In the beginning of 2014, I decided to do something rather scary… BE TRANSPARENT & HONEST. I want to be an open book, but I’m scared. WHY? Because I’m still at the beginning of my journey, and the numbers are pitiful, and the failures often and obvious.
Below are the numbers, the finances, the projects, my health, and stats from AUGUST 2014. This is a snapshot of what it’s like to be a self published author. A new entrepreneur. An average guy still finding his way. It isn’t designed to scare, nor glorify, merely provide the truth of right now. For all my other Monthly Income Reports, Click Here.
Many of the links in this post are affiliate ones, directing you to the products, apps, and softwares I use to create this monthly report. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything or affect your privacy, just gives me a commission if you happen to buy. Please note I use(d) everything I link to, and am picky when it comes to sharing such info.
Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I love to tap away at the keyboard and share my words with those willing to read. However, standing out from the ever growing list of book is tough, so let’s dive into my published books, the amount of copies sold, and the kind of income a crazy pen scratcher like myself earns:
You may notice that the One Day in September Series (Parts 1 through 6) is no more, instead replaced by a single book – A Perma Free Book at that.
Although I like the idea of lots of books to my name, I found it hard to keep track of everything, and seen as these short stories weren’t selling, I decided to combine them all into a single piece of work and make it Free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, et al.
This all plays into my overall plan of building a rocking email list, and offers people like your good self a peek into what to expect with I UNLOVE YOU – a forever free novel. Obviously, making such books available for free hurts sales, but seen as sales are at best, woeful, there’s little harm done.
Speaking of woeful sales, it’s another month of crying in the corner, I’m afraid. Beyond Parallel was on sale earlier this month, so to see only 4 books sold during this period is rather sad indeed. The thing that really hurts, though, is the lack of love for TICK to the TOCK, because this is a good book, folks. It is, I promise.
Here’s a review it received last week:
“It’s a shame how devastation is often required to appreciate that which surrounds us.”
I’m sitting here, at a loss for words really, trying to think of how to even approach describing this book in a few words. These days, there seems to be an abundance of ever growing and popular books, movies, tv shows, what have you about people dying before their time; battling diseases that no human should ever have to go through, especially at such a young age. It’s getting up there with the vampires and supernatural phenomenon that’s going on. As I approached reading this, I though it was just going to be another depressing tale of a life cut too short as it tries to motivate you to not waste your life away.. etc. Well, that’s what I get for judging. This book, honestly to me, stands out in the massive league of books in it’s genre. It’s now one of my favorite books. I’m in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely sad and heart wrenching and I’m not going to lie I cried more than few times throughout this book, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a real human experience. The author somehow puts into words so flawlessly and gracefully the thoughts of a dying man. It never comes off as over dramatic or unrealistic. It’s brutally honest and messy and sad and just human, in the most beautiful way. In similar books, the author writes the character as this accepting and full of sunshine and rainbows as they are dying type of person, trying to invoke some life altering and life loving emotion out of the readers. While it may work, the feeling never stays and to me it’s not a realistic story. With Dante, he is a mess of feelings up until the very end. He’s terrified, he’s angry, he’s sad, he’s tired. His journey is complicated and so touching and his honest insights will stay with you much longer than the fluff an b.s. that you may read in other books.
“For twenty-two years I’ve allowed one day after another to pass me by, living and waiting for tomorrow… for a good time… for the right time… but now, my end is near and I’ve achieved nothing. I want to be able to say I have no regrets, but I can’t. I have many, and I’m terrified of dying and having them be the only thing left.”
Does it get any realer than that?
I did get thrown off by Wil at first, because quite frankly he’s kind of a lunatic. But, somehow along the way I started to love him. He’s probably my favorite character actually. The way each of the characters start out so set in their ways and so ingrained in your mind, but then by the end of the book are these amazing, complex, even broken people is extraordinary. This book is just so authentic and relatable and just pulls you right in to Dante’s life. The dialogue between everyone is perfection. The conversations that he has with random strangers are probably the most amazing parts of the book. STRANGERS. So imagine how you’re going to feel while he’s with the people who know him the most.
You also get songs with each chapter if you’re one of those people who can read and listen to music. So unique. The songs were perfect throughout the entire book and fit this story so well. As I said before, this book is so relatable and makes you really think about what life is all about, without throwing it in your face. The style of writing is nothing short of perfection and I would recommend this to anyone who is in need of a good read. This will exceed your expectations.
