Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
May 2019 was a very busy month for me, but not business-wise. I was busy living my life.
The month started with a visit to my mother-in-law. We were back at home by early evening. The very next day, in the afternoon, my wife and I boarded a train to Prague. We spent three full days there sightseeing like crazy. We were exhausted after those few days. I also had a chance to catch up with the Wizard of Book Formatting, a.k.a. Hynek Palatin (he is the guy who formatted Power up Your Self-Talk).
We had an awesome time, but we were back home on the 6th of May, and only then did I start calculating my Resurrecting Books customers’ profits.
The next Thursday, I was again on the road, this time for my church community’s four-day retreat. Which, by the way, was crazy intensive and I only wrote and checked on my coaching clients a few times.
Also, for almost all of May, we had my mom living with us, so I spent some time with her as well.
I spent the next week catching up with my business activities: issuing orders for ads to my team, corresponding with prospects and customers, and so on.
But the trips weren’t the only thing that occupied me in May. I spent at least several hours and a few mornings/afternoons driving back and forth to deal with the paperwork necessary to connect our home to a gas system.
I also organized scrapping my wife’s old car. The car was picked up to the scrapyard by a truck on Friday, and we drove there on Tuesday the 21st of May to sign the papers. We found that just a couple of miles away there are a beautiful palace and park built in the eighteenth century. We went there, and we were the only two people sightseeing in the early Tuesday afternoon. We had the whole palace complex just for the two of us.
I “Made It”
That day it hit me very hard how lucky I am to own an online business that allows me such flexibility. It was a truly surreal feeling; we were like VIPs in this complex palace only because we could dedicate a workday afternoon to be there. An employer’s schedule didn’t make me a prisoner to my obligations. My business didn’t need to put out any fires, and one afternoon of working in it or not didn’t make any difference.
That experience allowed me for the first time to feel that I had “arrived.” There will always be people more successful than I, and comparing myself to them is a sure path to depression. What does my business provide? A meager few thousand dollars a month?
Yet it is built in a way that allows me to enjoy time with my wife in the middle of a Tuesday—something I couldn’t do for years without taking a day off from my job.
I still have 85% of a mortgage to pay off. I have no idea how many books I will sell tomorrow, not even mentioning the next year.
But this whole scheme works. I’m free. I can decide what to do with my time and enjoy it immensely.
Back to Craziness
Scrapping my wife’s car was only one additional project I dealt with in May. Connecting the gas system to our home was another. We also went to the cinema a few times. I attended a local festival; my daughter sang in that one. I had my hands full of life stuff, not business stuff.
It was good to finish some things (like the car) or move them forward (like connecting the gas system). But it hampered my productivity. Thanks to my 12-Week Year Google sheets, I was able to track down my workload. I worked only 3.5 hours per day on average. Maximum was 7 hours—and that was only one day in the whole of May.
This setup is great. Real productivity is maximizing the use of your time, not spending a lot of time working. Besides, I work to have a good life, not live to produce as much as possible.
Closing the Loops
A combination of the support of my accountability partners (I attended the first call in four weeks on the 18th of May; I was away every single Saturday for the whole month) and my 12-Week Year group pushed me to do something productive with the rest of Q2. I decided to close some open loops I had—the projects I had dabbled with in the past; they provided some results, and I abandoned them.
In the last week of May, I uploaded all four of my audiobooks to Findaway Voices. It was idiotic that I hadn’t done it before.
I published my first audiobook in April 2016, and I purposefully didn’t sign for exclusivity with Audible. It meant that I got only about half the royalties I could’ve gotten from Amazon. Yet, I had let my audiobooks sit for years and do nothing outside Amazon.
Well, at least I didn’t wait the whole seven years of the exclusivity period, which would have been really brainless. I managed to distribute my audiobooks early enough during the seven-year period, and I’m glad to report that audiobook sales from other stores started trickling in at the beginning of June.
I needed to publish Power up Your Self-Talk in other stores (I hadn’t done it since November 2018!), distribute the rest of my books via Publish Drive (I had only four books there), upload more books to Fiberead, and publish some content on Resurrecting Books. I wrote several blog posts, but I never got around to proofreading them.
A gal from Canada found my book Bulletproof Health and Fitness. BTW, it’s one of my worst-selling books. I’m not even sure I spend less on ads for this book than I make in royalties.
Anyway, Carlie Scharing offered for me to join her virtual event. Within a couple of days, we recorded an interview and I notified my email list.
That kind of opportunity happens thanks to my stick-to-itiveness. I can’t even count how many authors I’ve seen throughout the short six years of my self-publishing career. I mean, authors who publish one or a few books, get discouraged by the meager results, and quit. Their books may be available on Amazon, but nothing really happens with them. They have been getting covered with digital dust on digital shelves.
Speaking of six years … I didn’t even notice till one or two days later that I had reached my sixth anniversary as an author. I published A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness on the 26th of May 2013.
This has been an amazing ride.
I’ve sold over 1,250 books in the last 30 days. I sold exactly 663 copies of my books between publishing my first book in May 2013 and publishing my fifth in January 2014.
As usual, my progress catches me off guard when I stop the daily grind and take a look from a multi-year perspective.
For the sake of an anniversary post on Facebook, I did some crunching of my sales and royalties. Here is what I published:
“Last Sunday, I had my sixth anniversary as an author.
Your past is not your future.
In the last three months, I sold 39 times more copies than in the first three months of my author career … and earned 300x more than in the first three months.”
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: € 2685.57 ($3007.84)
Coach.me fees: $138.65
Draft2Digital royalties: $24.67
Audiobooks royalties: $124.77
PWIW personal coaching: $289.9
AMS service remuneration: $2249.29
PublisherRocket affiliation program: $139.53
$69, Aweber fee
$86.49, royalties split with co-author
$1490.85, Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$401.8, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$70, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $3,130.42