Category Archives: Planning

4 - Everyday Dragons

Bundling Prompts for NaNoWriMo

Prompts by Any Other Name

Prompts by Any Other Name…

On top of the Custom Prompt eBooks, I’m also looking at offering some theme-bundled prompts before NaNoWriMo starts up again. There’s nothing quite as much fun as getting other folk’s PlotBunnies hopping and with the forum reset delay I’m itching to get to work!

As you can tell from the checklist, I’m still pre-prompting my way through the 2015 calendar year, so I’m not at a point where I can easily stop and write new prompts. Thus it’s time to dig into the 1200+ prompts I already have… and try to suss out repeating themes.

Right now I’m going with: Death, Cats, and Sarcastic Banter. *sighs*

But assuming I can find enough prompts, I’m still waffling over the size and final price point. Long ago (and far away?) I did math on how much I should be charging per word and a $0.99 collection should thus run 20,000 words.

Yeeeah, no. There are only 7,000 words in a yearly collection and that’s 250+ prompts. eBook vendors really don’t want to see anything below the $0.99 price point, so I’m going to have to find an equilibrium that works. Right now I’m looking at ‘101 Prompts of BLAH’ just because it’s a fun number, but I’m not sure I’ll have that many unless I go with really broad topics.

But I won’t know if I don’t try, so into the mines! :D (Anyone have themes they’d like to see? If so drop me a comment and I’ll see if I can’t make it happen!)

4 - Everyday Dragons

Small Horse Head Magnets : Costs, How-to’s, etc.

Mix and Match Equines!

Mix and Match Equines!

I’m finally getting ready to start posting magnets to Etsy, so I figured what better time to do a How-to on how I make them, how much they cost to make (and sell).

This will cover all the supplies used, the time and methods for each step, and the accounting bits that go alongside. To be honest I made these just to learn how to cast in plaster, but then I got addicted to all the color possibilities and the fun of rearranging them. Figured it couldn’t hurt to share them in case another office out there was in dire need of a small crazy colored herd of whimsy.

The process of making these really isn’t that hard, but it does take time to learn how to make the silicone molds and to learn how to cast with the Plaster of Paris and wood glue mixture. While it’s still obviously cheaper to buy the magnets from me than to make them, it’s certainly more fun to grow your own! :D Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Micro Mini Shipping Methods, Redux

Micro Shipping Boxes

I’ve been using USPS Priority Mail for all my Etsy listings, which works out to roughly $6.51 for VA to CA shipping for a 5oz package. The boxes are free and the tracking number is included, so it seems like a good deal– right?

Well not when you pair it with an $11 horse!

It wasn’t until I started working on revamping the listings to match the new custom order prices that it really hit me how much the shipping was. The micros are supposed to be cheap and fun, and 50% markup for shipping is neither. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Saturday Story Prompt Collections – Take 2

SSP Collection 2010.01

So after poking around with the idea of doing a Saturday Story Prompt collection I came to the realization that I can’t rationalize charging someone a dollar just to take 4-5 previous blog posts and bundle them together.

To counter that I’d planned on adding ‘new’ prompts to those collections– but it seemed sort of a waste to not be able to share them with the world (since that’s what the prompts were meant to do).

After mulling it over for a bit I think I’ve finally stumbled onto a solution! Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Saturday Story Prompt Collections

Saturday Story Prompts

One of my yearly goals is to find a way to repackage existing blog content in an easy-to-read eBook format in order to stock the Dollar Shelves. With that in mind, I sorted out the blog by category… and the Saturday Story Prompts (101) came in right behind the Daily Snippits (447).

I figure the prompts will be an easier target for my Smashwords learning curve (since they’re shorter) so I threw them out on the planning board and tried to make a product out of them. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Why I’m Using Amazon Payments Instead Of PayPal

PayPal logo

I’ve heard horror stories about PayPal for almost as long as the company has existed. There are numerous websites about the various folks they’ve taken money from and sellers that they have screwed over. I actually setup a second bank account back when I did this the first time, just so PayPal wouldn’t have access to anything but the business funds.

But most of the bad things I knew about happened years ago and thus I’ve been waffling about using PayPal or not when it comes to my business.

And then this happened. The story is still spreading across the internet like wildfire, so hopefully PayPal will fix this in the next 24 hours. (Check out this wonderful post by GreenGeekGirl that breaks it down step-by-step.)

Now I am firmly now in the NOT camp. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

The First 42

Net vs. Gross

Hammering out a sales plan to meet the January 2012 income goal is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Going into this project I was fairly confident that the first $42 would be the easiest to earn, after all I’d made that easily when I was doing only model horses, right?

Well, no, not so much when I start looking at the numbers. That first month income goal is for a net amount (after costs), not gross amount (before costs) and I rarely pulled in that much from the horses due to high material costs vs. price points. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Quarters For College (or: Income Goals for 2012)

Quarters for College

Due to some shuffling of future plans, it looks like the business needs to start picking up some expected income drop-offs come 2013. So instead of ambling into next year, I need to ramp things up a little faster than I had planned on.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not trying to make a living from the micro business, but it does need to start paying the bills (literally)– right now the scariest one, aside from the mortgage, is my student loans.

Yay for higher education? Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Stocking the Shelves

March 2011 WiP

March 2011 WiP

Well, this little project didn’t quite turn out as planned.

I figured I’d sort through the piles and make a list of things that were finished and Ready-for-Sale (RfS)– but I have one thing for that list and a very very long list of Work-in-Progress (WiP) pieces that will probably be finished by January 1st.

Some of them are very heavy on the probably… and it’s not just the horses. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

18 Weekends and Counting



There are now 120 days left in 2011 and I’m starting to buckle down and get this business plan off the ground. If all goes well I should be ready to roll into 2012 with posts in queue, product in place, and everything shiny.

But making plans = good, putting plans into action = better.

I’ve been putting off a lot of the work that could be done on the business because I don’t want to do it ‘early’. But this is not NaNoWriMo, there’s no penalty for starting early and truth be told, it makes zero difference whether I do some of the tasks now or in November/December. Continue reading