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What a year it’s been!

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Keep reading for the 10 most purchased books so far in 2023!

It was exactly a year ago that TB and Miranda reached out to the design team at Waxcreative to discuss building a new website, one that would include a fully searchable database of sapphic books. Our goal was to expand the readership of lesbian, bisexual, queer, and women-loving-women fiction and give fans of the genre a tool to discover exactly the types of books they wanted to read.

It took 5 months of preparation, but on October 3 we launched the new I Heart SapphFic site with our first welcome post and 1000 books in the SapphFic BookFinder database. A few weeks ago, we completed our second quarter (that’s 6 months in non-business speak). We’d love to share with you how it’s been going!

Some Amazing Stats

  • Number of posts: 583
  • Number of books in SapphFic BookFinder Database: 3,672
  • Number of visits: 97,679
  • Number of page views: 626,833

We’ve had a 31% increase in page views from the 4th quarter of 2022 to the 1st quarter of 2023, as well as a 15% increase in visitors. On average, a visitor looks at 6 or 7 pages each time they stop by.

I Heart SapphFic is a global community. We’ve had traffic from 164 countries!

What are readers buying?

Of course, our main goal is help readers find books. We don’t sell books on our site, but we do participate in Amazon’s affiliate program. That means we receive a very small percentage each time someone uses a link on our site to purchase a book.

Curious how many we’ve sold with the new site? We sure were!

Since October, 2022, visitors to the new IHS site have purchased:

  • 442 print books
  • 440 audio books
  • 28,081 e-books
  • That’s $78,130.22 worth of reading material!

It’s not just books that help IHS earn money. Amazon gives us a small percentage of anything you purchase within a short period of time after clicking our link.

Fun Facts:

  • We earned $75.46 because three of you lovelies bought new laptops.
  • We earned $35.04 from the purchase of Survival Food Long Term Storage Gourmet Ready to Eat Canned Beef.
  • We earned 1 penny because someone bought a bag of Happy Belly sliced carrots. Great job eating healthy!

How much time does it take to run IHS?

We often hear IHS being described as an “organization.” This makes us laugh. While we like to refer to “IHS Headquarters,” in truth, the website is mostly run by two people, TB Markinson and Miranda MacLeod.

TB spends at least 40 hours a week running the site, while Miranda spends at least 20 hours. This is in addition to being full time authors who support ourselves exclusively through our writing. We also pay for administrative help, which is another 10-15 hours per week doing things like creating polls, entering books into the database, and helping to run our social media. Depending on the week, IHS takes between 80-100 hours of work to run.

We’ve also had volunteers help us enter books into the database, including Miranda’s wonderful parents.

How much money does IHS earn?

The short answer is none. Despite revenue from Amazon Associates, advertising, and donations, at this point in time, IHS costs more than it brings in. TB and Miranda do not get paid. In fact, we spend our own money to keep the site running.

Here is where our operating money came from last year:

  • 35% Advertising
  • 30% TB and Miranda’s own pockets
  • 22% Amazon Associates
  • 13% “Buy Us a Coffee” donations

People often ask why we do so many things for free, including valuable services most sites would charge for. The reasons are simple. As readers, we know the joy of finding the perfect book at just the right moment. As authors, we know the pain of being blocked from potential readers because of gatekeepers and lack of funds.

With that said, we could really use some help. We have big plans for enhancing the BookFinder, including advanced search features to make finding what you want even easier. But every addition costs money.

How can you help IHS grow?

Here are ways everyone can help out.

Most of them are free!

  • Buy your books using a link on this site. Unfortunately, if you find them here and add to your wishlist for later, we will not receive the credit (we also don’t get anything if you buy gift cards, but we do if you spend them).
  • Click on any Amazon link on this site before a big purchase. Need a laptop or some cans of beef? Heck, even a bag of carrots will count! If you click on an affiliate link from this site before your Amazon shopping spree, we will get the credit, even if you don’t buy the book you clicked on. (Please note, the “Get it Free” buttons are NOT affiliate links and do not count, so please click the Amazon logo links.)
  • Spread the word on social media! When people are looking for book recommendations or want to find more sapphic books, please send them our way!
  • Buy us a Coffee This is a clever way for you to donate money to help us keep the lights on. Even small amounts, like the cost of a cup of coffee, can add up over time.
Here is how authors and publishers can help even more:
  • Become a sponsor! Whether it’s a new release, a sale, or an older book that needs some love, advertising with us is a great way to get eyes on your books and support IHS at the same time. We even make the ad graphics for you!
  • Spread the word! Whenever you can, whether it’s in your newsletter, on social media, a podcast, or a live event like a booth at your local Pride, let other authors and readers know about IHS.

We appreciate each and every one of you who has helped to make the first six months of the new I Heart SapphFic site such an amazing success. We can hardly believe just one year ago all of this was little more than a gleam in our eyes, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for IHS and for sapphic fiction as a whole.

And finally, here are IHS’s 10 most purchased books this quarter!

Out of 2934 individual book titles (not counting free books), these are the ones that appeared most frequently on our Amazon Associates report for January-March 2023. For purposes of this list, we’ve combined e-book, audio, and print sales.

The race is on to see which books will make the Top Ten in Q2!

The next quarterly update will be coming your way in July.

Buy Us a Coffee: Our costs add up. Your Generosity can help!
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