Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
August 2015 was the month concentrated around a new job. As you can imagine the job transition disrupted my routine a lot. I needed to finish projects and documentation in an old job. In the constant hurry and exhaustion I made the biggest mistake in my career and blew up all the copies of a production database. It took me about a week to fix that one.
In my old job I had an old junky laptop. The battery hook was damaged and one day I simply lost a battery during the commute. I couldn’t work on trains anymore. When I got a new laptop in a new job I had to install a lot of software and it took some time.
Well, I wasn’t in the mood for my business anyway. The failure of Slicing the Hype still stung painfully. I was discouraged and lost.
I didn’t write a lot of my books. Just a few thousand words for Making Business Connections That Count and I almost finished it on 8th of August. I did quite a lot of brainstorming on paper, blog posts, book reviews and articles for magazines I intended to pitch.
I also worked on my The Slight Edge anniversary post. It helped a bit in alleviating the tension. I once again reminded myself about the value of perseverance and reflecting about the past year I realized how much had happened in my life and how much I grew up. That felt good.
In July I followed the program about writing for big publications that I bought. In August I was ready to pitch my articles to Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.
The idea was simple: get a feeling for what is published in those magazines and align your articles to the same style, then show up on the radar of editors so when you pitch your article they will know who you are.
I spent quite a lot of time reading the articles and commenting them. I brainstormed what I could write for them and prepared a few drafts. I shared editors’ content. Before the end of the month I pitched my articles to both publications.
I’ll save you a couple of months of waiting for results I experienced. There were no results. I wasted my time and my time is the most precious resource. In case of Huffington Post I wasn’t overly disappointed. Their page is strange and full of trivia. I couldn’t easily find the type of content I usually produce: purposeful and progress-oriented.
But in case of Entrepreneur I was really disappointed. I read dozens of their articles and frankly, some of them were much weaker than my stuff. Clearly it was the case of getting on the medium, breaking past the gate. Once you are there, you can publish almost anything. In case of Entrepreneur I was 100% sure I was on the radar of the editor. We exchanged a few Tweets. But my pitch got no response at all.
I can work my ass off for feedback, then at least I know what I did wrong. But I had no time to hustle for nothing at all. When I finally realized that there would be no answer I stopped any attempts to get to editors of big magazines.
What works for someone else doesn’t have to work for you. Kimanzi Constable got a lot of traction thanks to getting on big publications. I know for a fact that many of his clients did as well. But in my specific situation of time (and patience) shortage I wasted some bucks and plenty of my precious time in vain attempts.
At the beginning of August I published the book I co-authored with Jeannie Ingraham, 99 Perseverance Success Stories. Jeannie did most of writing and editing. My input was idea, research and about half of the content but I hadn’t written it, I outsourced it.
Because I didn’t write it I didn’t care much about it. I wasn’t emotionally attached to its success.
This time I invested the bare minimum: proofreading and a cover design. I skipped the rest (formatting, paperback production) or did it on my own (book description).
It was the last book I published starting from a free promo. The meager results of a promo (420 downloads) convinced me that this is no longer a viable option for me. It takes a lot of time to coordinate a decent free promotion and I had no time to spare.
Luckily the Buck Books promo went quite good and it gave the book enough momentum to sell some copies afterward. At the end of the month, even including the 50-50 split with Jeannie, the book was almost profitable. It was the longest work I ever published, and I needed some substance for that split, so I priced the book at $3.99. We sold over 540 copies in August and almost half of it was at a full price.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €835.47 ($935.73)
German translation royalties: €17.01 ($19.05)
$25.56, FB ads of Trickle Down Mindset
$27, proofreading services Fiverr
$231.25, cover and proofreading of 99 Perseverance Success Stories
$120.6, my copy editor’s share in The Art of Persistence royalties
$29, Aweber fee
$30, View From the Top Community fee
$12, 99 Stories promo on JamesHMayfield.com
$10, 99 Stories promo on AwesomeGang
$10.5, 99 Stories promo on Bknights
$20, 99 Stories promo on eReaderGirl
$8, 99 Stories promo on The Fussy Librarian