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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our "14 x 14" Business Plan and more

Good morning. This is me. We’re getting a late start, because we’ve been in and out of things pretty much taking care of business. Rich got up around 7:30 A.M. and he left for his game about 8:15 A.M. He says that he will be back around 11 A.M. If I clean up around here … picking up at least, then he says he will vacuum. It sounds like a pretty good deal. I think he’s planning on doing laundry with me when he gets back and then we’ll go to the birthday party for his friend’s wife at about 5-5:30 P.M.

I’m going to try getting things done, because in reality it wouldn’t take more than twenty minutes. Just I wanted to get a start into the writing, because it’s nearly 9 A.M. now.

The last thing we were doing was checking on our credit report. Last night while talking to Carolyn she threw out a couple numbers. She said some publishers pick-up an interest in a specialty publication around five thousand and others for general might look at fifty thousand over the course of a year. So those are the numbers we are working for as a goal. The big deal is that if we did fifty thousand in a year, we could be debt free. That’s a reasonable goal.

We broke down our debt in that $65,000 goes to school loans, $17,000 goes to the car, $10,000 goes to our biggest doctor debt, and $3,500 takes care of all the small things. So, in paying that off, we start with the smallest number first and then built up to the bigger numbers. It comes to about $95,000, plus reinvestment we’re still talking at $2 a book – and it should be more, but at $2 minimum we’d be at about 50,000 we would need to sell.

That would be like a major dream accomplishment. I can’t even imagine how proud of ourselves that would make us. I’m thinking that Rich is right in that the debt gets paid down before the house. So, if we’re going to shoot for fifty thousand books, we better sign the lease on the apartment for another year. Carolyn said something too last night in that it could be six months before we’d get our first royalty check due to the way they get paid out. I didn’t follow the logic, but we’re thinking then maybe about July next year we should be aiming to sell the third book.

There was something very exciting in that Dr. Marvin said that he has a couple years of our emails to him saved. It doesn’t go all the way back to 1999, but at least its a couple years before the first 2003 book. I’m very excited to hear that, because in our mind it’s like at least one more book for those two years.

Our AOL records go back to late 2003, so the records from Dr. Marvin and the records from the legal pads and the records from Dr. Woollcott’s carry enough of our past to one day really write out – I will be very grateful the year we can stop doing other work and concentrate just on the books.

We told Dr. Marvin something about having an Encyclopedia of Ann. Between the books then people will figure us out. I don’t know what it would feel like to have so many people knowing everything about our past. I’m sure there are good reasons why others don’t do this, but then I think most people don’t write their whole life history, although many people journal or use diaries. Maybe they think their life is more private, or maybe they think it wouldn’t be interesting to others besides themselves. I fight those same thoughts, but regardless, I’ve made a commitment to produce this work, and for that or other reasons, I’m hoping that it becomes valuable to others other than myself.

I know there is a lot of thinking about this book stuff, but as of this date, it’s really the utmost in our minds.

We have spent some good time this week in going over the second book from September 2004 to August 2005. We are including the Master’s work because it is so much of what we were doing and who we are that year. In the four months having gone to school before ending in August, we had written about 65 master’s documents. Most of them we have left pretty much on their own, but we’ll pick up small changes when we go back over the next reading edit. We did go over one paper that was too important to leave go.

It is toward the end of the first book. It is the last paper of the book. It is the one that we wrote from the 17 collective students on male and female gender.

We thought at first it would be the last of the book, but then we went back to check our old documents and we found there were four correspondences that we’d written and not included. This became very important. Basically, what seems to have happened was that we were working very hard at writing in general and especially that last paper on the genders relating primarily to sexuality roles.

I think we were very overwhelmed and we had fallen to watching sexual videos on line. Immediately after that we became suicidal and that part was caught in IM between Dr. Marvin and us. I don’t believe we had a phone at the time. It only took him about forty minutes to back us off our ledge, but it was a good place for the book to stop.

