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April 2022 Income Report

May 27 2022 – 05:19pm

An audio version of this income report is available to Patreon backers of certain levels »

April’s income was $10,205, up from March’s $9,449. Profits were $6,412, down from March’s $6,859.

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More records

Overall records set this month are:

This month was the lowest book profit since last July, with $2,497. However, last July’s profit was much lower: $1,812. Still, I set some self-publishing records:

15,000 copies of Mind Management, Not Time Management!

I’ve now sold 15,000 copies of Mind Management, Not Time Management! The book came out less than eighteen months ago, so this is a great pace.

I was surprised to tally up the numbers this month and see that I had crossed the threshold. The prediction I made on Predictionbook stated 70% confidence I would cross it by the end of May, and I did so by the end of April. In either case, I was 30% wrong! 😉

I thought that since March had been a big month with the Kindle Deal, sales would slow, with the price back up to $9.99. And they did slow. 720 copies is the fewest sales in a month this year, but it was enough to bring the final count to 15,107.

It’s cool to see how I’ve passed each 5,000-copy mark a month or two faster than the previous.

Wheat-flanked words!

Crossing this mark was cause to adorn the MMT cover with some wheat-flanked words!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book with a seal for a number as low as 15,000. You usually see that for, say, a hundred-thousand or half a million or a million. But it’s still a good number.

While I was at it, I also adorned the cover of HTS with some wheat-flanked words. It recently passed the 25,000 mark!

The laurel-wreath authority hack

In reality, these are called “laurel wreaths.” I actually don’t recall seeing a laurel wreath used to celebrate the number of copies sold on the cover of a book. If you don’t count The Obstacle is the Way, the cover of which consists mostly of a laurel wreath (and, a million-copy seal).

Interestingly, its author, Ryan Holiday, wrote about the laurel wreath authority-hack in Trust Me, I’m Lying:

Picture a movie poster for an independent film that wants to be received as artistic and deep. It probably features the laurel leaves icon—for awards like “Best Picture,” “Critics’ Choice,” or “Official Selection.”… The use of the festival laurels is to conjure up the implicit value associated with scarcity for the viewer despite the enormous gap between the connotation and the reality.

If a movie graphic has a laurel wreath, that means it’s an excellent movie. I don’t even bother reading the words in the wreath. The wreath alone causes me to buy the movie. I hope this has the same effect vis-a-vis my book and the entire world.

Another BookBub “rejection”

I wrote last month that I had applied for a BookBub Featured Deal, and BookBub had accepted it – for every country except the U.S. I politely declined, as to mark my book down in other countries also requires I change to the 35% royalty rate in the U.S.

Another reason I declined was they had cited my recent $2.49 price for why I couldn’t run my book in the U.S. The editors had apparently accepted the book, but when they saw it had been $2.49 a couple weeks prior, they deemed it ineligible. (Which is odd in retrospect, because they said nothing about Canada.)

So, I waited until the beginning of May to apply again, and this time they unfortunately didn’t accept it for a promotion in the U.S. at all, and instead offered another “international” deal. Frustrating.

I considered running the promotion anyway, and marking it down in the U.S., and promoting with BookBub Ads, but I was traveling and didn’t have the bandwidth to manage all those extra ads. I’ll try again at the beginning of June. Still not sure if I’ll run the promotion anyway if I can’t get a U.S. deal.

Chirp audiobook deals coming

I do, however, have a Chirp audiobook deal coming in June. The Heart to Start will be marked down on Chirp, and I’ve scheduled a discount for the Mind Management, Not Time Management Chirp audiobook, and I believe for Digital Zettelkasten as well.

Sign up for Chirp deals, to get notified. You might have to select an “Advice and How-To” category or something. Or, just check their website sometime in June.

The last Chirp deal I did for HTS killed. I sold nearly 600 copies. At that time, however, I didn’t want to discount the MMT audiobook, as it was brand new. So, I’m optimistic this deal will go well. However, the previous deal was free, and for this one, Chirp gets 10% of my royalties. I’m 60% confident I’ll get an extra $200 in MMT audiobook revenue through Findaway Voices the month HTS is a Chirp deal.

Lower-profit self-publishing month

As I mentioned before, this was the lowest-profit self-publishing month since last July. I made “only” $5,572 in book sales, but spent $3,075 on advertising.

I bid aggressively on Amazon ads this month, and didn’t see a commensurate increase in sales. Some of that is definitely due to MMT being $9.99.

Maybe some of it is the end of “self-help” season, which I’d arbitrarily define as between Thanksgiving and March 31st. Maybe people are going outside and socializing instead of reading self-improvement books as the weather gets nicer (and more places open up “post” pandemic). I can’t say that’s not a good thing.

Met Joanna Penn at CEX

I spent a couple weeks in the Phoenix area. First, I went to the Creator Economy Expo (CEX), which Joanna Penn happened to have flown across the pond to attend!

After having her on my podcast, and being on hers not once, but twice, it was great to finally meet Joanna! She’s the ultimate resource on self-publishing. I’ve learned a lot on my own but couldn’t possibly keep up with her.

I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of us. Here instead is a screenshot from a time I was on The Creative Penn podcast:

I also met J. Thorn, whom I had heard a bunch of times as a guest on the Sell More Books Show podcast. The three of us started our author gang at CEX. Wish there had been more full-time authors there!

