I’m unsure how long I will continue to write income reports for KDP – but probably at least for this year!
I know that income reports certainly helped me when I was starting out and I hope that it can help you also.
So, what happened in July?
Well, I was expecting July and August to be my lowest months this year… Because they were on the lower side last year.
Actually, July, August & September were on the lower side in 2020.
However, last July I made $1570 and was not using Ads at that time.
This July, I made over $4500 and while I did use Ads, they were not responsible for a majority of those sales.
Ad spend in July was – Amazon US: $66.89 – Amazon UK: £90.77 – Amazon Canada: $25.81. Plus 20% VAT on those figures.
I am intending to create more Ads, but up until now, I had just been working on optimising the Ads I had to a good ACOS and going from there.
How Much Did I Make In July on KDP before TAX/EXPENSES?
In July I made $4510 before Ads, expenses & tax.
Of course, it’s not all profit because a large chunk does need to be put aside for tax and then there are my expenses on top of Ad spend, which I will outline below.
As you can see in the image, I have 520 books that I created on KDP – however, I have less live books than this figure, because I unpublished some books that were date specific, (such as planners). This is to avoid people buying the wrong planner by mistake.
So, I did create and publish 520 books to date, but not all of those are live – so, the actual number is slightly below this.
Many people are under the impression that you need thousands of books on KDP and I guess I am one of those examples that shows that isn’t the case.
I did get lucky finding a niche that worked for me pretty early on in my KDP journey, but I’ve also made PLENTY of books that haven’t ended up selling.
Around 100 or so books sell at least one copy a month. So, that will often leave several hundred books that don’t sell even one copy.
With Q4 coming up, (the fourth quarter of the year when sales start picking up!) it’s worth mentioning that it’s a time that can really get you a lot of natural reviews because of the increase in organic sales.
With my first Q4, the initial reviews to new books meant that some of those books really started to take off.
But the next Q4, those handful of reviews multiplied several fold and propelled some of my books way up in the Amazon algorithm where they stuck around afterwards and boosted my overall monthly royalties into the next year.
I have to say, I am super excited about this Q4 – this is a great time to get your books up on amazon and get them ranked in time for it.
What Are My Usual Expenses?
I try and keep my monthly expenses down and I’m not a fan of monthly recurring memberships – but in some cases, it’s just too worthwhile.
Monthly Subscriptions I Currently Have Are:
CANVA – I use this daily and it costs around $10, which is great value.
Bookbolt – I renewed my subscription here, largely for niche research & PuzzleWiz. I pay $15.99 per month – standard price is $19.99 per month, but you can get 20% off the full price with my coupon code: natniches
Helium 10 – First month was £54, (around $73) because I opted for two keyword research tools, Cerebro and Magnet2. Both great tools but I wanted to keep costs down, so I downgraded in August to just pay for Cerebro. I will do a post about Helium 10 at some point. I like that you can mix and match the tools, so you don’t have to pay for the whole package, if you don’t want to.
Vecteezy – I don’t use so much anymore but I still keep their monthly membership for when I need it. It costs me just over £10, which is around $13.
That’s it for my recurring monthly expenses in July and as you can see, this only comes to around the $130 mark.
However, I do also have some tools I paid for outright, that I don’t pay a recurring charge for and you can find my full list of tools here.
How Many Books Did I Publish In July?
I only published 9 books in July and a few of these were also actually, just plain notebooks.
Also, a couple of the books had swear/cuss words on, which meant that I could not advertise them.
While I have had some success with books like this before, it is a bit of a gamble because you need those initial sales to come in and get the ball rolling.
If you don’t make those initial sales early on and you’re in a competitive niche, then your book will likely sink into the Amazon algorithm and lose visibility.
I made zero sales on these new books and I think this was partially due to them now being in a competitive area.
Had I been able to run ads on them, I think they would have generated some sales.
I also spent a lot of July working on a journal with a lot more diversity in it, (so, not the same every page, but a bunch of different pages to work with). This took me far longer to complete and I think I was working on it for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately, with this book, although it was in a competitive niche, I was able to run ads to it right away and have started seeing some sales.
I also bought an author copy of this book to make sure everything looked good and I was really impressed with how it turned out.
I do recommend getting author copies of your book when you can, because the finished product can look quite different to the digital version you create at home!
What Was My Aim In July?
My aim was actually do create a couple books in some HIGHLY competitive niches – but where I felt I could improve on some of the best selling books out there.
I wanted to really spend time creating the best cover and interior that I could and then my plan was to run Ads to these books in order to start getting sales & reviews.
Did it work?!
Yes & No!
The main two books I worked on started to get sales initially when I started running the Ads, but then sales reduced.
What I’m hoping is that SOME people that have bought these books, will then leave reviews & ratings and this will bump up the sales once more.
I think I’d hoped for a cascade of sales and instant reviews… Because one of the books was one of the best I’ve ever made in my opinion. However, KDP doesn’t work that way!
Just because you think your book is great and should sell, that does not mean it will. In fact, it can sometimes be the books you don’t expect that suddenly take off.
This is why you really cannot get too attached to your books.
You can try your best to get your book to take off – whether that be by choosing the right niche & keywords, advertising, or promoting your book outside of KDP…. But not every book will be a success.
In August I’ve been going through Nuria’s Children’s Book Course and really do want to complete a couple of Children’s picture books in time for Q4.
I need to finally start YouTube, (I know… I know….)
I made a big purchase in August and that was for the instant Maze generator and this was probably the most I’ve spent in one go for a tool for KDP!!
It was especially unlike me to purchase it, because I don’t even create kids puzzle books! (Whhhhhhattt?!)
Well, since I had taken the plunge to buy the tool, I figured I had better start using it!
I made a start on creating an activity book in August, that also incorporates mazes.
It’s taken me a lot longer than I’d anticipated, because I’ve been trying to put together my own colouring pages and puzzle pages in addition.
I definitely want to create a few more puzzle books in the next couple of weeks, before I move on to creating my Children’s book.
I also need to find time to put together a 2022 planner template. I wanted to publish some planners this year, as last year I barely uploaded any dated planners.
What Are Your Plans For The Coming Months?
With Q4 just around the corner, how are you preparing?
Are you creating books specifically with Q4 in mind? Or are you just ramping up your usual routine?
Let me know in the comments!
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