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Like I said I can’t be trusted with the slightest hint of money.   Because I am happy with the guy I have in India who is doing some OCR work for me…and I have another guy lined up to work on my website, when i get the money together.  He wants to start working now, but i really need to dedicated the next few checks to the utility companies.  The website doesn’t have to be finished until the end of the summer.  But he gave me a good price and we have a plan, so I feel good about it.  I got cocky.  I have this CHORE that I have been putting off for AGES….  at some point last year Amazon started listing the Cafepress items and then instead of making $40 bucks a year, i’m now making about $200 bucks a year.  Not a bad improvement considering i have done nothing much.  A couple of times a year maybe I add a bunch more designs to the Cafepress site.  They are almost all just copyright free line art.  But I have slacked off at improvments such as adding appropriate tags and adding the new products available to my old images.   So i got a little behind.  And the chore seems boring and overwhelming to me.   So I actually put out a craigslist ad for someone to do this FOR me.  Like I said, I can’t be trusted.   And I got about a 10 responses in the first 12 hours…then i WOKE UP and pulled the add.  Because I am basically being an asshole.   I was fishing for someone who would do it for LESS money than i would do it for.   The American’s, LIKE ME,  can’t really afford to work for less than $12 an hour, even I insist on $10 (which is more than i make as a substitute teacher)  – So what the fuck am i looking for?  someone who wants to do it as a favor? so that I can make more money?   I am such as ass.

At the moment I have three books that need finishing one with 70 more pages of images to restore, and two that need proofing.  The cookbook indexing is kicking my ass….i NEED to do those things..and there is no assurance i will make $200 a year from them.  But for some reason i have avoided this other chore for nearly a year.  I have finally added it to my TO DO LIST – If i will pay someone else $10 an hour, then I really need to do it myself.   Unlike what I am asking Sumit to do in India…he’s working on part of the books that takes me away from finishing them.   I am actually ahead by paying him to do the OCR part of the work, then i can do the proofing and indexing without getting sick of looking at the text and start making mistakes.

The Cafepress crap on the other hand is infinitely tedious.  Basically take an image and add it to a bunch more products, but i need to keep track of which ones i have done and which ones I haven’t.  Even though some of the designs have never sold at all.   I will probably take a good look at the designs and remove some of them, maybe…i think i get 500 images with my Cafepress account…but if i am improving sales, then i should look at upgrading the account…which will have to wait until i upgrade the products.   It’s all part and parcel to that theory I had at the first of the year about improving the level of PASSIVE money coming into the house.

[amzn_product_inline asin=’B00D8K6MFG’]

 

 

passive aggressive income

now THERE’S a title…if i could run that into a book , i’d make a chunk of change.  Perhaps i will.   2013 is looming on the horizon like some sea monster on a map with its mouth open ready to swallow my jonah ass.

Since my income dropped drastically last summer..and i mean drastically like a cannon ball off the chrysler building…. i have been living so scaled back i have to check the couch cushions before i leave the house.   I KNOW what i need to pay my bills comfortably and leave me a little left over to feed the cats and keep the fridge stocked.  It isn’t much in the greater scheme of things. $1000 a month could do JUST that and no more.  Now that’s clear and free over what i have to shell out for products to resell…that’s where life gets complicated..people buy products and i have to save up and buy more products…it’s a vicious circle.  And that’s obviously not including the vast amounts that i owe the utility companies and other various bills that mock me every week.  So basically like the rest of america i am kinda fucked.

I did so well with last year’s goal of divesting..well i think i did okay..i’m declaring it so…that I am going to try another one.  In 2013 I am going to try to beef up my passive income.

Passive income is the  money that comes in with me having to pack and ship and rebuy products and process each individual order etc… I am still going to keep printing books to sell locally and buying products to sell online..but I want that OTHER money to be more than just the pennies that drip through the keyhole.   Passive money is what comes in when Amazon sells a copy of one of the books i published or wrote…passive  money is what comes in from Cafepress for designs I uploaded.  Passive money will be what comes in from digital publications..i am thinking up other possible avenues…i think i will pay a call on Zazzle and send some designs that way.  Basically anything I can set up ONCE and that costs me nothing to earn coin.