This is from a wonderful stranger who sent me the most heartfelt email alongside this review. At the time of writing this, Tick to the Tock has 18 five star reviews and 11 4 star reviews on Amazon, yet sits at 1,367 million in the charts. Yep, that’s million!!
It’s not that I think I’m the best thing since sliced bread, because I don’t. Anyone who follows my weekly emails knows how much self doubt I suffer with. But I’m so proud of this book, and it’s reviews like this that both make and break my heart. Such words make me believe in what I offer, yet, at the same time, plucks my heartstrings because TttT gets zero sales.
And I know, the buck stops with me. It’s my duty to sell it and send emails and do promotions and ensure it gets on everybody’s radar. It’s my duty, nobody else’s. Maybe that’s why it hurts so much, because maybe I’m not good enough. Anyway, rant over, and thanks for bearing with me. September offers a promo for Tick to the Tock, so hopefully I have better news next month.
No new releases this month
Starting with The Successful Mistake, I’ve done lots of interviews in the last few weeks, and have many more planned for September. I edge closer to my 150 target each day (currently 121), and well underway with the structure and planning of the book. Of course, there’s still a long way to go, but I see light at the end of the tunnel at last.
Seen as my PR Plan is just about finished (more on this later), I shall hopefully be spreading The Successful Mistake love via guest posts, podcasts, interviews and more in the coming months. Lots and lots to do, but I’m really enjoying this project at the moment 🙂
As for I Unlove You, I continue to suffer with my writing at the minute. I’ve passed the halfway mark, and am happy with how everything pieces together, but I’m far full flow. I put this down to a few things: the fact Tick to the Tock isn’t selling affects my confidence, both in my own writing, and my ability to sell future books; my head feels all over the place at the minute, which isn’t exactly great for creativity; money… damn bleeding money. Again, not good for the creative juices.
I have got a September Plan though, and it’s to write 20 Short Stories in 20 Short Days. It all came after writing THIS BLOG POST, and considering I’ve written a great deal about how Short Stories can help you escape a rut, I figure I should practice what I preach.
This is no easy task by any means, but I’m excited to write for writing’s sake. What effect will it have on my creative juices? Time will tell, but I sense good things await.
BEYOND PARALLEL had it’s Kindle Countdown deal this month, and considering this is the first time I’ve done one, I didn’t know what to expect. As you can see above, results were rather grim.
I didn’t push a great deal via my own networks, because I wanted to see the organic power such a promo provides (which doesn’t seem to be much). Plus, I submitted the promo to several sites, and from what I can gather, it didn’t appear anywhere.
It’s TICK to the TOCK‘s turn in September, so it’ll be interesting to see how a book with more reviews and a better rating will fare (although I did submit to BookBub and was declined).
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £9.56
Urghhhhhh, the suffering continues. I won’t say much here because I’ll end up whining or self loathing, which doesn’t help anyone. I have another promo to look forward to, and I NEED to pay more attention to it once it’s underway. I also need to have a big rethink and set some plans in motion, because the ones I set under way in May are not working.
Hmmmmm, back to the drawing board, it seems…
I’ve decided 2014 is the year I kick my speaking/workshop career into gear, and as such I’ve created four topics to build a portfolio around:
- YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT! (aimed at colleges)
- CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH COMPETITORS THROUGH BRAND STORYTELLING (aimed at businesses)
- THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN CREATIVE, ARTIST & CHANGEMAKER (aimed at colleges)
- THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER USED TO READ OR WRITE (aimed at primary schools)
Focus for the rest of the year is to refine these topics, gain kick-ass testimonials, and generate momentum ahead of 2015:
No speaking gigs this month
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
I won’t lie, I didn’t do much regarding Speaking in August. Between not having the time, and the fact Schools and Colleges are in summer mode, my Speaking and Workshops slipped down my to-do list. HOWEVER, September is when school kicks in again, so the plan is to follow up lists of people and arrange some meetings and visits.
