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February 2022 Income Report

March 24 2022 – 03:58pm

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

February’s income was $10,637, up from January’s $8,490. Profits were $7,759, up from January’s $5,059.

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Highest revenue ever!

This month’s revenue of $10,637 is the highest ever. The second-highest was in July of 2018, when I was spending a lot on ads, and made only $3,442 in profit.

This is only the fifth time I’ve reported revenue over $10,000 in a month, in the four years I’ve been doing these reports. Actually, all five of those times have been in the past three years, and this is the third time in the past nine months.

$100,000-year revenue!

This month, I broke, for the first time, the $100,000 revenue barrier for twelve months. I’ve made $101,353 in revenue since March 2021.

Nine-month streak

This is a nine-month streak of breaking my yearly-revenue record. This streak started in June 2021, when I reported $72,053. My yearly revenue has grown 40% during this period.

Record yearly profit

I broke my record for twelve-month profit once again. I’ve made $64,085 in profit since March 2021. As of last month, my twelve-month profit was $58,533.

So, for the first time, I’ve broken the $60,000 barrier. I now make “as much as a teacher.”

(Note, I delayed paying my accounting bill this month – aka, I forgot. It was around $450, and I’ve since paid it in March. So, that does slightly inflate my profits, and will slightly deflate my March profits.)

$5,000/month barrier

This means I’m making over $5,000 a month in profit, for the first time in the four years I’ve been doing these reports. I’m averaging $5,340 profit per month.

Nine-month streak

This brings me to a nine-month streak of breaking my yearly-profit record. I started this streak in June 2021, when I reported $44,896 in twelve-month profits.

So, my profits have grown about 43% during this period. Slightly faster than my revenues.

Highest book revenue ever!

I also broke my record for self-published book revenue in a month. I made $9,428 on self-published books. My previous record was $9,179, set in December.

Books almost 90% of revenue

When you consider that I made “only” $10,637 in total income this month, that means books are a huge portion of my revenues. I long ago said I wanted to emphasize book revenues, with affiliate revenues a close second, and those priorities are reflected in how my revenue has broken down amongst categories over recent years.

As I mentioned recently, affiliate revenues have taken a hit, as my ActiveCampaign review has aged, and some accounts I’ve referred have dropped off. However, I think there will be a spike coming soon. I also saw a new bigger account come through, so it remains to be seen if that will bring in some regular revenue.

This month, books are nearly 90% of my revenues. That’s not an ideal mix, especially when you consider about 90% of my book revenues come from Amazon. So, that’s something for me to think about – should I diversify my revenue sources, and how?

Book revenue helped by Polish-rights payment

My book revenue was boosted this month by a payment for the Polish rights for Digital Zettelkasten. I got a $1,300 advance for Polish rights. Since about 20% of that was withheld for Polish taxes, I actually received less than that, but since I don’t account for taxes in these reports, $1,300 it is.

That’s more than the $750 I received for Vietnamese rights for The Heart to Start, so I hope I can continue that upward trend on my next foreign-rights deal. I was in talks with a Russian publisher about a translation for Mind Management, Not Time Management, but given the economic sanctions against Russia, I think that deal is dead.

Book revenue helped by wide MMT sales through Ingram Spark

My book revenue was also boosted by a big payment from Ingram Spark, for MMT sales. I made over $1,500 in royalties on Ingram Spark, which is nearly double my previous high of $845 in December.

Mixed in there was 100 sales of the hardcover version. I’m not sure what to attribute those sales to. I recently did a speaking engagement, and they bought thirty books. I’m not sure whether they bought paperback or hardcover, but perhaps it was the latter.

Record book profit

My record book revenues have fortunately led to record book profits. I made a $7,027 profit on self-published books in February. That smashes my previous record of $4,860, set last month. I beat that record by about 70%!

This makes a 3-month streak of record book profits. Considering this month’s record was broken with the help of the payment for the Polish-rights deal, that will be a hard streak to keep up!

But, nearly 70% of that profit is from MMT, alone. I made $4,841 in profit from MMT. We’ll see how its Kindle Deal goes in March – which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Yearly book-revenue record

I broke my twelve-month record for self-published book revenues, making $69,165. This makes a four-month streak of breaking this record. Last month’s record was only $62,557, so that’s 10% growth in a single month. The streak started when I had made $51,600 in the twelve months leading up to the end of November, so my yearly book revenue has grown by a third in the past four months.

