Fifty Fifth Income Report – October 2017 ($1406.31)

Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


55th income report October 2017On the 1st of October, 2017, I was going back from a get-together organized by my employer. The whole way back, I chatted with my director. We discussed corporate policies, personal development, my road to becoming an author and my future half-time in the day job. That was an interesting time.

Failure

Once again, I’ve heard somewhere that video is on a rising tide. I decided to produce 30 FB live videos in 30 days.
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Fifty Fourth Income Report – September 2017 ($2195.05)

Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


Income Report September 2017September 2017 started wonderfully, from the best day in my life. The 1st of September was the last day of my wife’s day job. She sent me a message at that day:

You made up for all my f*ing childhood.

You can only guess how much that meant to me. I was high with joy for the rest of the day, calling like crazy to my friends and family and telling them how happy I was. Continue reading

Fifty Third Income Report – August 2017 ($1458.57)

Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


53rd Income Report - August 2017I charged my batteries in July, so in August 2017 I doubled down with my efforts. As usual, I was chasing many rabbits at the same time.

Writing

I wrote quite a lot and finished the month with almost 35,000 words. The usual stuff – Quora answers, Medium articles, income reports, blog posts, book reviews and some materials for my websites.

Writing, of course, is only part of the process. My workload was bigger with all the proofreading, correcting, formatting and publishing involved in making my writings eligible for English-speaking audience.

Networking & Prospecting

With my mental batteries full, and more peace at home once my wife decided to quit her job, I finally was able to connect more. I reached out to many guys in the Community and was more active in my mastermind. I was also active in Brian Meeks’ FB group about AMS advertising.

And I chased prospects for Amazon ads. Thanks to my “long” history in self-publishing groups (the whole whooping 4 years), I quickly made a list of more than a dozen authors who could’ve used my services and started contacting them.

Small Projects

In one of my mastermind calls my friend urged me to finally create some kind of funnel from my books to my coaching services. He was right. I had a good excuse not to do it, when I had been selling 200 copies a month. But in August 2017 my sales had been around 1,000 copies a month since December 2016. That was 1,000 potential leads to my coaching services a month that I had kept ignoring.

I got busy with creating a webpage on my blog where I could direct my readers. I did all “design” work myself (design is in quotation marks, because of my non-existent design skills). Obviously, I needed to ponder, write, proofread and format all the text for the page.

In Pat’s First Kindle book group on FB I’ve heard about Fiberead, a platform for crowd-translating/ publishing books. I created an account on this platform and uploaded three of my books.

Lesson:
Now, almost four months after tackling those projects I still haven’t seen immediate payoff from those activities. Two of my books are in the final stage of preparation for releasing on the Chinese market via Fiberead. So, four months down the road I don’t see a single dime of return on my time investment.

The same goes with advertising my coaching services at the end of my books. This very afternoon I’m going to have the first call with client from this source. It took me about a month before I uploaded new versions of manuscripts on Amazon and CreateSpace.

By the way, this was a good occasion for me to finally make an inventory of the manuscripts uploaded on Amazon. It took me a few days to recognize which book has which version on Amazon. I consider it an immediate benefit 😉

The Real Lesson:

If you have a business, you should run it as a business. You have to look ahead at least several months into the future. Very few of your investments will give you a positive return on investment within days or weeks. In the modern fast-paced world we believe that everything should be instantaneous, but only a few things really are, at least in the self-publishing business.

I got spoiled with Amazon platform. I can upload a book into the store and in several hours it starts selling. If I run an InstaFreebie promo, my email list grows the very same day. Even a BuckBooks promo provides the return of investment on the very same day, or in the next day at max.

But there are business aspects that are still based in the “old” world realities. I produced four audiobooks, it’s almost two years since I released the first one and I’m still only about 50% into making my money back.

The same goes with my coaching services. I have very little idea in what I am doing with the marketing side of things, so my results will be pitiful for months to come. But if I would have started several months ago, I would already have been much farther on the learning curve.

Do the things that will not pay off today, tomorrow or next month. This is how real business works.

AMS Service

I spent some time in creating the landing page for authors interested in my service. Like with my coaching page, I did everything on my own, which unfortunately shows. The landing page is not pretty, but it works. I’ve already got a few dozen leads from it. Done is better than perfect.

