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Leo Hartas

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 17, 2018
61
121
United Kingdom
Hello Everyone,

Nearly finished Unscripted . ok, I haven't read Fastlane yet, but it's next! I'm a middle-aged freelance illustrator from the UK and have lived a half-way unscripted life doing what I love. The only thing is that despite many attempts I've never managed to escape my clients, instead watching them from the pavement (sidewalk!) make the real money. About three years ago I suffered the big mid-life crisis, a massive drop in confidence and well, a mental breakdown. Fortunately, I am recovered, a lot wiser, happier, and with a revved up drive to find the future I'd always dreamed of.

Freelancing, and a keen interest in computing, has given me a broad range of skills which I'm now putting to use by self publishing my children's project, Little Moose and Wolfie. The first two books are out on Amazon and selling several every day. It's very exciting and I am pleased to have found a project that pretty much fits the template outlined in Unscripted for a scaleable, profitable business, not only with the books but more so building an IP. It's very early days but Unscripted has helped me join the dots to treating my work as a full business and I'm looking forward to contributing where I can to this forum.
 
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Leo Hartas

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 17, 2018
61
121
United Kingdom
Hello Everyone,

Nearly finished Unscripted . ok, I haven't read Fastlane yet, but it's next! I'm a middle-aged freelance illustrator from the UK and have lived a half-way unscripted life doing what I love. The only thing is that despite many attempts I've never managed to escape my clients, instead watching them from the pavement (sidewalk!) make the real money. About three years ago I suffered the big mid-life crisis, a massive drop in confidence and well, a mental breakdown. Fortunately, I am recovered, a lot wiser, happier, and with a revved up drive to find the future I'd always dreamed of.

Freelancing, and a keen interest in computing, has given me a broad range of skills which I'm now putting to use by self publishing my children's project, Little Moose and Wolfie. The first two books are out on Amazon and selling several every day. It's very exciting and I am pleased to have found a project that pretty much fits the template outlined in Unscripted for a scaleable, profitable business, not only with the books but more so building an IP. It's very early days but Unscripted has helped me join the dots to treating my work as a full business and I'm looking forward to contributing where I can to this forum.
Fast forward a few years (apologies for not posting in the interim!) We worked on and self published a handful of other books on Amazon. It sort of worked but we found major problems with Amazon.
1. The profit margin was very poor. To keep somewhat in line with pricing of books from big publishers we could only expect £1-2 profit on each title.
2. To get anywhere visibility on the platform we had to buy Amazon ppc advertising. This was hideous to monitor as we had 1000+ ads running and it was nerve wracking as a few clicks on one of our books without a sale would wreck our profit.
3. ..The worst. Although we got great reviews for the books we started getting one star reviews because of the dreadful quality of the books Amazon was printing. I bought a few books for myself and the first one out of the box has someone else's book printed upside down in the front of it! Even without this the books were flimsy and printed on thin nasty paper. These reviews wrecked our sales and when I finally got through to Amazon they were totally disinterested.
Having said all this we did make some money and even got one of our books in the top twenty Christmas children's titles. The advertising did work as a machine in that we put £1 in and got £2 out. If we carried on with it building a big list of books and really working the ads we could grind along to make living, hoping that one of our titles would perhaps become a breakout success.
All in all it definitely failed on the CENTS system in that we were totally dependent on Amazon. A couple of years ago we had an idea for a different product and business model which we have since been setting up to launch in a couple of weeks.
 

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