Yearly book-profit record

I also broke the record for my twelve-month self-published book profits. I’ve profited $41,363 from self-published books in the past year. This makes a nine-month streak. By last month, I had made only $35,065 in the previous year, so that’s 18% growth in one month. I started this streak with $19,814 in the year leading up to the end of June 2021, so that’s more than 100% growth over the past nine months!

Record average book profit

This record yearly book profit also means my average profit from books over the previous year is growing. Over the past twelve months, I’ve averaged $3,447 from self-published books. This is a nine-month streak. Just last month, my average was $2,922. When I started this streak, my average was $1,651.

My average book profit graph is starting to look like a hockey stick (wish I could get the months to shoe up on it. I continue to lack spreadsheet skills.)

Mind Management, Not Time Management is a Kindle Monthly Deal!

MMT is a Kindle Monthly Deal! This is a big honor, because Amazon hand-selected it for discount. They chose to mark it down to $2.49 in the US and Canada.

From what I’ve heard from other self-published authors, Kindle Monthly Deals aren’t worth it, and it’s the Kindle Daily Deals you want. But, my Kindle Monthly Deal is going great so far. I’m not making as many sales as I did the first couple days, but I am making a lot of sales.

I’ve had a Kindle Daily Deal before, an experience which I’ve written about. I think they’re both great. I have yet to run the numbers, but I actually think I prefer the monthly deal.

3 months in a row of 1,000+ MMT copies sold (a 4th on the way)

February was the third month in a row in which I sold 1,000 or more copies of MMT. I can almost guarantee March will be the fourth month in a row. As of this writing, I’ve already sold over 900 copies on Kindle or Amazon paperback!

Approaching 15,000 MMT copies sold

At that clip, I hope it’s not premature to say that I’m steadily approaching the 15,000-copies sold mark for Mind Management, Not Time Management.

As of this month, I’ve sold 12,647 copies, and with more than 900 copies sold in March, and a four-month streak of 1,000+ copy months underway, I feel 70% confident that I will cross the 15,000-copy mark by May’s income report.

I keep reminding myself that the book has proven worthy of reaching an even wider audience. I sense there’s some tipping point at which it goes from simply being a book that’s sold a decent amount of copies to a perennial seller that snowballs in sales for years to come. It seems the book is itself somewhat of a viral engine, but without a publisher behind it, it needs an extra push. If you liked it, please share it with your audience!

PublishDrive sales discrepancies

I noticed some sales discrepancies in my historical PublishDrive records, versus my sales reports. It seems sales for a month aren’t fully reported until at least the end of the following month.

I try to update my numbers around mid-month, as I finish my income report, but then some sales trickle in after the report goes out. For MMT, I found about 160 sales that were unaccounted for in past reports.

The way I plan to address this is to double-check sales numbers for the previous month whenever I create a report for a new month. This will ensure my historical sales numbers are correct, but it seems there will always be some revenue missing in the wide portion of my reports. Some of this will never be corrected, as I don’t build manual reports for Digital Zettelkasten or How to Write a Book.

Mind Management, Not Time Management profits achieving lift-off?

As MMT sales accelerate, it seems the profit margin is widening. You can see that in the graph of income versus expenses.

It’s tempting to ride this out and see what kind of profit margin I can achieve, but then again, I don’t think sales have reached their full potential. It’s probably a better idea to reinvest these profits in making more sales. But, to do that, it’s best not to get too attached to my revenue and profit streaks!

Mind Management, Not Time Management on Chicago billboard

The Mind Management, Not Time Management Kindle Deal was advertised on a billboard in Chicago! A couple readers spotted it and kindly sent me pictures.

Thank you, Chris Wilken!

Thank you, paper_ghost_!

Very cool!

No more Prestozon Amazon-ad automation

I logged into my ad automation platform, Prestozon, recently, and learned they had been acquired by another company, and their platform would be shutting down.

The company that bought Prestozon integrated the product into one of their packages that costs about $250 a month. I was paying only $50 for Prestozon. I spend a good amount on ads, but I don’t think enough to justify that cost.

