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October 2023 Income Report

November 24 2023 – 12:47pm

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October’s revenue was $4,874, down from September’s $8,182. Profits were $3,935, down from September’s $7,127.

Low profit, high margins

Profits were on the lower side this month. Not alarmingly low. Last time profits were lower was three months prior in July, when profits were $2,515.

My profit margins have been pretty high lately. This month, for each dollar I spent, I made $4.19 in profit – a 419% profit margin. For reference, my average monthly profit margin was 168% throughout 2022.

Margins are high because expenses are low. I spent only $939 this month – the first time my expenses have been below $1,000 since February 2020, when I spent a record-low $862.

$0 on advertising, for the first time

Advertising is usually my biggest expense. I spent $0 on Advertising for the first time since starting these reports, which gave me an ROI of infinity, which is the highest since I spent only $5 last month and made a more than 93,000% ROI.

It’s not that I ran no Advertising this month – I ran a little. But I didn’t end up paying for any of it in October. I should have a little Advertising spend in coming months. I’d actually like to spend money on Advertising, if it’s effective, but last time I was spending regularly on Amazon Ads, they weren’t offering a lot of return.

Three years of Mind Management, Not Time Management!

The numbers are in for three years of Mind Management, Not Time Management, and with that, I’m able to evaluate the predictions I made. Here are the numbers I predicted before launch of the book on October 27, 2020:

The actual number of copies I’ve sold in three years: 36,387. Graphed along with the ranges of my most-aggressive predictions, that’s pretty much right down the middle.

As you can see, early on in the book I barely made it above the floors of my predictions, but sales accelerated. The last time I made a check-in on my predictions, I had sold 8,950 copies after one year. Just two years later, I’ve more than quadrupled that number!

Sales velocity has slowed.

Then again, I’m not spending a lot promoting the book lately. I’ve also raised the price of the ebook back up to $9.99. So profits are increasing.

Sadly, PredictionBook is no longer operating, so I can’t record my performance on these predictions.

MMT rejected for BookBub Featured Deal

I submitted MMT for a BookBub Featured Deal on November 8th, however it was quickly rejected. I’ve seen a lot of books in my genre advertised at $2.99, as opposed to the $1.99 I’ve usually run my deals at. So, I submitted a deal for $2.99 – which would be a much more profitable price, since I’d be in the 70% royalty bracket on Amazon, instead of 35%. That may explain why the deal was rejected. However, I plan to stubbornly keep submitting deals for that price.

Back from 20 Books Vegas

I’m back from 20 Books Vegas! I really enjoyed attending sessions, seeing old friends, and making new ones.

Jo Penn was there this year.

david kadavy joanna penn

And I remembered to take a selfie with Bryan Cohen of the Sell More Books Show.

david kadavy bryan cohen

I also did my first-ever show in which I sold books in-person.

I made a mental note that I was 40% sure I’d sell no books at all (who wants to lug a book with them while traveling?), but I sold five, making $100. That revenue will be wrapped up into my wide sales next month, but I’ve made a note to include it in my direct-sales, too.

I didn’t expect much from selling at a live event. I did end up having some books printed, which I had to take back home with me. Not sure when I’ll get a chance to sell them, since I can’t exactly drop them in the mail easily from here in Colombia.

I ended up having much more room than I had expected. I had expected a two-foot-wide table, and got four, thus my awkwardly-sized tablecloth. I wanted to limit what I spent with my display, so I did what I could by lugging my typewriter with me, having some bookmarks and postcards, and dressing up a bit.

Here’s my display. The image of the couple getting it on is my neighbor’s banner. I didn’t spend the $100 bucks or so VistaPrint charges for a vertical banner.

Sick again

I got sick again at 20 Books. Last year, I got COVID. This year, it seems I simply had real-deal influenza. I was in bed with a fever for 2.5 days, and it took about ten days before I felt 100% normal again. Fortunately, my body waited to get sick until directly after I got home. It would have been much worse to be stuck in Vegas.

With the interruption to my workflow and the illness, I hate to say it but I don’t think it was worth it for me this year. I’m about 90% sure I won’t go next year (unrelated: 20 Books is changing hands and will be called Author Nation).

This year I at least tried a nasal spray to offset the incredibly dry air of Vegas. I also took a break from a treatment protocol I’m on, for my chronic illness, that may aversely affect my immune system. I didn’t have a drop of alcohol, made sure to get plenty of sleep, and was careful to regularly wash my hands. While I wore a mask while boarding and un-boarding planes – as I always do – but I couldn’t bring myself to wear it at the conference itself. For future conferences, I’ll try the hack many tried of bringing a small humidifier for my hotel room. Most important, I should have tried to track down a seasonal flu vaccine here in Colombia, before the trip.

