Monday, October 24, 2016

In Review

That’s what I've been doing. I decided to delete one of the Project Wonderful’s ad boxes,
because sometimes more isn’t always better. I may have to delete another box, and
just stick with two ad boxes, but this is one of those times size actually matters.
Two of my ad boxes were underperforming, or so I was informed by PW. In many
ways I expected this. Project Wonderful is helping me fine-tune what I need, with
what I have.

On the policy page, I spell out what I’m willing to do for customers, and I based
that on what my products actually are. I deal in antiques, rare and wonderful
vintage items, and I deal in collectibles. I only have one of each, and the condition
of each item can be excellent, it can be fine, good, or even just so-so. I’m priced
competitively from what I’ve seen elsewhere, taking into account the condition of
each item. When I say all sales are final, it’s for my protection.

There are some real horror stories out there from other sellers. Stuff that would
make your hair turn white.

Here’s the thing. A real and honest buyer, they just want their product. Thieves,
they just want my product, and they will do anything and say anything to get it for
free. I have to be pro-active. When you look at it from my point of view, it makes
sense.

In the last few days I made more money with my books than I did with Amazon,
exclusive or not, it didn’t matter, than I did in the last year. Now that’s what I call
sweet. I can and will do more to see that I succeed without Amazon. I’ll blog more
about that as I go along. I can only hope I get some honest reviews out of these
sales.

I’m doing what I can with what little I got. I went from zero USD, to $25.00 USD
in one month. Everything I’m doing right now online, I’m doing it all for free, or
on the cheap. I spent $20.00 on just one ad. Next month will be interesting. I want
to buy two ads, one for my picks, and one for my books. The book ad will take
potential customers straight to my iBooks store. I also want an ad that will lead
people straight my Barnes&Noble store. Eventually I will have three ads up and
running with Project Wonderful. Each ad doing just what I need it to do.

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over my products, and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

And don’t hesitate to read a sample of my many books, and actually buy the book
that interests you. It’s the only way to find out how the story ends.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

More Good Ad-sense

Signing up to Google AdSense was fairly simple (I had the hits!), and my
application is under review.

Using Google AdSense correctly and to my benefit might be a little tougher, but
there’s just too much information online not to get a feel for the first ad I intend to
place.

One of the first things I learned was, by using Google’s analytics, I can narrow my
target market with a possible future Facebook ad. That's a win, win. Add a little
common sense, and I can further narrow my target market. I need the biggest bang
for my buck, so there’s a lot of homework to do.

My popular posts have to do with my Idiot’s Guide to Marketing Me and My
Stuff
, where I’m the idiot, trying to figure this out without getting too complicated.
I can’t post stuff like this all the time, trying to act like the expert when I’m not an
expert in any of this. I do what I can. I’ll fail, and I’ll succeed. I’ll succeed because
I’ll fail.

Failure is something to learn from.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is
more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded
genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated
derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
- Calvin Coolidge

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” -
Richard Branson

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever
encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -
all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these
things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
-
Steve Jobs

“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the
circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”
- B. F. Skinner

“For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it.
When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”
- Mary Kay Ash

“Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal.” - Mike Ditka

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

And don’t hesitate to read a sample of my many books, and actually buy the book
that interests you. It’s the only way to find out how the story ends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

One Month Down

Rip’s picks has been alive and posting for one month, as of today, and during that
time I had one sale. Time to look at things as they are, and plan for the second
month.

I had 5173 hits for the first month. The breakdown by country looks like . . .

United States - 3992
Germany - 790
Russia - 66
Ireland - 38
France - 32
Denmark - 8
Singapore- 8
Canada - 6
Poland - 4
New Zealand - 3

My most popular page by far is the vintage GE 1950's waffle maker, at 322 looks,
followed by the wooden coin bank. I don’t know what to think about that. Not yet.

No new followers, and no comments. I lost one follower.

Project Wonderful. My ad has been up and running for 14 days now, and I initially
put in $20.00 USD with a target goal of only spending a buck a day. I have $4.00
left in the ad account, and will have to let the campaign run out for this month.

I can pick my ad up again next month, and finance it in full, so I’m not that
worried. The idea is to be seen. I will lose a little momentum, but I just got started.
Remember I only had one small sale so far, and that’s what I used to finance my
first ad.


My ad was seen 49,605 times (at the time I took the screen shot), and I tweaked it
once to exclude everyone outside the United States until I can get a good
understanding of international shipping.

I had a total of 11 unique clicks, or purposeful clicks, with a click-through rate of
0.02%.

