Year in Review – 2014

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Well has been an interesting year. This is the first time I actually have done a annual review. So I thought to myself I would go back and look through my diary to see what happened during the year. But I don’t have a diary. I don’t even have a journal. How I remember what I did during the year. Thank goodness I had Evernote.

Open Evernote and searched for “created:20140201 -created:20140228“. I was looking for all notes in February. Did not have Evernote installed in January.

In February I was looking for a product to create. I decided that I was going to write a book. I had looked at some of the books on Evernote and thought to myself I could write that. So from that moment forward I started writing my first Evernote Book. Then I used Evernote to research the book. While I was Googling the research from my book I used Evernote web Clipper to clip the web pages straight into Evernote.

The next thing I use Evernote for was drag-and-drop. I would find PDF documents on my computer and drag-and-drop them into Evernote. This was fun. I installed Evernote for iOS and I would take photographs in Evernote, these seamlessly appeared in Evernote. At one stage during my work I used Evernote to do a stock take. Then I found another use for Evernote, using the iPhone to scan documents. In my job as a fleet controller I was responsible for collecting pre-start vehicle checklists. Originally I would take these pre-start checklists and scan them into my computer. Then I tried a different way. I used Evernote on my iPhone to take photos of the pre-start checklists and then synced them into my desktop account. I then tagged those documents using the Rego number and archived them. This new method save me so much time and effort.

In the middle of February I discovered Scrivener. It was on my wish list. By the end of February I had collected a lot of information about Evernote. I was using Evernote to help me do my business activity statements. Because everything can Evernote is indexed it made sense to scan all my important documents into Evernote. By this stage, every piece of paper that past me went into Evernote in one way or another. Contracts, receipts, tax invoices, anything related to work. In March, and discovered how useful it was to scan business cards, as I had a big pile of them on my desk. I discovered using post-it notes, scanning them into Evernote on my iPhone. I love the simplicity of post notes, you can only put so much information on them. One idea at a time. Next I moved on to something will be more personal. I love food. So I downloaded Evernote Food and started putting the recipes in it. I finally purchased Scrivener on 29 March. I began to learn scrivener fast as I could and started writing my first Evernote book. On 30 March I purchased my domain name for garthscaysbrook.com and setup my website using WordPress.

In April and May continue to write my book. The middle of May got back my book cover designs from fiverr. I got about three people to do design work for me on fiverr, so that I can get some ideas. One of them was that good that I decided to use that as the cover of my book. On 24 May I released my new book on Amazon. I was excited. In the front of my book I had an option for readers to subscribe to my newsletter. I knew the importance of building an email list. I invested in Mailchimp and Leadpages. It was probably the best thing I could have done at the time. I now have over 400 email subscribers.

The first list is for my website garthscaysbrook.com and the second list is for my readers of my Evernote Wow book.

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In May to June I made $46.38 in royalties.

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In June I decided I was going to write another book. I started researching and knew there was demand for it. In the meantime we moved house it was difficult and exciting same time.

In August, just after moving, my wife and I changed jobs. It was scary at the time. But looking back I am super happy with the decisions we made. I made Best Seller in Education Research on Amazon in August too.

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August was an awesome month for book sales.

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June to August Book Sales (longer time frame)

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In September I released all three WordPress books. Now that I am writing this in December I realized that even though people wanted to know how to use WordPress, the information on the net was available and not hard to find. Now that being said, gathering the information together in one book does make a big difference, because you are saving time looking for it on the web. The sales of these books never really took of. What was funny, is that these books were far better quality than my original book. But quality account for nothing when there is no demand. But all is not lost. The content has been created and will re-purpose this over the course of the year.

This screenshot is from today. Waiting on $2000 cheque from Amazon. You will notice that I had some failed payments. This is an ongoing saga of Amazon unable to pay me via bank account, even though Australian payments were paid successfully. Some of you may also see that I am only paying 5% Withholding tax. This is because I submitted my EIN form to the IRS. That story is an entire post itself.

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Now it is at the end of December and I’ve just finished my fifth book. This time I went back to Evernote and and answered some questions that I didn’t answer in the first book. Hopefully this book will help some people get started with the basics of setup

Pretty excited about making $2000 from Amazon. Do you know how much money you have to have in the bank to make $2000 royalties? You will need $62,625 with interest rate of 3.2% not accounting for tax. Amazon Kindle Publishing is a serious way to make money. Now $2000 is not going to replace my full-time income but the way I treat it, is this is an asset worth $62,625. All I need to do now, is keep growing my asset, keep creating new books.

Summary of what I have achieved this year:

  • Moved house
  • Changed jobs
  • Wrote 5 Kindle books
  • Created 10 websites for clients and myself
  • Started my first e-commerce website
  • Started my first Amazon FBA Store
  • Learned more about Evernote, FBA, Scrivener, Leadpages, Mailchimp, Todoist, Sunrise, Toggl, Dragon Naturally Speaking, RescueTime, Screenflow, Camtasia and many more.
  • Completed Amazon FBA course on Udemy, currently learning Facebook Advertising
  • Acquired new tools: Toshiba Satellite laptop, 13″ Macbook Pro, Audio-Technica ATR2100 microphone, Rode SmartLav+ microphone, Joby GripTight Mount

Next year is going to be awesome. I am going to focusing on helping people as much as I can. Looking forward to it.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below or send me an email.

All the best

Garth