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 NOVEMBER 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:
To say I’ve done nothing with my book marketing in November is an understatement. As you’ll find throughout this monthly income report, all eyes have gone on starting and finishing the new website, tidying up the Free 30 Day Brand Story Course, and trying to write The Successful and I Unlove You (as well as arrange some meetings and generally harangue a few local businesses – every day I’m hustling…)
I’m disappointed with the lack of book sales (as usual), but I cannot be surprised on this occasion. The good news is, I have plans to end 2014 and begin 2015 (more on this below), and I’m spending time in December trying to rejig a few things and kickstart this book-selling-lark into gear.
Still, I can’t say I’m happy, and continue to hang my head in shame.
No new releases this month
I made some decent progress on both I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake in November. The Successful Mistake, in particular, had a promising month, as I began the actual writing process.
There’s a long way to go, but the book’s structure is there, and I’ve placed pen to paper. Starting is almost always the hardest part, and it hasn’t been too brutal. I can’t quite fathom how I’ll pull all this together, but it’ll come – one step at a time.
I’ve also decided to run a Crowd Publishing Campaign on Publishizer in 2015 (most likely, at the end of January). It’s an exciting platform I can’t wait to test, and Vincent and the team are doing great things (especially for non-fiction works). In December, I plot the campaign’s ins and outs in preparation for January and February.
This is such a big deal for me, and could start the new year with a bang. Excited and nervous? Yep, you bet!
As for I Unlove You… same as usual, to be honest. I didn’t write as much as I’d have liked, but considering I had the website to work on, I kept on top of it rather well. I’m also testing a new schedule in December, where I dedicate at least one FULL afternoon to I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake each week.
Not only do I hope this helps my progress, but to rediscover some writing stamina, too. Oh yes, this is something I wish to regain in 2015!
No Free promotions or campaigns this month, so nothing to see here, folks…
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
£16.47 (+ £3.53)
£0.66 (- £0.66)
£3.31 (- £1.16)
£20.44 (+ £1.71)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £22.15
As often is the case, the less said here, the better.
Not much to add, but I have set time aside to tackle Book Marketing in December. In particular, I want to shift as many Physical Books of TICK to the TOCK and Beyond Parallel as possible. Not only does this free space in my room, but places some nice cash in my pocket, too.
Not 100% sure what I’ll do just yet, but I plan to approach a selection of local High Schools with the offer of 5-10 copies of TICK to the TOCK, a Limited Edition Beyond Parallel Hardcover, a bunch of Bookmarks, and a Workshop aimed at aspiring writers.
I’m hoping to meet up with a school librarian before Christmas to discuss how feasible this is, but if I sell this package to 10 schools (for £250 (ish)), It’ll help my bottom line as well as get me into a few new local schools (two birds, one stone).
A work in progress, as is the rest of my book marketing plans, but I should make progress by next month’s income report.
A new year, a new start. Heck yeah!
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:
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN CREATIVE…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN CREATIVE…
Beech Hill Primary School
Crossley Heath Grammar
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
I’ve had a big month regarding my speaking, and had chance to work on three of my four topics. I’m still very much growing as a speaker, and forever improving my topics and style, but feedback so far has been good.
I have a few more talks in December, and January is the time to truly kick things into gear. I always hoped to test things out in 2014 and create a portfolio of sorts, and roll this out in 2015. Because of this, I feel like I’m ahead of schedule.
As I write, I’m following up all the schools I contacted in September with an attempt to set up a few meetings after the Christmas Break. Now I have some testimonials and examples to showcase, I’m hoping to enter a few new schools between now and the summer.
Saying this, I have no plans to work with all of them. There are a lot of schools in my local area, and I hope to work with a handful of primary schools and a handful of High Schools/Colleges. If I play my cards right, I could comfortably perform 25 Workshops/Assemblies/Talks per year.
