You may have noticed that we added a store to the Malleus Maleficarum Online web site. This was done only after long deliberation. We’ve never wanted to be seen as capitalizing on our work here (although quite a few others have had no qualms about selling our work for themselves). The unpleasant reality, however, is that it costs money to maintain the server that the Malleus Maleficarum Online project lives upon. Our annually paid server fees will be due again on October 1st, and the money just isn’t there. After over a decade in existence, we are finally going to be forced to ask for the help of the community that uses this web site. It would seem that a web site which receives 35,000 to 40,000 visits per month should be able to find a way to survive.
We will not be placing random items in the store. You’ll find no plasma televisions or sports memorabilia. What you will find are products which our users have shown an interest in while using our old Amazon.com links (yes, Amazon.com has told us quite a bit about you scallywags). These may be in the form of books, DVDs and even relevant clothing (college kids need swag, too), but they will always stay close to the theme and subject of this web site and related subjects such as Demonology, modern witchcraft and WIcca, as well as some relevant Christian writing on these subjects. Our aim will be to provide access to the many different viewpoints surround the Malleus Maleficarum and its related subject matter. As ever, we leave you to make up your own mind and simply hope to make the information available.
It has been asked if our Amazon.com affiliate links were insufficient to support the web site, and if we will continue to provide those links. Our income from the Amazon.com links has always been negligible, at best. Consider that according to Amazon.com’s own reports we have generated around $4,000 in sales for Amazon.com thus far in 2010. Our commissions from those sales total around $90. That is nowhere near enough to cover our yearly server costs. So we have entered into an agreement with another party that will allow us to sell the same products ourselves. We do not receive the full amount of each sale, but receive a portion of it the same as we did with Amazon.com. The primary difference is that now our portion will be more significant. It’s a war of averages, really. If this web site is to survive, we must receive a larger slice of the pie.
As for the Amazon.com links that exist, we will consider those on a case-by-case basis. There are some products that are available on Amazon.com that are unavailable for us to place in the store. We will continue to provide links to those products if it makes sense to do so. But wherever possible, we will be changing those external Amazon.com links to internal links that will take users instead to that product in our store.
We have partnered with PayPal to make our online transactions as secure as possible. You can purchase items from us without having a PayPal account, using any credit card or debit card, secure in the knowledge that no one involved in the Malleus Maleficarum Online project will ever see your credit card number. This is a layer of protection for our customers that I insisted upon from the very beginning when we first began discussing the possibility of an online store at MalleusMaleficarum.org.
Rest assured that no one at Malleus Maleficarum Online will be getting rich from this endeavor. All we’re trying to do is cover our expense after operating at a loss for over a decade. Like millions of other Americans, our fortunes suffered greatly during the recent economic downturn. Quite frankly, if this web site cannot find a way to support its own weight, it may not survive. There’s nothing left in our collective pockets these days but lint.
I am very proud of the work we’ve done over the past decade or so. Our intent from the beginning was to make sure that the Malleus Maleficarum did not fade from general consciousness. We believe strongly that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Or, as we used to say on the web site, “Some things should not be forgotten”. We here at the Malleus Maleficarum Online project have helped raise awareness of the Malleus Maleficarum and its dark role in World history. It’s not time to decide where we will go from here.
There will, no doubt, be those who will cry foul that we have placed a store on the web site, confusing our efforts to provide our users with the means to help support this effort with rampant capitalism. These same people admonish all of us quite often that information, music, health care and even housing should be free. I’ve often noticed that those people who determinedly take whatever they please still expect paycheck at the end of the work week from their employers. It wasn’t their labor they were talking about when they said everything should be free. Rest assured that while we are trying to find ways to monetize the traffic which this web site receives, there will never be a charge for accessing the text of the Malleus Maleficarum. It has always been, and will always be, free to the public.
In closing, I hope these changes will be met with an open mind and a willingness for our users to participate in the ongoing survival of this project. Only together can we ensure that the Malleus Maleficarum Online project will continue to survive and thrive. Our mission going into a few decade may evolve. A lot has changed over the last ten years. Awareness of the Malleus Maleficarum has risen significantly. In that regard we have been successful beyond our wildest dreams. The next ten years will no doubt bring more changes. Perhaps in our lifetime we may find a time when we cannot look around us and hear the echoes of the Malleus Maleficarum and the Inquisition that it sprang from. But that is not today. Until we can relegate hatred, religious extremism and fear-mongering to the dustbin of history, the Malleus Maleficarum will remain relevant to our contemporary society. As long as it is, we will be here bearing witness.
Walk in light and peace.
I am, as ever, your servant…
~ Wicasta Lovelace