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 FEBRUARY 2015. 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:
A disappointing month in terms of book sales for sure, but I’ve unfortunately done nothing in terms of marketing. I’d hoped to figure out my book marketing plans this month, but between The Successful Mistake Campaign and client work, I’ve had little extra focus to spare.
Not really an excuse, of course, but I’ve also considered a couple of somewhat crazy ideas. I’ll discuss this a little further down the page, though.
Overall, I’ve seen no improvement in book sales and things are not looking good. It’s disheartening. It hurts. It makes writing I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake hard, because deep down in the depths of self-loathing you think, “What’s the point? Who’s going to buy this anyway? Who cares?”
It’s a horrible and dangerous thought process to have, but I suspect it’s one many suffer through.
No new releases this month
All eyes remain on I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake (the latter in terms of writing and the ongoing crowdpubglish campaign). We’re well underway with the second draft of I Unlove You now, and about a quarter of the way through at the time of writing.
So far so good, and I hope to be nearing the end of the second draft in time for next month’s income report. At this point it’s time to involve an editor, which is a damn scary process indeed. It’s also exciting as heck, with so much possibility.
As for The Successful Mistake, writing continues to tick away somewhat slower than I’d hoped, but I feel like the overall style and direction is where I want to it be. It’s becoming an easier process, so should speed up over the coming couple of months. It’s a beast though, so I’d hate to put a time-stamp on anything just yet.
The Crowd-Publish Campaign comes towards its close too, and so far it hasn’t gone quite according to plan. I’ve learned a lot though, and it’s helped me appreciate a great deal about relationship building, crowd-sourcing, and overall communication. We’ve still got some prodding and pushing to do too, as it isn’t over yet.
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 = £5.81
Nothing to see here, which is often the case. Like I say, it hurts. It hurts a lot.
But I’ve had a sneaky thought that I may try out soon, although I’ve not decided 100% yet. This crazy idea is to make every single one of my books (including Tick to the Tock and Beyond Parallel) FREE. I mean, it’s not like anyone’s buying them, so I may as well, right?
I’d rather see people read them. Maybe making them free removes all barriers. Maybe it’ll make things worse. I’d still have paperbacks to sell, so maybe this would improve sales in this regard. It’s not like I can sell less than zero, after all…
I’m undecided at the moment, but seriously considering it. My thoughts are to make all my books FREE until the end of 2015 and to take things from there. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and guidance…
I’ve decided 2015 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 Gigs This Month
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
I’ve not had much energy or time to dedicate to speaking this month, although I do have one or two bits booked for March. Once The Successful Mistake Campaign is over I must re-look at a few speaking leads and try add a few dates to my diary.
Plus, The Successful Mistake provides a new speaking topic I wish to transform into my marquee offer. It remains an idea and concept at present, but I hope to have something more definitive by the summer. I see this as a huge part of the process, not only in spreading the message, but potentially improving sales and my overall authority.
Like I say though, it’s mere thoughts inside my head at the moment.
And although not speaking per se, I’m starting to look into Webinars, which I suppose are an online equivalent. Again, this links to The Successful Mistake, and certain irons are getting added to the fire in preparation for publication. Nothing set in stone just yet, so I’ll keep you posted in future income reports.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Nothing to add this month. I expected this though, and didn’t anticipate January or February to house any speaking opportunities. Onwards and upwards.
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 Boba Fet
A Brand Story/Development project that will run for at least 3 months in some capacity
A potential Brand Consultancy project that’s still in its early days
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- No Completed Projects This Month
I’VE BEEN TO
Project Boba Fet
TOTAL PROFIT = £1,420
Isn’t it amazing what a single client project does to your bottom line. I won’t lie, this is HUGE. It’s also an enjoyable project, and one I’m not only confident in providing epic value and helping said client rise and climb and thrive, but use this as a means to showcase how I can help others, and why they should give a damn about me and my ways.
It’s a big deal because I need to knock this out of the water, and although this terrifies me, I’m excited as heck. Over the next couple of months this will become a real entity, and one I cannot wait to share with the world. Oh yes, Turndog’s chuffed haha.
Other irons remain in the fire, too, so although I’m dedicating a lot of my time on this client at the moment, there’s potential down the road as well. In other words, the client side of things is beginning to come together. Not in a way where I can take a step back and ease off the pedal, but in a sense where I can begin to clear debt, invest in the right equipment, and achieve my 2015 goals.
