Ascent Publication
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Ascent Publication

Rushing Things: Eighteenth Income Report — September 2014 ($302.77)

(The naked truth about self-publishing; episode 18)

source: pixabay.com

Are you curious about the time delay? I explained it in my first income report.

September 2014 was a very tiresome month.

First of all, moving to a new house was quite demanding on my schedule. The trains were erratic, so I was spending more and more time in the commute. I was unpacking, putting furniture together, calling technicians, supervising them, mowing the lawn and doing a hundred other things.

My full time job was more demanding too. We had a couple of emergencies and a few night actions to manage.

In all this, I was happy I got a publisher who took care of all other aspects of my business, except writing. I didn’t need to worry about organizing or coordinating promotions, or hiring and supervising freelancers.

Well, I still was in almost constant contact with my publisher, and was emailing them about once every other day. We worked differently and I had trouble transiting from the solopreneur who had 100% power over his business to an author constrained by the contract.

My books were republished under Archangel Ink account at the beginning of September, and I couldn’t change an iota on my own. No keywords, categories and so forth. I felt a bit naked without this power.

Huge promos

(my Amazon author rank after the promo)

On the 4th of September, the Buck Books promotion of my 3 books was done, and I sold over 400 copies within a couple of days. It was amazing. My author rank skyrocketed.

The last 3 books were published a few days later and promoted on 11th of September. This time, it was 330+ copies. The books achieved rankings ranging from #1k to #3k in the Kindle store. I felt like a proper author at last.

10 days after the second promo, I got some sales data (I had no access to sales reports too; this was driving me crazy) from my publisher. We were selling 34 copies a day on average. And all my books were priced $2.99, so it meant 70% of royalties!

… and poverty

Those sales figures however haven’t changed the fact that we were poor like we haven’t been since studying in the university. All our money was consumed by house renovation. We were looking at every dollar spent.

The last bits of savings were what I used as a deposit for Archangel Ink. According to our contract, I was going to see the money from those sales in my account at the beginning of January. The money which came from my July sales were immediately consumed.

I was happy about one thing caused by this situation, we had no TV, because we couldn’t afford buying a modern TV set; and our old one was not compatible with the satellite network. This was a blessing.

The problem with this poverty was that I had no money to invest in my future releases at all. Archangel Ink estimated costs was $500. They agreed to finance the next book investment, but for any further titles I was obligated to provide a deposit.

Writing

I finished writing “The Art of Persistence” at the beginning of September, and for a week or two I had no idea what to write next. I brainstormed about one idea, and then another. At last I’ve come up with an idea and started outlining the book.

The idea quickly expanded into a series of books. I’ve outlined the whole series and written the short introduction to it (about 6k words). At the end of September, I was already writing part 2.

I rushed the beta-reading phase of “Trickle Down Mindset” and I’m hoping to publish it soon. Many (25+) people volunteered to beta-read, but with the tight schedule, I had little time to incorporate their remarks. Many of them also had limited time to read the book and provide their feedbacks.

Anyway, I spent some time on improving this book myself. Some of the beta readers suggested I cut out 40% of the content; but I’m not skilled at editing. I managed to shave off about 15%.

Lessons:
a) Don’t rush things; it’s better to do it right, than right now. “Trickle Down Mindset” was finally published in January 2015, and I had a lot of time to work on it.
b) The feedback from readers was invaluable. I believe as a result of the feedback from readers, this book has been the best launch among all my books. And it got the most organic reviews (about 20 in the first month).

While anticipating the launch of this book, I started contacting bloggers and authors asking them for help with the launch. Four of them responded, but in the end only a couple of them were able to help me out. This time the long period between when I made inquiries and the actual launch worked against me.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income: €303.69 (about $384.77)

Cost:
$19 — Aweber services
$20 — Lift coaching
$4 — purchase of my books from Archangel Ink
$10 — ghostwriting gigs on Fiverr
$24 — ExpandBeyondYourself.com domain renewal
$5 — proofreading services Fiverr

Total: $82

Net result: $302.77

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