My affiliate links have, so far, remained untouched.

I made a little money, too, hosting ads. And I’m not done yet. There’s more I can do.
The main thing is to get myself out there.

I’m sorry that the book thing became my biggest distraction this last week, but I
had no other choice but to drop the almighty Zon.

Amazon done bleeped up too many times for me to trust them, and I’m losing
nothing by dropping them. Not really. Who knows what I’ve actually made,
because I’ll never get a straight answer.

Nobody else will, either. I’m not the first to leave, won’t be the last, and trust me
when I say Amazon will (soon) find another way to screw its authors out of their
hard earned money. When that happens, more and more will leave.

I published again with Smashwords, having sold several hundred books with them
in the past. Twice the amount I ever sold on Amazon. They make sure my books
are seen elsewhere, like the Apple iBooks store. I’m still waiting for Barnes &
Noble to show some movement, but they have always been slow on the draw.

I’m figuring out another vendor right now, and there are others I can use to pretty
much give me the blanket coverage I need. I’ll even set myself up to sell directly
from my web site. I can have another vendor for my paperbacks, too. I don’t need
the Zon. I’ll blog about it.

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Amazon Just Got Dumped, and Why

I’m not going to pretend I’m doing the right thing overall, but it is the right thing
for me. What I’m talking about is, walking away from Amazon.com.

It’s one thing to sell books, but it’s another when you can’t trust, at all, the
distributor handling those sales to keep an accurate count, or to tell you the truth
on what was sold, how many people borrowed your books, and how many pages
were read, which is how us authors are paid when a book is borrowed. By the
page. $00.0046 per page per average.

It is a rather long story, and you can read all about it here.

You don’t have to join the Kindle Boards to read, the forums are public, but to post you
have to join (fake name if you so choose), and it takes a good while of reading to
get the full picture of what me and thousands of authors just like me are facing,
but the story is worth the time.

In order for me to counter this, to effectively take myself out of the picture, to
actually give me a fighting chance with my 16 e-books with the reading public,
and to get paid for all my hard work, I pulled all my books from Amazon.com.

It will take some time to get back up and on with other online vendors, but I can
wait. In the meantime I’m back with Smashwords.com (I can be bought right now,
today, with better prices, there.), who will then distribute me to all the online
stores around the world, including the Apple iBooks store, and Barnes & Noble.
There is another distributor for the Google Play store I’ll be using.

You might want to call it a glitch in Amazon’s reporting system, but I’ve been flat-
lined since I decided to give the (exclusive to and with Amazon) KU 2.0 program
a chance. And, I’m not joking.

Only thing is, I’ve been selling books, I have had borrows, and only discovered
through the thread link above, why I’ve been flat-lined. Oh, to be fair, I did show
some movement when Amazon adjusted things for everybody, and then I flat-lined
again.

That movement, their adjustment, was their mistake. It gave me a glimpse of the
truth.

They proved to me I had sales, and I had page reads, and nothing before or after
their adjustment (for all authors) had shown up on my sales and read reports. I did
get that one page glitch thing associated with Pageflip.

It hard enough to make it as a writer of genre fiction, without wading waist deep in
someone else’s doodoo.

You can still read samples of each book at the Smashwords.com store (links are up
on the books page, too), and soon to come, everywhere else. You can make up your
own mind as to purchase the book and see how the story ends.

In the meantime, I got another book to post, another to finish, more picks to get
up, and changes to make to my links. My online footprint.

I’m disappointed, more than anything else. All I wanted was a fair chance.

I do see authors like me, those with nothing to lose and everything to gain,
following in my footsteps.

It takes time to gain ground, to get your books in front of potential readers, make
no mistake about that, but going wide (again) will be worth it in the long run. I’ll
blog about this again in the near future. What steps I’m taking to introduce myself
to new readers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-Changes

In less than a week I’ll have been up and running for a month, seriously up and
running, and I had to make a few modifications.

I decided not to do international sales and shipping until I know exactly what it is
I’ll be getting into. A lot of that decision has to do with product weight verses
postage paid. A flat fee, at this time, would probably work against my better
interests.

I took the time to change the store’s shipping rules, and modified my policy pages.
All my product descriptions have been modified to reflect these changes. No
international sales or shipping at this time.

Shipping within the continental US will still be free. That I can do safely without
breaking the budget.

Prices: I’m not out of line with my prices, considering my quality. That much I’m
sure of. Still . . . I’ve decided to lower some of my prices ($5 to $10), but not on
all my products. The idea is to be the best overall value compared to others out
there who may have similar items. Give people more incentive to buy from me.

