Houston, we have a problem. (You know, I actually had the chance to meet with astronaut Jim Lovell once. When I walked him out of our hotel to a sedan heading back to the airport, I said, “Safe travels!” Immediately I felt stupid saying that to a guy who got himself back to Earth on a damaged Apollo 13.)
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.
Well, the good news is that my book royalties more than doubled month over month (from $2,464 in April to $6,205 in May). BUT, my Kindle royalties tanked, and my speaking income actually went WAY up to $37,500, which is a problem.
Now I’ll admit this is a good kind of problem to have, but I’ve been trying to make passive income. And as well-paying as it is, flying all over the country giving speeches ain’t passive, and I don’t write well from 30,000 feet in the air. As Michal Stawicki teased me last month:
Judging by your reports you are a speaker, not an author.
Ouch! I resemble that remark! But I’m dreaming big for my next book which just came back from my editor. So we’re getting close to getting those book numbers up where they should be.
No Love To Your Kindle Books And They Won’t Love You Back
While the paper versions of my books are doing great, my Kindle copies have cratered. I’m seeing the truth that if you don’t constantly nurture your winners, they’ll get beat out by new titles. I did no marketing, no guest posting, and my copies have withered on the vine. I did do a 5-day free promotion on one of my titles, but it did nothing for paid sales.
Kindle Recommended Price Screwed Me
You might know that when you go to set your price for your Kindle book—and most of us now default to $2.99 or maybe $3.99—Kindle has a beta feature called “KDP Pricing Support” that will recommend the price that will make you the most royalties. Not the most unit sales, but the most royalties. Well it told me to set my little book of quotes to $7.99. Really?! A book of quotes for $7.99—seems high?! But I tried it. And I lost all my sales. When I went back in to set my pricing to $2.99, I check their recommendation it was down to $5.99.
Would have been nice to have been alerted that it had changed. I just don’t trust it based on my results…so $2.99 it is.
Back-End Online Course Launched
I’ve been sharing how part of my master plan is to turn each book into an online “course” to increase additional passive recurring revenue. I’ve been using recording videos and creating the course in platform called: KajabiNext .
Finally, my course on “Leading for Employee Engagement” (which goes along with my book Employee Engagement 2.0) is live. You can click the link the previous sentence to play a couple videos and check it out.
I’m actually launching it on Monday so I’ll have sales data to report soon, but for now, I can report that I like KajabiNext a lot, although having some video playback issues.
The income break down: $43,705
In the past my speaking gigs didn’t usually result in additional book sales, but the events in May I pushed the books for audience members and the client bought. This is from one event:
While the total revenue number looks great, the majority of it comes from speaking, not royalties:
- Total Royalties in April = $6,205
- Total Speaking Fees in April = $37,500
The digital versus print breakdown for royalties:
- Print (Createspace) = $5,896 from 1,340 units
- Kindle ebooks = $309.00 from 985 total units (most during a free week)
Again, I’ve taken my eye off the Kindle ball and getting trounced. Really need to spend time nurturing those titles again.
QUESTION: If you haven’t already emailed me to say “hi” will you? What you working? What topics might you have questions? What’s your favorite cocktail? Send me an email at kevin at kevinkruse dot com. (I rarely read Facebook PMs so email is preferred.)
Oh, and don’t forget: other recent blog posts include:
- How to Link Your Kindle Book and Print Book Together
- Do Createspace Author Purchases Count In Amazon Sales Rankings?
- How to Format Word Manuscript For Createspace
- How To Get Important People To Agree To An Interview