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 DECEMBER 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:
For many authors, December’s a fine time of year for books sales. For this author, it didn’t provide much of a bump. Most of my attention for December went into planning for 2015, and for a few big campaigns coming up (The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publishing, My Own Brand Story, and I Unlove You Crowd-Publishing).
Still, I should have taken the opportunity to push my books more, and didn’t take it. As I write this, I’m finishing up my Book Marketing Plans for the coming weeks and months, and hoping to make a few strides. Of course, I keep saying this, how these next few months will help book sales…
So far, I’ve not managed to make a dent, which is disconcerting to say the least.
2015 is a new year though, and there’s little point clinging to what was. To be honest, most of my focus is on creating new books and content at the moment, and ensuring other areas of Turndog keep the bills ticking away. The great thing about writing a book is, it doesn’t go anywhere. Beyond Parallel and TICK to the TOCK are as relevant tomorrow as they were yesterday, and next year… next decade… and so on.
I strive to make small strides in 2015, and show that I can sell my own books. Not too sure how yet, but that’s what this journey’s all about.
No new releases this month
I’m rather happy with my writing progress throughout December. There’s a long way to go with The Successful Mistake, but I chip away at it each week, currently working hard on the opening chapters (which are rather intense and big). It’s a tough challenge, bringing so many interviews into a seamless narrative, ensuring I don’t waffle or turn a 500 word section into a 1,500 one, and generally keeping on top.
It’s a learn-as-I-go-on situation, because I’ve never attempted something like this before.
I’m enjoying myself, so that’s the main thing, and with the Crowd-Publishing Campaign beginning in February, I urge you to get involved NOW and be part of this exclusive Band of Merry Misfits. I’d love to have you part of this entire adventure, as I’m unable to tackle it on my own.
And as I say, the crowd-publishing campaign begins in a few weeks, which I’m so happy and excited about. I’m currently pulling all the details together, finalising the rewards, and arranging the marketing. If you’d like advanced access to this, click the above link!
As for I Unlove You, we’re in the final stretch of the first draft, and come next month’s income report, it should be just about finished. With four chapters left, I’m a few decent sessions from a BIG tick in the well-done column. By far the most difficult first draft I’ve ever tackled, I’m delighted to have made it this far.
Of course, there’s a long way to go, because I’ve MUCH work ahead. But it all begins with a first draft, and with an I Unlove You Crowd-Publishing Campaign taking place in the coming months, I’ve a lot to be hopeful and exited about.
Overall, I’m happy with how 2014 ended from a writing point perspective, so now it’s time to kick 2015 off in style.
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)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £8.70
Well… this is rather embarrassing, isn’t it?!!??
Nothing more to add here, other than I need to get my finger out and make shit happen. BUT, focus remains elsewhere, and making sure more people know about TURNDOG in general. With such exposure, more sales should take place (should). I do plan to place more emphasis on selling paperbacks in 2015 though, at least in the early months. I’ve a few ideas up my sleeve, but I won’t know whether they’ll work for a few weeks yet.
I remain optimistic, and shifting a few dozen copies of TICK to the TOCK would put a big smile on my face.
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:
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
Crossley Heath Grammar
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
As you might imagine, it was a rather quiet month in terms of speaking gigs. With schools breaking up and chilling out, I took the opportunity to re-contact EVERYONE, and spark a few conversations ahead of January. I’ll follow up next week, although I’ve already a few meetings in the diary.
What I’ve learned is, I desire a handful of GREAT relationships, rather than visit every school in my area. With around 100 schools/colleges in Calderdale, such a plan could quickly take over my world. I don’t want this. I love speaking in schools, but alongside everything else I do. Not my sole purpose.
Plus, a quality-over-quantity mentality always works in the longterm.
Once I overcome my initial school-focus, I’ll turn attention to speaking at more businesses, networking events, and conferences throughout the year. My plan’s always been to make speaking a viable part of my business by the end of 2015, and so far the future seems bright.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
A slow month indeed, but expected. I don’t suspect this to get much better in January, either, but I should book some exciting gigs for February and March.
With one or two irons in the fire, who knows. Hopefully I’ll add a couple to the diary in time for next months’s income report.
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 Ahsoka Tano
A small Video Editing project for a friend of mine
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- No Client Work Completed This Month
I’VE BEEN TO
No Client Work This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Although disappointing to say the least, I expected this. In the early parts of December, I contacted LOTS of people, but once the 15th hit, everyone slipped into next-year mode. Such a strange time of year, as folk tend to be uber-busy or uber-quiet.
A quiet one for me, but I have sparked a few exciting conversations I get to enjoy now. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think one or two of these could lead to fantastic projects, and to say I’m excited by their potential is a darn understatement.