As I said, I was busy chasing authors to get them on board. I contacted even a few traditionally published authors. I pity them very much, but I don’t do that any longer. You must pay for your mistakes. Authors who chose the dark side have to live without my help. Getting past the gatekeeper consumes so much energy that it’s absolutely not worth it.

All this frantic activity didn’t provide much results. I got one client in the end of July (his first ads started on 31st of July), one in the middle of August and one at the very end of the month, all of them through my existing contacts. That was the time it finally dawned on me AMS ads is not a universal vehicle for resurrecting books. Some books are doing pretty well with my ads, some got no results at all (romance author) or so meager that I could not count on squeezing profits from them (children books author).

AMS Ads

Thanks to the focus on AMS side of things I researched plenty of new keywords both via KDP Rocket and other, less standard means. I created over a hundred of new ads for my books (158 to be exact). The whole business started to gain some structure. I could no longer fly by the seat of my pants.
I created the universal keyword templates that I use for my every client. Nowadays, when I get new client all I need from them is an access to their AMS dashboard and ad’s blurb. Within 24 hours I can create 20+ Sponsored Product ads for them.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income:
Amazon royalties: €853.43 ($1015.58)
CreateSpace royalties: €705.61 ($839.68)
Coach.me fees: $309.28
Draft2Digital royalties: $13.17
Audiobooks royalties: $13.17
PWIW personal coaching: $217.87
AMS service remuneration: $140.89
Affiliate commission for KD Sales Machine course: $38.5

Total: $2588.14

Costs:
$36.9, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$20, InstaFreebie fee
$265, Business on Purpose mastermind
$45.45, royalties split with co-author
$45.23, my editor’s share in profits
$587.99, Amazon ads
$100, RA’s (RA = Real Assistant; my son 😉 ) remuneration

Total: $1127.59

Net Result: $1458.57


Previous Income Report: July 2017

Fifty Second Income Report – July 2017 ($1,157.78)

Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


52nd income report July 2017I exported my kids to Ireland, so July 2017 was a honeymoon for me and my wife. We had some extended time without kids in the past (during those times, we also exported kids to grandparents), but this time my wife worked much less. She already gave her notice and didn’t care about performance bonuses and other such nonsense.
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Fifty First Income Report – June 2017 ($252.33)

Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


51st income report June 2017June 2016 was incredibly significant in my life and in my business. But I had no idea about this at that time. It was also full of frenzied activity. I looked back at my journal and, once again, I was amazed how much energy I expelled.

KDP Rocket

The first significant event took place on the 1st of June. I bought from Dave Chesson a tool for mining keywords from Amazon.
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Forty Ninth Income Report – April 2017 ($1725.51)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


April 2017 was a good month. I finally started to gain momentum on Medium. I had been re-publishing there my Quora answers since August quite consistently with little results. In March 2017 I ramped up my views on that platform to 500 a month. Sheesh!

The only positive thing about this was that my son did most of the work. He imported the answers to Medium, formatted them and copied images from one platform to another. All I needed to do was review, correct if necessary, add tags and hit publish. Continue reading

Forty Eighth Income Report – March 2017 ($1604.97)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


48th Income Report March 2017March 2017 was a good month. First of all, just at the end of February, the royalties from December (Kindle) / January (CreateSpace) came. Here is an entry from my journal to illustrate what it meant:

179% of my salary, a nice bonus. I smiled when I recalled my director telling me I should hustle more if I want to get a 10% salary raise.

In the middle of 2016, I had a conversation with my director about my eventual salary raise. She told me to hustle more because she couldn’t justify my raise with my current attitude at that time.

My attitude got much worse after the conversation 😉

It was a straw that broke the camel’s back. At that moment, I finally decided to split with the concept of working for somebody else forever.

I’ll be eternally thankful to my director for that. 😀

Writing

Nothing significant in that field… other than I beat my monthly word count record!

I wrote 37,228 words in March 2017. The usual stuff: Quora answers, email broadcasts, articles and blog posts.

Failed Projects

I remember at least three instances of things that didn’t work out at all.

  1. A small publisher from Philippines contacted me on Quora and inquired about From Shy to Hi.

It was a small press of a Catholic religious order. I sent them the manuscript, but it wasn’t what they looked for.

They asked for another book, this time Master Your Time, probably of a negative review on Amazon that said “Too much God.” Well, it was apparently too little God for them, because they never got back to me.