First it was a good place because it fell into our arbitrary rules of everything coming to a halt on or by August 31rst. Second, it seems to have captured a place that we’d built up. During the first book I would generalize that a lot of the work followed learning to trust Rich, but also in dealing with work and the angry Sr. Theresa. The second book barely deals with work. A couple of months into the book we wrote the mini-book on Rembrandt Street and that seemed to come to an end after getting into the story where the grandfather was going to be known as abusing Silver. It must have overwhelmed us, plus we were running out of our holiday time.

I can’t put my finger right now on what was happening next though it’s an important five months, but then the last four months again is school.

Ok, change of pace here for a second. We just wanted to make a note that we picked up the place. It was touch and go toward the end, but we did everything without sitting down in-between. Wow. Is that a good feeling?! Just imagine what we might do if we were of a lighter weight. Rich has a couple of paper piles one on the living room coffee table and one on top of the bedroom dresser. Maybe he might get closer to cleaning them off while up and around after he gets home.

We are considering sorting out the clothes, but I’m not sure I would get it right. He’s pretty specific about things. I think its part of his equilibrium. Maybe we’ll consider it in about 45 minutes, and then I won’t have my back influencing the choice. It will be well rested.

I think the major mess beside Rich’s papers is my stuff. I had clothes not put away and I had a bevy of dishes and water bottles. To be fair though I am living here more than Rich Hehehe, he had been at a game last night as well as this morning. We still have tendencies to sit in one spot and then let the clutter develop around us. Last night we were using the netbook on our spot on the couch.

That was pretty cool too. We were watching CNN and we were doing edits. We went through some of the general stuff like making sure no one’s name is in it and the spacing is right, and then we started going through all the numbers. Numbers show up a million times in the work. Our general habit has been to use the numerals, but now we need to go back and write them out and we have to change all the am and pm to A.M. and P.M. You would think we’d be better at this after going through APA but we’re really not … it takes an effort to think about it and most often we don’t.

I know something else we did last night … it might have been mentioned on the side, but we did get a chance to talk to Carolyn, though not to Maria. She had to take an ailing relative to the hospital. So that official meeting is set up for sometime this week. Carolyn thought that she’d get the proofs back early this week so maybe things are going to go around there. I think we’ll have to get out our list. We asked in writing a whole bunch of questions, and then when Carolyn gets time, she goes through it with us. I did feel bad for her because she hasn’t been feeling well. I think she overworks herself and then her defenses are down.

Ok, question number one. Hehehe she did say toward the end, do you realize you asked us 18 questions? We really hadn’t realized and I guess this is unusual, but we explained that we had a variety of parts and that it’s no different than her focus sessions where we sit around and come up with ideas, or in this case questions. The first one was if the proof was ready, and it was not. She said that she’d let me know as soon as it came in. Next, was that we were going to talk about Maria marketing stuff, but again that’s now reserved for later. We have a new goal that the doctors get in their writing by Friday.

The ultimate goal she said was to have things in by the second week of November. It is then almost a month. The goal would be to have the second proof completed by November 12th, which is like four weeks. I guess we’re slotting of this week to have the Dr’s in and to get the first proof done. I’m a little nervous in that the second book, we do a very comprehensive numbers search and change over things too like twenty and one hundred from being numerals. It looks more professional. I don’t know if we will get the opportunity to change that though because by proof time you are hoping for a lot few mistakes. I would feel really better though if it were consistent and I’m pretty sure it’s the right way to go.

After this week then, she’s saying they will need a week or two to get things to the point of having the second proof. She says most often they rubber stamp at that point, but I’ll most likely take advantage of one more chance to make corrections. So we’ll say the third week is for my last time to read through it.

And then the fourth week will be their last time to make corrections. But, if we can expedite, we most certainly will. At least that gives me a block of time I can be happy with and it allows me a chance to put together some more money to buy books, and it allows me some time to work with the marketing persons.