Now i know i won’t get to 1000 a month using this nickle and dime stuff overnight…but like the divesting..if i do it steadily for a year it will just turn into a habit.

I pulled up all the passive sales I made from 2012, and was surprised at the number of transactions…the money is VERY low.  .60 cents on a .99 cents sale takes a while to accumulate..and the cafepress stuff averages about  1.50 per sale.   But it is all encouraging that I am making ANY money passively.  I just need to do MORE of it…at least that’s my plan and I am sticking to it.

Today’s chore is to rewrite the Finding Money Book I put together 3 years ago…reading it now I am terribly embarrassed it does have a lot of redundancy and it could have been much improved. But I do remember it being a quick experiment to understand how the Kindle Publishing process worked even though i linked it to a paper copy.   I actually couldn’t find my original file for it and had to recreate it from a pdf download.   So i took it apart down to the bones and putting it back together as a second edition and I will send it to smashwords and reupload it back on Kindle and Createspace.  I do like the cover, though i will have to do SOMETHING to indicate it’s a new edition.

Before I start too many new projects from scratch, i am still pulling projects like this out of my computer and dusting them off.  I had a Bibliophile glossary I produced for a pda device about 6 years ago and I am dusting that off too.   After I do a few of these which won’t earn me much, I will tackle something larger and more complicated.

 

 

 

 

cafepress

about once a year..usually at the end I pay some attention to my cafepress account…that’s the button above that says SWAG. Basically you upload your designs and they produce print on demand merchandise that other people (or you) can order. Because my designs are rather traditional and I don’t make a science out of it, I just have markups of about .1.50 to 2.00 per item..which isn’t a lot..but considering how little effort i put into it. it’s fair enough that quarterly i get a check for 35-75 dollars….more post christmas of course.

That girl reading atop books has suddenly in the last year become my most popular design. go figure. Looking back…i am surprised to find i have made over 400 dollars this year… now i am rethinking the whole cafepress thing. Since last year they have added twice as many products that they can print your image on…many of which would be for more specific designs…i can’t see any of my designs on bed linens or underwear…. but not to leave any stone unturned i am thinking of chunching all my 250 designs into as many products as possible….just in case. That will take a great deal of effort. and if i am going to add anymore designs I will need to do that too.

In essence I am covering all my bases… if there are places on the internet i can generate passive income. I am revisiting it.

I think starting in 2013, I will take all my cafepress checks and put it in the savings account. It’s found money after all.

any port

today was a red letter day….the city actually didn’t screw up. They signed the contract with the rail trail contractor and the earth didn’t swallow anything. my town does not have a habit of doing things the smart or easiest way. Three years of pushing and straining has finally come to a summit. Hopefully we will have a trail by the end of the year – cause i’m tired and i have a list of other projects a mile long. thanks to my mother’s many years of brainwashing unless i am juggling 5 different things at once i feel like i am a failure. so basically i get to exchange one of the things i am juggling for another – hopefully a profitable something. we will see…i am being set up with a phone job that should earn me a few more shekels than i am taking in now. cross your fingers.

i couldn’t find anyone to celebrate with so i treated myself to a few rewards. I ordered some new socks online…oooohh… and stopped off and picked up some sushi and a topshelf bottle of port. normally i buy middle shelf port..spending about $20 for 750ml, but i don’t drink it fast enough – once you open it you should finish it very quickly…preferably in a few days..that’s more than i drink normally, so unfortunately i end up cooking with my ports and sherrys more than i drink them. What i figured out tonight is that if i am resigned to spending 20 bucks on a bottle, i can buy a premium bottle albeit a smaller one. bottoms up baby.

 

more winebaby designs

rabbit hole

manytoes2 People never tell you that gets worse as you get older…. then it’s like turning on a light switch – SNAP!  and  one day I just woke up and realized I had so many projects laying around unfinished that I just HAD to get done. Makes me wish I had many more appendages than I have now.

