Well, friends, it happened. It took 6 months to make 6 figures, and you watched it unfold month by month.
To be precise, I earned $15,022 in June, which brings my 2015 six month total to $114,254.
I quit my job on January 1 to become a full-time “author-preneur”.
I’m sharing my results each month to keep me accountable
and so you can learn from my mistakes.
June Breakdown = $15,022
I know everyone wants to jump to the money part, but I do have to remind everyone that QUALITY OF LIFE is priceless and that’s the real reason to jump into being an authorpreneur. In June I was able to:
- Go to my son’s “Me Magazine Party” at school (he’s in 5th grade)
- I started working out with a trainer a couple times a week, in the middle of the day (I hurt so bad I’m ready to get a normal job so I “can’t” go any more!)
- Took a Friday off to drive to the Jersey shore for soccer “Beach Blast”, which turned in Mud Blast with all the rain
- I took a Monday off to drive exotic sports cars at the Poconos Speedway (drove a Lambo, Ferrari and Audi R7)
And life is too short to be unhappy at work.
OK, enough of that. What about the Benjamins?
Once again, speaking revenue leads the way. I did ONE speaking gig for a big healthcare system down in Mobile, Alabama. I’m only counting $12,500 from the check below, because the extra $1,500 just goes to cover travel costs.
- Total Royalties in June = $2,522
- Total Speaking Fees in April = $12,500
How did I get this 5-figure speech?
That is the number one question people keep asking me. How are you FINDING speaking gigs?
They are finding me. As I keep saying it goes like this:
- An employee is interested in the topic of leadership, or more specifically “employee engagement”
- They search on Amazon, and my book comes up
- My book has a lot of reviews AND is shorter and cheaper than the other traditionally published options
- They buy my book, and of course they love it. 😉
- They give it to their boss, or they buy more copies for the company book club
- It’s time for their annual “leadership retreat” and the need a guest speaker
- !Lightbulb! How about that guy who wrote that flimsy little leadership book we liked?
- THEY email ME saying how much do you charge?
- I forward the email to a VA who responds, “$12,500, better decide fast…”
- They hire me. Ka-Ching!
Instead of asking, “How do you find speaking gigs” the right question is:
How do you write books on business topics, and get your book ranked at the top of the results in Amazon for those search terms.
Now I also had 2,522 in royalties for the month. Not great, not annual six figures worth, but I do VERY little work to get those royalties. And an extra $30,000 per year…what would YOU spend that money on?
Year-to-Date Lessons Learned
Six months in and I must admit I never thought I’d hit six figures this quickly. I didn’t realize it would be this easy to land speaking gigs. I’ve spent most of this year working on my NEXT book, which will be the biggest launch I’ve ever done in my life. Hoping to do an October 1 release. I KNOW I’ll have a lot more lessons to share after that launch. But for now:
- Kindle will abandon you like your a fickle prom date if you don’t pay her constant attention; my Kindle sales have cratered (Createspace paperbacks still doing fine)…because I put my head down to write and speak for six months. When I sold a lot on Kindle in the past, I was doing a monthly webinar, or monthly guest post, or some other way to get attention to the book
- I fall in love with my own ideas and writing and that’s very bad; my forthcoming book is over 80,000 words…all this time writing words and not letting those words into the wild where they can bring back revenue. Tsk tsk.
- My next next book I’m going to keep it short, talk it out, transcribe it and ship…you HAVE to stay on people’s radar and nothing does that like a new book
- Being a “motivational speaker” these days is really hard; being an “expert speaker” is relatively easy
- Not complaining but getting a big speaking fee for a “one hour speech” is really a big speaking fee for (1) three hour-long conference calls before the event to hear all about their company, (2) 24-hours of travel before the event, (3) the speech, which often is a half-day because of AV-check and hanging around time, (4) 12-hours of travel after the event (unless you are stuck in Houston for 3-days because of a snow storm that never actually materialized); again still great money, but not glamorous
- Speaking bureaus don’t want to even talk to you, until their clients are saying, “Hey, what about that Kruse guy…” and they think who’s that?
- Online courses are the future. It didn’t happen until July so you’ll hear more next month, but I released my book as an online learning course and made over $4,000 with it. Not huge, but like another nice royalty check.
- I discovered new tools as an authorpreneur beyond Scrivener and mailchimp, like KajabiNext, infusionsoft, Clickfunnels, and Stripe for taking online payments.
- My “aha” this year that can make you, and me, and all the non-fiction authors out there a million dollars is this:
Don’t think of writing a book, think of creating a program.
The book is just one vessel…literally a holder of value, an ability to transfer a solution to another person. And it’s the first thing you should create. But there are other ways to transfer that value including audio book, $197 webinar, $997 online course, $4,997 mastermind group, $12,500 speaking gig. Get it? The beauty for AUTHOR-preneurs is that it all starts with the book.
What’s your expertise+passion? How can it be packaged as a corporate speech?
So What’s Next…
So I hit six figures, but I’m going to keep this blog going because I’m curious how much I can earn in the first 12 months. At this pace, I should break $200,000, but so many questions remain…
- …will your dashing hero be able to break a quarter million dollars or more?
- …will his time management book become the best selling book in the history of mankind? Or be greeted with a collective yawn and “Another time management book?”
- …will his planned “Free plus shipping” book launch campaign lead to upsell revenues, or merely cost him every dollar he made for the first six months of the year?
The suspense is killing me!
YO! I hope you’ll shoot me an email to ask a question or let me know what you’re working on these days. Love connecting individually. Send me an email at info at kevinkruse dot com. (I rarely read Facebook PMs so email is preferred.)
Did you miss my other recent blog posts? Check ’em: