6 min read (1,637 words)
Exhausted, deflated … and “worried out of our minds.” That’s how my wife and I felt as I stood over her bedside in the hospital ward—5 months pregnant with our first child.
“They’re coming,” she states bluntly as 2 nurses approach us.
“We suspect you have what’s called a Pulmonary Embolism (PE)—to be 100% sure, we need to do a CT scan of your chest, right NOW!” one said.
The look on the nurses’ faces said it all.
They were equally worried.
As if that wasn’t bad enough—we’re now faced with a daunting decision that we had to make together … right now!
After being informed about the “radiation damage” … and what this means to our unborn baby, we had to decide together—and both sign a waiver agreement of responsibility—if we wanted to go ahead with the CT scan.
But we needed to decide. And quick, they exclaimed.
All the while, the nurses were explaining all manner of consequences, birth defects, and problems that radiation poisoning could mean for such a young foetus.
So, we had to carefully—but “immediately”—decide…
While wanting to absolve themselves from liability.
Without hesitation, which we couldn’t afford, anyway … I was quick to decide. To me, it seemed a logical decision. If I lose my wife, I lose them both, anyway.
So, the priority has to be the mother.
After sharing that awful (yet morbid) reality with my wife, she agreed; we signed. And then—after days of misdiagnosis and worsening symptoms…
The pace of medical attention towards my wife escalated from 1 to 100 in minutes…
…as they wheeled her away from me.
“PE? I have no idea what that is,” I thought. So, I quickly pulled it up on my phone to understand what we were dealing with … and to see … if that makes “sense” why she’s been in such discomfort for so many days.
As I read the first article on my iPhone, it hit me.
It’s a blood clot—”in the lung.”
This is not just serious—this is
a “life-threatening” emergency.
The palpitations set in.
My heartbeat must have escalated from 70 bpm to 120 bpm in a split second. I put my head in my hands as all manner of dark scenarios and less-than-favourable outcomes cross my mind.
And all I could do?
Was wait for them to return with answers.
The thoughts in my head were overpowering my logical mind. I had to get up and walk. But I didn’t want to leave and miss the nurses.
So I paced endlessly back and forth for what felt like hours.
After 20 minutes, I could see them bring my wife towards me. “Any news?” I said as the nurse positioned my wife in the ward.
“We’ll have the results in just a minute,” she replies.
Within 40 seconds, a doctor hurriedly approached us and told my wife and me that, indeed …
“You have a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) on both lungs.”
My face dropped; and my wife … she just burst out crying.
That day – was May 15th, 2014 (and thankfully, my wife and son are doing just fine as I type this in 2022).
When we received news of her diagnosis, something changed in me that gave me extreme “determination.”
I made it my mission:
- To get her well again, no matter what.
- To be a loving father and husband, whatever happens.
- And to provide a better life for us all.
At the time, I didn’t think that “determination” would result in huge changes in my publishing business.
Two months later…
On July 24th, I launched a software extension for self-published authors called KDSPY after getting an MVP created for $500 using a programmer I found on Upwork.
Initially, KDSPY was created to help streamline the research for my own “non-fiction books” and expand my self-publishing business.
When I realised just how powerful it was—I decided to let others benefit and sold it for a one-time fee of $47 (now $69).
8 years later, having reinvested $10’000’s into its development…
KDSPY now has over 65,048+ paid users.
And share their love of the program with me on a regular basis.
8 months before launching KDSPY, however, I was only just getting into Kindle Publishing…
It was November 21st, 2013.
After hearing about the popularity of Kindle books on Amazon, which had surpassed physical book sales in 2011 and the success of many authors publishing them, I wanted to get a piece of the pie.
I had an existing ebook I’d written called:
It sold well on Clickbank for many years until the popularity of GI (The Glycemic Index) started to fall. The combination of a drop in popularity and the rising costs of PPC traffic from Google Adwords reduced a $40k year income stream down to peanuts.
So, I decided to sign up for Amazon KDP and list it there.
I got a new cover created on Upwork, changed the title and hook, and listed it on a FREE promotion for 2 days to get traction in the Amazon algorithm before I switched it to a paid book…
A little trick I’d learned beforehand from someone a little smarter.
Ultimately, that decision changed my family’s life.
In 24 hours, it was the #5 book on Amazon in their FREE listings…
A few days later—after the promotion was over—I was shocked at the results and sent this tweet.
Back then, I had no clue what to expect.
Clearly, Amazon saw how popular the book was when it received 15k downloads as a FREE book, so it made sense that when it switched to a PAID book…
Its algorithm gave it prominent exposure all over its website.
I was rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s biggest nutrition, dieting, and weight loss experts.
Two months later:
I got a couple of royalty deposits from that one book:
30 days later, another one:
That’s over $1,000.00 in its first month from a single book, with:
- No website to maintain…
- No product fulfilment…
- No customer support…
- And no advertising expenses.
That was all the proof of concept I needed that Amazon Kindle was a platform worth investing “time” into.
So I got serious.
I spent the next four months devouring every course and training I could get my hands on from people who were making 6 and 7 figures from Amazon Publishing.
And the idea for KDSPY was born.
Armed with what felt like a Publishing MBA—I had another book ghostwritten for me by an expert on the “Paleo Diet.”
All in—with the cover and contents—I spent around $410.00.
I then spent the next week adding my own voice and nutritional insights, having spent many years studying nutrition in search of every man’s childhood goal; to get a six-pack.
Having the existing ‘Low Gi Diet’ book written under my personal name, it didn’t feel right to put my name to this new book.
So I listed it under a pen name—something that is widely accepted and adopted, anyway…
Deep down, I guess I wanted to convince myself that the first book was not a fluke … and that I could make this whole 4-month educational journey “pay off.”
This time, I did a 1-day FREE promotion…
Before switching to a PAID book.
I had an existing email list from my old ClickBank book, so I fired out a series of emails to those customers—and I waited.
The next day:
Yep, it pulled in $497.28 the very next day.
I was $87.24 in “profit” in 24 hours…
And now, I had an “asset” that would continue to build an email list and provide a profit to my business every month with no additional effort needed on my part.
Why the Paleo Diet as a topic?
Well, it helps to have an interest in the broad topic.
But KDSPY told me it was the “current” popular diet:
The most time-consuming—and critical—part of creating a book is knowing what your audience wants and what they will pay for.
I didn’t want to outsource a book if it was going to be a “dud.”
So, KDSPY was created to cut my research time down by a factor of x10 and literally “pinpoint” where the money is flowing in any niche market — and that’s exactly what it did.
Around 30 pen-named books later – all with similar success…
My time was slowly being pulled in another direction.
The software was becoming increasingly popular, and my customers wanted more help; more guidance; more training…
…on building a sustainable and profitable publishing business.
So, I started putting everything I learned into a bunch of online digital training courses I offered to existing users (not currently for sale as they need updating)...
And even launched another software product (KDROI) to help authors on the marketing side of things.
As a business, we’ve now passed 65,048 customers in 2023.
A wild ride, to say the least.
KDSPY has now become the #1 best-selling niche research tool for books, and still, over 9 years later—a top 20 seller on JVZoo out of 56,800 digital products.
So, what about today in 2023?
Well, I currently have 32 book titles published (mostly under pen names), but most of my time and focus is now on helping others on their self-publishing journey.
The popularity of my software(s) and having over 65k customers—as a sole business owner—keeps me pretty busy.
But I’m itching to release more books under my name.
And I think 2023 will allow me the time to do so.