Prestozon harvested keywords and automated bids

I described in the past how I had Prestozon automation set up. Basically, it harvested keywords when sales were made in my automated campaigns, then automatically tested bids for keywords that led to sales.

It was pretty neat, but I didn’t have enough sales volume to reach much certainty as to which keywords were really effective. It was, however, a pretty efficient way to increase my advertising spend, and sales.

Now what will I do?

Now that Prestozon has shut down, I still have the campaigns with the keywords harvested thus far, and the bids as optimized thus far. But, I don’t have access to automations to harvest more keywords or optimize bids.

I’ve looked into other ad automation platforms, but as of yet haven’t found a good alternative. It’s something I’ll look at from time to time. For now, I’m using the campaigns I already have. I could simply crank up my bids for my automatic campaigns, which work pretty well, or I could manually harvest keywords. However, toying with bids across hundreds of keywords is more cumbersome than I care to deal with!

Coaching and speaking opportunities trickling in

I’m starting to get a few more coaching and speaking opportunities. You’ll see some income here for a Clarity call. I also recently had a client book directly for some self-publishing coaching time. That income should show up in next month’s report.

Additionally, a company reached out to have me speak during one of their all-hands meetings. They agreed to buy thirty books, and also paid me a fee, which should show up in a report sometime soon.

Technically, I no longer do speaking gigs, so we did a “fireside chat.” But, it was fairly well-planned, and I collaborated with the company to outline the chat. However, I now I have a pretty good outline I can use should any other companies want a speaker.

I enjoyed the event, and it’s great to get paid. Fortunately, this opportunity fell in my lap, but it made me think about if there’s anything I could do to easily bring more such opportunities. I don’t put much effort into making myself palatable as a corporate speaker. If anything, the opposite.

Working on “finishing” book

I’ve been spending a little time each morning working on the third book in the Getting Art Done series. I have experimented on the podcast with a lot of the ideas I want to talk about in the book, and have collected a lot of notes in my Zettelkasten.

I still feel like I’m very much on the “uphill” portion of this project. When you’re going up a hill, you often can’t see how far you have to go to get to the top. Once you’re there, you can start going “downhill”, and it’s more clear how much work is left to do.

Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it took me another two years to finish this book. While I have pieces I can put together, I’m pretty far from clarity on how the book will flow. Then again, it’s possible it will suddenly become clear.

Still testing titles

I’m still struggling on the title for the book. The working title is Finish What Matters (Forget the Rest), but it just doesn’t feel as solid as Mind Management, Not Time Management. I’ve continued to test titles in BookBub Ads, and this title is still the winner, but not by an overwhelming margin.

Other strong titles have included Surround and Conquer, and Nobody Knows Anything. The former title is inspired by the style with which I like to approach creative projects, the latter expresses the uncertain nature of creative success.

One sticking point for me in titling this book is that the uncertain nature of creative success is an idea that may deserve its own book. But it’s also an important component of follow through, because our motivation to finish projects is often driven by our expectations around whether or not the project will succeed.

I’m still hoping to find a title that expresses a strong point of view, while overlapping a clear category, and that sells itself, the way Mind Management, Not Time Management does. But it’s possible I’m overthinking it, and already have the right title.

Playing with TikTok

I’ve been playing with TikTok lately. Some of my followers are horrified by that. But I think it’s important, when a form of media is clearly here to stay, to at least take some time to play with and understand it. You never know if you’ll discover a hidden talent, and adapting your message to one form of media can build your skills expressing that same message in other forms.

I was obsessed with TikTok for about a week, as I do. I had fun making videos like this one, to promote my Kindle Deal. I shared it on a lot of different channels.

@davidkadavy #kindledeals #kindledailydeal #selfhelpbook #selfhelptok #kindlemonthlydeal #productivitybooks #nonfictionbooktok ? Time After Time – Paratone

If you use TikTok, follow me at @davidkadavy.

In Twitter jail

Part of what drove me to drive TikTok has been my disillusion with Twitter lately. Twitter changed their algorithm hard several months ago, and my impressions dropped sharply.

I like Twitter for testing aphoristically-phrased ideas, to see what resonates with people, then building the winning ideas into larger works. But, I’ve noticed Twitter is giving more exposure to two things: conversations, and very specific topics.

It’s actually pretty annoying to scroll through my timeline and damn near every update is “Share your startup here!”, or “What’s your favorite book?” Hey Twitter, Yahoo! Answers called. They want their engagement model back.

