Writing and Self Publishing Report (Q1 2017)

I wanted to share what I’m doing on my writing and self-publishing journey, so I thought of publishing my quarterly reports. So, without further ado here is my Q1 writing and self publishing report for 2017. I really hope you find something interesting here…

Writing and self publishing report


This year I became very serious about my writing and self publishing venture.

What I had planned for this quarter:

  • Go live with FBIW and promote the book. tcsp checkmark
  • Re-open my book design service. tcsp checkmark
  • Add new content at TCSP. tcsp checkmark
  • Finish the first draft of THEJ.
  • Work on CGGS rough draft (±50%) tcsp checkmark

What has been achieved in this quarter?

Books (Self-Publishing Success Series) (BK01, BK02, BK03, BK04)how to format your book in word

How to Format Your Book in Word (FBIW) (BK03). The book is now available on Amazon.

Also created the FBIW PDF version of the book and it’s available on the sales page.

CGGS (BK01). The rough draft of this book is about 70% done.

THEJ. There are small pieces to be added to the first draft, but I didn’t work on this too often. I did contact 3 freelance editors for their rates, but it’s beyond my budget for this book. The draft is standing on just over 32,000 words.


Buffer alerts: Jan = 70 Feb = 76 (+9) Mar = 55

Direct Tweets: 40

The above were a combination of Twitter and LinkedIn, for FBIW, quotes, and TheCompleteSelfPublisher content.

Added promotional blurbs to sales page.

Newsletter: 17 January issue.

Site (ColinDunbar.com (CD01, CD02, etc.)

Nothing done on this site.

Blog (TheCompleteSelfPublisher.com) (CS01, CS02, etc.)

FBIW sales page uploaded (linked to from Books page).

Uploaded FBIW blog post, announcing FBIW book.

Updated Home page – link to FBIW sales page.

Created survey with Typeform and added post for it. Zero response.

Book Design Services sales page uploaded (16-01-2017).

Uploaded Writing and Self Publishing Resources page.

2016 in Review post uploaded.

How to Format Your Book in Word book excerpt post uploaded.

Never Give Up! book excerpt post uploaded.

Uploaded How to Write a Book blog post (1,688).

Uploaded Self Publishing FAQs post (1,919).

Uploaded How to Get a Book Published: Here are 6 Proven Ways blog post (3,949).

Uploaded A Day in the Life… blog post (391).

Uploaded Free Short Story: Africa Wild post.

What problems did you encounter?

Site (ColinDunbar.com)(CD01, CD02, etc.)

No problems.

Blog (CompleteSelfPublisher.com) (CS01, CS02, etc.)

I struggled to find an accurate traffic stats plugin. In March I installed the Yoast Clicky plugin: not accurate either. I’ll use Google Analytics from now on.

Other (OT01, OT02, etc.)

I spent a lot of time in determining the flagship product for TheCompleteSelfPublisher. Although not 100% confirmed, I believe I have a good idea what it will be.

What did you accomplish that wasn’t planned?

Other (OT01, OT02, etc.)

Split FBIW into FEIW and FPIW. Will investigate publishing these as ebooks (Kindle and Smashwords) later.

Fixed layout of FBIW book description at Amazon.

Changed sign-up incentive: Checklist + Planning spreadsheet + NGUP PDF. No increase in subscriptions.

Submitted 2 posts to The Carnival of the Indies at TheBookDesigner, and both were included in the 26 December issue:

Is it Possible to Publish a Book For Free? (Featured Post)
How To Start Writing A Book

Third post was included in the 26 February issue:

How to Write a Book

Uploaded Why Self-Publish a (Non-Fiction) Book? at LinkedIn (26 Jan).

Added Belcher box on FBIW sales page (Bronson did the code for me).

Dawie’s wife posted a 5-star review at Amazon for FBIW.

Book details added at BookWorks.

Bruce Pagliaroli (The Memoir Network) requested a copy of FBIW and offered to write a review at Amazon. Still waiting.

I asked 5 experts if they would give me blurbs for FBIW, and Dana Lynn Smith (Book Marketing Maven) replied and offered to review the book.

Added my profile and book preview at BookLife, requested a book review, but was unsuccessful.

Changed TheCompleteSelfPublisher to feature blog page as Home page (i.e. this is actually now a blog).

TheCompleteSelfPublisher.com was accepted into the AllTop blog directory.

How is success measured?

PayPal balance $402.42
Amazon balance $22.33
Payoneer balance $99.80

Expenses R796.23 + $57.00

New pages (TCSP) 3

New posts (TCSP) 10

New book/s:


How to Format Your Book in Word

Book sales:
Amazon (FBIW) 3
Amazon (NGUP!) 1

Subscribers 27

cd.com = 508
tcsp.com* = N/A

cd.com = 524
tcsp.com* = N/A

cd.com = 554
tcsp.com* = N/A

* The visitor numbers are not accurate as my son and I visited the blog a lot to test plugins, etc.


Had my first “unsubscribe” (17 Janurary).

Created a 3-year plan with writing targets.

31 March: Received a request from my first beta reader. Sent the PDF and questionnaire.

Books I Read this Quarter

Og Mandino’s University of Success (re-read, for mega book review)
The Last American Man – Elizabeth Gilbert
Launch – Jeff Walker (re-read)
Writer with a Day Job – Áine Greaney
The One Thing – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan (re-read)
Beyond Borderline – John Genderson, Perry Hoffman
Recce – Koos Stadler
Beyond the Baldness – Mark Pilgrim


I was busy, but I didn’t make progress, business-wise.

Even though TheCompleteSelfPublisher is found for a few keywords, the site is still invisible at Google. I don’t have accurate traffic stats for the blog, which means I’m flying in the dark. I’ll look at using Google Analytics more regularly.

Although I was active on Twitter (using Buffer and direct tweets), I cannot judge the results. This reminded me again how vital it is to identify your target audience/customer, and then to get your message in front of that audience. Get this wrong, and any online venture is dead in the water.

In order to conduct through (“real world”) research I enrolled in two online courses:

  • low end self-publishing course at Udemy ($10), and
  • “formal” effective writing course at Kajabi ($47).

I have less planned for Q2, but hopefully it’s more targeted to grow my online venture.

Planned for Q2:

  • Create new lead magnets. It’s essential for me to grow my subscriber list.
  • Finish and publish THEJ. This book has dragged on too long.
  • Guest blogging. This is where I’ll focus most of my time. It’s not easy, but all my research indicates that this is an outstanding method to grow one’s online exposure.
  • TCSP content. I have 2 or 3 articles that are very close to done.
  • PLF for FBIW. I’m going to try a PLF for a FBIW package. Doing the video/s is something that I’m weary of, but I guess I’ll have to overcome that hurdle.

Is there anything you want to know more about? Or maybe anything you’d like to suggest? Please let me now in the comments below.

Author: Colin Dunbar

Colin Dunbar is the owner of The Complete Self Publisher and shares his many years of experience in writing and self-publishing. If you enjoyed this article, please share it :o)

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