Join the Journey: September '21 progress report
It's time for my 9th monthly progress report, published as part of my "Join the Journey" series, available exclusively to Think Better Newsletter subscribers. You can read my previous updates here.
This monthly progress report is an effort to both hold myself accountable to making continuous progress as well as provide insight to anyone else considering self-publishing. It's meant to be the Strava to my book sales...a public record for anyone interested to follow.
My overall impression of September (Month 9!)
The challenge continues. September was brutal. The slight lift in sales hides the fact that what I'm doing has stopped working.
I continued to struggle with promoting the book, though I did get a couple get reviews and I sold a team package last month. I've also had one college athlete recommend the book to their high school coach, who purchased a team set this month (not included in these sales numbers).
So while the social media doesn't seem to be working and my efforts to get on more podcasts haven't worked, word of mouth and positive reviews are happening. Long term, those are going to be much more important.
The key for me will be managing my energy and executing on high value activities. I plan to go back to what I learned from my conversation with Geoff Woods and focus on my "forcing question": What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?
I need to reach more coaches.
My Monthly Sales (units)
I sold a total of 35 books in September, mostly due to 1 team order. That was another -71% month over month decline for individual orders, with only 2 for the month. My 40% increase in total units was entirely due to the team order.
My reseller (Amazon) sales declined a lot, and strangely they all came from the UK. Zero US sales is a giant "oof" for me. Whatever stopped working in late July/early August continues to not work.
My Marketing Initiatives
I published one article at PodiumRunner last month:
- Your Race Result May Hang on One Word (PodiumRunner subscribers only) - I look at how "word cues" can help you get through difficult portions of races
- I also received a rewarding review from elite pole vaulter Austin Miller, which you can read here.
My social media marketing is due for an overhaul. Everyone recommends videos but I'm resistant to it.
I published four newsletters in September and gained 2 subscribers. I did get good feedback about a couple of them, so that was positive.
My Goals Achieved
My Plans for October
This month is off to an ok start due to a large team order. I'm going to strategize connecting with coaches, podcasting, and writing articles over social media. I believe it's a better long-term approach for finding an audience who connects with my work.
September was tough, but understandable. I'm not putting in nearly as much quality time, and the fact of the matter is, I'm not creating/producing enough to get people to notice me. I don't believe in quantity over quality, but I absolutely have to be consistent about producing new quality content.
I end every one of these updates with the same message, as much for me as for you:
This is a long journey, and I plan to achieve success by following the same principles I lay out in Make the Leap: high quality work, done consistently, that feeds back into itself to create outsized gains. I'm still at the beginning where growth isn't really visible. But the foundation is being laid.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. If you have any advice or feedback, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Be More,