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 APRIL 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:
Earlier this month I made TICK to the TOCK and Beyond Parallel FREE on Amazon (among other online stores). I’ve talked about doing this for a while because the way I see it, if nobody buys my books, I may as well give them away. This isn’t a case of sulking and giving up, rather an approach to touch people with my art.
My novels are my art. I want people to read them. I want folk like you to experience them. Would I like them to pay for the privilege? Of course. But above all I just want to spread my art, and it’s this thinking that’s behind I Unlove You and the Forever Free novel approach.
I’ve committed to doing the same with TICK to the TOCK and Beyond Parallel until the end of 2015, and so far so good. Tick to the Tock in particular saw a big spike in the first few days of it going free. I’m not sure why or what was the cause of this, but it reached as high as 350 in the Amazon Free Charts – the highest it’s ever been.
There’s much to do, and I’ve yet to really advertise the fact all my book are free, but I’m hopeful to spread the love in the coming months, and I’m excited to remove the stress of money and sales and stuff like that. I’ve no idea if it’ll work, but as I keep saying, you can’t get much lower than zero sales.
As for The Successful Mistake and I Unlove You, both continue to consume my world – in great ways, of course.
I’m nearing the final quarter of I Unlove You’s second draft and hopeful I can finish it before the month of May’s out. From there it’ll require one final read through, some tinkering, and then off to the editor it goes. Scary times indeed, but I’ve enjoyed the second draft so far. The further down the rabbit whole I go, the more I feel this could become an important and meaningful story.
It’s a good feeling, let me tell you.
The Successful Mistake continues to take shape, too, not just in terms of the writing (where there’s still a long way to go), but in the overall bid to expose the heck out of things.
I’m trying to commit as much time to spreading the word as writing at the moment, and in the form of guest post, podcasts, webinars, and partnerships, we’re getting there. With the help of my sweet accountability partner, Nicole, we’re making weekly strides. There is a long way to go. There is a lot to do. I won’t go as far to say the light’s at the end of the tunnel… BUT strides are being had each day and week.
No Free promotions or campaigns this month, so nothing to see here, folks…
THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £3.86
From here on in I suspect this section to offer little money (at least for the foreseeable future). Other than paperback sales and Successful Mistake sponsorships, it’s unlikely we’ll see any real money. A tiny amount here-and-there, but nothing substantial.
In some ways it feels good to remove this stress and expectation and pressure. I like to think my writing will provide an income stream in the future, and that my books will make a difference. But that time isn’t now. This time’s for writing, loving, and sharing. That’s it. That’s all. It’s scary in many ways, but revitalising, too.
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 speaking gigs this month
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
No speaking gigs this month, and nothing in the diary as of right now. I’m not actively seeking a great deal at the moment, but I am starting to think of Successful Mistake topics I can fit into speaking gigs and online webinars/chats. I can’t imagine I’ll enter too many schools until September now, either. This year has bleeding flown by so far!
I need to start touching base with teachers soon, but speaking work has slipped down my list of priorities. I’m not overly concerned, because if other areas come together in the next six months, it should lead to speaking opportunities.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Nothing to talk about here, so let me share a picture of Kid Turndog with you 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 Boba Fet
Project Mace Windu
A Brand Story/Development project that will run for at least 3 months in some capacity
The beginning of a potentially ongoing Brand Story project with a social enterprise startup
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- No projects completed this month
I’VE BEEN TO
Project Boba Fet
Project Mace Windu
Stock Footage & Audio
TOTAL PROFIT = £2,000
As one project comes to an end, another kicks into life, and client work continues to keep me busy. I love it. It’s what I’ve strived towards for a long time, and it’s starting to come together.
I believe in my ability to produce these kind of projects too, and although I’ve much to learn (seriously, I’ve learned a lot over the last 3 months), I’ve shown some pretty good qualities in recent weeks – not least my keen attention to detail. It makes me rather difficult to work with, but I also feel it produces quality.
In the end of the day this is what it’s all about. So… yeah… I may piss people off, but it’s for the right reasons.
But one thing I need to do in May is look to the future, because as important today is, I must also focus on tomorrow and what my future projects will be. I suppose this is where my results come into play, and whether the end result is enough to entice new people to bring me on board.