I know this is a small step, and in the long-run nothing to get too excited about. But I am. I’m stoked. I’m giddy as funk. I can’t wait to show the world just what Turndog can do 🙂
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 = 955 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-10-1 = 243 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 240 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 233 Views
50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-50-41 = 133 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- 163 Inspiring Interviews Realised This Dream… = 11 Views
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (January 2015) = 27 Views
- Crowd-Publishing The Successful Mistake – The Numbers So Far = 37 Views
- 10 Epic Tools For Sharing Your Awesome Brand Story Online = 32 Views
- Why I Chose Publishizer To Crowd-Publish The Successful Mistake = 61 Views
- You Are An Awesome Storyteller – Act Like It! = 6 Views
- 21 Amazing Plugins To Improve Your Brand Storytelling = 22 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 28 (112 Downloads)
Session 3 (88 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
Beginning with the website, overall numbers continue to climb as the new site settles into Google’s ecosystem. We’re not quite back up to where we were pre November 2014, but we’re close. The true good news about this month though, and something these stats don’t show, is that I’ve appeared on some great sites and received lots of attention.
Only… it’s directed to The Successful Mistake Publishizer Page rather than this site. Through a Forbes Post, Copyblogger Article, ProductHunt Mention, and a handful of rocking podcasts, the word of Turndog is beginning to spread.
And once the campaign’s over, the URL on these guest posts redirec to Turndog.co, so it should offer some nice traction going forward (after all, publications like Forbes and Copyblogger have massive SEO reach).
So yes, traffic isn’t looking to shabby at the moment, although I’ve lots more to write, share, and achieve. Still, it feels like I’m heading in the right direction.
It isn’t just the website though, as The Purple Coffee Podcast had its first full month since re-launch, and things are looking rather spiffy. I’m not sure what 1,200 downloads means in the grand scheme of things (I’m still rather new at this Podcast lark), and it’ll be interesting to see if numbers drop or rise in March, but compared to the old podcast these numbers are insane!
I’m not naive to think I’m a podcast superstar, but I sense I’ve begun with enough traction to make The Purple Coffee Podcast worthwhile. It has so much potential and room to grow, and is another positive in my world at the moment. I’m excited about where it’s going, and combined with Guest Posting, Book Writing, and General Blogging, this should help improve reach and worth and authority.
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:
So… email’s a tricky subject at the moment, because I’m about to test something that could make or break me. I talk about it in more detail in THIS POST, but to summarise I plan to send Daily Emails to EVERYONE on my lists. Inspired by the likes of Seth Godin, I want to share everything I do with everyone – rather segment fiction readers and non-fiction readers and brand storytelling peeps.
To be blunt, subscription numbers and interaction hasn’t improved as expected, and in fact I’ve noticed a general drop off in open rates, replies, and people unsubscribing. With Guest Posting and Podcasting high on my agenda, I hope lots of new people join me on this crazy journey, but I want them to JOIN ME – be part of everything… not some things…
But I also appreciate this will piss a lot of people off, so I suspect we’ll see lots unsubscribe in the coming months, and new people join and leave in a rather quick turnaround. But it’s all about quality instead of quantity, because I strive to create a community of people who care, rather than have lots who can take it or leave it.
I’ve no idea if this will work, so I’ll test it until the end of April and take it from there. It’s a huge commitment from my end, and it scares me. It scares me because I want to be present and do this justice, and not piss people off at the same time. But I think I can make it work, so I guess time will tell.
Again, THIS POST explains my reasoning in greater detail. Wish me luck.
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
- FICTION = 4,400 words
- NON FICTION = 4,900 words
- BLOG POSTS = 5,470 words
- GUEST POSTS = 900 words
- EMAILS / NEWSLETTERS = 5,181 words
TOTAL = 20, 851 WORDS
I’m disappointed with my Scrivener hours this month, as I NEED to spend more than 10 hours on The Successful Mistake and I Unlove You. However, I do feel I’ve achieved a decent amount during this time, so that’s good.
It’s disappointing to see such a low word count, too, but considering I’m editing I Unlove You, I won’t be writing as much whatever the weather. The aim now is to remove words, not add to them. So although my fiction word count in particular may drop, its quality and relevance should improve.
But come the end of the day, I need to write more. I NEED to spend around 20 hours in Scrivener. End of story!
