December 2013 is finally here, marking my last book income report for the year. Looking back at such figures, I came to realize I have been at a standstill, for the most part.
While I enjoyed some healthy sales earlier in the year, things remained largely the same, with the occasional drops in monthly income. This month, for example, does not represent a very profitable one, and it is mostly due to a lack of focus on my part.
So, what the heck have I been doing? For starters, I am very much intrigued by new business ideas, many which come to mind at the most random of times, including in the middle of the night. But I will publish a new article or two in the near future detailing those new ideas just to provide more detail on what has kept me so unfocused and busy as of late.
Through various forum discussions, I have learned that the average person is only making a couple of hundred dollars in the book marketplace, with Nook and Smashwords sales combined. This puts me in that same category, and it also leads me to wonder how and why we settle for certain amounts over time. After all, if most of us have managed to earn an average of $500 per month, why don’t we turn this average into, say, $1,000 or even $2,000?
Part of the reason may be due to a consistent burnout phase, while also losing focus on the things that are clearly working for the sake of finding better, more profitable ventures. The latter case is especially tough for creative minds, as we tend to suddenly come up with an idea and we feel immediately compelled to give it a shot. This may include the creation of a new website or starting a new recurring service for clients.
Before you know it, the one thing that was working is now losing its momentum, causing you to be merely an average earner as opposed to a high earner. That being said, however, aren’t we doing the right thing by trying to tap into new business ideas? After all, don’t they say it’s never a wise idea to put all of your eggs in one basket?
What if you suddenly lost the ability to publish books? Even if you still had access to more than one marketplace, your income will nevertheless take a hit. So what can we do to stay on top of our most profitable business while simultaneously exploring new ones?
The answer to that question is a tough one; not because it’s impossible to master several things at once, but rather because it’s very subjective. Whatever works for you may not necessarily be suitable for me.
Fortunately, the one thing that seems to be working wonders for me (personally) is simply, well, keeping things stupid simple. In other words, sticking to a basic strategy that has been practiced since ancient times:
I now keep a to-do list.
That’s right, a good old fashioned, boring to-do list. After all, why reinvent the wheel when there’s a perfectly suitable solution for everyone and everything out there? So, I recently created a new account over at WunderList. This wonderful (free) service allows you to create, manage, and even sync to-do lists from the web, your desktop, and even your cell phone. I personally find the web interface much easier to navigate due to its accessibility, which pleasantly prevents me from having to install an app on the desktop or on my phone. I simply bookmarked my to-do list panel toward the top of my browser’s “Favorites,” and voila! Ready to go.
I am still playing around with the various angles one can approach a to-do list. For example, are you the type who feels better getting the toughest tasks out of the way first? Do you rather start easy and tackle those rough activities later on in the day? Whatever the case may be, find what works for you in the event your mind is too hyper and/or creative to keep under control.
Phew, okay, now let’s cover my pathetic book earnings for the month of November, 2013.
My Income Report:
Amazon Net Units Sold: 918
B&N Net Units Sold: 286
Total Income (Approximate) $475
In addition to my lack of focus, as I thoroughly explained above, Amazon has been irrationally unpublishing many erotic books for containing even the slightest hint of inappropriate content. A notable example may include a book in which a single guy sleeps with a total stranger. However, if you even mention the phrase “Step daughter” in the book’s description, your work is at high risk of being unpublished. Note that such phrase may even be used innocently, such as “Kimberly, Amanda’s slutty step daughter, did not care about her questionable reputation.” But for some implausible reason, Amazon’s system may come to the conclusion that we are explicitly writing about incest. They have now gone on a rampage and many indie authors are paying the price.
As a result, several of my once-profitable books are now unpublished, and I am slowly working on them and/or abandoning a few depending on the amount of work they need. Before this little issue started, some individual books were making well over $200 per month, so seeing them decline is infuriating and certainly emotional.
Needless to say, I am excessively overjoyed about this coming year, and just like every other year, I anxiously await for new business opportunities. Now let’s hope this WunderList app can keep me in check.
What have been your biggest successes and failures this year? Feel free to let it all out. After all, acknowledging a problem is the best cure.