Thirty Fifth Income Report – February 2016 ($794.85)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


views_16II2016At the very beginning of February 2016 I invested $200 into producing my first audiobook. I decided to create it for A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness, my first book ever published. It was very short, so I didn’t have to pay much 😉

Quora adventure continued

views_13II2016I was still excited by the traction I got on Quora. I remember noting in the middle of the month that I became the most viewed writer (meaning one of the top 10 writers) in Weight Loss category. I was busy also chasing another shiny badges and awards on Quora. Publishing there was so much fun!

In Early February I discovered a hack for repurposing my books’ content into Quora answers. For my books creation I used a very specific outlining process and its last step is filling the outline points with questions.

I discovered that it’s relatively easy (easier than trying to search relevant questions manually) to pair Quora questions with questions from my outlines. It saved me a lot of research time.

Publicity

I published a couple of guest posts in February. One was inspired by my Quora success. I also gave one or two podcasts interview.

On 17th of February I got an offer from a fellow author who met me in an authors group on Facebook. He wanted me to contribute to his book about writing. The book was going to be in form of interviews with authors. I gladly agreed and spent 4 days writing my answers to his interview questions.

Marketing

Inspired by Steve Scott I gave another shoot to getting on BookBub. I chiseled a nice comment and the answer was the same as always: nothing. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I quit on any new attempts for the whole next year.

Half-accidentally I discovered that adding readers’ reviews in Editorial Reviews section on a book page provides much higher conversion from browsers to buyers.
I added those reviews to The Art of Persistence page while preparing it for a BookBub pitch.

Then I noticed that the sales for this book increased out of the blue.
February 2016 Income ReportWell, “the blue” appeared to be editorial reviews. I started gradually adding this section to most of my books. Puzzling, but not all of them enjoyed the same effect of increased sales. I discovered why in September at last.

Taxes

I was preparing to include my royalties in my tax form for the first time. In 2014 I paid 30% of tax withholding and Amazon didn’t collect my Polish tax ID, so I saved myself the trouble and didn’t reveal to a tax office this income stream. In the end I wouldn’t have had to pay even a dime of taxes, because 30% was a way more than a starting author should pay. But in 2015 the withhold was only 10% and it was collected under my tax ID.

I phoned to a few accountant firms before one of them hesitantly agreed to have a look. When I met with them their people seemed to be as afraid of presenting this strange multinational atypical stream of income to a tax office as I was.

Also, both my accumulated incomes from Coach.me and Draft2Digital exceeded $100, so I decided it was high enough to bother with filling tax forms for them. I had to fill some US forms and provide my Polish tax ID. I managed to do that in February, but I was too late for the February payment for D2D.

Lent

Lent started early in 2015. I decided to attend breviary prayer at 6 am with my church community every day. The plan was (apart from obvious spiritual benefits) that it will force me to better organize my evenings and after the Lent I will be able to wake up 4 am every day and work for an hour or two on my business. The first phase went good.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income:
Amazon royalties: €791.72 ($878.81)
CreateSpace royalties: €77.56 ($86.09)
Coach.me fees from 2015 and January 2016: $186.5

Total: $1151.4

Costs:
$21.5, proofreading services Fiverr
$30, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$40.40, royalties split with co-author
$200, audiobook of A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness
$4.9, Kindle business books of my mentors
$30.75, first month of Business on Purpose mastermind
Total: $356.55

Net Result: $794.85


Previous Income Report: January 2016

Goals for 2017

Goals 2017Goals. Once again. *sigh*
Check out my first goal-post from 2014 to see what I feel about goal setting. Ambivalence is a mild word.

In the last post, I revealed how well—or not, I achieved my goals in 2016. As usual, when it comes to me and my goals, it wasn’t a pretty picture.

