulick, Michael J. Sullivan, Jon Sprunk, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Myke Cole. And we’ve still got more to name too! But then, this is where it gets exciting; there is a writing contest, currently under-way, that looks to find short stories from six talented, previously unpublished, authors. The six authors chosen will then feature alongside these well known authors.
For some entrants this will be about getting noticed, for others it will be about featuring alongside their literary heroes. For readers though, the anthology promises to be an exciting mixture of previously unpublished work from their favourite authors with completely fresh work from authors they have not come across before.
Once again, thank you all for your kind donations. Each and everyday I wake up, log into Fantasy-Faction and see the amount of hits we get I am reminded of the responsibility that I and our staff have to have to keep bringing you the latest and greatest content revolving around Fantasy Literature. More importantly though, the staff and I do it because we love this community and revel in the passion for Fantasy Literature that we all share.