I love you! Best online shop setup for blogging income.

I love PayPal!

I love Sellbox! (and Dropbox!)

I love WordPress.com!

How exciting. After exploring so many options, these four things have combined together to create a successful way of making a small roadside stall at the end of my virtual driveway.

Thank you to everyone who has come by my humble colouring book and bought it off my virtual shelf. I appreciate you all so very much. Why am I so shy about saying I love you too! I really hope that the colouring pics bring some calm, joy, fun, healing or at least a bit of colour into your lives! That is my peculiar brand of love for you. A little thing. Just a little drop in the virtual bucket.

So far, I have made about $54 NZD and it feels great. I welcome any feedback about what works or doesn’t work with your colouring book download. That’s because I want to make the next one better, and create more after that. Your feedback will help me to improve. Or if it is perfect as it is, then it will help me to keep it the same for others to enjoy for the same reasons you enjoy it!

If you haven’t bought one yet, and are wondering what all the fuss is about, or want to review it and give me a bit of feedback, please try this link: http://sbx.sk/AkD1

Mostly, for all my blogger buddies who also want to make an income of some sort online, please know that I have found something that works for me, and perhaps it will work for you too! Darn good therapy.

Links:

PayPal takes care of all currency conversion, and provides secure payment service, including credit card payment which keeps your credit card details private. They provide financial reporting for tax purposes. http://paypal.com

Sellbox provides a brilliant interface between buyer and product, with space for preview pictures, and the option for donations, and promotion codes with discounts.It’s easy to take the Sellbox link for a product and insert it anywhere on your blog. http://sellboxhq.com

DropBox is cloud storage of your digital files, so they are quickly accessible from anywhere in the world. http://dropbox.com

Or Google Drive, which is also cloud storage. http://drive.google.com

And of course dear WordPress, home of the best blogs ever. http://wordpress.com

Much thanks and loves also these two writers who have greatly helped me along the way.

Opinionated Man at the HarsH ReaLiTy blog taught me  how to build a blog audience. His Blogging Manual e-book is available on Amazon.

John Tighe wrote an excellent book How To Crush It With Kindle, which has taught me and is still teaching me much about how to sell a Kindle e-book. I translate those principles into selling my digital files of any sort on my own blog page.

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Put Off.

Seems like everything is being put off in some way or another. I’m sticking to the daily artwork uploads.. and that is pulling me through with some semblance of continuity.

There are many projects I want to work on. And I have a program called Trello to figure out, for visual drag and drop project management. I think that a colouring group is highest priority. I need real people to connect with.

Who knows. Maybe this is all coming down to ‘get a haircut and get a real job…’

I see so many artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, poets, and all sorts of creative types, who have a day job, (or night job), and do their creative work outside of those hours. Perhaps that is about to happen for me too.

The future of my online colouring book was never certain. It was the start of something that I hoped would lead to work for an income, whether that was from the colouring book itself, or from the skills I learned along the way.

I have to say, I have quite fallen in love with it. And all it entails. However, work for money is now high priority. And from the last three interviews I get the overall picture that there ought not be anybody on any sort of welfare anywhere. The world has no place for the poor, the sick, the bereft. The thought of Mao Zedong “cleaning up” the streets of China looms heavy on my mind. Never mind the Bible, (John 12:8) in the words of Jesus, “For you have the poor always with you.” Not if they are killed off by the rich and powerful. The thought of my artwork pinned on the wall like some dead butterfly for someone’s greedy hope of it becoming a golden egg somehow completely puts me off creating anything of beauty or worth. It feels like creating a child to hand over to a slave trader for some pieces of silver.

So… the focus on healing is closest to my heart. That could continue whether it is my main job or not. A colouring picture a day…

Setting up a group to meet and colour… in this town, it is probably quite relevant. Many have no appreciation of the arts. Perhaps colouring in could be the very first step… to colouring outside the lines. Rather than a child learning to make marks on a blank sheet of paper, we could be working backwards, to get to the blank sheet. To undo the picture, back to the start. And start again, fresh and devoid of expectations. Throwing away the limitations to the creative mind. Allowing… letting… freeing…

As much as I would like to work on collaborations… right now it is time to advertise a colouring group.

#RollingSleevesUp #ReadyToWork

#BringOnThePeople #GoodByePTSD

#ShunMeIWillFindOthers

Who else wants to have a go organising a colouring group in their local area? Feel free to use colouring pictures from the Wildersoul Colouring Book. Let’s get sociable. Even if it is awkward.

Artist Chat

Well, that was exciting; a guest spot on #ArtistChat with @SharonNicholas of @ArtistChat on Twitter.

All those pertinent short questions got me thinking. Where am I headed with my art?

If art starts at birth, with all-encompassing perception, and then builds into skills of movement , sound, and creating an effect on the world around us with our hands, or our voice, or a simple move of the eye, then where does school fit in, and the structured learning of what others have done before us?

How does the entirely new scene of art publishing fit in?

Everything can be published non-traditionally now, in some means, shape or form. Video captures dance, kinetic sculpture, and open mic poetry… Paintings, photographs, and music clips can be uploaded for the world to see on a blog, and the artist is accessible to chat with in real-time.