I’m confident it will, but the proof shall be in the pudding, as they say…
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 = 859 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 256 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-10-1 = 213 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 139 Views
50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-30-21 = 137 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (March 2015) = 92 Views
- How To Overcome Insecurity & Self Doubt in Business: with Kate Northrup = 27 Views
- Buffer: The Motivational Story Your Life Needs = 22 Views
- How To Over-Deliver During Your Next Big Launch: with Jeff Goins = 8 Views
- How Hiut Denim Is The Best Story You’ve Never Heard Of = 34 Views
- $70k Of Debt Doesn’t Have To Ruin You & This Is How: with Joey Coleman = 18 Views
- How To Read Jenny Blake’s About Page & Leave Inspired = 15 Views
- How To Understand Your Client’s Culture & Why You Need To: with CC Chapman = 9 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 34 (121 Downloads)
Session 30 (119 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
Not the best month for web traffic, which I’m disappointed about as I hope to continually improve this area month-on-month. There wasn’t a huge drop off by any means, but it’s a considerable one that demonstrates the importance in Guest Posts.
My Copyblogger article produced a lot of traffic last month, and considering I appeared nowhere in April, it’s yet another sign to reach out, write for others, appear on podcasts, etc… etc…
Like I say I’ve made progress in this regard and do believe I’ll incrementally grow the website between now and the end of 2015. But it needs to go up, not down. What I can’t settle for is a good month followed by a bad one. A month like this hurts, but it’s fine because I know what I must do.
I’m disappointed with the podcast too, because it slipped by the wayside in April. Still, when I compare these download numbers to when I first started a year ago, they’re night and day. But with the amount of sessions I have, the type of guest I interview, and what I hope to achieve, anything under 1,000 total downloads a month isn’t acceptable.
In the same manner I must dedicate time to my books (and sharing the love about how and why they’re free), I need to get The Purple Coffee Podcast on the radar of others. But again, I like to think my overall focus on bringing more people to this website will help, because more eyes equal more potential listens – at least, this makes sense in my mind.
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:
Let me start by saying I am and aren’t happy with my Email List. I know this may sound confusing, but bear with me.
I’m happy with my Email List because my daily email experiment has gone rather well. Not amazing. Not mind-blowing. But the fact a swarm of folk haven’t unsubscribed gives me reason to smile, and I’ve decided to continue this experiment into the future after initially committing until the end of April.
I do need to number crunch the results however, and create a more detail post about what does and doesn’t work (for my own benefit as much as anything else). Like I say, it hasn’t produced incredible results, but I’ve liked the increased interaction with folk like yourself.
It’s also resulted in a decent amount of unsubscribes, which is no bad thing because I want to communicate with those who wish to be communicated with. I honestly believe this experiment will lead to great opportunity in the future, so that’s why I’m a happy camper.
I’m not happy because the amount of new subscribers remains low. Now, with my increased focus on Successful Mistake Guest Posts, Webinars, Partnerships, and Podcast Interviews, this should improve over time. I also want to experiment with some Facebook Ads in the coming weeks, and although I don’t expect a massive return (because I’ll be playing with small amounts of money), I do hope it’ll create some new sign ups.
In short, I hope to get my total subscriber list to over 1,000 by the next time I do this Monthly Income Report. From here it’ll be interesting to see how long these newbies stay on board. Will they grab their free downloads and run? Are daily emails too much when they don’t already know me?
I don’t know the answer, but I soon will (hopefully).
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
WRITING / BLOGGING
VIDEO / DESIGN
PLANNING / STRUCTURING
OFFLINE (CLIENT WORK)
FINANCES / MISC
- FICTION = 8,000 words
- NON FICTION =4,950 words
- BLOG POSTS = 8,000 words
- GUEST POSTS = 800 words
- EMAILS / NEWSLETTERS = 7,720 words
TOTAL = 29,530 WORDS
I’ve changed this section a little, as my overall workflow has changed of late. With more client work, and more meetings/offline tasks, I’ve rejigged these sections to better overview what I do and how I spend my time.
It means these observations are a tad more generic and less specific, but it still provides a decent breakdown of what I do.