As for current projects, I’m working on an editing job for a friend of mine, and although it isn’t part of my core-service, I’m forever happy to help and work with a friend. She happens to have had an incredible 2014, too, and I can’t wait to see how she rocks 2015.
There’s not much more to add, other than the fact I have lots to do. I’m officially back into the swing of things, and have many follow-ups to follow up, and conversations to reignite. The plan’s to set up some meetings and take thing from there. By next month’s income report, I could have some buzzing news.
Finally, I NEED to make 2015 the year I go to more networking events, and on a more consistent basis. I say it every year, but this time I need to do it. I’m switching focus to relationship building only though, and removing all pressure of selling. Seriously, I hate these type of events, but love meeting new like-minded folk.
It’s a mindset I’ve always had, but by removing the mere possibility of selling, it should ease my woes a great deal. If you build good relationships, projects come. They may not come now, but they come. I have to keep faith with this approach, and be a more social being.
Oh yes, here’s to 2015 and a rocking 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:
POPULAR BLOG POSTS:
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-20-11 = 357 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 130 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 119 Views
- how-to-get-your-book-on-amazon-for-free-indefinately = 104 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-30-21 = 99 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- Invigorate Your Brand in 30 Days – The Brand Story Way = 2 Views
- How Coca Cola Uses Christmas To Tell a Story Nobody Forgets = 23 Views
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (November 2014) = 38 Views
- Unearthing Apple’s Unbelievable Storytelling Techniques = 16 Views
- Damn You Disney, Stop Brainwashing My Child With Incredible Storytelling = 9 Views
- The Storytelling Techniques Dollar Shave Club Used To Embarrass Gillette = 3 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 28 (10 Downloads)
Session 26 (16 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
What a tricky section to cover, because just about all my numbers are down on previous months. However, because I launched this new site at the beginning of December, I presume my SEO benefits have taken a hit. Now, I by no means have an above-average knowledge on SEO and Google, but I do know when you switch hosting and URL names, it takes time for things to catch up.
Hopefully Google Search Referrals increase over the coming weeks, and with a better site and more emphasis on conversion, this should help rather than hinder as the year develops. Of course, as good as SEO is, my main aim is to increase direct traffic this year – through Gust Posts, Interviews, Syndication, etc…
Which brings me to this month’s oddity, because my direct traffic went up by a massive amount, and as I search through my analytics, over 400 visits took place on a single (and rather random) day in December. I can’t figure out where it came from or why, but the quality of this traffic was worthless. As such, I think it drove the average time spent on site down, and the bounce rate up.
Not sure if it was a hack or sorts, or some silly spam offering, but it seemed to only affect one day. Should I be worried? I’m not sure, but for the moment I sense I’m fine.
As for December’s other oddity, The Purple Coffee Podcast saw a decent amount of downloads, considering I placed the show into hiatus. With a Re-Launch planned for the backend of January, I’m excited to take this podcast to the next level, and make it a BIG part of my content and marketing.
Simply put, it didn’t capture the leverage I hoped for, and if I’m going to do it, I need to DO IT.
So 99 downloads surprised me, but from here on in, this number will treble… quadruple… and hit big-big levels (at least, this is the plan). Like I say, the re-launch is towards the end of this month, so watch this space (or Sign Up Here for Exclusive and Advanced Access)
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:
Moving forward, the mailing lists that interest me the most are: main storytelling list, non-fiction, fiction, and The Purple Coffee Podcast.
The main storytelling and non-fiction lists continue to rise at a steady, yet somewhat annoying, pace. Considering The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publishing campaign awaits, and with it some healthy press, these two lists should benefit
I Unlove You continues to drop though, although I’m not worried, as I haven’t done much to drive this number up. Considering I send weekly emails with updates and sneak peek content, those who wish to be part of this will stay, whereas those who don’t, won’t. Whittling away the so-so crowd is rather important, so I’m not concerned.
And with a greater emphasis on subscribers and reviews, The Purple Coffee’s Re-Launch should help drive this list in the upward direction (not that it can get any lower).
I haven’t set a number per se, but a huge 2015 aim is to build these email lists – with quality, not quantity. With everything I have planned, I believe a total number of 10,000 emails is somewhat achievable over the next twelve months, but I’d rather have 2,000 people who get it and believe in it and wish to be part of it, than 10,000 of so-so’s.
To summarise, I don’t wish to see trickles in 2015. I want significant rises and improvements. This requires great content, guest posts, successful campaigns, and spreading the word of Turndog far and wide. Let’s do this!
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
To begin with, I didn’t quite reach my target of 20 hours in Scrivener, but I came rather close indeed. I’m so happy about this, because I feel like I’m re-discovering my writing mojo (bit-by-bit, session by session). Other than write, I spent the majority of December in planning mode (hence a lot of time on Turndog.co and within apps like Evernote).
