In part two I just want to say, touch on how I got into book cover design. But and here is the big but, I lost a lot of money. The reason was the business had high time commitments. Now although it was an online book cover design business and we got clients online, the service we were giving was basically a traditional service business. We had myself plus three full time staff, we had a back of telephone operators, we had surveyors who used to go out to properties on a, we paid them on a per job basis. We had obviously the website to run but we also had a lot of expensive portals we used to advertise closed properties on. I lost $36,000 just in 2012 which is $3,000 a month which is a lot of money to be going down the drain effectively.
Because we have this book cover design business with these huge overheads. If you just remember back to that slide from a moment ago where I’ve shown you how publishing on CreateSpace and Kindle is the ultimate online business. Contrast this last year when I lost $36,000 to January after I published Crash it with Kindle. Where in its first month, CreateSpace and Kindle made $2,000. I was going from a $3,000 loss to a $2,000 profit just in one month. It was one of the reasons that I’m a big fan of Kindle publishing. In the meantime, I’d written several self published books. I wrote my first book actually back in ‘98 it was a thriller with a crappy book cover design. This was back in the day when you needed to have an agent to get in front of a publisher to have any chance of getting published.
I couldn’t get a professional book cover design, couldn’t get a publisher, the book ended up sitting on the shelf unfinished. In 2004 I had another crack at it, I wrote a diet and weight loss book and again I had this same thing I couldn’t get an agent. The feedback from the agents was, it’s a good book but it’s such a saturated market place, so competitive that you need some celebrity to endorse it to give it traction. Of course this is way back before the days of CreateSpace and Kindle. I didn’t want a celebrity to front my books it was my work, it was this labor of love. That sat on the shelf gathering dust as well and then here is one things changed. In mid 2012, I discovered Kindle direct publishing which is KDP.
Having discovered that I wrote my third book in October 2012 this was a real estate book. This wasn’t about at the time this was not about getting royalties. This was about a positioning tool for my online book cover design business, that was the rationale behind the book, setting myself up as an expert. Having written that book, I then had to figure out exactly how to market it. Here for more. Now luckily I had four years of online marketing experience behind me. Because I find online marketing so fascinating, I’ve spent a lot of money on courses, been to a lot of seminars. Done a lot of things with my website and so I had a very good foundation. I needed to fill in the Kindle specific gap.
I went off and I did some CreateSpace, Kindle and Amazon publishing courses, read multiple books on the subject. Wrote out this plan for how it’s going to market my real estate book and ensure a good book cover design. Then a few days after I’d finished this plan, I suddenly had this realization that, I had the blueprint for a book as well. Because I love online marketing, because I love to teach and because I love to write, I felt well this is a way of combining all three. I ended up in November 2012 writing my fourth book which was CreateSpace and Kindle.
In January, it was a three time number one bestseller on Amazon and just to stress that’s in their paid list not in the free list. Three times number one bestseller in January this year. As I just mentioned earlier, it made $1,984 in the first month and that is in a niche category not a big huge category like Weight Loss for example. Or fiction, romance, some huge category. This is a relatively small category just one book nearly $2,000. Another great thing was I built a list of over 500 buyers actually that’s over 600 now in four months. It worked out, here is the thing if you’ve ever tried to build a list normally very often it costs you money. I’ve had friends paying $70 a lead for Facebook traffic and so on.