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BAD BOYS Post-release Rundown

I've tried to write this post for the past week. And, well, here I am. Trying again.


Not because I don't know what my figures are after Bad Boys' release, but because I don't really know what to say.


I'm in a weird headspace. Maybe it's hormones (those pesky little fuckers play a big part on my moods) or maybe it's something else. I feel ... a little incomplete, a bit lost.



I was talking with my mum via Skype yesterday, and as I told her, "I feel as though I'm behind at where I'm supposed to be by now. Like, I'm lagging." And as she said, "You're just at that stage of life. Your father and I felt the same way at your age."


And I guess all thirty-something's do. We're not in our youthful twenties anymore. We shouldn't - by society's standards - be in our "choosing what to do with our lives" stage. By now, especially when you're closer to 40 like I am, you're supposed to be in your life career and making steady progress with one-eyed focus.


Perhaps it was easier when our parents were middle-aged? Technology wasn't so in your face back then, and comparison went as far as hating Sharon in the school PTA because she always had fresh baking in her kids' lunch boxes and flawless hair. There wasn't an endless influx of people on a seven-inch device in your hand who are "doing better".


As much as we all know that the version people put forward of themselves is heavily edited and/or curated, you can't deny that we're all human. Our primitive subconscious hasn't caught up to the massive advancements in technology. As much as we all try to ignore the niggle, the unease worms its way back there in the part of our brain that welcomes it with familiar arms, and it festers.


We trip, and we fall.


Again, and again.


And I suppose that's all this is for me. A stumble. I'm in no way in the same shape I was a little over a year ago (thank Heavens) but I notice similar habits.


I'm lethargic. Or as I described it to hubby tonight, mooching. A huge part of this is attributed to working from home. When you're literally a few steps from your lounge room its super easy to justify "just half an hour of Netflix and then I'll get back into it." I find it hard to rejig myself out of "mum mode" and into "work mode".


I make progress, but it's slow. And my motivation is low.


I don't like it. Not when I've just had the best and most productive three months of the year. But perhaps that's it - I'm tired. Worn out? I don't think so. Not when I can't bring myself to solidly work more than two-three hours in a day these past few weeks.


Trust me - I've had plenty of time to rest. 🤫


So what's the answer? Persistence. I know what I need to do, and that's to get on with the job at hand. And I will. But in the meantime, I'll be patient and gracious with myself and understand that this is all part of the learning process.


I'm learning what works for me and what doesn't. I'm learning what my defaults are and where I need to change them. I'm learning what makes me feel fulfilled and what wears me down. And most of all, I'm learning which of those things I can change, and what ones I have to learn to deal with.


Because I proved that hard work pays off. Hell. Just work - it doesn't have to be hard. My income has steadily recovered ... and grown. It's six times what it was at the start of the year. Six times.


I'm doing well. I'm on the right path and everything I want to achieve, well, it's totally possible.


And that makes me smile. That makes me pause and sit in the sunshine with my dog and just feel good. Because I did that. One look at the prehistoric files on my old desktop from when I started out six years ago shows how much I have grown - as a writer, a marketer, and a business person.


And I'm proud of that.


So, in the spirit of full disclosure (which is why I started this blog) here are my keynotes:


Good Girls was a great release. Rank-wise, it was average. But let's not talk about that 😅 With a minimal ongoing ad budget of $5/day on AMS and $14/day on Facebook, I've managed to hold the sales/reads pretty damn steady. The return on ad spend has been 5-800% every day. That is epic. (If only I had a larger budget, right?)


So, with Bad Boys, I dove in the deep end. I gave that sucker $100/day on AMS and FB each. (Admittedly, the AMS spend was $15/day on Good Girls and $85/day on Bad Boys, but Facebook was 100% to Bad Boys.) AMS capped out everyday for Good Girls, but Bad Boys just wouldn't take off. 🤷‍♀️


Even so, I had the best sales month since June 2017. TWO YEARS.


Here's the weird part - my ROI tanked. Yep. My overall earnings are up, my rank was slightly better than GG, but my ROI ... mew mewwww. What do I take from this? I'm not really sure. KDP payouts went down for July, so to be on the safe side I assumed a small decrease for August also. My click-throughs from Facebook were average (11.11%), so that probably paid a part in it too. And because this was my first time running an ad to a landing page on my site (rather than direct to Amz), I neglected to check I had the right analytics. So although I know how many visitors I had, and from where, I don't know how many then clicked through to Amazon. 🤦🏼‍♀️


So many things to do better... 😬


I've reshuffled ad budget to put the unspent $$ for AMS back into Good Girls, and I've reduced FB until I have a moment to fix the problems with the ad set. I'd like to learn more about AMS and how to maximise it, as well as how to nail BookBub without throwing money at it with my eyes closed and hoping for the best.


KEY TAKEAWAYS:

- Overall revenue is up. This has been my main objective, so for that, I'm happy. I'm 65% of the way to my first monthly target, and then it will be a case of maintaining it at that as a baseline between releases while I continue to grow.

- Stop saying yes to everything. I'm only one person, and on top of that, I have two young kids and a house to run. I let some commitments slide last month due to agreeing to too much, and I think has played a large part in my murky mindset. I hate letting people down, and knowing I was that annoying dickhead who jacks something up and then never shows up for it made me massively guilty.

- Remember to test the ads!! I ran so tight to deadline for Bad Boys, that I completely overlooked trialling my ads prior. Probably accounts for the median CTR.

- Accept your process. This has been the biggest takeaway, so for that reason I'll give this last point its own post in the future.


But for now, I'm going to keep working on finding my groove again and losing the almost ten kilos I've gained since starting Amplifier 😬 As of today, I'm 1.5kg down, and I have an inkling that when the extra weight disappears my confidence will bloom again. So I'm not worried. Just frustrated.


Still. It's all a part of the process.


A process that never stops evolving. Or improving. Or teaching us something new ... whether we wanted the lesson or not 😄


Keep at it peeps. We've got this 🤘🏼


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