Where I began the month surrounded with email, and contacting lots of potential clients, I finished it in Evernote, iCal, and Wunderlist. I talk about my 2015 Goals and Plans in THIS POST, and can’t wait to approach things differently this year. All this took place in December, so although it was a down month in terms of money and production, it should set me in good stead for what’s ahead.
I suspect these number will rise in January, too, and considering the many distractions December possess, I’m happy with the work I put in, and the results taken out. It means little unless I start 2015 like a man possessed, though.
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)
1.5 Hours (football)
DAYS UNDER LIMIT
DAYS OVER LIMIT
11.3 Stone (157 lbs)
42,570 Net Colories
11 Stone (154 lbs)
36, 718 Net Colories
HAHAHA, as you may imagine, I took a backward step in December. Damn Christmas and it’s many-many treats. As I write this income report, I feel heavy and urggghhhh, and are tempted by sugar at every turn.
I haven’t slipped far though, so a good January (with bare minimal treats) should get me back to 11 stone and feeling fine. It’s not just the food increase, but the lack of walking (because I spent more time lounging) and yoga (classes closed over Xmas).
It all adds up, but like I say, I feel I’m in a decent spot, and nothing a good January won’t fix.
It’s no longer about weight though, rather my overall lifestyle. 2015 is all about discovering a diet, exercise routine, and general way of life that suits me fine, keeps my weight stable, and makes me feel like a billion bucks. I don’t want to be up and down, and come next December, I hope nothing will change when temptations cone my way, instead saying, “You’re okay, thank you. I’m happy with this apple.“
As part of my 2015 Goals, my health sits front and centre. Something it didn’t during December haha.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL LOSS = £463.39
Obviously not a great month, but this is one of those occasions where the numbers don’t tell the entire truth. For instance, a lot of my ‘Other Expenses’ came from buying new camera equipment (finally started to build my rig), which I bought with Christmas Money, and after selling a couple of other items.
As such, the money coming in and out doesn’t tell the whole story.
Either way, certain alarm bells continue to ring, after another month where I spent over £100 on coffee and meals. I suppose, seen as I don’t pay for an office, this is my rent (kind of). I struggle to work from home, and thrive in the freedom of a coffee shop. When you look at it like this, £100 per month isn’t too bad.
At the same time, it’s rather a lot, and I do need to get this closer to the £50 mark – at least for now, until my finances become more stable. Overall, it’s a tricky set of numbers to look at. I feel this month is much better than they portray, yet I can’t afford to have many more like it.
Onwards and upwards, and here’s ensuring December sets the marker for 2015 to rock my fricking world!
SO, THE PLAN FOR JANUARY:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout January:
- LOG AT LEAST 20 HOURS OF WRITING TIME IN SCRIVENER (Writing Based)
- RE-LAUNCH PURPE COFFEE PODCAST MONDAY 19TH JANUARY (Content Based)
- LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE CROWD-PUBLISHING CAMPAIGN EARLY FEB (Successful Mistake Based)
- CONVERT A CLIENT-LEAD INTO A CUSTOMER (Client Based)
- START TURNDOG BRAND STORY PAGE & FINALISE ITS PLAN (Content Based)
First and foremost, I must re-engage with those I contacted before Christmas, and setup meetings, dialogue, and proposals with perspective clients. It’s so huge for me to transform a few of these leads into actual projects, and transform this part of my business into something epic.
I’m on the cusp, I just know it, so have to kick 2015 off in style.
As well as this, BIG focus turns to The Successful Mistake, and preparing the crowd-publishing campaign, and The Purple Coffee’s Re-Launch (which coincides with The Successful Mistake). Most of the plans are in place, so it’s time to implement everything and ensure all the boxes are ticked in time for February’s big launch. Much to do, but at the moment, I feel on top.
Final focus goes towards WRITING (and lots of it), and starting to bring the Turndog Brand Story together. Overall, this is where my January focus stays, with a smidgen of school-speaking work and reaching out to the press. A busy month for sure, but one I’m buzzing like a bee about.
And finally, I’ve set myself three 2015 Goals (This Post explains all), which EVERYTHING I do over the next twelve months works towards. These are what they are, and this is what I’ve done to stride closer towards these this month:
- IN NOVEMBER, GO ABROAD WITH KID TURNDOG FOR THE FIRST TIME & WEIGH 11 STONE THE DAY OF OUR FLIGHT =
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE =
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS =
From here on in, each month I’ll summarise what I’ve done to stride towards each of these goals, because everything in the above report (everything I do) NEEDS to revolve around them. If I don’t move closer to achieving each of these every single month, I’m doing something wrong.
I hope this monthly income report, and your fine self, help keep me on the right path.
Also, I plan to add one or two new things to this monthly income report in January (such as words written), to better evaluate what I’m working on, and what matters the most. I value these income reports, and plan to improve them and take them to the next level. There’s no better place to start than January, right?
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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