We had a pretty long discussion as to needing to do the book in hard cover. We came up with a couple reasons that are guiding are thoughts now. First is that I like the option of having it. It seems somehow more real to feel the cover. The second reason is that I’m thinking if we are telling people that we are going to have successive books, and then I like the option that we could be developing an Encyclopedia collection. Carolyn wanted to think it was something we could put off for a better price on the second book, but we weren’t sure we wanted to give it up.

I think what she is looking at is saving the few dollars we have to spend on getting copies of the books to sell. She said if they were going for like $25 although she said they might go for up to $30 (it’s according to final page count) that we would be able at 55% able, which would mean that at a 100 copies it would be $1,125, but they have a sale now that if you get 100 books, you get 20% discount so $100 books would really cost be $900 so what is the advantage? If you were selling those 100 books at full price you would then earn $1375. Pswhoo … it’s going to take a lot to get up to $100,000. That would mean that if I were going to make that profit on selling per se than I would have to sell about 7400 books. It sure is a lot more profitable selling 7,400 then the 50,000 I would need to sell through Amazon. But, there are other differences. If the big publishers were looking at numbers 50,000 through Amazon would be sweet!

Ok, then what’s the conclusion so far. To make $100,000 to pay off debt, I have to sell between 7,500-50,000 copies. If I doubled it, I would be out of debt completely and be able to put down $100,000 on the house. Yeah, let’s go for that! We could then make our first year goal, to pay off debt, and then in the next three to four years. That means within the next five years I’ll be debt free, but with a house owned! Ok, that’s like practical, right?!

Hmm, this might be a good time to then note that I have a good horoscope for the day. It says, “We create our reality with our own thoughts. If we have found ourselves in a negative mindset, keep in mind that what you think paves the way for what you do and what ultimately happens in our life. It’s time to climb out of any regret, built, or disillusionment that has carved a grove in our life. Lift ourselves up with positive visualization, self-hypnosis, and uplifting thoughts of what the future might hold for us. We can change our destiny just by changing our mind.

Our goal is then, “I am selling 50,000 books by December 31st, 2011. So anything from here on out is about how to make that goal happen.

Ok, let’s just go on from there. Ok, one more number … the world populations is about 6 billion 9 hundred million so that means in one year one out of every 140 thousand people have to buy a copy of my book. Ok, that’s not real hard? Hehehe … got to worry about all the poor people and those who don’t even want to think about multiplicity. Maybe we just concentrate on selling our first 50,000 books. That’s enough for one day. Shoot, sure hope that averages out to include taxes! If we average 55% profit and 10% profit, the books will sell at $8 profit, so then divide $100,000 by $8 that equals 12,500 sold. That’s only 25% of 50,000 so if we sold that many at that average then we’d make $100,000 and have 75% left to cover the next batch of money, taxes and miscalculations. Good Good! We’ll stay with the 50,000 and hope for the best!

Let’s go back than to our conversation with Carolyn. Where did we last leave off?

We are seeing we’ve made two purchases. The first $1004 went to the essentials packet and the next $560 went to the Mass market, the next … Hmm. I think we have three things to consider 1) $900 cost of selling 100 books by hand, 2) $650 to buy the in-store return insurance, 3) $1500 for the second book. We’re going to need skipping option 2, but option 1 and 3 need to be chosen. So that is $2,400. Nov, Dec, and Jan school loan is $1200 + 800 taxes + 200 Mom and one of those three months we need to save an extra $200. It’s doable, but Christmas is not going to happen. Maybe we can afford just enough $100-150 to take the family out to eat.

Plus we’ll give them a copy of the first book. I think that is going to have to do.