In terms of my speaking, this is where my priorities lie at the moment.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £400
Like I say, it’s been a decent month. Not all my talks were paid, but some have set the foundation for potentially good things in 2015. In particular, I loved my time at the Fail Forward Conference. Surrounded by lots of like minded folk, it provided a real buzz and kick up the butt.
I also feel like I held my own, so it gives me the confidence to do more events like this. At the moment, I’m placing most of my most of my efforts towards schools, but I do hope to appear at more conferences in 2015.
I have a long way to go in my speaking career, but it’s certainly been one of my high points in 2014. Here’s hoping 2015 offers good times, too, and lots and lots of growth and opportunity.
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 DARTH MAUL
PROJECT JAR JAR
A short Christmas Video for a local entrepreneur testing out a new venture idea for 2015
Some work on a Cofernece and Presentation for a thriving local business
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- PROJECT DARTH MAUL
- PROJECT JAR JAR
I’VE BEEN TO
Project Darth Maul
Project Jar Jar
TOTAL PROFIT = £400
For the most part, November has frustrated the hell out of me in terms of Client Work. I’ve emailed a lot of folk, and set up a few meetings for 2015, but not much movement in the grand scheme of things – at least, not as much as I’d like.
Saying this, I have worked on a couple of smaller projects that helped keep things ticking over.
I decided last month to be a persistent son-of-a-gun, and email and follow up and force myself in front of the local businesses and people I believe I can help. I won’t go as far as saying I’m forcing myself and picking up the phone, but I’m showing more persistence.
Is it working? Overall, yes. And people seem to respect this, too. It’s a fine line, of course, I don’t wish to annoy people. But I have to ensure they know who I am, and how serious I am, too. In other words, I’m not going away 😉
December is a tough time, so I don’t expect much of anything this month. I’ll continue to follow up and introduce myself to those I believe I can help (and generally wish to connect with), but in the hope of meeting in 2015.
In other words, a frustrating month of laying the foundations, but this is December in a nutshell: a time to close one year out and plan and dream for anew.
To be honest, it’s a wonderful and hopeful and lovely time of year.
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:
2,734 (- 714)
5,639 (- 1,284)
1:57 (+ 0:10)
514 Views (- 144)
2,146 Referrals ( – 483)
316 Referrals (- 261)
151 Referrals (- 27)
POPULAR BLOG POSTS:
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-20-11 = 982 Views
- how-to-get-your-book-on-amazon-for-free-indefinately = 330 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 267 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-30-21 = 267 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 228 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (October 2014) = 28 Views
- Why You Should Tiptoe Into The Startup World: with Kate Mats = 117 Views
- Why I Left The Marketing World to Embrace The Art of Interactive Storytelling = 31 Views
- Don’t Hire People Like You: with Mike Eilertsen = 47 Views
- 23 Reasons Interactive Storytelling Is The Future of Marketing = 74 Views
- How To Build Meaningful Relationships During The Hustle and Bustle: with Marsha Shandur = 16 Views
- Hate Marketing? Tell Your Story Instead! = 12 Views
- The Important Importance of Understanding Your What: with Steve Olsher = 8 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 26 (16 Downloads)
64 (+ 42)
Session 22 (19 Downloads)
231 (+ 38)
174 (+ 2)
1,153 (- 8)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
The age of turndogmillionaire.com is over, as turndog.co takes its place.
I have a few things to tidy up throughout December, but 90% of the site is done, and I’m really happy (and 100% relieved) to tick this giant to-do off my list. It only took a month, too, so I’m rather pleased and impressed with myself – although like I say, I do have some clean-up on the agenda.
Because of this, December’s stats won’t be too grand, as I had some downtime whilst I switched servers. But November was down, too, and I’m not sure why.
Google, and the traffic it sends my direction, continues to baffle me. One month they send a lot, the next, not so much. The same pages continue to be popular, but their variances are significant. I suspect everything will suffer in December, whilst Google figure out I’ve switched domain names, but because I suspect this, they’ll probably send loads of traffic my way.