I’m scheduled to be interviewed for J. Thorn’s podcast, Writers, Ink. That should be out in fall, sí los dioses quieran.

It was great to meet other Twitter friends in person for the first time, such as Kailiegh Moore and Brian Clark. It was great to just gather in a place with like-minded people again. I’ve since bought a ticket for the 20 Books to 50k Vegas conference, in November.

After the conference, I visited my dad, who is fortunately doing much better.

MMT Arabic rights

I’m on the cusp of signing the first foreign-rights deal for Mind Management, Not Time Management. If all goes well, there will soon be an Arabic edition! I’ll report that income if/when it comes in.

Speaking in New York Public Library’s CEO Series

Thanks to my billboard in Times Square, I’ll be speaking for the New York Public Library! The event will be online on Wednesday, June 1st. If you want to attend, sign up here.

$1,000 for speaking engagement

You’ll see $1,000 of income in this month’s report for a corporate speaking engagement, which I first mentioned a couple months ago. I don’t hang out a shingle for speaking (really, I do fireside chats), but it’s cool to do events like this!

More than $3,000 in ActiveCampaign income

I’ve talked in recent months about how ActiveCampaign earnings are up and down. This is one of those months it was up! I brought in $3,051 in referrals this month, likely from accounts I’ve referred through my ActiveCampaign review.

Blip Billboards for my Times Square billboards

I finally had to pay for my billboard displays in Times Square. A couple people seem to have used my referral link, which got me $100 in credits. I ended up paying $250 for billboards this month. I’ll be giving full details on the costs and results of my Times Square ad campaign in an upcoming blog post/podcast episode.

Podcast interviews coming up

The last podcast episode on which I interviewed a guest was Charlie Gilkey’s, two years ago. At the time, I wanted to make space to work on Mind Management, Not Time Management, and I ended up feeling like it was a very good thing to have more space to explore my ideas.

However, I’ve recently craved more deep conversations with interesting people, and there are a small number of people, specifically, with whom I’d like to connect and have conversations. So, I currently have one interview scheduled, and am consuming everything I can about and from that person.

Ideas on a schedule, but not interviews

I’m enjoying getting back into that process. I don’t think I want to go back to interviewing guests on a particular schedule though. I think it’s a good thing for me to force myself to flesh out my ideas and write articles on a schedule, but I don’t feel the same way about conducting interviews at this point. I want to be extremely selective, and fortunately, since I don’t make money from advertisers, I’m not incentivized to spread myself thin preparing for more interviews than my natural curiosity would merit.

I suspect this interview will come out in July or August, so stay subscribed! I think you’ll love the guest.

A little closer to Finish What Matters

I keep chipping away at the third book of the Getting Art Done series, working title Finish What Matters (Forget the Rest). Last I mentioned, I was still going “uphill” on the project, with little sense of how much longer it would take.

Currently, I feel as if I’m cresting the hill. I have a sense of the flow and general contents of the book. How did I get there? I just printed out a bunch of things I had already written.

Just like that, I had a 25,000-word “draft” of my book. It all needs to be restructured and rewritten, and I of course have new thoughts to add that will only be in the book. But, I’m very close to being able to “see” the book in my mind’s eye.

Income

Book Sales

Mind Management, Not Time Management Kindle $1,718
Mind Management, Not Time Management Paperback (Amazon) $989
Mind Management, Not Time Management (non-Amazon) $166
Mind Management, Not Time Management Audiobook $673
Digital Zettelkasten Kindle $804
Digital Zettelkasten Wide (non-Kindle) $71
Digital Zettelkasten Audiobook $63
The Heart to Start Kindle $464
The Heart to Start Paperback (Amazon) $175
The Heart to Start “Wide” (non-Amazon) $40
The Heart to Start Audiobook $94
How to Write a Book Kindle $97
How to Write a Book Paperback $178
How to Write a Book “Wide” (non-Amazon) $3
How to Write a Book Audiobook $13
How to Write a Book Spanish (all) $5
Make Money Writing on the STEEM Blockchain (all) $10
Ten Passive Income Ideas $8
Total Book Sales $5,572

Digital Products

Blog 2 BLING! $0
Total Digital Products $0

Affiliates / Advertising

Active Campaign $3,051
Alliance of Independent Authors $95
Amazon $42
Google AdSense $112
Hostgator $100
SendOwl $5
Total Affiliates $3,405

Love Your Work Podcast

Patreon $219
Total LYW Podcast $219

Services

Clarity $0
Medium $9
Speaking $1,000
Total Services $1,009
GROSS INCOME $10,205

Expenses

General

Accounting $0
Outside Contractors $227
Podcast Editing / Publishing $123
Quickbooks $45
Total General $395

Advertising

Amazon $2,514
BookBub $112
Blip Billboards $250
Influencer Marketing $60
Product Samples $139
Total Advertising $3,075

Hosting

ActiveCampaign $135
Bookfunnel $15
Drafts $2
Dropbox $10
Fathom Analtyics $14
Libsyn $7
Namecheap $14
SendOwl $9
Ulysses $7
WP Engine $96
Zapier $14
Total Hosting $323
TOTAL EXPENSES $3,793
NET PROFIT $6,412

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This post is filed under Income Reports.