I didn’t discuss my colouring book art at all, and I have a large gap before I started posting art to my blog, where I mostly spent my energy on raising a family. Sculpture and moving pictures with sound, poems, and dance… Photography and paint, and digital art. There is so much I want to do, and combine.

The colouring book art is a start – it has put me into a regular daily routine, and has pulled me into a tonne of learning. Such as different graphics programs, social media, blogging, and small business start-up. And now sales skills… online marketing. publicity, advertising, campaigns, google rankings, and tax treaties. So much to learn.

For now, I will drift off to sleep to the sound of rain drumming on a tin roof. Night all!

 

PDF downloads and e-book ideas, mixed with a bit of spontaneous creativity… and add a dash of marketing – hopefully means some sales!

I spent some time today putting together a PDF colouring book, after googling that Amazon had something called eDocs that were mainly PDFs and printable. eDocs were also supposed to be smaller than eBooks… and sounded like just what I needed for digital sales of my colouring book art.

Once I finished the PDF, try as I might, I could not find how to upload a PDF to Amazon as an eDoc. So I am waiting for a reply to an email for help. Somehow I think that eDocs no longer exist. So I am not holding my breath.

My next idea, is to make an e-book, and build in a way to allow my e-book buyers to print out the pictures! My cunning plan is to add links within the e-book, which take the reader through to a PDF download page, which they can print from within Adobe Reader, or similar. So the price of the e-book covers the printable artwork.

There will need to be probably some sort of password protection on the download page. And it can be a page on my blog, that cannot be accessed except by people who bought the e-book. Readers would find their password inside the e-book.

http://www.thomasedison.com/quotes.html Thomas Edison comes to mind as I discard yet another idea on the way to whatever comes of my colouring book adventure. Goodbye eDoc idea!

This e-book… I have thoughts of it being the most fantastic e-book ever. Then I would have to figure out how to make it so. The key, I think, is the links. To be able to click a link from my e-book reader and be taken somewhere special, that relates to the page I’m reading. This does not always have to be a colouring book page. It could be a link to a video, or an audio recording of a poem which the reader is looking at in the e-book, which includes some other ramblings by the poet beyond what can be read on the page.

It could link to a blog, anybody’s blog, on a related topic. One link per page. One “call to action,” so as not to confuse the reader with too many things to do. Don’t want to overload with too many choices.

Singing and music could sprout up from a link. The e-book becomes a bit like a slice of a blog, which can be sold on Amazon.

The e-book itself is the “shop front.” And the blog becomes the warehouse storage behind the scenes. With a window display that can be freely perused by blog followers. The window display is made up of the free pages and posts on the blog. There will have to be private pages or posts that can only be accessed via the “shop front” e-book. They must not be available via Google searches. The hidden pages or posts would probably need a visible page which explains that access is via buying the e-book, with a direct link to Amazon where it can be bought with One-Click.

I am liking this idea more and more. Probably someone has done it already, and I would like to have a search and see what their e-book and blog looks like. More research to do…

Meantime… it is time to prepare forms and paperwork for the US taxman. If I work things right then hopefully I won’t lose another 30% from the grand total of less than $15 made in online sales so far. So, yeah, I haven’t hit the big-time yet. The e-book idea is compelling. And I hadn’t thought of what to put into an e-book before. This one I hope will be a best-seller.

  1. Art
  2. Poetry
  3. Links

That is the basic interior of the e-book. Then come the links:

  1. Colouring book pages of the printable variety
  2. Fine art / digital art for download, or physical delivery
  3. Audio poetry reading
  4. Video introduction
  5. Video for kids
  6. Links to authors, poets, and creative communities
  7. Links to bloggers
  8. Links to a series of stories, or comics, that come out in episodes. Like an index page. Or table of contents. Hmm I don’t know if authors/comic artists would receive royalties from the e-book, or if they would pay for a link to be added! Hee hee. Maybe treat it the same as links between blogs. Good traffic boosters.

Now, the e-book would “expire” in a funny way. The next e-book would have a new password to access the next lot of links.

Possibly the old passwords could be removed and the old links only accessible by buying the next e-book. The price and timing would be important. It would be a bit like a subscription, which could be paid monthly, or yearly, or six-monthly. Depending on how often a new e-book is created.

I will need to think about it all some more. Thought others might benefit from thinking along the same lines. And there is surely room for collaboration by artists, writers and all other creative types… A bit of spontaneous creativity gone wild would be a lot of fun.

Mañana

I put my Roadside Stall up at the gate, and it was an interesting process.

Before I could put it out, I designed some mini-flyers with email and website address on them, and some info about colouring. And added some shelter from the rain which spattered a bit in the morning, and held back with threatening clouds amid patches of sunshine.

Then I had to print 15 extra copies of the mandala colouring book, because there were more flyers than books.

The 20 books had me thinking… $2 x 20 comes to my initial goal of what to earn, five days a week.

Our dairy has closed down, on the corner.

I reckon sweets would most likely sell better than colouring books, in my location.

