Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
On March 1, 2014, I checked my sales. I painstakingly loaded them from each market separately (this was before fancy sales reports that Kindle authors now enjoy). I counted them a few times. I estimated my earnings. That was a big day for me.
I sold 995 copies.
The royalties reached a bit over half of my salary.
For some time, I knew they would be high. But this summary made it real for me. It was time to celebrate.
In a “by-the-way” matter, I shared this news with my wife. Until that day, I kept her in the dark about the success of Master Your Time.
She was surprised and proud of me.
On the 7th of March, I got an email offer for translating Master Your Time into German. I was briefly hesitant about handing over my work into a stranger’s hands. But what had I to lose? In the worst case scenario, this guy could steal my work and publish it in English. But the same could happen with any one of my readers. I scolded myself for thinking like big, greedy corporations.
Even if he would have abused my consent for German translation and wouldn’t have paid me a dime, I still would be the owner of my work. And some readers in Germany, who had no access to my work, could manage their time better.
If everything went according to our agreement, I would get another stream of passive income from my book.
We exchanged a few messages and I signed the contract. I spent no more than a few hours on communicating and meshing together necessary changes for the German edition.
Another result stemming from my success was that I was interviewed on a podcast―for the first time in my life! Although it was a show of my friend, Chris Bell who edited the book and helped me with marketing, the fact was I was on air. 😉
I made a deal with Chris and we became accountability partners. I also started to write how-to advice for Kindle authors and published my ideas on his site.
My sales were gradually decreasing. Very slowly, but surely. At the beginning of the month, Master your Time was around the #8k position in the Kindle store, but near the end of the month, it slipped closer to #15k. However, there was also a very positive sign―my other books were selling better than they had in February. I sold 80 more copies of four other books than in previous month. I was no longer the author of one book. Master Your Time consisted of “only” 64% of my sales, not 75%.
In March, I checked Goodreads and discovered that my books were listed and reviewed there! Learn to Read with Great Speed had particularly negative feedback. I inquired three readers who gave it 1 star as to their reasons. One of them listed some convincing arguments, among which “poor English” was the most significant. But the sales of this book jumped by more than 50%, so I just noted this down and did nothing about it.
I dedicated quite a chunk of my time towards improving this blog. I wrote a few new posts and I was constantly sending old content to Fiverr for proofreading. By the end of March, I had completed the task of editing my older work and since then, I only material that has been proofread.
That month, aside from my own blog posts and how-to articles, I wrote the next book, From Shy to Hi. I finished the first draft on the 25th of March.
To remedy the decrease in sales, I organized a free promo of Master Your Time on the 27th of March. My wife helped me submit ads to freebie sites. I also spent $40 on paid advertisement. The promo was prepared very carefully. By then, the book already had 18 positive reviews. When I was preparing the book launch, only five sites actually published my ads. This time it was more like a dozen, plus three which I paid for it. I, of course, promoted it on Facebook too, in various freebie groups.
The promo results were amazing! The book was downloaded 7,000 times. It reached #25 in the whole free Kindle store. It was #8 among free non-fiction books and #1 in business and self-help categories!
Then, after switching to the paid status, it was:
2nd in the time management category (Only GTD by David Allen did better)
#4 in Self-Help -> Creativity.
#1 in two categories in short readings.
It got a bestseller badge. It reached #2,869 in the paid Kindle store. I got 19 new subscribers (about 12% growth within 2 days).
My whole catalogue got a lot of exposure. All of my other books were under the #100k rank. That was cool!
Afterwards, the sales were even better. The day after the promo, I beat my daily sales record: I sold 92 copies of my books in one day!
I easily reclaimed my investment with paid services in this single day.
That free promo reversed the sales trend for some time.
Master Your Time dove below the #10k rank again and during the last four days of March, I sold over 230 books.
Success begets success. Many things happened in March, because I was willing to try many new routes. And I was willing, because my mindset has shifted a bit. Previously, I was determined to succeed. After February, I realized that success was much closer than I thought.
The Income Report Breakdown
Income: €57.7 (about $75.01).
Wow, I earned 75 bucks! This was approximately 3.75% of my salary. That was the payment for January (my sales grew by 18% that month) plus royalties from Germany since the beginning of my writing career (I didn’t set EFT data in KDP panel for a few months *sigh*) plus a part of December’s royalties which was sent in the last day of February, so arrived into my account in March.
$19, Aweber services.
$40, freebie sites paid submissions.
$20, proofreading my blog content.
$150, yearly payment for domain and hosting.
$80, 1 TB USB Disk (I needed a device to backup my works).
$13, yearly credit card fee.
Net result: -$246.99
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