My goals for 2017 are almost a direct response to what happened in 2016.
This time I won’t make a difference between personal and business goals. As my coach likes to say, it’s never “just a business”. But this time I’ll do something different: I’ll prioritize my goals. This time numbers are not just for order, they mean what they mean. First thing first, so the first goal is…

1. Prayer.

“When God is at first place, everything falls into right place”. I want to put God first in my life, because I really want everything right. In the last few years I pursued personal development and success a lot and came dangerously close to a place where I would have breached my values. This is not the way I want to live my life. I don’t want to notice in ten years form now that I put my ladder against the wrong wall.

So, this year my #1 goal is prayer.
I won’t brag how much I pray on a daily basis. It’s enough that I know my prayers. Many would say I pray too much, but I know it’s doable with my lifestyle.

My measurable goal for prayer this year is to say them all every single day. I’m writing this post in the morning of the 10th of January, but I didn’t need this post to start me off. I’ve already begun. For the first nine days of 2017, I’ve put prayer first. This action has reminded me that it’s not so hard, I just need to prioritize this goal.

2. Quality time with my family.

I go directly back to my resolution from the last year. My wife may be wary of the word ‘date’, but I don’t need to call our time together a date. I just need to ensure I prioritize it.

I need also to communicate to my children that I want to spend time with them, maybe even reserve time for that in their calendars.

And, whatever happens, I need to track this goal. Quitting my tracking was my biggest pitfall in 2016.
My measurable goal is to spend at least an hour of quality time with each of them every week.

3. Growing my email list.

I still need those 10,000 folks opening and reading my emails. I have about 400 of them now.

Last year, I figured out how to rapidly grow my email list. Now I need to implement that knowledge. The basic idea is to feature one of my books on InstaFreebie at least once a month. If necessary, I’ll organize relevant book events. I know how much hard work that is as I’ve done it in the past, but it’s worth it.

I will also look for more similar platforms, where I could upload my books and get subscribers in exchange. One new platform a month is a good idea as well.

A contributing effort to growing my list will be to keep publishing answers on Quora. Quora traffic is high quality. It was my 2nd source of subscribers in 2016 after InstaFreebie giveaways. And I like writing for that crowd. I put this only as a reminder, because I publish on Quora fairly consistently; this has become one of my daily habits.

4. Digital coaching.

I’m a coach on Coach.me and with zero effort on my own I have got several clients there. This is more a reliable source of income than a way to increase book sales. However, one client is roughly 1% of my day job’s salary. So I need only 100 of them. 😉

I have taken the necessary steps to be certified as a digital coach and I’ll be keeping on it till I obtain the certificate. The qualification should elevate my profile on the Coach.me platform enough to get a steady trickle of new clients.

Otherwise, I will have to figure out how to get new clients. If I bring my own clients to the platform, it’s more profitable as well.

5. Contributing.

I have already published my writing in many magazines, and on blogs and platforms. I’ve also given more than a dozen podcast interviews. I need to make this activity more consistent. I’ve already promised one magazine that I will contribute a new article every month.

Quora also opened my eyes to repurposing my content. I started to republish my answers on Medium and after almost half a year of publishing an article a day, I’m finally gaining some traction there.

I also became a contributor to a new platform -XGen- and I can repurpose my content there as well.

Plus, I made a deal with my sons and they are doing some paid work for me. For example, transferring Quora answers to Medium is my eldest son’s job. Thanks to their help I have more flexibility in sharing my content.
I only need to figure out once how to publish on a new platform and train them.

6. Publishing.

This last is more a philosophical viewpoint than a goal. However, if all goes well, I will have more things to tick in the ‘achieved’ column come year end, so I am recording my thoughts on Publishing in this goals statement.

I have two books all-but finished, that have been in the almost-ready state for over a year.
Last year, I put publishing on hold, because it was costing me too much emotionally, in time and money. Well, money started flowing, so I am reconsidering that decision.

If I find the time and if this goal will not endanger in any way goals #1 and #2, I would like to publish those books.
If Amazon ads continue to bear fruit like they are now, I can stop worrying about whether my books will sell. Directed by Purpose, my latest book, published in September 2016, had a very meager launch, but it’s one of my top sellers at the moment, despite that.