Since Twitter is favoring that kind of content, I’m not getting as much exposure and feedback as I want. My golf Twitter account, which has only about 650 followers, routinely gets more impressions than my personal account, verified, with 23k.

Ironically, I think Twitter changed their algorithm because new users get frustrated at how hard it is to gain exposure. Ironic, because these changes have frustrated me with Twitter. Playing with TikTok, I see it’s pretty easy to open a brand-new account with no followers, and on your first update get at least 500 views.

I’m slowly getting the hang of Twitter’s new algorithm to get myself out of Twitter jail. I have yet to master a way to test ideas that works well with the algorithm.

SEO clean-up

I’ve been doing a little clean-up and expansion on SEO on the site. You can see some of the links I’m building on my home page. I’ve compiled my various media studies book summaries into a best media studies books page, I’ve compiled a list of distraction-free writing tools, and I’ve significantly cut down the length of my How to Write a Book post. It used to contain the same content as the book, but now it should be a little more SEO’d.

I’ve also optimized the category page for my income reports for the “KDP income reports” keyphrase. That seems to be what gets more search traffic, though I’m not yet sure it’s relevant traffic. I have been thinking about how I’d like to content-gate some portion of my income reports at some point. Perhaps some day I’ll just have the KDP portion available to the public, but require ownership of a creator token to unlock the rest of the content.

Thoughts on sharing failures

If you’ve been paying attention to these reports for a long time, you’ve noticed that things have changed a lot. Many of my earlier reports were bleak, and now every month I have new records to report.

I’m far from reporting six-figure months like some other bloggers out there who share reports. Unless it comes purely from book sales, that frankly sounds exhausting. But, I’ve gotten a lot of messages over the years from people saying they liked my reports because my modest earnings seemed more real.

I’m glad I shared those reports in the past. I’m not ballin’ out of control or anything, but I do feel like I’ve made it. But it’s more interesting if you’ve read the reports that weren’t so rosy, isn’t it?

I think it's a missed opportunity if you don't share your failures. No hero's journey is interesting if the hero doesn't get beat up at some point. What goes up, must have been down.

— ? David Kadavy (@kadavy) April 5, 2019

Thank you for having me on your podcast!

Thank you Matt Giaro at Build Your Thing. As always, you can find every interview of me here.

Income

Book Sales

Mind Management, Not Time Management Kindle $1,142
Mind Management, Not Time Management Paperback (Amazon) $2,351
Mind Management, Not Time Management (non-Amazon) $1,693
Mind Management, Not Time Management Audiobook $651
Digital Zettelkasten Kindle $864
Digital Zettelkasten Wide (non-Kindle) $1,554
Digital Zettelkasten Audiobook $51
The Heart to Start Kindle $338
The Heart to Start Paperback (Amazon) $163
The Heart to Start “Wide” (non-Amazon) $74
The Heart to Start Audiobook $47
How to Write a Book Kindle $137
How to Write a Book Paperback $301
How to Write a Book “Wide” (non-Amazon) $16
How to Write a Book Audiobook $29
How to Write a Book Spanish (all) $3
Make Money Writing on the STEEM Blockchain (all) $7
Ten Passive Income Ideas $6
Total Book Sales $9,428

Digital Products

D4H Video $198
Total Digital Products $198

Affiliates / Advertising

Active Campaign $630
Amazon $62
SendOwl $5
Total Affiliates $697

Love Your Work Podcast

Patreon $248
Total LYW Podcast $248

Services

Clarity $54
Medium $12
Total Services $66
GROSS INCOME $10,637

Expenses

General

Accounting $0
Outside Contractors $0
Podcast Editing / Publishing $123
Quickbooks $45
Total General $168

Advertising

Amazon $2,066
Giveaways $100
Influencer Marketing $137
Product Samples $48
Prestozon $50
Total Advertising $2,401

Hosting

ActiveCampaign $135
Bookfunnel $15
Drafts $2
Dropbox $10
Fathom Analtyics $14
Libsyn $7
Namecheap $0
SendOwl $9
Ulysses $7
WP Engine $96
Zapier $14
Total Hosting $309
TOTAL EXPENSES $2,877
NET PROFIT $7,759

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This post is filed under Income Reports.