And now my brain is engaged on figuring out where is the best place to put my work up for sale. I am compiling a mental list, and a list of bookmarked locations online.

The process of putting up a roadside stall, which my kids have been familiar with since they were very young, is something that feels quite new for me. And it is different doing the whole thing for myself, than it is to provide the experience for those in my care.

I have worked in many businesses, and have not had experience in setting up my own. It is a big learning curve, and for me at least, involves a lot of emotional processes. I made no money today, and yet I feel richer in spirit, more filled with courage, and having a greater value and appreciation of my own work. It needs more colour, and a gallery environment, with a higher price tag. This requires a huge amount of courage. And somehow, to feel that I am capable of it, brings up feelings of great hurt and rejection as a person. It is sometimes easier to think that the negatives given to us by others are true or deserved, and to become just as negative and hard on ourselves, than it is to think and believe and accept that those others treated us so hurtfully.

Business therapy… To believe my work has monetary value to someone, without being ‘reduced’ to quantitative values only, is a difficult thread to weave into my reality. I have sold artwork for hundreds of dollars before… now and then. Always while I was working for a living in a field other than the fine arts.

I feel at a standstill, and it is because I am ready to start painting, and I am not ready at all. You know that feeling when someone gives you a blank stare? That’s what my blank sheet of paper gives me. I thought of printing out a circle to fill in, and it isn’t what is needed.

Might need to do something completely different. There are some very small squares of MDF and plywood that could become tiny paintings. One tiny painting might get me started.

New routine

I’ve been feeling a bit ruffled since starting the dissolvingbuildings.com blog. This morning I thought of a new routine to try out. It may or not work in practice. Only one way to find out!

One. Spirituality…  I need to find an outlet, and nourishment for the spiritual side of me. And it has to come first, so I’m going to start with this each morning.

Two. Means of living… Next I will work on dissolvingbuildings.com, creating content to encourage community interaction. I would like to highlight people’s work so I guess it would be a bit like an online publisher, or a niche bookshop… I’ll get it sorted, what kind of an animal is it really? I will allot it the time it requires early in the day.

Three.  Healing, and giving to others… This means my colouring book. The artwork-a-day routine is very healthy for me, and I want to complete my goal of a year’s worth of artwork available for free over the internet. I want this to be a healing sort of environment.

Four. Interaction…. Instead of likes and follows, I want to make comments. Who knows what will come of it! I am interested to find out. I am wondering if the percentages will change. Instead of a smaller percentage of comments out of a very large amount of views, I want to see if I get a larger amount of comments from a smaller number of views. Because at the end of it all, I would like to grow a creative community of people with as little effort as possible in bringing them all together. Call me lazy (?!)

Five. Exercise. Probably between about 3-5pm. Maybe play with a basketball and shoot some hoops or something. Something a little more vigorous than my usual long walks.

Six. And this is the part I look forward to, and what is most often put off… Learning! I like to read, study, practice, and create. And perhaps, I could set apart this last part of the day to learn with others, in person somewhere. Mostly, I want to create a colouring book at home. And I need to devote some time to it. It has to be a little different from the standard colouring books.

I’ve simplified it a lot, and there are things missing which will probably shuffle into weekends and odd pockets of the day.

I avoid deadlines as much as possible, and setting specific times to do things. I do get very specific about my goals, and have regular checks weekly and monthly to review them and make changes or update them. Usually my timing is way out. I either achieve a goal in a few months that I set for a year, or I take a year or more to achieve something I set out to do in a few months. It’s all part of the process and I adjust the timeframe to suit as I go along.

Butterflies and bumblebees

My new Esty shop has butterflies and bumblebees for sale, neatly packed into colouring books that are printable and downloadable. It took me four hours today to create and upload them all, with a sample on my blog and Butterfly Woman‘s blog, and a Twitter and Facebook update.  I’m getting used to how the shop works, and how quick the pages load.  The PayPal works well, and Etsy tests that out for me at the start, so I feel secure and confident about it.

I visited the tax office, and feel relieved that it is much easier than I expected.  I don’t need to keep records of every single person who buys stuff.  A total for the month is fine, and Amazon and Etsy and PayPal all provide monthly reports so – sweeeet.

Thinking of it like a fish n’ chip shop, and tallying up the till.

I’ll change my WuFoo form so it doesn’t collect billing details.

Right. That’s my update.  The shop really does seem ‘live’ now. Even though I haven’t sold anything yet!

Let you in on a secret. I really like to give the colouring pictures for free online here. (wildersoul.wordpress.com) And all of this setting up shop carry-on, is like a non-stressful test run to get ready to sell other stuff……. won’t think about it too much yet. Don’t want to freak myself out!

Meantime – my canvas textured paper is still sitting on my desk, ready to start on a portrait in acrylics.  And my new confidence with building PDFs and uploading them for sale, is spurring me on to create an illustrated book of poems.  I have tried some very basic HTML in a text file, and tested it out in a browser window. It works. The pictures look enormous.  Then when I pull the whole thing into Kindle and preview it, the image sizes reduce to fit on the page. I haven’t perfected getting them the right size to go with the text. That’s my next mission. (I’m working on it, CP!)

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