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Maxwell 51: Empty Nesters, Empty Vesters? End of an Era


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On 9/14/2021 at 4:21 PM, ElizaB said:

I believe Sarah does book keeping for her brother's companies. I remember her talking about using quickbooks. Also, I think we under estimate how much money she made from the Moodys. 

 

On 9/14/2021 at 4:33 PM, ElizaB said:

I'd be really interested to see a log of profits for all their books. I think it is obvious that Sarah and Teri's books are the big earners compared to Steve's. I wonder how this sits with him. 

I was wondering the same thing about the profits of her books. I went out to the website. She has 9 books The individual (non bundled cost) for all 9 books is $111.04. For ease of math, if she sold a total of 1,000 books that is $111,040 in sales. I don't know how much mark up is nor how much it costs to publish. Anyone have any guesses at how much she would profit if she had over $100k in sales? 

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7 hours ago, quiversR4hunting said:

 

I was wondering the same thing about the profits of her books. I went out to the website. She has 9 books The individual (non bundled cost) for all 9 books is $111.04. For ease of math, if she sold a total of 1,000 books that is $111,040 in sales. I don't know how much mark up is nor how much it costs to publish. Anyone have any guesses at how much she would profit if she had over $100k in sales? 

She is self-published so it's pretty high I believe.

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13 minutes ago, IReallyAmHopewell said:

She is self-published so it's pretty high I believe.

When you publish your own, you get to keep a lot more of the $$$ than you do if you go through a publisher (plus, there would be an agent getting their 15%).

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Not only do they self publish- she doesn't have an editor (clearly) and Mary does all the illustrations. They also take the orders themselves and ship them out. So it is solely the cost of the printing. I don't have any idea how much that costs but I can't imagine it is too much. 

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On 9/16/2021 at 1:44 AM, Austrian Atheist said:

Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. They post no private things - only their Magento stuff. But they certainly communicate with peers in their field over those channels. Actually Nathan is on same social medias as well -  but I think he only posts under his company's name. Joseph and Jesse have Twitter accounts with their own names. I don't link them here. a) it's not hard to find and b) it's their business stuff - nothing snark worthy (or maybe Magento experts can snark on it but I don't even fully understand what Magento actually is other than an e-commerce software?).

 

That's basically it, but it's more on an enterprise level than something like, say, Shopify. My daughter's first job post coding bootcamp was with a company that developed e-com sites using Magento for some major clients. 

Joseph does a lot of networking within the tech community (Jesse as well) and I would bet that he's had his eyes opened in many ways. He's interacting with all kinds of people and probably finding out that daddy sold him a bill of goods about their sinful ways. While I don't think he'll ever fully reject how he was brought up, if he questions Steve's rigid thinking, that can only be a good thing.

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5 minutes ago, sparkles said:

That's basically it, but it's more on an enterprise level than something like, say, Shopify. My daughter's first job post coding bootcamp was with a company that developed e-com sites using Magento for some major clients. 

Joseph does a lot of networking within the tech community (Jesse as well) and I would bet that he's had his eyes opened in many ways. He's interacting with all kinds of people and probably finding out that daddy sold him a bill of goods about their sinful ways. While I don't think he'll ever fully reject how he was brought up, if he questions Steve's rigid thinking, that can only be a good thing.

I don't think that they will do a 180 but at least they lighten up a bit. Jesse has still "conservative" and "christian" in his Twitter bio for example. But still every little change is better than the micromanaging and the agonizing over every little bean in their burrito in Maxhell. I saw on Linkedin that they hired a guy in Croatia for remote work. Croatia is a very, very catholic country. Chances are slim that the guy is the right brand of Christianity. Still, they hired him. I cannot imagine that Steve would have done such a thing! Also when Jesse&Anna moved they had help from a friend with noticeable tattoos. Again, I cannot imagine Steve would associate with someone like that. They must realize that not everyone, who doesn't follow all of their Maxwell rules, is a bad, sinful person.

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Regarding Sarah's books, she does sell some of them at Christian bookstores as well as online.  Do you have to pay a bookstore to carry your books?

