Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
I’ve kept an online journal since April 2013, and share it with my friends on Facebook from The Transformational Contest. From time to time, they remark how impressed they are by the sheer amount of my hustle.
I’ve always thought that they were being diplomatic and encouraging, like proper friends should be. However, while preparing this income report, I checked my journal and, well, I impressed myself. Brace yourself for a looong report.
Frankly, I have no idea how I managed to do so much in January 2014.
Archangel Ink nullified our contract at the end of December and I was in a low mood. I was on the verge of despair, but still worked like crazy.
Life and finances
At the beginning of January we finally sold our apartment. That was a huge relief for our budget, because the maintenance and mortgage costs were too much.
We didn’t earn much on the transaction, but got rid of four bank loans we used to buy furniture for the new house. We got rid of a few monthly payments for the apartment itself as well. Also, a few months earlier, my wife received her full salary after the probationary period, so our income increased.
We were finally past our financial struggles (so I thought).
Selling the apartment and additional money also mean that we had the means to upgrade our house, so I spent some time on shopping and DIY.
When checking my journal entries, I noticed that it was also a very busy month at my day job. I work overtime a lot and many times during nights, so I started looking for a new job.
Transferring my books back to my account
On the 1st of January I uploaded a few last manuscripts again under my old KDP account. I also tweaked them a bit (adding a link to my blog, etc). Later on, I started a CreateSpace account and learned how to generate paperback-worthy PDFs from my manuscripts and uploaded them there.
The entire month of January, I worked on creating the next book event. I contacted authors, coordinated with Buck Books and so on. This one additional task on my already long enough to-do list.
I took part in a couple of giveaways to grow my email list. I got more subscribers, but I had to promote the giveaways to my existing list. The whole business seemed a bit overhyped and shoddy for me.
Also, the quality of new subscribers weren’t as good as I was accustomed to. Over 50% of those who stayed at my list don’t open my emails (and I don’t know how many stayed with me in the first place, because I ruthlessly delete all who unsubscribed).
During my book launch, I stacked a couple of dozen Tweets to build anticipation and generate free downloads at the beginning. This experiment failed and I invested a lot of time preparing tweets and got zero.
I finished a first draft of Bulletproof Health and Fitness in January, and outlined and started another book in the Six Simple Steps to Success series.
I also wrote a few book reviews and blog posts.
I diligently worked on The Art of Persistence’s manuscript with my copy editor and friend in the same person. Before the end of the month I prepared an advanced reading copy and sent it to beta-readers. To do that I needed to first create a new list for that purpose; also to write, format and send a broadcast to my list. Small things, but still a hustle.
Trickle Down Mindset launch
Apart from all the tasks above I was preparing books launch, which was the first one since I published From Shy to Hi in June 2014. You know, the usual stuff: cover design, book description, contacting people who might be interested in spreading the word, creating a pre-order on Amazon, uploading all the elements. During the launch I also uploaded a manuscript to CreateSpace and did the whole work necessary to publish a paperback and connect it with eBook version on Amazon.
I managed to put all the pieces in place around 19th of January, just one day before the free promo. I hastily fed Buffer with above mentioned tweets, prepared messages for freebie FB groups and the show started.
The beginning was a disaster. I used freebie FB groups as a main tool to drive traffic to my promo. It didn’t go very well. I got only about 600 downloads in the first three days. I submitted free ads to a few freebie sites, and aimed for them to go live on the 3rd day of promotion, but none of the sites actually published my promo.
I only got one review at the beginning, which was from my friend. I was more than a little angry on my subscribers and beta-readers, since I shared an advance reading copy with about 40 people, 4 months in advance!
I had bad feeling about this launch and my future writing career. If I couldn’t generate interest for my new release, how was I supposed to maintain my sales at all? Which, by the way, were at their lowest since October 2013. My books were back under my old account and for Amazon algorithm it seemed like they didn’t sell a single copy in four months. I sold only 87 copies before the launch.
Then Steve Scott saved my butt. He sent a broadcast to his email list encouraging his subscribers to download my book. I got over 1,700 downloads on the 4th day of the promo and almost 1,000 on the last day. Trickle Down Mindset was on #111 in the entire free Kindle store.
