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June 2021 Income Report
An audio version of this income report is available to Patreon backers of certain levels »
June’s revenues were $10,301, up from May’s $5,834. Profits were $8,453, up from May’s $4,232.
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Highest profit in years
June was the highest-revenue month in almost two years, and the highest profit in more than three years. This was driven by a combination of lasting growth, and an anomaly. The way things are going, we may see more months like this in the near future.
The last time I had more revenue than this was in August of 2019, with $10,406. But that month, the profit was only about $3,400. The last time I had more profit than this was in March of 2018, just after I started publishing these reports, with $8,919.
In August 2019, I was spending a ton on Amazon ads, with a slim profit margin – thus the low profit. In March 2018, I had an injection of revenue from a course launch. Additionally, my yearly expenses were not on an accrual basis as they are now, which suppresses my current profit numbers by a couple hundred dollars.
Record average profit
With this high-profit month, over the past twelve months, I’ve profited $44,896, which is an average of $3,741 a month – the highest since I started doing these reports three and a half years ago. You can see in the above graph that the 6-month trailing average profit (mint-green, thick line) appears to be the highest it’s been.
Now that we’re six months into accrual-based accounting for major yearly expenses, the numbers are being distorted a little, but not by more than a couple thousand dollars a year. That would still break the previous record of $39,068 in 12-month rolling profit, set in January this year.
Record profit from self-published books
Thanks in part to the success of my new short read, Digital Zettelkasten – more on that in a bit – June was the highest-profit month ever for self-published books. I made $5,950 revenue on $1,195 ad spend, for $4,755 profit. That smashes the previous record of $2,704, which I set last month, and forgot to mention.
That also boosts the 12-month running average for self-published books from last month’s $1,185, to $1,605.
Digital Zettelkasten a smashing success
Last month, after making more than $800 in the first week of Digital Zettelkasten, I felt it had exceeded my expectations. At this point, I’d say it’s a smashing success!
I’ve sold more than 1,500 copies, which is a lot when you consider MMT hasn’t sold twice that, and has been out seven months. Granted, I launched ZET (my internal code for it), at $2.99. But, I’ve since raised the price a couple times, first to $3.99, then to $4.99. It still sells a lot!
At the time of writing last month’s report, ZET had 36 Amazon ratings. Now it has 67, which helps make it worthy of the higher price tag. I will probably raise the price more in the future, but it will probably be a while.
Record-breaking Digital Zettelkasten paperback sales numbers
Finally got my paperback copy of Digital Zettelkasten! pic.twitter.com/FirrJGfxsi
— ? David Kadavy (@kadavy) June 24, 2021
The first month’s sales numbers are in for the paperback version of Digital Zettelkasten. Recall that I chose not to publish it at all through KDP Print this time, and am instead publishing only through IngramSpark. So, I don’t see sales numbers at all until the end of each month. (I also apparently don’t get paid until 90 days after those sales numbers come in – which is sub-ideal.)
I can’t remember ever getting an IngramSpark report with this much revenue on it. Digital Zettelkasten sold 60 copies and made $446 through IngramSpark’s channels.
Probably thanks in part to the good sales volume, the paperback version of Digital Zettelkasten is finally showing up with Prime shipping, and is “available to ship in 1–2 days.” Seems publishing a paperback solely through IngramSpark isn’t so bad! You can do it free with an IngramSpark promo code, and it gives some revenue to someone other than Amazon.
Record-breaking Digital Zettelkasten wide sales numbers
When you add the paperback sales numbers to the $64 in revenue from Publish Drive ebook sales and the $174 in direct ebook sales, that makes $685 in “wide” sales.
That’s 24% of revenue from places other than Amazon, which is breathtaking when you consider the last time I calculated the percentage of my wide sales, it was more like 9%. (To be fair, much of those paperback sales are probably driven by Amazon). I think the higher wide sales on this title are a reflection of the culture of people interested in Zettelkasten. It’s a more international audience, I sense they value choices other than Amazon, and many want to truly own an ebook when they buy it – rather than “rent” it. (I only wish each ebook came with an NFT. In due time.)
Mind Management, Not Time Management earning 70%
Adding to the record-breaking self-publishing profits is Mind Management, Not Time Management, which I recently marked down from $14.99 to $9.99. This means I’m no longer earning $5.35 per book, but instead about $7. Meanwhile, readers are paying 50% less. So, that has driven more profit.
