woensdag 1 oktober 2014

Less Than 5 Hours To Join IM Cartel

Hmmm, I feel like this is a repeat of my "Last Call" post from a couple of months ago. I had some suspicions back then that IM Cartel might be reopened for the general public down the line, I didn't expect it to be this soon.

Anyway, if you are interested in joining a cartel, new cartels will be created as people buy in, you have less than 5 hours to do so. You can read the salespage here.

Some addon review thoughts (read Part 1 and Part 2):

As mentioned in my last IM Cartel review update, at the moment I think there are differences in levels of success between the cartels (though, that is an assumption, based on nothing more than a feeling and the number of reviews). I just want to clarify that I believe these differences will even out as more books are published and reviewed.

Activities seem to have dropped a bit over the past week. Not sure whether this is just the reporting lagging. Probably due to reopening the opportunity for new investors.

I expect things to pick up again early next week.

zaterdag 27 september 2014

IM Cartel Review - Part 2

It's been almost 3 months since I became a member, so I thought it was time for part 2 of my IM Cartel review. Particularly because it's been opened up for the general public again and I'm sure lots of people interested in making this investment like to know whether it's a good investment or not.

Without a doubt, the number one question you have is "Is it making money?". I can tell you right now, it is. We haven't been paid yet, though, due to Amazon's 2 month delay in payments. We should receive our first payment, in our PayPal account next month.

I say "we", because I'm referring to the cartel I'm a member of. If I remember there are 3 (could be 4) cartels active at the moment.

Publishing in my cartel started on July 27, so far 16 books have been published. I bought one of our books because I was curious about the quality. All the books average at around 40 pages and are well written. I'd say for the price point they're selling at, you're getting good quality and negative reviews shouldn't be a concern.

Unfortunately, I can't disclose how much money my cartel has made, I don't want to break any TOS. I can tell you it's not that much. I did join with low expectations for the first half year, though. Other members expected more and appear to be somewhat disappointed.

I think there are several reasons for the lower ROI:

  • Sales have been lagging for my cartel. Not sure why, but it might be the limited amount of topics. All our books are in the fitness and cookbook categories. Which are popular, but have a lot of competition. There are a lot of books in the other cartels that I personally find more interesting. Anyway, I think publishing in other categories as well might help a little.
  • Our books have only received a handful of reviews, especially compared to the other cartels. I think this is hurting our sales more than the fact that they're all in the same categories. I'll come back to this later.

  • This is a brand new business start-up. Yes, Ben Shaffer, is very experienced in publishing Kindle books, but setting up this new type of publishing company is bound to take some time before it picks up momentum.

The reviews issue

When Ben changed the rules from every member writing 2 reviews a month (or was it a week?) for other cartel books to getting a team of reviewers I was happy. The review team would turn this investment into a truly passive income stream. Which is what I wanted.

Unfortunately, he's only now getting around to gathering a team of reviewers. Now I know these things take time. You have to find good reviewers at a good price, set up rules to make sure you don't break Amazon's TOS, make sure everything's organized efficiently.

I'm disappointed this team wasn't ready when the first books were being published, more reviews on our books would've increased the sales, but I don't blame Ben. Every new business encounters unforeseen problems early on that require immediate action and Ben is handling them very well.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, every cartel has it's own facebook group. I'm not very active there (that's a bit of an understatement). When I do check the group for updates from Ben, I've noticed that some members are actively buying and promoting our books and encouraging/pushing other members to do the same. Not happy with that development (the pushing part, not the promoting part).

If you want to buy books from your cartel, and/or buy books from other cartels to write reviews, that's fine. But it's not part of your IM Cartel contract. Ben is the one responsible for making this business a success, you've done your part by investing your hard earned money.

So if you decide to become a member and people in your cartel should start egging you on to do more, don't let them guilt trip you. If you want to help, by all means do, but you don't have to.

Reports and stuff

At first I was afraid that there would be a lack of communication about the sales and books being published, mostly due to the rather empty looking member page. As more books were being published and sales started to roll in, this information became available on the member page as well.

Total income and sales are reported below the list of books.

A list of the books that were published in the other cartels is also available, along with a FAQ.

Ben is very active on facebook, keeping the members up to date on the latest books and new developments. And he does appreciate input, if you have any.

One of the new development is the website for the publishing company: http://www.shaharmpublications.com

It showcases all the books for all the cartels that have been published so far. Each book will contain a link to this website, referring the reader to other books on the same or a related topic. What's really neat, is that they will also include links to books that haven't been published yet (Ben's team know in advance which books will be published when). These links will encourage the readers to subscribe to a list to be notified when the book is available.


IM Cartel is living up to my expectations. I should point out that I'm very conservative when it comes to investments, so I didn't have my hopes up to see even the conservative revenue Ben wrote about in his sales letter (check it here).

There were a few hiccups along the way, which were dealt with in a satisfactory manner. Ben implemented a few things, like the website, which I hadn't expected or thought about really, that will help pick up momentum.

All in all I'm confident I made the right decision with this hands-off investment. The updates look promising for the future. Once the review team is up and running (any day now), and more and more books are being published, the revenue will increase month, after month, after month.

dinsdag 15 juli 2014

Under $1000 Investments: IM Cartel - Last Call!