Carolyn says they take a payment plan. So I’m going to try then $500 for November, $700 for December, and then the last of January after taxes, the second $1200. By February we go back to paying school loans, but we would hope then to have in hand in July minimum another $1500, which will be the selling of the first 125 books by hands so that means we will need our second hundred or add another $900 to $1500 … so we will need another $2400 in July. If we were halfway to our BIG first goal we would have sold by March 12,500 books on-line for a total of $30,000. That means we can pay in July $3500 loose debt, $10,000 medical debt, $17,000 car, and $2,400 next book.

So cleanly December first book, February second book March 12,500 on-line copies, July 10% of March by hand books sold or 125 and by July 3rd book out and all car, doctor, loose debt and 3rd book costs paid. October 135 more by hand books sold to pay for 4th book cost so, almost half of school loan January then school loan paid and working toward 5th book.

Ok, then to summarize again 2010 – one book, 2011 – three books … we need to sell the hand books to pay for publishing and next book run $2400 and then the on-line costs pay the big debt of $100,000. And, all of this happens by December next year. We’re pretty sure by then we can afford Christmas gifts.

Boy … I am glad we had this little talk! Yup, yup I think that goes toward positive visualization. That also means that our other finances have to remain stable so that we stay in the apartment and we continue to work for St. Rose for one more year. In 2012 we start to put money aside for purchasing a house. One thing that will help the price of next publishing will be that after March when we pay off the car, then after that we should build up an extra $4000 from not paying the car loan. I think we should save this money toward cost of book signings. I don’t know if that happens or comes real fast, but it would sure help sell those by hand books. I figure we’re going to need selling about 500 of them during the year. Let’s make that our goal. That will easily cover the next two books – matter of fact it should pay it will pay for the books due out in July and October it should also pay the $650 for one insurance return to get the books in the book stores. I believe it goes down to like $250 after the first cost.

Wow … that’s a lot of figuring. I hadn’t put that all in my mind before. The next thing will be to convey our thoughts to Carolyn and assure myself that Julie has a head’s up for those three books by the end of next year. Maybe I could put it in a chart.

Goals 50,000 on-line books by December 2011 to pay off complete debt $95,000
November 15th $500 to Carolyn, December 15th $700 to Carolyn (pay for first 100 by-hand books), February 1rst $1200 to Carolyn (pay $1500 for second book)

Sell 12,500 on-line books by March, Sell 125 by-hand books (pay second 100) books)
Sell 12,500 on-line books by July, 175 Sell by-hand books, pay first 3 books ins. + 2,400 July book, plus pay for $25,000 for small debt, car and half medical bill
Sell 12,500 on-line books by October, Sell 200 by-hand books, pay 4 book ins + 2,400, plus pay for $25,000 for second half medical bill and 1/3 school loan
Sell 12,500 on-line books by December, plus $25,000 for 2/3 school loan
Last 25,000 pays for taxes in March (should help that we paid school loan)

Anything extra goes toward paying for house in 2012. $20,000 to start digging, and an additional $50,000 by closing 3-5 months later, which is 20% down payment on $350,000 house. General goal to start digging in July and close by October to December, so basically By Christmas 2012 we’ll be in the house … So that’s goal #2. Goal #1 is to be out of $95k debt by Christmas 2011 have completed 4 books, Goal #2 be in house and pay 20% ($70k) by Christmas 2012 have completed 8 books. Goal #3 Christmas 2013 pay off $280k balance of house.

The 14 by 14 Plan

Book #1 August 2003 – August 2004 (1 of 1 book 2010) YEAR 1
Book #2 September 2004 - August 2005 (1 of 3 books 2011) YEAR 2
Book #3 September 2005 - August 2006 (2 of 3 books 2011)
Book #4 Dr. Marvin’s 2001 – July 2003 plus Winona (3 of 3 books 2011)
Book #5 September 2006 – August 2007 (1 of 4 books 2012) YEAR 3
Book #6 September 2007 – August 2008 (2 of 4 books 2012)
Book #7 September 2008 – August 2009 (3 of 4 books 2012)
Book #8 Dr. Woollcott’s 7 years (4 of 4 books 2012)
Book #9 September 2009 – August 2010 (1 of 4 books 2013) YEAR 4
Book #10 September 2010 – August 2011(2 of 4 books 2013)
Book #11 September 2011 – August 2012 (3 of 4 books 2013)
Book #12 I Ching – 18 thousand questions asked in 1987 (4 of 4 books 2013)
Book #13 September 2012 – August 2013 (1 of 2 books 2014) YEAR 5
Book #14 September 2013 – August 2014 (2 of 2 books 2014)