Take the post-war Japanese tea set. There is another online, and by the time the
shipping and handling is taken into consideration, the customer would be paying
about $165 USD, compared to my $145 (here it is) rate. I could have safely priced
the set at $155, and still saved my potential buyer money, but would the average
customer take the time to research and compare the two identical tea sets? And if
you did, you would find I still have the better value, even if I was priced the same.
Oh, the difference one cup can make.

My Project Wonderful ad will only be seen in the US, and not the world over. I’m
still trying to figure out my overall settings. I’m hoping the concentrated effort
will attract more click-throughs. As of this morning I gathered 16,000 impressions,
or, my ad was seen 16,000 times. The click-through rate is dismal, but that’s still
not the issue. Not yet. Six months from now that might be more of an issue.

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Featured Pick!


Post War Japanese Tea Set - 20 Pc - Vintage (makers mark, plus marked Made in
Japan) - Hand Painted - Gold Gilt - Classic Mt Fuji Scene- $145.00 USD - Free
shipping (USPS) within the continental United States.

This is a place setting for five, or a place setting for four, with one extra cup, cake
plate, and saucer (not pictured). The tea pot measures 5 1/2 inches tall from bottom to top of pot
lid, 8 1/2 inches spout to handle, and 4 1/4 inches wide. The creamer is 3 1/4
inches tall, 4 1/2 inches spout to handle. The sugar bowl is 5 1/4 inches from
bottom to top of lid, 6 inches handle to handle. Each tea cup measures 3 7/8 inches
in diameter, and 2 inches deep. The saucers are 5 5/8 inches in diameter, and the
cake plate measures 7 3/16 inches in diameter.

You can find this and several more products on page 2 in Home Decor at the storefront.

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Just So You Know

First, if you want to see more of my inventory, or want to know more about fresh
picks, there is one thing worth your time to do. Become a follower. Follow me
here, on this blog with Google+, or with my newsletter. I’ll get the rest of my links
up soon enough.

BTW, any time you see real money in those ads on my site, be it three pennies or
whatever, that means Project Wonderful is working for me. I even had another
advertiser contact me and wish me luck, which was really cool. Yes, I replied in
kind. What amazed me was she’d been using PW for a few years, more like seven,
and me, I’m just a cherry bobbing on the waves.

My ad had 11,000 impressions so far, which means I’m being seen. I’ll give the
monthly totals when I have them. I am spending just a little more than a dollar a
day, and I’m not sure why. One of my settings is off, and I’m not sure which
setting it is. Still, I might keep the settings I have now.

Time to throw out another idea and see if it sticks. I’ve been looking into the idea
sharing and funding sites, like GoFundMe, and some of the others out there. I’ll
have to give these a try, but first I’ll have to do my research. I have to know
everything I can about what makes a campaign successful.

Two more things, My Do-It-Yourself Life vlog, that’s where I need to be me. I
have to feel free to share all my successes, as well as my failures. I’ll probably
cuss once in a great while. I don’t have the skills yet for the fancy intros, so I’m
not going to bother. I don’t know how often I’ll post on the vlog. It seems if you
don’t post twice a week at the least, you don’t get a lot of subscribers.

I’m not going to worry about that. Not really. What I’m doing takes time. Nothing
happens overnight. Nothing. My life can only be measured month to month. I
know what my house looks like, and that’s enough to keep me going, no matter
what. This is what it looks like. 16' x 32' feet of simplicity. I can add windows,
change door styles, and put a porch up. I can do what I want to make it mine. Tiny
house living at it’s finest.


If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monetizing Me Part 2



I was approved by Project Wonderful, and I’m allowed five of their ads to run at
any given time, and I have to decide what’s garish verses what’s practical. Sure, I
know, you see it all the time, everybody runs ads. I’ve actually clicked on ads that
interested me, and so have others. Do I want to look cluttered? Do I want the extra
cash five ads will provide?

I’ll just have to see what happens when I get a few ads up.

My Rip’s Picks ad will be running before the next couple days are out.

I’ve decided to call my vlog on YouTube, My Do-It-Yourself Life. I can’t wait to
get my first post up. The good with the bad. I’ve set up a slide show to run in the
background, one that highlights my picks, and my books.

Now I’ve got more products to get up, more products than my store actually
allows, so I’ll utilize another store. That’s for another post.

If you see something you like, it’s first come first served. I only have one of each.
Read my policies page, sign up to my newsletter, look over the products and buy
something you love. If not you, someone else will beat you to it.