Under $1000 Investments: IM Cartel - Last Call!: I received a couple of emails yesterday as an IM Cartel member. Only got around to reading them today. Here's what's important for ...

IM Cartel - Last Call!

I received a couple of emails yesterday as an IM Cartel member. Only got around to reading them today. Here's what's important for you.

The IM Cartel partnership closes today. So if you want to become a member, like me, today is your last chance. Not sure whether it will ever open up again, there was certainly no mention (or even suggestion) of it in any of the mails I've received, nor in the Facebook group.

If you want to buy a second space for $100 off, for yourself or a family member, that offer also closes today. I'm still on the fence about this myself. I've had an expensive month so far, so I'm not sure I want to fork out another $900 right now. Have to think on that for a couple more hours.

As mentioned in an earlier post, this has become a true passive income opportunity; you don't need to buy or do anything after claiming your space.

Most people who are talking about "Kindle Cartel reviews" (Ben changed the name to IM Cartel a couple of days after the launch) don't own the product. In fact, going over most of these "reviews" it has become painfully clear that the majority of these marketers haven't even bothered to read what this product is all about.

They are using this as an opportunity to try and sell you a "cheaper" internet marketing product. Here's the problem with that.

IM Cartel is NOT an internet marketing product.

It's a partnership.

An investment opportunity.

Comparing this 100% hands off investment to a product that will require you to slave away on the computer is like comparing a brand new Mercedes and a second hand kit-car with only half the manual. Sure, you might get the kit-car to drive eventually, but it'll cost you a lot of time and energy, and most likely extra money because it's missing vital parts.

It's simple really; if you don't have $997 to invest, IM Cartel is not for you.

If you rather create your own business, with all the risks and time involved, it's not for you

If you're looking for >10% ROI passive income opportunities, IM Cartel is definitely for you. Read my other posts on this blog and click here to find out the details.

Remeber, this closes Tuesday night, July 15th.

zaterdag 12 juli 2014

IM Cartel Review - Part 1

I thought I'd do an IM Cartel review for those interested in this investment opportunity. The books in my cartel, there are several cartels, will be published starting July 18th. So I can't give you any details yet on how well it's doing, hence the "Part 1".


Here's what I do know.

The ordering process is pretty straight forward. After you buy IM Cartel, you get hit with a bonus offer. You have a chance to buy another space in the cartel, kinda like buying a second share of stock, and save $100.

A nice option is that you get to choose whether you want the second space in the same cartel group or a different one. Why is this a great option? You don't know how well your group will do. Buying a spot in a different group spreads the risk. You know, not putting all your eggs in one basket and all that. It looks like you can buy as many spots as you want.

Personally, I'll stick with one for now.

The link in the first mail I received from Zaxaa didn't work. The link in the first mail I received from IM Cartel, however, did work. Your first order of business is creating an account.

Oh yeah, you get another mail from Ben Shaffer with basically the same info as the one from IM Cartel.

Once the account is created there's not much to see. Just a welcome message, the name of the cartel group you joined and a link to the Facebook group.

You're also asked to fill in your Kindle reviewer and Facebook names. I only filled in my Facebook name. Kindle reviews are no longer an obligation, more info here, so I'm leaving that blank.

When you go the Facebook group, don't forget to click on the join button. Again, you don't have to join the group. I did, mostly out of curiosity as I'm not the most social person out there and only login on Facebook once a month (if that).

The group is pretty new, so at the moment it's a lot of members introducing themselves. You can see how many people are in your cartel, which means you can calculate how many books will be published weekly.

There are some questions that appear to get answered in a timely fashion. Ben Shaffer visits the groups personally and also answers questions, gives updates on what's to come. I take that as a good sign and, quite frankly, didn't expect anything less from Ben.

Personally, I think there could be a little more info on the welcome page you first received. By the looks of it, most of the action and updates will be done on Facebook, of which I'm not a fan. I'll see on the 18th whether there will be any updates on the welcome page.

So, all in all, not much to report yet. I received an email from Ben yesterday, stating that the offer will be closed for the public next Tuesday. If you're interested in investing in the IM Cartel, read what it's all about here, ask questions if you have any and crunch some numbers to see if it would be a good investment for you.

Update: Click here to read  Part 2 of the review - my 2 month conclusion

dinsdag 8 juli 2014

IM Cartel Update - Excellent News

Yesterday I posted about IM Cartel as an under $1000 investment opportunity that was almost hands off (read it here). Well, Ben Shaffer has just updated the terms and turned it into a 100% passive income opportunity. You can't not love that.

Not that you had to do all that much before; buy and review two ebooks a month. Not that much work, you don't have to read a book in depth to write a review. But still, not exactly what most investors are looking for.

Now, an important part of the effectiveness of the marketing method used in the IM Cartel is getting lots of reviews. So you may be wondering if this change will hurt your bottom line in the long run.

It won't. Ben is hiring a team of people to write the reviews. An experienced marketer will manage this team and make sure everything runs smoothly.

