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 September 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:
After last month’s lofty heights, things have fallen back to earth for Tick to the Tock and co. Don’t worry though, because this was somewhat on purpose. First of all, I wanted to see what Tick to the Tock would fall back to naturally. Would it go back to shifting one or two copies per day?
Would it tumble back down in the Amazon charts?
As I write this, Tick to the Tock’s is 19,500 in the USA Free Chart, and 7,500 in the UK Free Chart. Things are back to normal in the USA, but remain higher than before in the UK. BUT things did fall rather quickly, and as September drew on, less and less people downloaded.
Which tells me one thing: YOU NEED TO KEEP PUSHING!
This may sound obvious, and this is what I suspected, but I wanted to know for sure. I consider August’s promo a success, and in the future if I raise the price of my books shortly afterwards, I should make some money. It’s been a good learning curve, and it’s also given Kirsty and me (my new Fiction VA) a chance to get organised and create a plan of action.
Our initial focus now turns back to Tick to the Tock, so hopefully we see some more bumps and spikes this time next month. I’m trying to be more proactive with my book marketing, and with Kirsty’s help I’m confident we’ll make a few inroads. It’s a case of continuous tweaks to help get the ball rolling, and for it to then continue going.
Nothing new here, as I continue to work on The Successful Mistake and I Unlove You.
I suppose the big change is that we publish I Unlove You in less than two months, and I’ve set myself a December 1st deadline to complete The Successful Mistake’s first draft. It won’t be easy to achieve this, and I’ve still got a good 20% of The Successful Mistake to write, but I think I can achieve it.
It feels like that dreaded bus scenario where two come at once. Although a good six months will separate I Unlove You’s and The Successful Mistake’s launch days, I’ve started to plan and think about them at the same time. As you can imagine, my mind’s rather fried because of it, but I’m also excited.
These are, after all, two books that have played a large part in my life.
Focus now turns largely to I Unlove You because there’s lots to do if we’re to hit a December 1st launch day. But that’s not to say The Successful Mistake slips to the side, for I’ve a lot of writing to do, as well as early launch day planning to finish. I’m actually grateful for it, because I hate the thought of working on I Unlove You 24/7.
Overall, these two projects are picking up insane pace. It’s great to see after all these months of struggling through. It also means the time has come to do them justice, sell, market, and ensure I give it my all.
THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE
30 DAY BRAND STORY (TIPS)
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
TOTAL PROFIT = £30.10
Thanks to a few Tick to the Tock Paperback sales (via my website) I’ve actually made a few pennies this month. Not a lot, but I consider every small victory a victory nevertheless.
I can’t imagine I’ll make a great deal of money from my books for a while yet, but with I Unlove You’s pre sale kicking in soon, that may change. Moving forward however, a lot should change around these parts – hopefully for the better.
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:
The Instant Follow Up Webinar
Wakefield Literature Festival
Saturday 26th September
Thursday 24th September
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
Not much to say here. Speaking has seriously dropped down my to-do list, although I did partake in an awesome webinar with the Likeable Local team, and took part in a panel-type talk at Wakefield Literature Festival (thanks to my editor, Diane for the invite).
With the new school year now underway, I hope to visit a few schools. Like I say though, this is down on my to-do list, and until I get my head around I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake, it’ll remain this way.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Nothing to see here, so enjoy 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:
No Projects at the moment 🙁
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- No Projects finished this month
I’VE BEEN TO
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
I’m afraid to say it’s been another client-less month, as I continue to search for my next big project to work on. I’m hustling and pushing and reaching out to those I believe I can help, but nothing as of yet.
The one saving grace is, I’ve been so busy with book writing, editing, and launch planning, I’ve not had much time to stress about it. I won’t lie though, it’s becoming worrying, and I REALLY need to bag a new project soon. It’s beginning to drag me down and keep me awake at night, but I have to keep the belief and positive outlook.
I know I can make a difference, and I know there are a couple of great projects on the horizon. I just know it. I feel it.
So… back to the hustle, my friend. More email. More meetings. More conversations to have.
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 = 1,336 Views
- how-to-get-your-book-on-amazon-for-free-indefinately = 374 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 328 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 301 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-10-1 = 266 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- How Awesome Merchandise Share An Awesome Product Story = 42 Views
- Why You Should Create a Podcast Your Listeners Need: with Jared Easley = 2 Views
- How To Show Your Product Journey Like Litographs Do? = 22 Views
- Validation Before Creation – How To Smash Your Next Project: with Grant Baldwin = 1 View
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (August 2015) = 79 Views
- How To Build A Network That Will Change Your Life: with John Corcoran = 11 Views
- What Can Your Shoes Teach You About Storytelling? = 101 Views
- Passion v Purpose – How To Get The Right Balance: with Tim Grahl = 5 Views
- This Is Product Storytelling At Its Best = 21 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 52 (70 Downloads)
Session 49 (40 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
Overall, it’s been a rather solid month for the website. I had a guest post appear on Marketing Profs and Real Business UK, which, although hasn’t brought a lot of traffic or new subscribers yet, is sure to have some beneficial effects moving forward.
My main excitement lies on the future though, as I’ve got I Unlove You’s launch approaching, The Successful Mistake launch period not that far away, and a revamped version of the Greatest Brand stories in the world series. As you may notice, these are my most popular posts (at least in terms of Google), and I’ve wanted to do a 2015/2016 version for a while.
I should finish writing and scheduling this new series in the next two weeks, and they’re set to launch in November/December.
I’m hoping this will provide some new traffic, subscribers, and the like 🙂
Apart from this, I’ve placed The Purple Coffee Podcast to one side. The Successful Mistake interviews I had planned for it are now at an end, so I need to decide what to do next. I like the podcast. I like to think it’ll be back. In what form, I do not know.