(that’s how my download chart looked like an hour after Scott’s podcast)
(the whole free promo)
Right after the free promo I scheduled a Buck Books promo. I needed some reviews and needed them badly. I begged my friends and my beta-readers. At the day of BB promo I had 6 or 7.
And it was a good thing I managed that feat. See my journal’s entry from 25th of January 2015:
“When I got back home, I checked email and stats and the Buck Books promo that started 45 minutes before already had 55 sales.”
The promo finished with 221 sales. The next day I immediately switched the price to $2.99. Another journal entry: “Till 8 pm, I sold 7 full priced copies.”
After the awful beginning I didn’t expected much out of this book.
I was wrong.
This book had the best launch out of my 12 books.
In the last 6 days of January and the whole February it sold almost 1,200 copies.
The sales plummeted after 90 days and, ironically, they have been trickling since that time, but Trickle Down Mindset is still 3rd among my books when it comes to overall revenue and 5th when it comes to number of copies sold (over 1,650). It also amassed 45 reviews on Amazon.com and most of them are organic. Only Master Your Time In 10 Minutes a Day has more among my books and I suppose if I subtracted reviews from my friends, Trickle Down Mindset would be a winner.
An author is a creature of a feeble psyche. I was the same person before and after the book launch, having the same life and struggles. But when my sales and ranks were at the bottom, I was there as well. “Farewell with Archangel Ink” was a blow to my confidence and hopes for the future.
The meager beginning of my free promo was like a nail to the coffin. I felt like I hustled for the last 18 months for nothing. “Discouragement” was a too gentle of a word to describe my mood.
When Scott rescued the promo and the sales boomed, I beamed.
I was looking for external validation, which is very unhealthy for an author. Keep that in mind, if you are one.
Nasty life’s surprises
Among all of this hustle, there also happened to be a couple of unpleasant things. Sometimes life just happens.
On January 15th, the National Bank of Switzerland decided to change their politics. My mortgage in CHF (Swiss currency) skyrocketed, it grew 18% in a heartbeat. It was the one for the apartment I had already sold. I didn’t paid it off gambling that the exchange rate will drop in a few days. For the record, it wasn’t much of a gamble, exchange rates don’t change by 18% overnight, right?
I wanted to save about $100 and ended up losing about $2,000 because of my delay.
My blog got hacked. On the 30th, I spent 3 hours removing malware files and changing passwords and configurations. It was a big waste of my time. I could have prevented it by doing the basics: turning off admin account and installing security plugin (I use Sucuri now).
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch
I barely noticed those particular brick walls rushing ahead.
The Income Report Breakdown
What’s that? Income in bucks? Yeap, this wasn’t a payment from Amazon, Archangel Ink paid me for August and September 2014.
$47.98, Aweber services
$250, Trickle Down Mindset edition
$85, Trickle Down Mindset version for CreateSpace
$16, proofreading services Fiverr
$24, ChoosyBookWorm promos of other books in January
$5, Trickle Down Mindset promo on FreeDiscoutedBooks.com
$16, ghostwriting gigs Fiverr
Net Result: $1068.2
Previous Income Report: December 2014 || Next Income Report: February 2015
One thought on “Twenty Second Income Report – January 2015 ($1068.2)”
I admire what you are doing, Michael. I do pretty much the same thing –individual tasks differ but the time and effort are the same. It isn’t easy being a solopreneur/writer!
If I can do anything for you please let me know.
I have a small list (150) so I can’t promise much for that POV. We are
in the same arena–self-development. My core is self-knowledge.
I reviewed done of you books some weeks ago ands sent you one of mine to review –this isn’t a push–just a note to indicate to you who I am. I am lorry to hear of your financial hits re the apartment and the publisher loss…what happened with that?
I have had the same kind of non-response with people who have said they wanted to review a book. Only a few did. I know people are busy but when you give them something of value that they SAID they wanted and they don’t respond, it is discouraging.
I am looking into Createspace for my Amazon ebooks.
How do you find Buck Books?
Is it worth, do you think?
How do you aproach them with books?
Sorry too, to learn of the hacking,. Life is difficult enough without that crap.
What is your day job? and what job are you hoping to trade it for?
Keep the faith!