Hmm, we’re going to need now going back to the Carolyn questions, but we figured out something else If we’re really going to make the encyclopedia of Ann and it’s going to have 14 books, then we are going to throw out the number of being able to buy an entire hard cover set for $500. Carolyn was saying around $25 – 30 for the soft cover, so we’re going to say at this time $35.72 for the hard cover. If they wanted to buy one whole set at a time – 5 years down the line, we can make a deal for $50 off or $450 for the set. If we had stayed with Friesen all those years and we sold a set of hard cover through them, it would be $450 to them and $248 to us.

That would mean that every 400 sets I sold, I would make $100,000.

I’m thinking what the reader is getting is 27 years of our life (all the way back to 1987). By that time I will be 55 years old I will be independently wealthy enough and have half of my life published. I really love the idea of a $35.72 hard cover. It is a good cost, but not knock anyone over. That means that for the soft cover, we’ll let Carolyn pick a number for the soft copy between $25 which is what all our figuring is based to $35.72. I like the idea of nudging that choice up to the higher price, but not breaking anyone’s bank. If they pay for the 2014 set, it will cost $450 or $32.14 … so we’ll want the soft cover to be really between $25-$32.14. Hmm, I like $28.57 … that will mean in 2014, they will be able to pay $400 for the whole set, and we can put it on sale for $375 or $26.79 for the whole set to be paid all together. Whoosh … I think I got my prices. We’ll still see what Carolyn does, but I’m pretty happy here. The electronic version will go for $9.99. That’s the cost I would pay maybe the cost would go up to $11.99 by 2014.

Ok, let’s chart that out so it’s easier for Carolyn – LOVE YOU GIRL!

$9.99 – Electronic
$28.57 – Soft cover
$35.72 – Hard cover
$11.99 – Electronic (2014 cost)
$125 – Electronic 2014 – for all 14 books set ($8.92 per book)
$375 – Soft Cover 2014 – for all 14 books set ($26.79 per book)
$450 – Hard Cover 2014 – for all 14 books set ($32.14 per book)

So if things stayed at 55%, then in 2014 for each set sold, I would earn almost $250 and then to make $100,000 I would have to sell 400 sets and $206.25 and then to make $100,000 I would have to sell 485 sets. Ok, that is like doable, right?

If we were selling them at 10% profit, we would earn $45 profit for the hard set and $37.50 profit for the soft set and if we were selling the electronic set for 20% that would be $25 profit for the set. The highest I could make per book is $19.65 for one single hard cover book from Friesen Press and the lowest I could make per book is $1.98 for single electronic book.

You know … I don’t know how these things go, but I’m thinking that if I can make a commitment to the readers to maintain costs, then I don’t feel I would be taking advantage of them, and even if they bought one at a time all 14 copies of the hard cover, they would never have put more than $500 into the expense. I feel that’s really pretty practical for any collection, especially this deep. I like it a lot if people understood what they were getting into right from the start. They would be investing in me … ok, us.

Now we’re at the point of wondering what our marketing person can do for us. I don’t know how much we can commit to ahead of time. I think you might get more four years by now, but who knows what the economy is going to be about by then. It would help the person decide what to do in advance and to know what’s coming. I would continue writing after August of 2014, but I would like to go under cover again in that I will take a break from publicizing exactly what’s happening to me.