In my opinion, having a professional team of reviewers in place is a big bonus. I can imagine cartel members would start slacking off after half a year or so. Maybe they'd just forget (I'm pointing ten fingers at myself here). It's reassuring to know you won't get kicked out if your memory has more holes than Swiss cheese...

A FAQ for the IM Cartel can be found here.

maandag 7 juli 2014

Invest In An eBook Publishing Company For Less Than $1000

A brand new, under 1000 dollar investment opportunity landed in my inbox a couple of days ago; IM Cartel. If it hadn't been for the author of the email, I probably wouldn't have even read it. Luckily for me, I've done business with Ben Shaffer in the past. He's always proven himself to be an honest business man and eager to help his customers, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

This is one of those out of the box investments where you'll be investing in an eBook publishing company. The company is targeting the very lucrative Amazon Kindle market.

Background Info You Need To Know Before Investing

Kindle device
The Kindle, and in particular the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, has been a real game changer in the world of book publishing. All of a sudden indie authors who couldn't get a contract with regular
publishing companies, could publish their books on Kindle for free.

The most popular example of how Kindle changed the world of eBooks is probably author Amanda Hocking. You can read an interesting article from 2011 here. Before Kindle nobody had heard of her, today, 3 years later,  her "Hunger Games" series is being turned into blockbuster films in Hollywood.

Obviously, this is an extreme success story and not all new indie publishers become such a success. However, there is a proven method to publishing and marketing eBooks that will rake in hundreds of dollars a week. Scaled properly, you can even make thousands a week.

Unfortunately, this method involves a lot of work. And if you're not willing to do the work yourself, it will cost you a ton of money to outsource everything. Believe me, I've tried both methods, with moderate success. Even outsourcing every single step ended up costing me quite a bit of time.

With the IM Cartel, the time you have to invest (more on that later) has been reduced to the bare minimum. After all, you're investing in company, not in an "how to publish on Kindle" eBook or training course. Investors generally don't (like to) get their hands dirty, so to speak.

Who's This Ben Shaffer?

In an online world, every Tom, Dick and Harry can start a publishing company, so you'll want to take a close look at who you're getting into bed with. Ben Shaffer of IM Cartel was successfully selling hundreds of thousands of eBooks online, and running a bunch of other businesses, long before Amazon came up with the Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

So, not only does he know what people want to read, with 10+ years of online marketing experience under his belt, he also knows how to market his books. And the marketing is, in my opinion, the hardest part of publishing.

The IM Cartel Breakdown

Investing in the IM Cartel is like crowdfunding a new publishing start up. With crowdfunding the investors usually get some kind of reward. This could be anything from a simply thank you note, to a prototype or personalized special edition of a certain product.

The rewards of investing in this start up could be a lot greater, though. Ben Shaffer offers his investors a percentage of the royalties that are received for the published books. You can see a breakdown of the expected earnings here.

As you can see, if you take a look at the conservative expectations (which is what I always do), it would take you almost 2 years to break even. Considering the fact that Ben has an ace up his sleeve, I think the moderate expectations are more likely. These give you almost $500 in profit in the first year alone.

Not too shabby for investing less than $1000.

The important thing to remember here, is that the royalties will keep rolling in, year after year. And as the number of books published in the cartel increases on a weekly basis, so will the royalties.

I mentioned earlier that you do have to invest a bare minimum of time if you decide to join the cartel. Don't worry, it doesn't involve standing on streetcorners pushing books.

Every month, you have to purchase and review 2 ebooks.That's it.

There are plenty of ways to get more involved in the business if you want to, but these are all optional. You'll receive the titles of the books to choose from and you'll receive instructions on how to buy the books if you've never bought on Amazon. All books will cost between $0,99 and $2,99. So at the most, this will cost you an extra $24 a year.

Do you remember my mentioning Ben having an ace up his sleeve? This is what convinces me the moderate expectations are very feasible.

Once the books have become hot sellers, he incorporates a backend sale for every book. You'll receive a percentage of every backend sale, on top of the percentage of the royalties. This quickly adds up as the number of published books increase.

If you're unaware of what a backend sale is, think of it as the options on a car. You don't necesarilly need them to drive the car, but they make your life so much more comfortable.

Spots are limited. Too many cartel members would water down the royalties too much and not make it worthwile. You can find the number of available spots here (scroll down to the bottom).


Do I think the IM Cartel is a worthy under $1000 investment?


  1. With sales of Kindle eBooks and devices increasing year after year, this investment could bring in a very nice passive income for several years to come.
  2. Ben Shaffer has a good track record as a business partner and in over delivering to his customers. Quality products and excellent customer service are what separate a company from the competition.
  3. During September, people start shopping for Christmas gifts. Just think of how many people will receive a new Kindle device on Christmas day. The first thing they'll do is head over to Amazon and start loading their ereader with books they want to read during the holidays. eBook sales have spiked during the holiday season for several years in a row.

Even if you follow the very conservative earning expectations, that's without the backend sales, you'll make your investment back in two years. Everything after that is just gravy.

Me? From now on when people ask me what I do, I'll tell them I'm part of a cartel.

Click here to discover all the details of earning money as an IM Cartel member.