Last month, I netted $836 profit on MMT. This month, I’ve netted $1,087 – a growth of 30% – and I actually sold slightly fewer books.
Mind Management, Not Time Management accepted for a U.S. BookBub Featured Deal!
I also have some big news about MMT that should drive sales even further. Mind Management, Not Time Management has finally been accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal in the U.S.!
On July 21st, BookBub will promote MMT to over one million subscribers in the U.S. The book will be marked down to $1.99 that week. It has a chance to make the WSJ best-seller’s list. So, will you help me share the deal on social media that week?
How many sales will this promotion make? I can start with last year’s deal on The Heart to Start, as a baseline. During that week – also a Wednesday deal announcement – I sold 2,541 copies of HTS.
Next, I can look at how those books’ respective international BookBub deals fared. My HTS deal sold 272 copies, but didn’t include the UK and India, so if I remove those from MMT, I see that it had a 112.5% higher sales rate than HTS. I sold 578 copies of MMT in markets other than the UK and India.
If I extrapolate that higher sales rate to this Featured Deal, I get a projection of 5,339 sales.
But, MMT tends to appeal better to an international audience than does HTS. In fact, it sells 38% more internationally, relative to its baseline sales, than does HTS. So if I assume that 38% of the 112.5% sales difference between the MMT and HTS international deals is from this higher international appeal, I get a 53% higher sales rate in this featured deal than the previous: 3,887 copies.
Can MMT become a WSJ best-seller?
Assuming that’s correct, is that enough to make MMT a WSJ best-seller? Word on the street is, you need at least 3,000–5,000 ebook copies sold to hit the list, so, yes, that would put it in contention.
But wait. Word on the street also is, at least 500 of those sales need to come from a channel other than Amazon. Based upon my sales profile, Apple is my best hope. I sold 204 copies of HTS in its U.S. Featured Deal. If I assume a 38% higher sales rate, that’s 312 sales – not enough. Even if I assume a 112.5% higher sales rate, that’s only 433 sales – still less than 500.
What other factors?
So that’s a rough calculation saying, if word on the street is correct, the chances of MMT hitting the WSJ list are not great. What other factors might affect sales?
- The HTS international deal was very close to Christmas – December 23, 2018. That may have helped (or hurt) sales.
- The HTS international deal was on a Sunday. The MMT international deal was on a Tuesday – which is a hot day for promotions. That may have altered the difference in sales between the two deals, and since the upcoming deal is on a Wednesday, it may perform slightly less-well than the MMT international deal.
- I spent a lot on ads for the HTS Featured Deal. Remember, I spent more than $4,800 on supplemental ads, and wound up losing $4,000 in my WSJ attempt. I don’t plan to spend as much on this deal. I think I wrote previously I’m willing to go $2,000 in the hole?
- MMT has been a BookBub Featured New Release. That higher exposure may drive more sales.
- MMT has had no discounts below $9.99, leading up to this deal. There could be pent-up demand, creating a slingshot effect.
- HTS had more Amazon reviews/ratings when its deal went live (275, vs. MMT’s current 118). That could dampen, relatively, MMT’s sales.
So, what are my projections?
So, what are my projections? Two things I want to know:
- How many copies will it sell?
- If it sells X copies, will it make the WSJ list?
How many copies will it sell?
In the U.S., Sunday–Saturday, I am 70% confident MMT will sell between 2,500 and 5,500 ebook copies.
In the U.S., Sunday–Saturday, I am 90% confident MMT will sell between 2,000 and 8,000 ebook copies.
How many Apple Books copies will it sell?
I am 70% confident it will sell between 200 and 450 Apple Books copies.
I am 90% confident it will sell between 150 and 800 Apple Books copies.
Will it make the WSJ best-seller list?
Overall, I am 50% confident MMT will make the list as a result of this Featured Deal.
Will it make the WSJ best-seller list, if it sells X copies?
If MMT sells 3,000 or more copies, I am 40% confident it will make the list.
If MMT sells 3,000 or more copies, and 500 or more on Apple Books, I am 60% confident it will make the list.
If MMT sells 5,000 or more copies, I am 60% confident it will make the list.
If MMT sells 5,000 or more copies, and 500 or more on Apple Books, I am 80% confident it will make the list.
These predictions are subject to Black Swans, though more likely positive Black Swans than negative. A lot of unpredictable stuff can happen when your book gets sent to a million people, and sells thousands of copies in a week’s time.
