Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
I started July 2019 strong, continuing my 12-Week Year resolve for Q2 2019. I did almost everything with uploading my manuscripts outside of Amazon in May. I needed to correct a couple of manuscripts that were rejected on different platforms, and I added a few more books on Fiberead.
Then, I got busy with editing and publishing my content on my ResurrectingBooks website. Some of those articles had been sitting on my hard drive for months!
At the end of the month, I reviewed categories of my books on Amazon in Canada. I sent several requests to KDP Support and changed categories for all of my books that needed a change. Frankly, I didn’t see a blip of a difference in sales. However, it was a one-time job that will benefit me for years to come.
Since I did this, I’ve got more books occupying the tops of bestseller lists. In fact, if I don’t have at least one bestseller in Canada on any given day, it’s strange. On many days I’ve had as many as three or six bestsellers in that store.
Around the 20th of June, my CA advertising account broke. It happened in the same way as with my US accounts previously. I couldn’t create more keyword Sponsored Product ads with manual targeting. I could create category-based ads, I could create keyword ads with automated targeting, but the kind of ads I utilize the most were out of the question.
I got the same “support” from Amazon as with the past cases. I was harassed with requests to send screen shots, provide more information, update my browser, clean my browser’s cache, change my browser … Needless to say, it didn’t help one bit. I’m writing this report at the beginning of September, and they are no closer to finding a solution.
Luckily, the ads in CA don’t “get old” as quickly as in other markets, and I reloaded most of the ads in May anyway. My CA sales were pretty stable; I just couldn’t get more customers into Canada.
At the beginning of the month, I settled accounts with 80% of my customers with the help of my son in one afternoon. That’s the power of systems and processes.
Unfortunately, building systems and processes around Amazon systems is like building sandcastles on a beach. High tide will come sooner or later and sweep them away.
At the beginning of August, I spent about six hours calculating profits from my customers. I couldn’t generate the lifetime report from the AMS system for a couple of my customers. The accounts of a few other customers were hit by this issue at random throughout the month, probably due to jumps in servers’ performance.
Under those circumstances, tracking my customers’ results is a pain in the butt.
Plus, Amazon introduces changes to their interface all the time, so I need to continually upgrade my processes. If they change columns in the reports, I need to change the structure of my Google tracking sheets. If they change the ad-creation interface, I must figure out what has been changed and train my team accordingly.
Thanks to my “laptop lifestyle” I had no troubles with some things for which you need to take the day off in a full-time job. The gas counter was installed in my home, I signed the sales agreement with a gas company, and a gas furnace was finally installed in our home. You get used to luxury quickly. Only thanks to writing this report, I noticed I didn’t have to carry coal sacks for the past two months.
I had also a shoulder check-up with a doctor. He prescribed more rehabilitation. I had hoped for better news.
Customers & Keywords
At the end of June, I fired a couple of my customers whose ads weren’t profitable. I couldn’t afford to work with them because I’m paid by results. And figuring out how to fine-tune their ads was cost-prohibitive. I don’t do that even for my own books. It’s easier to find new keywords and create new ads than to tinker with the old ones.
Speaking of keywords, I prepared a new list of keywords consisting of almost half-a-million phrases. My team created the test ads for my books using those keywords in the UK and Canada. Unfortunately, the Canadian account broke in the middle of adding those ads. Yet, they still generated 46 orders in June and 125 orders in July.
At least we managed to create all those ads in the UK. The results were promising: 24 orders in June and 65 in July.
The last time we tested a huge set of phrases (over 97,000), we ended up with five new keyword templates for my and my customers’ books. Hopefully, the effect of this batch will be proportionately bigger.
The school year ended in Poland in the middle of June. My kids had more time to help me out.
My daughter downloaded the data from the previous testing batch. My younger son created quite a lot of ads, since he was earning money for a new graphics card. And my older son started to think about going back to his duties in my business. He quit his day job, so he had no source of income. He tackled the backlog of my royalty payments and processed them for tax purposes.
In the last weekend of June, my cousin and his family visited us. He has a severely handicapped two-year-old son. My cousin doesn’t like to get away from home because of his son’s condition. But we spent a whole day hanging out together, a few hours more than they’d planned, and the boy was very peaceful the whole time. Everybody enjoyed that visit.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: € 3575.94 ($4040.81)
Coach.me fees: $123.39
Draft2Digital royalties: $14.36
Audiobooks royalties: $112.32
PWIW personal coaching: $288.9
AMS service remuneration: $1782.7
PublisherRocket affiliation program: $46.31
$69, Aweber fee
$129.49, royalties split with co-author
$1750.94, Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$659.8, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$212.55, profit split with my editor
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$70, my accountant’s monthly fee
$11.33, domain name
$99.99, Coach.me yearly fee
Net Result: $3,014.7