There you are: my goals for 2017. I still feel I have too many. But I have renewed purpose and direction, derived from the lessons of 2016. I fully expect to do better this year.
I hope you have a great 2017 too.
What are your goals for this year? How can I help you to achieve them?

Thirty Fourth Income Report – January 2016 ($833.33)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


Thirty fourth income report January 2016
January 2016 started on a high note. When I checked my sales on the 2nd, I found I’d sold over 100 copies on the 1st of January.

That was the first time ever that I’d sold over 100 copies of my books without any main event: a big promotion, book launch or participating in a book event. I did have two minor promos scheduled that day, but these had almost never worked for me in the past.

And it was still a ‘honeymoon period’ for Bulletproof Health and Fitness. Still, discovering these sales made my day. I bragged about it in a few author groups and fellow authors were very appreciative of my “achievement”.
Book sales continued at a decent level too, even when I finally increased the price of “Bulletproof…” Income wise it wasn’t a bad month at all.

I also sold the biggest number of print copies: all 39 of them! That was my record that held until August 2016.

Publishing

At the beginning of January, I finally submitted “Bulletproof’s…” manuscript on Draft2Digital. I didn’t do much else publishing-wise in January, apart from a few sessions tidying up some aspects of Book #14. I organized a few minor promos for the latest book, on top of ones I had previously scheduled. In their case all I had to keep an eye on what was happening and raise or lower prices as needed.

I was pleased there was little else I needed to do, because the frantic pace at my day job continued. I worked in the evenings and on the weekends. I was exhausted.

My Quora adventure

In December I had a foretaste of what success on Quora looks like. It exceeded my expectations. I got one nice surprise after another: one of my answers got 7,000 views in the first day; another one, that was buried under dozens of other answers, was suddenly dug out and put at the top of a huge thread; my blog posts from the beginnings of ExpandBeyondYourself were getting thousands of views.

That was a great ride.
I shared my results (and my joy!) in author groups on Facebook. I stirred some interest and inspired some followers. One of them got even better results than me. My Quora success drew attention of big fishes and at the end of the month I pitched a guest post idea to a couple of bloggers.

In the meantime, I kept writing for Quora and repurposing my old content for that platform.

Writing

Apart from Quora answers, I had been writing blog posts, email broadcasts, book reviews and guest posts.
I published a guest post on Marta Tuchowska’s Holistic Wellness Project. Actually, the post was published in February, but I finished and submitted it in January.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income:
Amazon royalties: €982.13 ($1079.24)
CreateSpace royalties: €39.85 ($43.83)

Total: $1123.07

Costs:
$10, BookTastic’s promo of Bulletproof Health and Fitness
$21.5, proofreading services Fiverr
$30, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$35.35, royalties split with co-author
$121, my editor’s share in Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It first 3 months profits
$40.4, a print copy of Derek Doepker’s Break Through Your BS
$2.84, a Kindle copy of Quora Domination
Total: $289.74

Net Result: $833.33


Previous Income Report: December 2015

From Dark Depression To Happy and Joyful

Will ChouThis is a guest post by Will Chou, a young man who shares many of my passions and daily disciplines as you will see in this article. Enjoy!


Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama

I was lost in a dark world. In fact, the sky was dark too. And it just so happened that the music I was listening to switched to a dark song, Imagine Dragons’s It’s Time.

Now, that probably sounds pretty dramatic and I’m not really a dramatic guy, but that was the actual environment I was in. I was walking to my university’s diner to get a late dinner after a long night of studying. I had depression.
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Thirty First Income Report October 2015 ($955.01)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.


I hustled in October 2015 like crazy.

I published two books that month, the introduction and 1st volume of my Six Simple Steps to Success series.
The introduction was very short, only 7,500 words, and I did the main bulk of pre-production in September. In the first week of October I published it on Draft2Digital and made it a free book. On the 11th I published it on Amazon.
Four days later I uploaded on Amazon Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It.
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