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17 hours ago, FloraDoraDolly said:

When you publish your own, you get to keep a lot more of the $$$ than you do if you go through a publisher (plus, there would be an agent getting their 15%).

No, you first have to earn back what you spent to "publish" it and then you have to do all the marketing. It isn't all it is cracked up to be.

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6 hours ago, sparkles said:

Joseph does a lot of networking within the tech community (Jesse as well) and I would bet that he's had his eyes opened in many ways. He's interacting with all kinds of people and probably finding out that daddy sold him a bill of goods about their sinful ways.

I thought that this analysis of the Maxhell update was pretty good:

Quote

Maybe the Maxwell morals have changed.   If they did, we'll never hear about it.  

The bigger issue, I think, is finances. 

Re: costs of publishing. Speaking as someone whoʻs been involved peripherally with getting a journal published, hard copy publishing is cheaper if you can do a press run of at least 500. While the initial $$ layout is larger, assuming you can sell most or all of those 500 copies, itʻs not cost-prohibitive. If they handle their own distribution to Christian stores & the like, that would also save money. In any case, it would be quite interesting to see the balance sheets for the business.

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3 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

I thought that this analysis of the Maxhell update was pretty good:

Re: costs of publishing. Speaking as someone whoʻs been involved peripherally with getting a journal published, hard copy publishing is cheaper if you can do a press run of at least 500. While the initial $$ layout is larger, assuming you can sell most or all of those 500 copies, itʻs not cost-prohibitive. If they handle their own distribution to Christian stores & the like, that would also save money. In any case, it would be quite interesting to see the balance sheets for the business.

Thanks for posting the link to that blog.  I didn't know about that one.  I think the economic angle for allowing the daughters more freedom makes sense.  It makes me wonder if Steve didn't allow sports or musical instruments or any other outside activities because of the expense as much as to isolate his kids.  Our daughter was on a  competitive swim team and took piano lessons for years.  Nothing extra-curricular is cheap.  

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21 hours ago, ElizaB said:

Not only do they self publish- she doesn't have an editor (clearly) and Mary does all the illustrations. They also take the orders themselves and ship them out. So it is solely the cost of the printing. I don't have any idea how much that costs but I can't imagine it is too much. 

Actually, I thought Grandma Maxwell did the drawings for the first edition of the first one, and then Tilaundia Buckingham took over illustrating for a bit, then Mary became a "creative" and took over for the later books. Whoever was doing the illustrations, they seemed to have to spoon-feed things via photographs, hence blog posts where they were doing wild things like intentionally letting their dog tree a neighbor's cat, or putting smoke bombs in a semi engine. (I might have made up the last one. I absolutely remember the intentional treeing of the cat.) Either way, whether it was Mary or someone outside the family, I'm sure they just paid them a flat fee (or said "you'll get the exposure of having your work in a popular children's book series!) and didn't have to pay any kind of royalties regardless of the number sold.

4 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

Re: costs of publishing. Speaking as someone whoʻs been involved peripherally with getting a journal published, hard copy publishing is cheaper if you can do a press run of at least 500. While the initial $$ layout is larger, assuming you can sell most or all of those 500 copies, itʻs not cost-prohibitive. If they handle their own distribution to Christian stores & the like, that would also save money. In any case, it would be quite interesting to see the balance sheets for the business.

And knowing what a hot commodity those Moody books were among their following, I'm sure printing a run of 500 was something they could absolutely do without worrying about selling every last one. Especially when they were openly guilting their readers about borrowing their books from the library.

If they have large Christian stores in their area, they might have been able to sweeten the deal by doing a "meet the author"/book signing day - I believe bookstores welcome those because they bring traffic into the store, and those people are likely to shop for other things. But I'm guessing that book tables at Titus2 conferences were the biggest place those books got moved.

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Yes, other people did illustrate the earlier books. However, didn't Mary re-draw and they re-released those earlier editions? I may be wrong though. 

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5 minutes ago, ElizaB said:

Yes, other people did illustrate the earlier books. However, didn't Mary re-draw and they re-released those earlier editions? I may be wrong though. 