I’m happy with my writing this last month, not just the quantity but the quality. I seem to be more on top of my email at present, too, although I’m not sure whether 25 hours confirms this or not (it still seems like an awful lot). I certainly feel pretty good with my work at the moment. I’m tired. I’m busy. My days are hectic.
But I’m also on top and don’t feel particularly stressed. I won’t go as far to say I’ve have found a happy medium between work and life, but I’m getting there. I continue to learn and freak out often. I’m not where I want to be or as far down the road as I’d like to be. But I can also say with total honesty I’m heading in the right direction
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
11.3 Stone (157 lbs)
45,641 Net Colories
11.4 Stone (158 lbs)
42,543 Net Colories
- No books finished this month 🙁
- The Lean Brand by Jeremiah Gardner
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
For a second month running I’m unhappy with this section. Simply put, I feel like urghhhhhhhh.
I’m fairly happy with the exercise I’m doing, although I think I’m at a point where I need to take my yoga to the next level. After speaking to my buddy Izzy the other day, I wish to up the ante. More often. More intensity. I don’t like to stand still when it comes to physical activity. I’ve played sport my entire life and am rather competitive.
As such, it’s time to take this yoga-thing to the next staircase!
I am, however, unhappy with my diet. I’ve decided to cut out sweets and chocolate until June in a bid to detox my body a little. I’ve slipped into bad habits, am half-a-stone heavier than I like, and most important of all, just feel icky. It isn’t an appearance or weight issue per se, merely a simple act of ickyness.
When I walk, I feel urghhh.
When I sit and relax, I feel urghhhh.
I don’t like it and it’s time to take a stand before things get out of hand. This, combined with my ever improving workflow-life-balance, should make me feel like a million bucks. Oh yes, it’s time to feel light and free again 🙂
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL PROFIT = £1,581.44
Overall it’s been another solid month, and it goes to show how valuable one or two high quality client projects bring to the table. Going forward I hope to only work on larger projects, so although I may have quiet times, when I do work it should mean the bare essential money-numbers are reached.
And with money coming in, and debt now under wraps, it’s time to start re-investing some cash into equipment (some camera gear and a new laptop) and pushing the business forward (experimenting with a few advertisement type campaigns and virtual assistants).
So outgoings may go up in the coming months, but this should hopefully be clever money spent. What is a tad worrying (still) is the amount slipping through my fingers at coffee shops et al. It’s been another splurging type of month, so I need to keep an eyes on this.
Overall though, I’m rather happy with the ins and outs of this month. As has been a theme throughout this post, we’re heading in the right direction 🙂
SO, THE PLAN FOR MAY:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout May:
- WRITE AT LEAST 40,000 WORDS (Content Based)
- SURPASS 1,000 TOTAL EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS (Brand Based)
- COMPLETE SECOND DRAFT OF I UNLOVE YOU (I Unlove You Based)
- APPROACH 5 CHAPTER PARTNERS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Successful Mistake Based)
- WRITE 10,000 WORDS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Successful Mistake Based)
In a bid to find a nice balance between writing The Successful Mistake and spreading the good word (improving my overall brand exposure at the same time), I plan to write 10,000 words and increase my total number of subscribers to at least 1,000. This should ensure I don’t spend too much time on client work, too.
Client work matters, but so do my own projects. The moment I forget this is the moment I should probably go and get an actual job.
And although completing I Unlove You’s second draft might be a tough task, I don’t think I’ll be a million miles away. I’ve had some great sessions of late, fallen back in love with this book, and excited to piece it together. As I said earlier, this feels GREAT.
As for writing 40,000 words… this should mean I not only keep up pace with I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake, but smash a few vital Guest Posts out, too. I’ve a few exciting irons in the fire, so watch this space…
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 = Another backward step in terms of my diet, but another decent month in terms of money. Overall I’d say I’ve made progress in this area. Lots to do, but lots to be happy with, too.
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE = I unfortunately fell short on this goal in April, although I continue to chat with people (I had a virtual coffee with Tabitha Naylor, which kind of counts… ish…). I do need to plan a London trip over the summer, so should grab a few overdue coffees during this time.
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS = No huge strides taken, but some hard graft behind the scenes. I wouldn’t say I’ve done anything on the surface this past month, but hopefully set the ball rolling for the summer ahead.
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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