That’s basically the entire plan. Lots of emails and phone calls to schools and colleges. Between now and Christmas, I hope to arrange as many gigs as possible.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Not much to say here, so here’s a picture of Kid Turndog instead:
I may be a writer, but that doesn’t define my whole world. I also help businesses Discover, Create & Share their story, and I’m constantly meeting and greeting local businesses. However, the fine line of client work, networking events, and crafting your own projects is delicate indeed – and one I’m still toeing along each day:
CURRENT CLIENT PROJECTS:
PROJECT CODE NAME:
PROJECT HAN SOLO:
A collection of videos and About Page overhaul for a local community projects very close to my heart. I can’t wait to finally share this with the world
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- No projects done this month 🙁
I’VE BEEN TO
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
The fact I don’t have a project to talk about here is a real downer. There’s a few irons in the fire, and there are several opportunities that may take off at any given moment, but at the time of writing, nothing set in stone.
I’ve recently started to use CONTACTUCALLY, which is a fantastic CRM system designed to help you stay in touch with the people you wish to stay in touch with. Not only is this great for every kind of relationship I have, but it’s fantastic for keeping on top of my ‘Leads List’.
I’ve dozens of companies to contact in the coming weeks, lots of people to follow up, and plenty of meetings to arrange. I’m sure you know my pain, because I sense a few cool projects are close, but until you get over the finish line and actually book it in the diary, you never know. This, my friend, is the true entrepreneurial grind. The unknown. The hustle. The ever improving pitch. The fact that all you can do is focus on building great relationships and trust good things will come from them…
Hopefully this time next month, I’ll have one or two to tell you about. Like I say, a few are close. I just know it!
This website is my home, and although it doesn’t generate any income per se, it does offer a detailed overview of WHO I am and WHY I can help. As such I think it’s important to breakdown all the ins and outs:
2,327 (- 168)
5,113 (- 522)
2:32 (- .31)
66% (+ 2%)
82% (- 1%)
435 Views (+44)
2,050 Referrals (- 255)
86 Referrals (- 19)
53 Referrals (+29)
I anlyse all of my website’s data through GOOGLE ANALYTICS, which is a free piece of kit from the Google Empire. I’ve tested other software over the years, but nothing has tempted me away from this freebie yet.
POPULAR BLOG POSTS:
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-20-11 = 781 Views
- how-to-get-your-book-on-amazon-for-free-indefinately = 308 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 269 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-30-21 = 215 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 189 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (July 2014) = 73 Views
- What To Do When Your Site Crashes After Going Viral: with Jaime Tardy = 18 Views
- When You Run Out Of Writing Ideas, Do These 5 Things = 17 Views
- How Jeff Bullas Turned To Blogging And Turned His Life Around: with Jeff Bullas = 34 Views
- 20 Writing Prompts To Kick Your Storytelling Up the Butt & Bring Peace On Planet Earth = 19 Views
- How To Non-Conform By Listening To Yourself: with Isla Wilson = 33 Views
- How CoSchedule Stopped My Social Media Anxiety = 22 Views
- 90% of Storytelling is Re-Storytelling: 5 Storytelling Techniques To Get You Through = 12 Views
- Hire The People You Want Rather Than Those You Need: with Rameet Chawla = 5 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
SESSION 1 Downloads
SESSION 2 Downloads
SESSION 3 Downloads
SESSION 4 Downloads
SESSION 5 Downloads
SESSION 6 Downloads
SESSION 7 Downloads
SESSION 8 Downloads
SESSION 9 Downloads
SESSION 10 Downloads
SESSION 11 Downloads
SESSION 12 Downloads
SESSION 13 Downloads
SESSION 14 Downloads
SESSION 15 Downloads
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile, and all Facebook Page likes combined**
Website Traffic is a little down on last month, but to be honest, I’m not paying much attention until my PR Plan kicks into gear.
For the last couple of months, I’ve searched for Blogs, Magazines, Podcasts, and more; created my newsworthy angles and structured my plans; reached out for help and spoken to lots of folk; and created the landing pages and links and email lists. Well, all the planning is done and dusted, and the time to DO is among us.
Now, there’s no guarantee I’ll appear anywhere, but I hope during the next 6 months you’ll be sick and tired of me. I want it to get to the point where you check your news feeds each morning and say, “Jesus, not Turndog again!” Sorry, but I’m not sorry, because all this means new eyes, new emails, new people I can chat to and welcome into this wonderful journey.
Nothing to sell at this moment in time, but a whole host to share 🙂
Once this kicks into gear, I should see my traffic spike and boom and move to the next level. It should help my social media take a step, too, although I’m at a bit of a crossroads, and hope you can offer your thoughts…
I want to simplify Facebook. Over the next few weeks, I’m disconnecting my individual Book Pages, and will move forward with ONE single account – Either my Matthew Turner Profile OR Turndog Page. Which do you think it should be?