  1. Aaron Walker shared in The Community a document, “101 Random Acts of Kindness.”

It inspired me to brainstorm “101 acts you could do for a fellow Community member.” I wrote several hundred words, saved the doc on my hard drive and let it lie there. Only after half a year, I started doing something about it and sharing with other members of The Community. Who knows? Maybe it will be of some use yet?

  1. Patreon.

Somehow I got an idea to get more independent from Amazon. I knew about Patreon for a long time, but I finally started to seriously research what it involves.

I did quite a lot of the job, researched the platform, created an account, brainstormed and laid down my goals and rewards for my supporters. I went as far as writing the profile… and I put it all on hold.

This project has been on hold since then.

Lessons:

  1. Failure is a natural part of any entrepreneurial process.
  2. If you buy into thinking that each of your endeavors should end with an instant success, you’d better become a manager in a corporation. They don’t have a streak of successes there as well, but they copy with that exporting the blame for failed projects to other departments, employees or even clients. Only successes are solely theirs. 😉

As an authorpreneur, you don’t have such a luxury. You are responsible for all your outcomes.

  1. Only the finished project may yield some profits.

Till you actually finish a project, “ship it,” it’s only a learning experience at best and waste of your time and resources at worst.

Maybe one day I’ll launch my Patreon page and use it for what it is designed for: to connect with my supporters and get more independent as a creator. Before that day, however, all I have from this project is reflection about my message and my audience.

New Proofreader

After quite a dramatic broadcast (I felt really low at that time) one of my readers volunteered to proofread my content, because she wanted to support me out of the goodness of her heart.

The serendipity was amazing. I was about to split with my current proofreader; however, I had no idea about that at that moment.

At the beginning, I gave her a few income reports of mine to proofread. I didn’t have much energy, so I wasn’t able to process much more anyway. I was delighted by the gentle way she proofread my texts, while getting all my stupid grammar mistakes related to tenses and articles. Punctuation isn’t my strong point as well.

Lesson:

I never planned for the failures I instanced above. But I never planned for many successes that happened along my way – like hiring this proofreader. When my current proofreader quit, I had a replacement immediately available.

We are still working together and she is really a pleasure to work with. She proofread over 50,000 words of my content, and I found only a few cases where she didn’t understand my intentions. No other proofreader had such a great ratio. I’ve worked with about a dozen proofreaders so far, and our level of mutual understanding is mind blowing.

Income

I still rode a Christmas wave of royalties. Kindle royalties from January came, and they were my best ever. I earned more in a single month in 2015 after the launches of Trickle Down Mindset and The Art of Persistence, but only thanks to Amazon’s program of compensations from borrows that existed at that time.
48th Income Report March 2017
Over 16 hundred dollars from Kindle sales. CreateSpace wasn’t bad in February 2017 either – 1,282 dollars from 241 sales.

Third month in a row, I registered 4-digit revenue and net income. I was seriously considering transition to half-time or even quitting my job.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income:
Amazon royalties: €1498.91 ($1603.83)
CreateSpace royalties: €1082.79 ($1158.59)
Coach.me fees: $217.04
Draft2Digital royalties: $29.96
Audiobooks royalties: $37.4
PWIW personal coaching: $143.85

Total: $3190.67

Costs:
$36.9, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$20, InstaFreebie fee
$265, Business on Purpose mastermind
$246.44, royalties split with co-author
$862.73, Amazon ads
$63, RA’s (RA = Real Assistant; my son 😉 ) remuneration
$125.53, proofreading

Total: $1585.7

Net Result: $1604.97


Previous Income Report: February 2017

Forty Seventh Income Report – February 2017 ($2501.38)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


47th Income Report - February 2017February 2017 was slow and uneventful. I kept writing the usual mishmash – Quora answers, blog posts, email broadcasts to my ever-growing list; articles and guest posts when I got inspiration to write them, and my novel written on Sundays for the sake of keeping a writing streak intact. One thing I focused more on were my income reports. I decided to catch up with them and close the time gap between their publication and the events they described.
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Forty Sixth Income Report – January 2017 ($2672.37)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


Income Report - January 2017I dedicated the beginning of January 2017 to summarizing my goals from the previous year and setting goals for the new year.

They were quite similar to my goals from previous years. However, this time my family and prayer took first place.

Writing

I wrote a few blog posts, including the two about goals. I kept writing Quora answers and broadcasts to my email list.
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