Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
The first half of March was a crazy ride. I doubled down on UK ads. Once I got there and realized how profitable they can get, I focused on producing new ads as soon as possible. One by one, I invited my most promising customers to that market.
A few of them declined; a couple of them probably because they felt like paying 50% of profits was too much. Well, that was their choice, but I think 50% of more is much better than 100% of nothing.
I ended up onboarding five of my customers into UK ads. I got busy creating ads for them as well.
It was a revenue-generating activity; not very creative, but profitable. Those ads consumed practically all my spare time.
I was also very active in a FB group of authors involved with AMS advertising exchanging insights with my peers.
I ran a few experiments. I discovered that it’s easier to create single ads with all of my books instead of trying to replicate what was going on the US market -one book per one keywords set.
Perception of Christianity
The UK is much less Christian-friendly than US. Master Your Time got a negative review and basically it said “how this Christian author dared to say about prayer in time-management book.”
One of my customers writes Christian fiction books and they sold really poorly in the UK. They were dead on Amazon.com, hovering around #1 million rank, but they were resurrected. They are generating dozens of sales in the US. Not in the UK though.
BTW, I discovered the hard way how much negative reviews carry in the UK. Master Your Time stopped selling after that negative review. The same goes for Directed by Purpose. In the end, I begged my subscribers for more reviews and I got some. Begging is the best review-generation tactic 😉
One of my customer’s books got the first review in the UK and it was 1-star. His sales tanked overnight. One day he was making about 10 a day, the next day he started to bleed money. In the end I paused all of his ads in the UK.
After about two weeks of running ads in the UK they started to die out. I needed a new tactic. At the end of March 2018 I created the ads for my paperbacks, not Kindle versions. It worked really well, my book sales got momentum again.
It was the result of networking in a Facebook group; I read there that in the UK print sales are still bigger than digital sales.
Slow Progress with the Next Book
I did very little trying to move our new book project forward. About 10th of March I finally had a pitch ready for eventual contributors and I contacted 25+ people on Quora or via different social media asking them for permission to use their Quora answers. About half of them replied and gave their consent. Only one person directly declined.
March 2018 was a quiet period for me. A few clients finished their coaching, a few others joined. At the end of the month I offered my Pay What It’s Worth service to the serious customer who started at the beginning of the month. He accepted the offer.
One of my new customers was a fiction author who wanted to be kept accountable for writing the next book. I looked him up on Facebook and discovered that he also has one promising nonfiction book. I explained my AMS service to him and soon I started advertising his book. It went fairly well at the beginning. After a few days sales declined significantly. He ended up the month with $14 profits. The book sold less than 20 copies.
I also advertised a memoir of another author that did pretty well and ended up with $80 of profits. The sales were very good for a single book. I guess (wonky AMS reporting!) we sold over 100 copies.
My wife took over creating ads from my son. Well, most of it. One thing is sure, she is a more reliable employee than a teenager! She took his job, because he was slacking and I needed to create almost 200 new ads.
I finally tested and processed the results of 30k keywords. About 4,000 out of them were usable. We created 4 ads for each advertised book. My eldest son and wife helped me with processing all those keywords in the first place. It was pretty huge venture, but pretty successful. Those ads did well.
I also spoke with my wife about my low productivity when working from home. First of all, she got offended. How dared I to not be productive around her!?
But she also completely took over morning family responsibilities- waking the kids up for school, preparing sandwiches and driving them to school.
I got a bit less interruptions.
It improved my productivity marginally, but because there was so much stuff to do in March, I was still swamped with work.
My proofreader quit. She had to take care of her elderly father.
It was such a shame. We worked so well together. I worked with about dozen proofreaders and she was the best one.
We agreed that she will finish a bundle of articles for me and she will be done.
About the time she informed me she quits I was inquiring about editing prices for one of my prospects. I sent the email to Erica Ellis, who edited a few of my books. But I mistook her address with my friend’s address who has the same first name. My friends answered jokingly that I fired up her hopes and I offered it to become my proofreader.
She agreed! So, the transition from one proofreader to another was almost instantaneous and painless.
My previous proofreader was a copywriter as well. Before the end of March we finished the project of writing four book descriptions for one author and we got paid.
Writing wasn’t going well. I wrote only 22,279 words which was the worst result since 2014. I had been accumulating the stuff I wrote. I published only three posts on ExpandBeyondYourself.
All in all, the whole March 2018 I felt like I was spinning my wheels without many final effects. Now, when I’ve gone through my journals I can see that I did plenty of things. The problem was that not many of them have been finished. Being the fool I am, I was focusing on the unfinished ones. It still bothered me that I couldn’t be as productive as I had been.
When I finally summarized the month in this report I could tell where this sense of overwhelm came from. Dealing with all of the above and other ongoing things, like answering to the prospects for AMS service or checking on my coaching clients took its toll.
But when I was in the midst of this craziness, I was too busy to pat myself on the back. I was busy doing stuff and not appreciative enough about everything I completed or moved forward.
The Strong Ending
March 2018 was the first time since I started my IT career that I worked during the Paschal Triduum. That was a big shame. Fortunately I worked half-time, so I was earlier at home and could attend evening services, but still I could feel I wasn’t in control over my schedule. This was another argument for me to quit my day job as soon as possible.
On 31st of March 2018 I started calculating profits for March for my biggest clients. With 13 customers it took me about two days to go through all the records and calculate everything right. The next two days were Easter and then after a 2-day break I was going to the USA, so I decided to start earlier this time. This profit calculation is another thing I need to outsource :/
My customers were all very understanding about this change of plans.
That evening, I went with my oldest son to celebrate Passover. It meant a lot to me that my son was there with me as a full member of our church community. It was the greatest end of the month I could’ve imagined.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €1282.99 ($1043.08)
CreateSpace royalties: €819.88 ($1008.45)
Coach.me fees: $541
Draft2Digital royalties: $26.55
Audiobooks royalties: $203.3
PWIW personal coaching: $277.91
AMS service remuneration: $896.78
Affiliate marketing: $41.5
$29, Aweber fee
$101, two book descriptions
$70.7, royalties split with co-author
$105.53, my editor’s share in profits
$754.4, Amazon ads
$74, RAs’ (RAs = Real Assistants; my sons 😉 ) remuneration
Net Result: $3143.85