Both Pages and Profiles have their merits, and I’m torn between which to choose. I really want to simplify everything, though, and place all my Facebook attention in one location. Profile or Page? Profile or Page? Profile or Page? That is the big question, so what do you think?
I have until the end of September to decide and realign my new Social Media ways, so be sure to reach out and let me know your thoughts.
And, a final glance at the Podcast stats has me a tad worried. Now, the above numbers don’t take into account Video Views, but I hoped a little momentum may have occurred by now. If I want to keep doing this Podcast, I need to ensure it’s done properly. I feel I need a brainstorming session, to decide how best to move forward. I love this podcast, and I don’t do it for fame or fortune. But a handful of downloads each month…? Yeah, that’s not good!
Like this website, EMAIL doesn’t generate any income, but it does play a huge role in my journey. Overall, I try not sell via email all too much, rather use the medium to connect and share. Email is my primary tool to introduce myself to potential new clients, reach out to those I wish to interview, and talk to YOU on a regular basis. This is a snapshot of my email world:
THE MAIN NEWSLETTER:
CLICK THROUGH RATE
THE OTHER LISTS:
HOW TO BUILD AN AUTHOR HOUSE
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST
TOTAL FOR ALL LISTS:
Boy, I seem to send more emails each month, and I only see the number increasing.
The thing is, these are important emails I bespoke each time, so the hours I put in is rather intense. This is good, because I think email is important, and requires time and energy. But it takes time from elsewhere, so at some point I need to better balance everything. At the minute, email is towards the top of my list, and until I book in some clients and tackle my PR Plan, things ain’t changing around these parts.
Like web traffic, I’m not paying too much attention to my subscriber numbers at the minute. Everything is set up and structured, so once I start Guest Posting and Podcasting and whoring myself like a PR gigalo, I should determine what does and doesn’t work. If all goes according to plan, these Subscriber numbers should boom between now and January.
That’s the plan, anyway.
Time is a valuable entity you can never get back, and knowing how I spend my time (or as often is the case, waste it!), is a vital cog in my growth. I’m forever trying to find a balance between work, sleep, spending time with Kid Turndog, and chilling with a book in hand. The below doesn’t break down my exact timetable, but it does provide a rough overview as to how productive I am:
TOTAL HOURS LOGGED
FINAL CUT PRO
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Overall, rather similar to last month. My RescueTime Score for August is 76, which is around my normal average. The thing that really stood out to me is my lack of time in Scrivener (where I write). 5 hours fewer than July isn’t good, and between the 20 Short Stories in 20 Short Days, and my continued work on The Successful Mistake and I Unlove You, I hope to crack 20 hours in September (at least).
After all, a writer needs to write, right?
I’ve also had a busy time on Skype, with lots of cool interviews undertaken. I feel on top of the world for of this, too, because each Skype Chat shakes me with creative jigger. The more time I spend on Skype, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
And, as I’ve already discussed, I’ve spent a lot of time emailing this last month, and this number is sure to increase in the near future, too. Between Contactually (daily messages to awesome people), Apple Mail, and GetResponse, email takes up a huge chunk of my week. But like I say, this is how I connect with folk, and until I book some clients and tackle this PR Plan, email shall remain a key component of my daily day.
My one gripe this month? Social Media. 10 hours is too much, and I’m not sure how this happened, to be honest. Rather strange indeed.
HEALTH & WELL BEING:
The final piece of the jigsaw is my health and wellbeing, which is arguably more important than everything else. 2014 is the year I wish to bootstrap my routine, and ensure I stay healthy, active, and on top of the stress and vigour working for yourself brings. You can’t measure happiness, but you can track your daily day, which certainly plays a role if you ask me:
2 Hours (football)
8,386 Burned (-222)
65.9 Miles (-0.6)
0 Miles (0)
6 Hours (0)
2 Hours (football) (0)
DAYS UNDER LIMIT
DAYS OVER LIMIT
11.03 Stone (157 lbs)
31,764 Net Colories
11.05 Stone (159 lbs) (-2)
25,685 Net Colories (+6,080)
31 Days (0)
0 Days (0)
- Thinkertoys by Michael Mikalko (52%)
- Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank (30%)
- The Power of Why by C. Richard Weylman (35%)
My health is a little down this month, although I still managed to lose a couple of pounds, which is good.