Either way, I’m not too fussed about stats this month, because a new site means a fresh beginning (complete with LeadPages and their epic LeadBoxes and Magnets).
Now the site’s finished, I need to get back into the PR/Content Marketing swing, and ensure more people visit this wonderful new site of mine. Again, December is more a time to set things up for 2015, rather than get things done right now.
Most bloggers/podcasters are in preparation and planning mode, so whether this proves to be a good time to arrange interviews and guest posts remains to be seen…
In terms of Social Media, I’ve seen a rather significant drop (lost some followers on Twitter and seen nowhere near as much traffic from Facebook). In part, this could be down to switching from one site to the next, as things were down for a few days.
And before we move on, I’ve begun to Syndicate My Blog Posts (placing them on Linkedin, Medium, and a few other places a week after published on my site). I’ve seen good traction on Linkedin so far, and although other news-sites haven’t picked my work up yet (Forbes, Inc, etc…), I suspect it takes time.
If I’m persistent with the same journalists, and continue to feed them good content, eventually they’ll take me seriously. At least, this is the rationale I’m taking, so I suppose time will tell …
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
407 (+ 7 )
32 (- 10)
112 (- 113)
41% (- 5%)
2% (+ 2%)
THE OTHER LISTS:
HOW TO BUILD AN AUTHOR HOUSE
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST
TOTAL FOR ALL LISTS:
216 (- 4)
172 (- 6)
32 (- 1)
881 (- 4)
137 (- 104)
17% (+ 43%)
4% (- 2%)
I haven’t much to say about Email this month. I didn’t send as much in November, largely because I spent much of my time on the new website.
With the addition of Leadpages, a new site (which is much faster so far), and a content strategy about to take form, my subscriber numbers should grow in 2015. I won’t go as far as saying I have a specific number I’d like to reach, but I hope to have at least 5,000 subscribers (across all my lists) by this time next year (December 2015).
With everything I have planned, this is more than achievable.
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
As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time on my laptop in November, and as a surprise to nobody, I’m sure, I spent much of it on turndog.co / turndogmillioanire.com.
Between setting everything up and combing through all the pages, November was a month spent in WordPress. Still, I think it’s worth it (I’d love your opinion on the new site, though).
Although spending 50+ hours on my site sends shivers down my spine, consumed by email for only 17 places a smile on my face. I feel like email is slowly taking over my world, and although I appreciate the huge role it plays, 30-40 hours each month sits on the insane side of the fence.
But my biggest gripe regarding this section is Scrivener, as I set myself a target of 20 hours worth of writing in November (yet managed less than 10). I can blame it on the website, but I should have managed at least 15 hours of writing. Everything else in this section is fine by me, but I MUST spend more time in Scrivener.
Again, an end of one year welcomes in anew. It’s time to draw a line and set a new standard.
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:
1.5 Hours (football)
8,105 (+ 762)
61.9 (+ 6.8)
6 (+ 1)
1,500 (+ 50)
1,500 (+ 50)
1.5 Hours (football)
DAYS UNDER LIMIT
DAYS OVER LIMIT
11 Stone (154 lbs)
36, 718 Net Colories
11.02 (156 lbs) (- 2)
38, 612 (- 1,894)
59% (- 6%)
16% (+ 1%)
25% (+ 6%)
- No books finished this month (I know, it’s a damn disgrace!)
- Thinkertoys by Michael Mikalko (52%)
- The Power of Why by C. Richard Weylman (35%)
- Hooked by Nir Eyal (75%)
Good news, for November 2014 is the month I reached my target weight of 11 stone. The pounds continue to drop, which is good, and I walked more and shed a few extra calories, but my food intake certainly took a wrong turn (in part).
Simply put, I ate too much fat this month, and although consuming less carbs is a good thing, replacing it with fat and sugar isn’t. It hasn’t affected my weight, but it has affected ME . As I write this, I feel a little heavier and bloated. You see, I have a sweet-tooth, and once I have a little sugar, I crave more and more.