I’m taking some time to figure out its purpose, it’s style, and its content.
I’ve also launched a Marry Misfit Closed Facebook Group (well, Kirsty has), dedicated to my fictional writing and such. I’m really excited about this, and sense I’ll do another similar group for my non-fiction/The Successful Mistake. I’m not sure what role it will play in this monthly income report just yet, but I want to track it and keep you updated with its growth.
Speaking of… with the end of 2015 not far away, I’ll more than likely revamp this monthly report, alter what we track, change the look of things, and other such suchness. Nothing more to add than this right now, but a quick heads up.
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:
Nothing new to add when it comes to email. Subscriber and unsubscribe rates remain the same, as do open rates and the like. But the big continued trend I’ve loved to see… folk like you hitting reply and having conversations with me.
This is what it’s all about. I don’t want a list of names, but a community of real people that I know.
Tis links in well with the Merry Misfit Facebook Group, and the continued focus on relationships, collaboration, and involvement. We’re doing okay in this regard, so I’m chuffed to bits.
We also saw some new subscribers this month (both Fiction and Non-Fiction), largely from my webinar with Likeable Local and the recent surveys I’ve done for I Unlove You. The approach I take (daily emails) means I lose quite a few people, but those who stick around are doing me proud.
I’m starting to place a lot of emphasis on these emails in the coming weeks (especially surrounding I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake) so I’m hoping to see these numbers climb and climb and climb. From here, it’s about learning the best way to convert, figure out how much value I can offer, and continue to share a truly transparent process.
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 = 5,750 words
- NON FICTION =5,500 words
- BLOG POSTS = 14,500 words
- GUEST POSTS = 0 words
- EMAILS / NEWSLETTERS = 8,282 words
TOTAL = 34,032 WORDS
150 hours has seemed like 250 hours this month. It’s. Been. Frantic!
Overall I’m happy with the amount of writing I’ve done, and although 25 hours spent planning and structuring may sound like a lot, it isn’t when you plan a book launch (and begin to think about a second). I’m happy to say I’m on top of everything, and although there’s lots to do, and October, in particular, WILL BE insane, I’m beyond confident December 1st will launch in style.
I may just need a few days of rest over the festive season to regain my sanity.
But for the most part, most of my time has gone into writing, editing, and planning. I can’t see this changing a great deal in October, but if all goes according to plan I should have room to work on a few other things towards the backend of the month (aka: client work!!!).
No rest for the wicked, as they say 😉
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:
o Hours (football)
1 Hours (football)
DAYS UNDER LIMIT
DAYS OVER LIMIT
11.7 Stone (161 lbs)
43,521 Net Colories
11.7 Stone (161 lbs)
43,521 Net Colories
I continue to frustrate myself, having a good few weeks followed by a bad few. For instance, I had a great few weeks of eating well and feeling fine, and then my birthday came. The rest is history!
I’m just so up and down, and I hate it. I’d like to say I’ll have it figured out this month, but I won’t. I continue to have a few good weeks followed by a few bad ones. I’m not happy about it, and it’s me who has to change this. No one else!
So… yeah… not happy at the moment with my diet or general wellbeing. I feel rather urghhhhh, which isn’t good at all.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL LOSS = – £364.70
Another tough month, and moving forward without a client project does make things so difficult. It hurts. It’s a worry. I need to keep pushing and searching for that client, because although I love my writing anomy own projects, it just doesn’t pay the bills (yet).
It’s time to suck it up and make it happen. Come on, October. Let’s make this the one!!
SO, THE PLAN FOR OCTOBER:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout October:
- LAUNCH I UNLOVE YOU PRE-SELL CAMPAIGN & REACH 30% OF THE GOAL
- START WORKING WITH A NEW CLIENT!!
- FINISH STAGE 5 OF THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE & PLAN/STRUCTURE STAGE 6
- FEEL GOOD ABOUT MY HEALTH AND WELLBEING!!!
- SHIFT AT LEAST 5,000 COPIES OF TICK TO THE TOCK (FOR FREE)
And on we go into another month of living and loving. I suppose my top 3 priorities surround: 1) I Unlove You 2) The Successful Mistake 3) Get A New Client.
I feel the above objectives highlight this, and although I’ll continue to plan for The Successful Mistake’s launch, I HAVE to finish Stage 5 this month (and ideally start Stage 6) if I’m to complete the first draft by December. As for I Unlove You, I have a rather vast and crazy to-do list, but launching the pre-sell campaign and making a big dent in the monetary goal has to be top priority.
November will be a time to fine tune the book, finish it, get it to reviewers, and of course, the printers, but October is all about ensuring launch day kicks off in style. This begins with the pre-sell campaign, and although that might not mean a lot to you right now, it will soon enough 🙂
And if you want to know more, I suggest you join this Facebook Group full of Merry Misfits…
Besides this, Kirsty’s working hard on Tick to the Tock, so we’ve set some goals around this, and I think I just want to regain my health-happy-point. I won’t put a number by it. I won’t set a goal to lose x amount of pounds. I simply want to sit down to write this report next month and feel happy with my diet and overall wellbeing.
I want to feel whole, light, and free. As I write this, I don’t.
In some ways, this is the least important objective for October. In other ways, it’s by far the most vital!
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 hate to admit this, but I think I will fail. When I consider the money, the fact I Unlove You is about to launch, and everything else, I don’t think this will happen in November. Depending how launch f=goes though, I hope I can make this up to him early in the New Year 🙁
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE = I didn’t share coffee with anyone new this month, so it looks like I’ll fall short in this goal, too. Still, I do feel like I’m approaching and nurturing my relationships much better than this time last year.
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS = Not a bad month at all, considering I had two gust posts published. This is the one goal that seems within reach.
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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