For me, October 2018 started Nashville, TN, USA. My mastermind’s retreat finished a day before. My friend, Rebecca-Patrick Howard, picked me up from my host’s home and drove to the meeting with my reader, Brent. Brent and I had an awesome conversation. Then I did some sightseeing in Nashville with Rebecca and her son and she drove me to the airport.
The flight back was almost a luxury, I had to switch planes only once, in London.
The first week of October was filled with dazzling activity. I finished calculating the September results of my customers’ ads on the 5th. In fact, I calculated the profit of the last customer on 10th, but he pays me with a 2-month delay when Amazon pays him, so that was on purpose.
When I was in the USA I got an email from a Korean book agent. I immediately sent him a proof copy of “Trickle Down Mindset” in PDF and I got his reply very fast. I responded to it on the 8th of October.
I was also lagging behind with correspondence to my prospects and customers.
“Trickle Down Mindset” in Korea
My email from the 8th was about the contract draft the agent sent me. I had several questions. It took him more than a week to reply, he was in Frankfurt for the huge book fairs. The draft looked good, so I agreed to proceed with it.
Before the end of the month I signed the contract, as well as the publisher. According to it, the Korean translation of “Trickle Down Mindset” will be published in 2020. Traditional publishing is soooo slooooow.
I was supposed to get a $2,000 advance and some laughable royalties after the launch; 7% or so. Normally, I would never consider such an offer. 7% is funny compared to 70% I get on Amazon.
But I had no intention of pursuing international markets anytime soon, so this offer was a godsend. All I needed to do was to provide a PDF copy, then a few hard copies. In exchange, I got an advance, my book will be translated into Korean and possibly be of service to readers I never would’ve imagined to reach.
One more thing, there was a clause in the contract that after 5 years my rights to the Korean edition will be revoked, if the publisher will not extend the existing contract. That was a default option, not my requirement. I guess traditional publishing has evolved a bit in the last several years.
And now I can call myself a traditionally published author
My Church Community Retreat
In the middle of the month I spent four days at my church community’s retreat. I took my son with me, because he joined the community last year. The retreat took place in Płock, the city of my birth.
I had a chance to visit my cousin, my grandparent’s grave, and disconnect for 4 days. I checked on my coaching clients twice via mobile. That was all the work I did. I also wrote, but only worked on my novel for the sake of keeping my writing streak alive.
Well, after the retreat I played more catch-up.
I had a radio interview scheduled on Sunday, the day I came back from the retreat. I almost missed it. Fortunately, the hosts were patient. They were three writers and we spent great couple of hours discussing writing and publishing. That was a pleasure! I could do it all day long.
Here is the interview:
Not much happened on the surface. Among the multitude of tasks and catching up, I corresponded with prospects. Those prospecting conversations were sometimes really crazy.
One conversation I started about a year ago. I nagged my friend for months to do something about his dead book. In October he finally took action. We worked on his book description for a few weeks and on the 19th of October I started his ads. Then it appeared the book is in Kindle Unlimited, so the clicks were consumed by borrows. I put the ads on hold and he waited till the book will go out of KDP Select on the 4th of November.
I contacted another author when a Quora answer reminded me about him. I have a fragment of his book in “The Art of Persistence”. When I used a fragment of my book to answer a question on Quora, his name popped up in my manuscript. I looked up his books on Amazon and sure enough, they were dead. I sent him an email, then we had a 40-minute conversation about my service. He was interested, but he postponed with the start till he migrates his paperbacks into KDP.
Power up Your Self-Talk
In the last week of October 2018 I had to find some time for my book. The manuscript was back from my editor, twice. I corrected the manuscript according to her guidelines, twice. I called my graphic designer. He was worried about the timetable, but he provided the first mockup within a week. I liked it, but you know me, I don’t recognize Rembrandt from a children’s drawing.
I contacted a few author friends to tell them about my launch in November and asking for support. Among other things, I got a verbal spanking from Dave Chesson that I wrote a book instead of focusing on my business. From the rational point of view, he was 100% right I had things to attend to in my business.
But authors are irrational creatures (read: we are all crazy).
David and Goliath
For the whole October 2018 I was pestering KDP Support to do something about my problem with creating new ads. Since I couldn’t reply to their emails anymore, I switched to phone calls. I remember one time when I went through the firewall of the 1st line; they confirmed my identity; after about 10 minutes I got someone from KDP on the phone; he verified my identity once again; finally he asked what’s my problem; I explained it.
And then the connection broke.
But that was nothing. Just stupid corporate procedures and bad luck. I called once again and went through the whole procedure. Then I got someone with strong Indian accent and we discussed my problem at length. He said he cannot do anything for me, they waited for the technical support feedback and he promised his supervisor was taking care of this issue. I didn’t care. I wanted some decisive declaration, not empty talk. I wanted some clear answers, not another delay.
The guy didn’t give a shit. He hung up.
I went to the backyard and screamed at the top of my lungs with frustration. I lost my voice for two weeks.
On 30th of October I called the support once again. This time I was determined to resolve the problem for good. When I was on the phone with another clueless minion the supervisor called me on my other mobile. Finally someone who knows my case. We spoke for over half an hour and the conclusion was that they have no fricking idea what was going on or how to fix it. It seemed my only option was to start a new KDP account and move my books over there.
That was a huge headache as from what she said, my book ASINs would change. Still, it was less of a headache than zero new ads.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €2,246.14 ($2,560.6)
CreateSpace royalties: €44.99 ($51.29)
Coach.me fees: $250.9
Draft2Digital royalties: $40.23
Audiobooks royalties: $113.3
PWIW personal coaching: $293.23
AMS service remuneration: $2006.6
Affiliate marketing: $46.31
$29, Aweber fee
$67.57, royalties split with co-author
$615.52, Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$171.9, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$157.52, my editor’s share in profits
$325, edition of “Power up…“
Net Result: $3,704.5
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