I should also hit my goal of 11 stone in September, which means the real hard work begins. After all, it’s one thing to lose or gain weight, and another to maintain it over time. Plenty of experimenting needs to be done, me thinks, as I find a balanced diet and lifestyle that works for me.
I did eat a little more than usual this month, and didn’t manage quite as much exercise. I’m disappointed to not go for a single run, and want to make up for this in September with at least 10 miles tackled. That’s only 3 or 4 runs over the entire month, so there’s no excuses.
I also ate too much of the wrong foods, and not enough of the good stuff. If I want to maintain my weight over the long term, I NEED to sort this out. Still, overall I’m satisfied with everything.
And as for my book reading, well, it’s still not where I want it to be, but I hope my 20 short Stories in 20 Short Days reignites my passion. What I will say is this: it’s been a crazy few weeks, and I’ve found myself with little time to relax and read. Of course, in the long term this is bad news indeed. I need to find a balance, otherwise I’ll burn out.
You know this pain, I’m sure.
But this is why I do this monthly report. I allows me to see what is and isn;t working, and find that key balancing act of success. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there, kids.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL PROFIT/LOSS = -£227.12
This just shows how important ONE client project a month is. If I can get to the point where I’m always working on one project, I keep my head above water. It’s as simples that.
Of course, that’s not the dream, to simply keep my head above water. I want to feel comfortable and live the life I know I can live. This requires several client projects, books that sell, and ideas that take off.
BUT, in the meantime, ONE client project a month has to be the aim. It makes all the difference, and should keep stress at bay – and less stress means for a happier, more creative Turndog.
Not much else to say, I’m afraid. I kept my coffee spending under wraps a little better this month (although still on the wrong side of 50), and my increased spend in computer related stuff is down to my hosting plan (which is a quarterly cost). I don’t think you need me to say more, because a loss like this hurts. It’s embarrassing. It’s soul destroying. But I try and look at pictures like the one above, and smile. Because he makes me feel lucky, and he pushes me forward. Because in the end of the day, everything I do is for him.
SO, THE PLAN FOR JULY:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout September:
- WRITE 20 SHORT STORIES BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER (TO AID BOTH MY READING & WRITING)
- FOLLOW UP ALL SCHOOLS & COLLEGES REGARDING SPEAKING GIGS (TO AID MY SPEAKING WORK & PORTFOLIO)
- CONVERT AT LEAST ONE LEAD INTO A FULLY FLEDGED CLIENT (TO AID MY BRAND STORYTELLING WORK)
- CONTACT AT LEAST 50% OF PEOPLE ON MY PR PLAN LIST (TO AID GENERAL EXPOSURE FOR CURRENT PROJECTS)
- CREATE AT LEAST ONE FREE DOWNLOAD FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE MAILING LIST (TO AID SIGN UPS AND EXPOSURE FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE)
Of course, this only tells part of the story. With TICK to the TOCK having a Kindle Countdown Promo, I need to track this and try make the most out of it. I NEED to kickstart my book sales (both online and in the real world), so have to reserve an afternoon to brainstorm and implement a few simple and time friendly tactics to achieve this. Any help and advice you can offer is much appreciated 🙂
I also plan to update THE STORYTELLING STARTER-KIT soon, although I’m undecided when to start this. It may happen in September, but I may delay this until October. It’s an important side project to work on, because it aligns with my PR Plan, and the more impact I can create on this site, the better my chances of conversion once these new eyes lay their peepers on me.
But for the most part, this is what September holds. Lots to get on with, and as usual, a whole host of hustle and fear. Would we have it any other way?
And there you go, folks. Another Monthly Income Report at an end. I know these reports are long, but I hope they help you in some way (if only for pure entertainment/laughing at me purposes). These Monthly Income Reports are hard to write, but I find them rather therapeutic, too. Thank you for reading, and please get in touch and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to start a convo on TWITTER or FACEBOOK.
– – – – – – – –
DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?
If you liked this post, found value in it, and would like to be super awesome, please do the following TWO things:.
STEP 1: JOIN THE FREE 30 DAY BRAND STORY COURSE AND RECEIVE:
- 14 Actionable Emails & Challenges
- 15+ Exclusive Downloads, Books & Videos
- Secret Insight into My Discover, Create & Share Technique
- One-on-One Access to ME – a Guy Who Breathes Brand Stories
- My Weekly Newsletter Packed with Insight, Giveaways & Awesome