So I have more, and it doesn’t mean I put on weight at first, but it does make me sluggish. With Christmas approaching, it’s always a hard time of year for me. Between now and then, I must have a sugar detox of sorts, and get to the point where I’m feeling light and free.
Yoga and football helps, but diet is the main fix. It isn’t even a case of eating healthier. It just requires not eating crap.
But I’m happy, for my weight is where I want it, and now my task is to maintain it. This means a more balanced diet, and this, I’m sure, will prove to be a key battle throughout 2015. If I can figure it out this year, I could be set for the rest of my life.
It isn’t about diets and shit like that. It’s about a lifestyle. I’m still figuring mine out, but I’m in a far better place than I was six months ago.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
£17.13 (+ £2.87)
£3.31 (- £1.16)
£0 (+ £400)
£420.44 (+ £401.71)
£49.01 (+ £423.92)
£38.16 (+ £0.09)
£19.93 (- £19.93)
£28.80 (- £12.30)
£66.71 (+ £34.27)
£11.00 (+ £0.50)
£36.17 (+ £12.79)
£249.78 (+ £439.34)
TOTAL PROFIT = £133.03
Overall, I had a great month in terms of revenue (compared to others, anyways…). Although book sales were non-existent, I made progress on both the speaking and client side of things. This feels good, although I’m preparing myself for a quiet December. I cannot imagine next month’s income report will offer nearly as much good news.
It came at a good time, too, for the new website pushed my outgoings up.
Between the WordPress Theme (Divi), LeadPages, and hosting/domains, it was a rather pricey month. Still, my Divi purchase was a one time deal, and I won’t have to worry about LeadPages for another year.
So, although next month’s income will be low, so should my outgoings.
But Jesus, what the hell happened to my coffee intake this last month?!?!?! £100 on coffee shop drinks and food is ridiculous, and I’m not happy at all.
I let things get out of hand this month. I should spend half as much as this each month, and this CANNOT become a trend. Hell, this shouldn’t become a trend even if I start earning thousands-upon-thousands each month!
SO, THE PLAN FOR DECEMBER:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout December:
- LOG AT LEAST 20 HOURS OF WRITING TIME IN SCRIVENER (Writing Based)
- COMPLETE WEBSITE / 30 DAY BRAND STORY TIDY-UP (Website / Content Based)
- CREATE ACTION PLAN FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE CROWD-PUBLISHING CAMPAIGN (Successful Mistake Based)
- PREPARE PODCAST RE-LAUNCH (Content Based)
- SORT OUT BOOK MARKETING IN PREPARATION FOR 2015 (Book Marketing Based)
When I consider last month’s mini objectives, I did rather well. I didn’t just get on top of the new website, but completed it. I launched The 30 Day Brand Story Course, too, and although I have some tidying-up, I’m on top of everything in this regard.
Focus must now turn towards gaining exposure and introducing myself to new people. So, as well as the above mini objectives, I must continue to Syndicate my Blog Posts, contact podcasters and bloggers regarding Guest Posts and Interviews, and put myself in a position to implement everything once 2015 chimes into existence (and people once again take action, after a December of planning and winding down).
I’ll continue to email and follow up local businesses throughout December, but I appreciate it’s a difficult month. Once we get to the 15th, most people begin to wind down. Frustrating to say the least, but it does give me ample opportunity to plan and prepare for The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publishing campaign, the re-launch of the podcast (bigger and better than ever), and of course, WRITE!!!
Overall, this should be nice. I too need to wind down a little bit, and I’m excited to start 2015, because I honestly believe it’ll be a year to remember. As I write this monthly income report, I prepare my 2015 Goals, too.
I’m writing an epic post about this to go live at the start of 2015, and cannot wait to share it with you. I’m approaching things differently this year, and I’m optimistic about the many opportunities on offer. Here’s to next year, and ending the current one in style
So I suppose, all that’s left to say is, have a wonderful festive season, full of joy, family, and hella-good-times.
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.
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