I had hoped to postpone this a little longer until, say, closer to the launch of Frilly Pink, but I think this needs to come out now. Ship in a Bottle, and by extension its creator, is broke. We’re not making enough money from either donations or affiliate ads and signups to keep going at the current rate. Which is a shame, because you’ve all been so supportive of our series and art team over the past 5 years. But the simple fact is, I can’t keep an artist of Prettio’s quality, (nor, by extension, such an amazing colorist as Saint-Tail) if there’s no income. Prettio is paid on a per-page basis, and since there is no income from the site, I have run out of money to pay her. My own debt is far too high to keep leveraging this site in the hopes that it return to the “Glory Days” of 2010 when we were raking in a few hundred a month is donations or say, 2011-2012 when Glance was artist and we were pulling down another $170+ in affiliate earnings. Now, I make ZERO. The $5 here and the $20 there does not cover the almost $200/month in expenses this place was costing me.
So… does this mean…? Yes, it means I’ve had to let Prettio go because there’s not a dollar in the coffers to offer her. That also means that there will be no Chapter 6 until I get my financial situation under control. Without some help, this may be years. Unless you guys are really THAT hot to see me draw it. In which case you might see 2-3 pages per YEAR at the rate I was producing. *sigh*
This is bad. It’s VERY bad, because next month I am taking a further risk and launching a new paysite featuring my art, Glance’s art, and the stylings of one Ebenezer Splooge, plus a whole host of art by people who are no strangers to this site. So I have to shut down my one successful comic on the eve of my great triumph. As it stands, Prettio has already put out her shingle to drum up business and keep herself going. And I am kinda out of script. But Chapter 6 was going to be the big one. A year long finale to this series, and a very satisfying one at that. But now, that future is hanging in the balance. I’ll post up the last page of Chapter 5 this coming Friday and the cover to Issue 6 the following week, but if donations and affiliate signups don’t take a serious upward and permanent spike, Ship in a Bottle is doomed.