By then I figure we’ll need a break and should be able to handle whatever the profits are coming in.

I think if I were to do it the way I would like to do … I see first doing something of a marker year by the time I was 67 and I can retire proper. That would mean

Book #15 September 2014 – August 2015 YEAR 1 Age 65 (2024)
Book #16 September 2015 – August 2016
Book #17 September 2016 – August 2017
Book #18 September 2017 – August 2018
Book #19 September 2018 – August 2019 YEAR 2 Age 66 (2025)
Book #20 September 2019 – August 2020
Book #21 September 2020 – August 2021
Book #22 September 2021 – August 2022
Book #23 September 2022 – August 2023 YEAR 3 Age 67 (2026)
Book #24 September 2023 – August 2024
Book #25 September 2024 – August 2025
Book #26 September 2025 – August 2026

2024-2026 for 2nd set of twelve

$15.99 – Electronic
$33.25 – Soft cover
$41.67 – Hard cover
$11.99 – Electronic (2014 cost)
$185 – Electronic 2026 – for all 12 books set ($15.42 per book)
$375 – Soft Cover 2026 – for all 12 books set ($31.25 per book)
$450 – Hard Cover 2026 – for all 12 books set ($37.50 per book)

In total, I should get 100% profit for the first five years of book sales and during those years I hope to pay off my total debt as listed on my credit report and purchase a home that Rich and I might live in. For the next period of time until I die, I will always receive 75% of the entire 100% profit from my books. Rich will always receive 25% of the entire 100% profit from my books. If anything were to happen to me, my 75% profit will be divided equally in three (25%) to each of my three sons. If anything were to happen to Rich his 25% profit will be divided equally in three (8 1/3%) to each of his three children.

The first set of 14 books will be Set 1 and they will be completely published by the end of 2014. I will be 55 years old The second set of 12 books will be Set 2 and they will be written, but not published until between the years 2024-2026. I will be 67 years old in 2026 when I will retire from publishing. I will continue to write without publishing until my death or I am incapacitated. This set of book post retirement until death will be set 3. When I die, the set will be published and the profits will be divided equally 25% to each Rich, Maury, Thom and Joe. It is hoped that they keep 50% of their profit and they split the second 50% of their profit between any surviving children. As long as there is money coming from these book series, I hope that the formula remains the same to each successive generation. The first two sets should never cost more than a total of $500 for each set, and the third set should never cost more than $500-1000 depending on how many years I live so that a book cost between $30-50 and no more.

Yeeks … ran out of time. We’ll have to get back to Carolyn’s questions tomorrow.

We’ve been thinking! Lot's on our mind ... it was a kind of figuring day.

Whoops add this as an addendum...

Forgot ... I will always own the house until I die. When I die, Rich can continue to live in the house as long as he wants though he must pay maintenance costs. When Rich is ready to sell the house or he has died, or if he died after me, then each of my three sons would gain 25% of the house profits after costs and Rich's three children would receive Rich's 25% or 8 1/3 each. If I were to live longer, than I would continue living there as long as I chose. If I sold the house 25% of the profit would be divided in 1/3 and distributed to his three children. I would maintain the 75% profit until I died. at that time any profit from my 75% share would be divided after expenses to my three sons. If both Rich and I were to die at the same time. Maury, Thom and Joe would each receive 25% of the profit, and Rich's three children would split his 25% 1/3 to each of his three children. Neither Rich or I should ever be forced to move for someone else to gain an early profit, but if we were to die ... the house must be sold so that each of the six children would retain their profit. If any of Rich's or my children die, then that portion so designated to him would be past down to their children. If there were no children, their share of the benefit would be evenly distributed to their siblings with Rich's money going to Rich's family and Garvey money going to Garvey family.

This is an addendum to the above. As soon as we can shake free some money, I will have it legalized by making a formal will. Until that time, please respect my wishes.

Ann Marie Ludford Garvey

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