I know she re-did Grandma's illustrations for a re-release. I don't know if they re-released the ones Tilaundia did.

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22 minutes ago, Bethy said:

Actually, I thought Grandma Maxwell did the drawings for the first edition of the first one, and then Tilaundia Buckingham took over illustrating for a bit, then Mary became a "creative" and took over for the later books. Whoever was doing the illustrations, they seemed to have to spoon-feed things via photographs, hence blog posts where they were doing wild things like intentionally letting their dog tree a neighbor's cat, or putting smoke bombs in a semi engine. (I might have made up the last one. I absolutely remember the intentional treeing of the cat.) Either way, whether it was Mary or someone outside the family, I'm sure they just paid them a flat fee (or said "you'll get the exposure of having your work in a popular children's book series!) and didn't have to pay any kind of royalties regardless of the number sold.

And knowing what a hot commodity those Moody books were among their following, I'm sure printing a run of 500 was something they could absolutely do without worrying about selling every last one. Especially when they were openly guilting their readers about borrowing their books from the library.

If they have large Christian stores in their area, they might have been able to sweeten the deal by doing a "meet the author"/book signing day - I believe bookstores welcome those because they bring traffic into the store, and those people are likely to shop for other things. But I'm guessing that book tables at Titus2 conferences were the biggest place those books got moved.

I didn’t know Lolly Hale illustrated her books at first. Was she any good? 

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7 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I didn’t know Lolly Hale illustrated her books at first. Was she any good? 

Yes she did: "A special highlight for me was the visit of a childhood friend of mine and her new husband. They were on their honeymoon, and it worked out for them to see us! The amazing part is they live in Alaska, and we live in Kansas; so it was a miracle to be in the same area at the same time. Lolly illustrated Autumn with the Moodys and Winter with the Moodys."

I didn't know that her name actually means Tilaundia. That's an unusual name. Never heard it before.

Have they ever disclosed who illustrated the last book? I think, Mary only did the cover. Isn't it strange, not to acknowledge the illustrator? Maybe you will find the info on the title pages of the book but I'm not going to buy it. https://blog.titus2.com/2020/11/17/announcing-learning-lessons-book-2-in-hill-top-adventures/

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Abigail (Klein) Koilpillai (of the Klein family who have been discussed on FJ before, though not for quite a while other than in the new pregnancies/babies thread in QoS) definitely illustrated some early Moody books, and I think provided the full-page spread illustration in Learning Lessons too.

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23 minutes ago, Triplet3 said:

Abigail (Klein) Koilpillai (of the Klein family who have been discussed on FJ before, though not for quite a while other than in the new pregnancies/babies thread in QoS) definitely illustrated some early Moody books, and I think provided the full-page spread illustration in Learning Lessons too.

Thanks. She uses Instagram and Twitter but not one picture of her artworks and no mention of Sarah's books as far as I can see. That's strange. The only post I could find about her on Tits2 was from 2009: https://blog.titus2.com/2009/01/01/happy-new-year/ 

Honest question: why wouldn't you disclose the full name of the illustrator of your books?

 

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5 minutes ago, Austrian Atheist said:

Thanks. She uses Instagram and Twitter but not one picture of her artworks and no mention of Sarah's books as far as I can see. That's strange. The only post I could find about her on Tits2 was from 2009: https://blog.titus2.com/2009/01/01/happy-new-year/ 

Honest question: why wouldn't you disclose the full name of the illustrator of your books?

 

She’s not a professional illustrator or artist, as far as I’m aware. As for your question, I have no idea.

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Just now, Triplet3 said:

She’s not a professional illustrator or artist, as far as I’m aware. As for your question, I have no idea.

Well, the Maxwells are not professional writers as well. Still it's usual to name illustrators or translators of books and give them credit for their work. Okay, maybe the Maxes don't know this, because they don't read books. I mean other than the Bible.

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11 hours ago, Caroline said:

It makes me wonder if Steve didn't allow sports or musical instruments or any other outside activities because of the expense as much as to isolate his kids.

