Basically, I made something of mine and found it relatively easy to do, and so I made something by someone else. And then another thing. And then another thing. I was a little more outgoing (read also: loud) than many of my immediate peers, so had no problem utilizing that enthusiasm to promote some of their work on top of my own. I started organizing readings to help (in part) to promote the people I was publishing (The Factory Reading Series goes back to 1992) and even co-founded the ottawa small press book fair to help sell some of the books a number of us were starting to make around that time (twice a year since, founded in October 1994).
Coconut loses about $3,000 per year. Or I guess I should say I lose it out of my own pocket. But it’s totally, 100% worth it when we can help more than a dozen poetry books find their readers annually!!! It’s wonderful and rewarding to be an editor—definitely worth “paying for”!!! The only thing I ever ask our authors to pay for are additional copies above their 25 free author copies. They get a 50% discount off of additional copies. That said, we don’t fund our authors’ readings, other than AWP—I think that’s true of pretty much every small press.