I have some unfinished works and needed to learn more about how publishing for the Kindle works. So, after tweaked the Kindle Version of Book Repair for Booksellers and lowered the price, I threw a small item up that I had been writing for about a year – Finding Money: over 400+ places to find spare cash in your life..don’t laugh it’s actually useful and it’s only 99 cents, how bad can it be? Did you know there was a Kindle app for the PC? I didn’t either. NO I am not plugging the kindle but I just thought it was interesting; if someone wanted to buy a book electronically they can indulge without buying an expensive device.

I built still another non profit website, this one for Lawrence Boxing Club, which is a non profit in an abandoned church.  Came out pretty good if I say so myself. I even added each kid’s picture to the Cafepress materials, they may never do anything but train and spar, but they can buy their picture on a shirt.

and speaking of Non Profit, I have been feeding the Animal Rescue Merrimack Valley site pretty regularly, including adding some of my Cafepress items to it this morning..not that anyone has ever bought anything, but hell it looks nice.  I am also editing a nice Vegetarian Cookbook for ARMV, if anyone has come recipes they’d like to donate to the cause.

The Methuen Rail Trail Project is heating up, I made some introductions between the City Of, and a non profit called Iron Horse Preservation that barters high carbon rail stock for a ready made Rail Trail.  All the footwork took some doing, this is the most traction I have had on this project in 2 years.

Aside from that I worked 4 veterinary clinics as a vet tech. And picked up more work with the US Census….I am learning a lot about my neighbors, I’d tell you more but then I’d have to kill you.

I am official OFF snow

I don’t want to see one more freaking smidgen of it or it’s pal ice. It just makes working a lot more difficult.

Someone stopped me mid sentence the other day, they asked where I found the time to do all this blogging. Hee hee, I think we can all pretty much swear that I certainly don’t do as much blogging as I should. And I am certainly jealous of them that do find time to get in their daily allowance of blogging and twittering and facebook time. I spend most of my days doing things other people should be doing or doing things I don’t get paid enough to do.

Did handle many books today, but alas none of my own. I finally got over to the archives at the Lowell Cultural Center and spent a few hours sitting in dim light trying to read 100 year old scribbles. And the saddest part of that is that it is the first time in ages I have felt like I was doing my job. Sitting around fiddling with databases and websites and cataloging things doesn’t FEEL like bookselling, it just feels like goofing off on the computer.

I did manage a wolf whistle at a couple of marines in full dress, I mean that’s what young men in uniform are FOR right?

Science isn't Optional

This is my most popular bumper sticker, so I figured I’d go all the way.

Science isn’t optional at Cafepress

Putting aside my mother being in ICU and my first kidney stone in 10 years, today was not half bad. I had a couple of good sales, not including the $3 dollars I made from my ‘Science isn’t Optional’ bumper stickers. On a whim I took the census taker test. I aced it so well, they asked me to come back tomorrow and take the supervisor test. Don’t matter what they hire me to do, a few weeks of consistent income should put me back to square one. Being in a hole isn’t so bad if you can see out of it. Note to self, when you find yourself in a hole : stop digging.

today was such a yo yo, ran around to several different vendors, managed to ship a bunch of orders, but not enough to clean my desk. Drawback to shipping in winter is worrying about items getting frozen in transit. So far only one item has been reported frozen. Thank karma for small favors, Eh.

worth reading • Jeremy gives us the heads up about Martha Washington’s new look, from the forensic anthropologists at the Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Lab.

well worth reading • Dumb Little Man blog has a good post on Effective Ways to Back up Important data followed by the equally useful . Perhaps I should try using some of those tips.

Still trying to decided what’s the best method to reprint my book on book repair, it is getting grotesquely expensive to physically print them myself. I am leaning towards cafepress.com’s print on demand service, the prices look good and the best part is I won’t run out of copies.

Art is long, Life is Short

Since I have damn little else to do, i have been uploading designs to Cafepress.com. I have nearly 300 there now and I am still tweaking and adding.

I KNOW there is a pithy saying I can add to the Chimpanzee foot . . any thoughts?

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