Well, they forbid Jesse to play a musical instrument he already had, because he was having too much fun. Sports were banned for the same reason (in addition, I have the feeling that the physical contact between people that comes with team sports was a very big concern for Steve) . Mary loved sewing, that's why she became an artist... Because she enjoyed sewing too much and had to choose another activity.

Maxwells are cheap on food, but they have always had good quality stuff (tools, music, hiking and leisure equipment, etc). Money was not the reason for the lack of extracurricular IMO.

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1 hour ago, Melissa1977 said:

Well, they forbid Jesse to play a musical instrument he already had, because he was having too much fun. Sports were banned for the same reason (in addition, I have the feeling that the physical contact between people that comes with team sports was a very big concern for Steve) . Mary loved sewing, that's why she became an artist... Because she enjoyed sewing too much and had to choose another activity.

Maxwells are cheap on food, but they have always had good quality stuff (tools, music, hiking and leisure equipment, etc). Money was not the reason for the lack of extracurricular IMO.

This is so sad. You’re more likely to excel in areas you very much enjoy than in areas you get assigned to by someone.

Also, sewing is such a “typically female” hobby, I just can’t wrap my head around Mary not being allowed to enjoy it. She could sew and still not step a single tow out of the strict fundy gender-role line. Steve and Teri are horrible parents. 

And as for music, aren’t there quotes in the Bible about singing or playing an instrument? I’m not a Christian and I don’t know much about the Bible, but it would surprise me if the Bible stated that learning an instrument is ungodly. 

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38 minutes ago, FluffySnowball said:

This is so sad. You’re more likely to excel in areas you very much enjoy than in areas you get assigned to by someone.

 

This is exactly Steve's point. He didn't want them to excel in useless things like musical instruments or sewing. They weren't supposed to enjoy what they were doing. They were to be honoring god & teaching themselves skills to support a brood of their own. They had to teach themselves how to earn a living, not enjoy anything. LORD knows they were not going to get an education anywhere else, so they had to pick up books & self teach. Steve not only thought this protected them, he believed it made them smarter & better at their job than anyone for learning without distraction. they don't need no teachers or experts; they has books. 

That tactic seems to have worked with 4 of the 5 boys, to a degree. None seems miserable in their profession; even though all but 1 has the same general profession-tech/computers. Chris is the wild card. I don't think he even found his Steve approved role so he just does what he can do to be employed by a sibling & floats along. 

But, the point is, the Maxwell offspring were never, ever supposed to excel at anything they enjoyed. Hell, they weren't supposed to enjoy anything, period. 

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1 hour ago, FluffySnowball said:

This is so sad. You’re more likely to excel in areas you very much enjoy than in areas you get assigned to by someone.

Also, sewing is such a “typically female” hobby, I just can’t wrap my head around Mary not being allowed to enjoy it. She could sew and still not step a single tow out of the strict fundy gender-role line. Steve and Teri are horrible parents. 

And as for music, aren’t there quotes in the Bible about singing or playing an instrument? I’m not a Christian and I don’t know much about the Bible, but it would surprise me if the Bible stated that learning an instrument is ungodly. 

Sewing and playing instruments are praised activities in Maxhell. They were a band for a while. But once you get a passion for it, you have to stop and change it for something less fun. I think Jesse loved the bass, so he had to change it for the guitar (or vice versa). Mary sew very nice dresses, it was so.absurd to make her stop!

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19 minutes ago, Melissa1977 said:

Sewing and playing instruments are praised activities in Maxhell. They were a band for a while. But once you get a passion for it, you have to stop and change it for something less fun. I think Jesse loved the bass, so he had to change it for the guitar (or vice versa). Mary sew very nice dresses, it was so.absurd to make her stop!

Not sure if Mary ever got to the point where it was a possibility, but I wonder what Steve would have done if Mary had been good enough at sewing to open an Etsy store and sell stuff. They have friends (the Leake girls) who sew and sell head coverings for women/girls and hairbands for babies and seem to be doing quite well with it. There's a decent market out there for Modest Wear, plus there are always options to sell baby stuff like cloth diapers. 

On the topic of designing, though, I think we can safely assume that the cover for Joseph's book wasn't designed by Mary:

 

aoed-book-2 (2).jpg

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