Direct sales

Thanks to a promotion I did of my new Shopify store, I had more direct sales than usual this month. I had $173 in direct sales. Even with the $100 I made selling direct at 20 Books, I’m not currently on-pace to beat that in November.

Here’s what that looks like relative to my overall book sales (on a logarithmic scale).

Plugging away on Finish What Matters

I continue to to work on Finish What Matters, the third book in the Getting Art Done trilogy. This book is turning out to be very hard work. My strategy at this point is to just throw time at it. Aside from sitting in front of a keyboard alternating between the Generate and Explore mental state the first couple hours of the day, I’m also spending afternoons trying to attack the Preparation from all angles, in the hopes of bringing moments of Illumination.

One way I do this is by loading up my podcast app with recordings either of myself reading drafts of the book (a couple of these are available already to Patreon supporters), or of conversations I’ve had with the types of creators this book is for.

I’m also running some test ads on BookBub to see how various subtitles perform. The current winner is: From ‘Too Many Ideas’ to Done.

I’m also strongly considering doing a Kickstarter for this book, optimizing for up-front revenue rather than trying for some accolade such as Wall Street Journal best-seller status.

As hard as this one is to write, I hope the Stephen King quote holds true: “Sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

SXSW talk rejected

In August, I submitted a proposal to talk at SXSW in March. At the end of October, I was notified that my talk was not accepted.

I didn’t make a prediction, but I’m surprised it was not accepted. I was touched how many people commented on my proposal. I presume many more voted. I had great feedback on the two talks I did for SXSW in the past. On the other hand, I did those talks more than ten years ago, and my talk was related to my book which came out three years ago, so those were probable strikes against my prospects.

Anyway, coming off this illness I picked up in Vegas, perhaps it’s not too bad I won’t be going to SXSW.

Lost money on HTS wide

If you look closely, you’ll see I actually lost money on The Heart to Start in wide channels this month. That’s because I had a Hardback return to IngramSpark. That return resulted in a debit of $14.97 from my account. Presumably I made the same amount on that sale as I did the other sale on the account this month: $5.55. So the sale and return of this one book cost me $9.42.

You can see why many indie authors are cautious of encouraging bookstores to order their books, such as by offering a more competitive wholesale discount (you may remember from a recent report that Ingram increased the minimum wholesale discount by 33%, which I compensated for by raising my prices so I earn the same each book). If a bookstore had ordered, say, 100 copies of this book, and returned all of them, that would cost me $942.

Anyway, that $9 loss (-$14.97 for the return, and $5.55 for a sale, rounded down), was offset by $7 income from PublishDrive, for a total loss of $2.

Big ActiveCampaign payment

Another big payment came in from ActiveCampaign. This month I earned nearly $2,600 in commissions. If you’re looking for an email marketing platform – especially one you can grow into however your business changes over the years, do use my affiliate link. I’ve been using ActiveCampaign for more than eight years now!


Book Sales

Mind Management, Not Time Management Kindle $260
Mind Management, Not Time Management Paperback (Amazon) $452
Mind Management, Not Time Management (non-Amazon) $162
Mind Management, Not Time Management Audiobook $419
100-Word Writing Habit $27
Digital Zettelkasten Kindle $360
Digital Zettelkasten Wide (non-Kindle) $177
Digital Zettelkasten Audiobook $41
The Heart to Start Kindle $75
The Heart to Start Paperback (Amazon) $26
The Heart to Start “Wide” (non-Amazon) -$2
The Heart to Start Audiobook $24
How to Write a Book Kindle $20
How to Write a Book Paperback $26
How to Write a Book “Wide” (non-Amazon) $3
How to Write a Book Audiobook $7
How to Write a Book Spanish (all) $3
Make Money Writing on the STEEM Blockchain (all) $0
Ten Passive Income Ideas $1
Total Book Sales $2,081

Digital Products

D4H Video $0
White Hot Course $0
Total Digital Products $0

Affiliates / Advertising

Active Campaign $2,599
Alliance of Independent Authors $0
Amazon $36
Google AdSense $0
SendOwl $5
Total Affiliates $2,640

Reader Support

Patreon $154
Total Reader Support $154


Clarity $0
Medium $0
Total Services $0



Accounting $390
Book Printing $174
Outside Contractors $0
Quickbooks $49
Total General $613


Amazon $0
BookBub $0
Facebook $0
Influencer Marketing $0
Product Samples $0
Total Advertising $0


ActiveCampaign $135
Bookfunnel $15
Drafts $2
Dropbox $10
Fathom Analtyics $14
Libsyn $5
Namecheap $0
Obsidian Publish $10
SendOwl $9
Shopify $5
Twitter Blue $8
Ulysses $3
WP Engine $96
Zapier $14
Total Hosting $326


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This post is filed under Income Reports.