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.
In April 2017, I discovered the secret formula for success on Medium: publications. I was accepted as a contributor to Thrive publications. When other editors saw my articles, they approached me and asked for my articles.
I changed my strategy on Medium. My new default began to be submission to a publication before I decided to publish an article under my account. It made the difference. My Medium views in April climbed to 2,700, and they have been climbing ever since.
I observed a decline in my sales from January to February, and from February to March. It was a trend I didn’t like.
April was also busy with creating new ads. I created over 100 of them. Before you gasp with admiration, try to keep in mind that once I research a set of keywords, I use it 10 times for ten different books. That’s the unfair advantage of having multiple books out there.
Those ads got over 44 million impressions, and over 18,000 clicks since I created them. They cost me almost $700 to run for half a year.
In the past six months, the ads from April 2017 provided about 354% ROI, and approximately 17 hundred bucks of income (with Amazon ads, everything is “approximately,” their reporting truly sucks).
Isn’t it wonderful? I wrote my books a few years ago, and those ads were the vehicles that transmitted them to new readers. I did the job once and gained 17 hundred dollars. That’s as close to the passive income model as I’ve ever got.
Free Books Experiment
In April 2017, I made another experiment. I created 9 new ads for my two permafree books. I run ads for one of them for a month, and for another for one week.
The ads of free books got almost 2.5 million impressions, and 1530 clicks. I estimate that about every other click ended up as a download of a free book. I ended up with paying less than 6 cents per download of my free book. Economically, it didn’t make much sense. However, if every single person who downloaded my books would have read them, I would have gladly paid such a price.
By the way, performance of ads for free books seriously impeaches the pricing of most promo sites for authors. Getting 100 free downloads should cost about $6. The fees are often much higher, and the results questionable at best.
Change of Process
Because of the number of new ads, I needed to change the way I’ve been tracking their results. Till April, I used a very labor-intensive process: I did two print screens of the AMS dashboard, sent them to my son, and he transcribed data from print screens into a Google sheet. That way, I had a very granular data.
But you know what? I had no time to analyze them!
I quit the concept of tracking the single ad’s performance. In April 2017, I “discovered” the data export button in the dashboard, and taught my son how to import data from CSV to Excel correctly. Then he needed just to copy them into a Google sheet. That accelerated the process tenfold.
Dare to Matter
That month, I read an awesome book, Dare to Matter, and liked it very much. One time, I visited the book’s page on Amazon and noticed its pitiful rank, somewhere around the half a million mark.
This was so very wrong! Why was such a good book ranked so very low? Yes, the author could’ve changed a thing here and there. The description could’ve been more compelling, and there were no editorial reviews featured. But overall, the packaging wasn’t overly awful and the content was great.
I contacted the author, Pete Smith. If I recall correctly, I first sent him a Tweet, then wrote a review, because he asked for it, and finally I offered my help in improving the book’s performance on Amazon. We scheduled the call for the 1st of May.
A Podcast Interview
A host of Kick’n It with Daree contacted me. She read my book about creating a personal mission statement and wanted to interview me. I agreed. In fact, I read her email in the morning and we did the interview in the evening, because it was the best time for us both in the next couple of weeks.
Such events are the aftereffect of publishing a book. I would have never met Daree otherwise.
Working Hard & Playing Hard
In April 2017, there was Easter. As usual, I took a couple of days off work before the holidays to attend all the celebrations. I spent more time with my family. I found in my journal entries about going with my wife to a theatre and to a cinema with kids. I took my daughter to an all-night Passover celebration.
In the last weekend of April, I went with my eldest son for a fantasy convention. We spent there three days. I met the guys from a distant part of Poland with whom I played my favorite card game several years ago.
I took my laptop with me and did all my business activities at the hotel or at the convention: writing, checking on my coaching clients, publishing on Quora, etc.
Raza Imam organized a very successful giveaway on InstaFreebie platform in April 2017. It was almost zero effort for me. I’ve already had a book on InstaFreebie; I needed only to create a giveaway with several clicks. I also created a dedicated email list in MailChimp for the giveaway.
Of course, I wrote a broadcast to my email list about the giveaway, but I was writing broadcasts every week, so it made little difference.
The results were spectacular. The Art of Persistence was downloaded several hundred times. What is more, it got the attention of InstaFreebie, and their staff offered to include my book in their next blog blast. So I extended the giveaway life on the platform for another week, and the book got a few hundred more downloads.
I ended up with 1,192 new subscribers, which almost doubled the size of my list.
Every author who is not on InstaFreebie misses out big time!
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €1181.25 ($1299.37)
CreateSpace royalties: €1017.02 ($1118.72)
Coach.me fees: $334.64
Draft2Digital royalties: $10.32
Audiobooks royalties: $22.82
PWIW personal coaching: $143.85
Affiliate commission for KD Sales Machine course: $38.5
NoiseTrade tip: $3.45
$36.9, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$20, InstaFreebie fee
$265, Business on Purpose mastermind
$96.96, royalties split with co-author
$722.3, Amazon ads
$76, RA’s (RA = Real Assistant; my son 😉 ) remuneration
Net Result: $1725.51