Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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
$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
Net Result: $1458.57
Previous Income Report: July 2017