Pay What You Think It’s Worth Offer – Sales Report

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Image by Alan Weedon

Two weeks ago, we gave you great power: the power to choose how much to pay for a copy of TLB32: The Capital Issue. And, as you know, with great power comes great responsibility. For the first time you were able to pay what you believed an issue of The Lifted Brow was worth. Therefore, you could theoretically have paid $0 for the issue itself, and $0 shipping too, and received a copy of the Capital Issue at no financial cost to you. Because transparency is hugely important to us, we have collated the results of our ‘Pay What You Want’ offer (as well as some lovely messages we received from readers).


Total sold: 165

Australia: 140

International: 25


Total amount paid: $1,441

Average amount paid per copy (including postage): $8.73

Average amount per Australian (including postage): $8.77

Average amount per International (including postage): $8.52

Total amount of people who paid $0: 31 (24 Aus., 7 Intl.)

Total amount of sales $20 or more: 18

Highest amount paid: $40

Total amount we paid in postage: $1,368.30


Breakdown of international sales:

Country Copies Ave $ per copy
USA 7 $5
Great Britain 4 $9.75
Germany 3 $13.66
Canada 2 $9
Czech Republic 2 $5.50
France 1 $0
Indonesia 1 $2
Saudi Arabia 1 $5
Lithuania 1 $15
New Zealand 1 $15
Israel 1 $17
Netherlands 1 $15


Breakdown of Australian sales state by state:

State Copies Ave $ per copy
VIC 63 $8.52
NSW 33 $8.75
QLD 18 $8.83
SA 14 $10.93
WA 7 $5.71
ACT 2 $15
TAS 2 $7.50
NT 1 $10


After postage, we made the grand total of $72.70 – or 44¢ per copy sold. As TLB32’s ledger shows, each copy of TLB32 cost us $5.13 to produce – which means that we lost $773.85 in total, or $4.69 per issue sold under the Pay What You Think It’s Worth scheme. This is, by the way, totally okay as far as we’re concerned! We didn’t run the scheme in order to make money, but to further TLB32: The Capital Issue’s debate about the financial value of art and writing.

One of the side-effects of running this promotion was that people who normally could not afford to buy a copy of The Lifted Brow could get their hands on a copy. Some of those people sent us some lovely messages, such as the following:

Thanks TLB, you’re worth so much – even to us poor ppl who can’t often show our love financially. Love from a starving creative writing student. Xx

We’ll pay $20 because we know what it’s like to run a literary publication.

I’m so sorry – I have absolutely nothing to give you right now. But, when times change, I will pay you back, or pay it forward – hopefully, both! Thank you so much for allowing me to do this. It means much more than you know.

Thank you TLB for offering a Pay What You Want deal on The Capital Issue – I’ve just dropped my job to move to Melbourne and further my education in the hopes that one day I can contribute to great publications like this one not just monetarily but via talent, although on the subject of money if I were truly paying what I think I think your magazine is worth it would be a far, far greater denomination.

I would love to pay more but times are a little tight right now – I promise promise promise to pay it back when money is a little better. promise

Thanks for offering this issue on a pay-what-you-want basis. I don’t exactly have much of an income right now, so I can’t subscribe to any magazines. But I wanted to pay something, and being able to choose my own price made me really think about how I value literature. Two dollars is usually the highest I’m willing to go for a second-hand book with an intriguing cover and a compelling blurb, so I figure a magazine I know is going to be good is worth twice that, at the very least.


Our ‘Pay What You Want’ offer has now ended but you can order a copy of TLB32: The Capital Issue right here, or you can find it in stores all around Australia and the world in any one of our hundreds of stockists.

Of course, you can always subscribe, which saves you 35%, and have four issues of the Brow a year delivered right to you.

As always, thanks for reading our magazine!