Other than this I’m pretty happy with my workload, because although I’ve spent less time on the laptop, I’ve spent more time in client meetings. Considering we spent February Discovering their Brand Story, it involved a lot of talking and thinking. Now we’re creating the story and bringing things to life, walking replaces the talking.
All in all things are okay, and this is another positive in my world of late. However, with this new workload and positivity brings a real necessity for balance. I don’t think I’ve figured this out yet, but in the coming months I must. But I suppose this comes with experience, which makes me realise how much I still have to learn.
This is good. It helps keep me grounded, humble, and motivated.
HEALTH & WELL BEING:
The final piece of the jigsaw is my health and wellbeing, which is arguably more important than everything else. 2015 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
11.1 Stone (155 lbs)
42,350 Net Colories
11.5 Stone (159 lbs)
40,863 Net Colories
- No books finished this month 🙁
- The Lean Brand by Jeremiah Gardner
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I managed to drop a few pounds this month and get back to where I like, which is good indeed. However, I still aren’t happy with my diet, as it’s a little up and down. Still, I feel in decent shape and heading in the right direction, so I can’t beat myself up too much.
I’ve also improved my protein intake by consuming more porridge instead of naughty snacks, lowered my carbs whilst doing so, and although fat levels have increased, it’s decent fat for the most part (nuts and what not). But again, I wouldn’t say I’m happy and where I could be, so I’m still searching for that lovely balance.
Sleep also continues to be my downfall, as I find myself sleeping-in far too often.
It’s gutting to read no books, but with The Successful Mistake Campaign it’s taken a bit of a back seat. It’s been a rather hectic month for the most part, but I cannot allow this to become the norm. Reading’s important to me, and I miss it. I miss the love to read. I want reignite this (both fiction and non-fiction) and if I do I believe it’ll bring great joy into my life.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL PROFIT = £1,112.18
Considering this is my first £1,000 profit month, there’s reason to celebrate.
Again, I know this isn’t a big deal in the long-run, but it feels like one. It means I can get on top of some debt, reinvest into things I need to, and worry less about the nitty-gritty. And because I’m guaranteed similar sums for at least a couple of months, it allows for some true growth and traction to be had.
I have a long way to go, but bit-by-bit things are coming together(ish).
Also, I’m happy with my outgoings, and getting on top of coffee splurging and the like. I can handle £60 per month. It’s still a lot, but it isn’t crazy. I don’t know… this is the first income report where I don’t feel like a complete failure in terms of money.
And who knows, I may soon see my first £1,500+ month, which is huge because it means it outweighs my old wage. I suppose this was always the aim, and although it’s taken longer than I thought it would, we’re getting there.
SO, THE PLAN FOR MARCH:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout March:
- DECIDE & IMPLEMENT MY BOOK MARKETING PLAN FOR 2015 (Book Marketing)
- COMPLETE TURNDOG BRAND STORY PLANNING + START CREATING IT (Content/Brand Based)
- COMPLETE 75% OF I UNLOVE YOU’S SECOND DRAFT (I Unlove You Based)
- FINISH WRITING STAGE ONE OF THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Successful Mistake Based)
A hectic month awaits, but it’s one full of hope and opportunity. Although I don’t have too much time to dedicate to my book marketing and soon-to-be epic Turndog Brand Story, I feel it’s important to make some tough decisions and get things in motion.
Otherwise it’ll be September and nothing will be done.
Other than this I really want to get the nitty-gritty of I Unlove You’s second draft done, and kick The Successful Mistake’s first draft into second gear. There’s a lot of other aspects to consider, too (Client Work, Successful Mistake Campaign, Guest Posting…) but these feel uber important at the moment.
So yes, this is what I intend to keep my eye on for the moment. But like I say, I expect a manic month ahead (in the best possibly way, of course)
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 = I feel like I made progress here, as it’s the first month I’ve made significant movement in terms of money. If I build on this, I’ll certainly be in a position to whisk The Kid away for a few days.
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE = Although I haven’t shared a coffee with anyone, I’ve had an active month or connecting and re-conencting with folk. Plus I have Evo Terra staying with me soon, so we’re getting there.
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS = Oh yes, we’ve made strides in this regard. There’s a long way to go, but appearing in Copyblogger and Forbes are two HUGE ticks off my to-do list.
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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