The mere act of making these predictions influences their chances of occurring. If I feel I have a chance for certain things to happen, I’m more likely to take actions that may increase those odds.
Record ActiveCampaign payment
I said this month’s high revenue and profits were in part from lasting changes, but also from an anomaly. This is that anomaly: This month, I got a payment of $3,266 for referring people to ActiveCampaign.
That’s the largest payment I’ve gotten from them. The previous high was $2,822, in May 2020. In both these cases, ActiveCampaign sent a message saying they were making adjustments for errors in past payments.
I don’t understand where they come up with these figures. I do typically earn from $1,000 to $2,000 a month in referrals to ActiveCampaign. It was nice to get that boost this month, along with all the other success!
A sweet combo
The combination of record revenue from self-published books, and record revenue from affiliate income makes a sweet combination. These are exactly the categories I want to see growing in my business!
Golf project continues
My golf project continues, and I’m putting a lot of time and energy into it. The schedule I currently am trying to stick to is:
- Practice on range Tuesday mid-morning (after writing). Sometimes followed by 9 holes.
- Play 18 holes Thursday mornings.
- Practice on range Saturday mid-morning. Sometimes followed by 9 holes.
And of course lots of pretending to swing while looking in the mirror, and/or some practice with a collapsible net I bought.
In the 6 weeks I’ve had access to a golf course, I’ve dropped my estimated handicap 14 points, from about 35 to about 21. That would be insane if I were a beginner, but much of it is probably just my game coming back to me after 15 years. The best I remember having was around 9, but I hovered around 13 much of the time.
I’ve also been reading various golf books, both to get a feel for the market, but also to learn from. If I can reach my goal of going from shooting “90 to 70”, there appears to be space in the market for a book outlining how I did it.
I’m still not ready to officially “announce” my project, but it’s moving forward in the golf enclaves of Twitter. If you’re interested in that, you can follow along here.
I can’t tell you how great it is to be playing golf again. While it’s taking a lot of time, it makes me very happy. Is it a coincidence that I report the most revenue in years the same month that I play the most golf in years?
Removed Google Analytics from kadavy.net
I have been using Fathom Analytics for several months now, and it’s sufficient for my needs. So, I have removed Google Analytics from kadavy.net, completely. This is the first time the site has been free of Analytics since the service was introduced in 2005.
Too bad I won’t have a continuous graph of my traffic over the years, but there’s not much use in that anyway.
Using Prestozon again
As I’ve mentioned in recent reports, I’m using Prestozon again to help manage my Amazon Ads. As such, there is a $50 charge on this report, under Advertising.
My good semantic deed for the day is to remind anyone who lands on this income report by searching PZN Core that they do not have fraud on their credit card. Rather, this cryptic designation is from “Prestozon.” Hopefully this will save someone from racking their brain – and searching the web – for 24 hours, trying to figure out what that mysterious charge is, concluding it’s fraud, wondering where it came from, and then just as their about to cancel their card, suddenly realizing it’s the Amazon Ad-management service they signed up for.
Thank you for having me on your podcast
Thank you to Dolores from Attitudeable for having me on her podcast! You can find all the podcasts I’ve been on over here.
|Mind Management, Not Time Management Kindle||$1,475|
|Mind Management, Not Time Management Paperback (Amazon)||$119|
|Mind Management, Not Time Management (non-Amazon)||$73|
|Mind Management, Not Time Management Audiobook||$156|
|The Heart to Start Kindle||$820|
|The Heart to Start Paperback (Amazon)||$70|
|The Heart to Start “Wide” (non-Amazon)||$83|
|The Heart to Start Audiobook||$26|
|How to Write a Book Kindle||$159|
|How to Write a Book Paperback||$127|
|How to Write a Book “Wide” (non-Amazon)||$3|
|How to Write a Book Audiobook||$10|
|How to Write a Book Spanish (all)||$15|
|Digital Zettelkasten Kindle||$2,119|
|Digital Zettelkasten Wide (non-Amazon)||$685|
|Make Money Writing on the STEEM Blockchain (all)||$3|
|Ten Passive Income Ideas||$6|
|Total Book Sales||$5,950|
|White Hot Course||$177|
|Total Digital Products||$375|
Affiliates / Advertising
Love Your Work Podcast
|Total LYW Podcast||$351|
|Podcast Editing / Publishing||$123|
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