Challenge Accepted

This is where the magic happens! There’s not a glass of wine or a bottle of spirits in sight. If you’re wondering… no, I didn’t clear up before taking random shots to show you. Nor do I suffer from OCD, but I prefer order to chaos.

Every book has been written in this room. The decor, desk, PC, printer, and chair may have changed, more than once, over the past decade – and I haven’t always sat that close to the window; but, variety is the spice of life.

The small collection of trophies and mementoes I included in last month’s newsletter is behind me. They’re sandwiched between another item I’m never without.

Record CollectionSome of you will recognise the album cover – Led Zeppelin – the original vinyl from 1969. I bought it within days of release. (It’s hard to accept that’s almost 55 years ago). You won’t find any middle-of-the-road stuff in the stack. My favourite CDs from a wide range of bands and solo artists are in the basket on the shelf above. If you checked the drawers in the cupboard to the right you would find cassette tapes, which help me recall the hundreds of singles and albums I sold when three growing children stretched the purse strings 40 years ago.

I don’t always listen to music when I write, and it’s quiet this afternoon because I’m expecting a delivery between 2 pm and 5 pm, and don’t want to miss hearing the doorbell.

That’s enough nostalgia for one blog post. 

What have I been reading that I would recommend to you?

A short story collection from Joffe Books, which included offerings from Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Bill Kitson, and three other authors who appear in my Also Boughts carousel on Amazon. I also revisited Liz Mistry’s ‘Unquiet Souls’, the gritty police procedural featuring DS Gus McGuire in the first of an eight-book series.

Since I finished the final Freeman Files book this time last year, I’ve been searching for a way to get the best from my extensive backlist. Work on another book/series has been going on in the background, but I can’t give it my full attention until I solve the advertising riddle.

Bryan Cohen’s 5-Day Ad Profit Challenge offered a free opportunity to learn the basics of Amazon Ads. I’d tinkered with them in the past (along with BookBub, Facebook, and others) but all I did was pour money down the drain. The Challenge involved watching the videos, completing homework, and sharing your experiences with around 6000 others who had embarked on the same journey.  It sounds a lot, doesn’t it?

But with four million new books being published each year, anything you can do that gives you an edge over the competition has to be a benefit.

How did I fare? I found Bryan Cohen to be very personable, and he explained things in a way that even an aged technophobe like me could understand. I learned how to keep my Ad costs reasonable, which statistics to focus on, and how to create Auto, Category, and Keyword Ads over the following days. They’re still running, without any sea change, but the Challenge also highlighted several areas that many of us might need to attend to before we would see improved results.

Did we even have our books in the right Categories? Had we found the optimum Keywords for the 7 boxes in KDP when we published our titles? I found this part of the Challenge the most interesting, and although I’d spent hours in the past 12 months working on the subject I soon realised I must do better. Since the Challenge ended I’ve set up a schedule to uncover hundreds more relevant keywords to support my Ad campaigns. If I keep things organised, like my office space above, then I hope to be able to make time to finish writing the book that’s on the back-burner. Front Cover Image


That’s it for this month. I’ll be back in March with an update.

Best Wishes

Ted Tayler












Change Is The Only Constant

Heraclitus was on the money back in 540 BC – change is the only constant. 

Last month I was telling you about the hours I’d spent checking Keywords and Browsing Catefories, to see they were fit-for-purpose, plus I had reviewed my Pricing Structure. My efforts were almost sabotaged by computer demons, but I’m happy to report those troubles are behind me now.

Let’s get the upcoming list of promotions and offers out of the way.

SAT 7th OCT – (my 78th birthday) – The Freeman Files Series Box Set – Books 1-3 is FREE on Amazon

Phoenix Amazon Logo

SUN 8th – sees the start of an eventful week – The Phoenix Series Box Set – Books 1-3 AND 4-6 will be FREE on Amazon. This is to support the BookBub Featured Deal for The Phoenix Series Box Set – Books 7-9 that runs from SUNDAY to WEDNESDAY (8th to 12th.) Meanwhile, the Box Set for Books 10-12 will be on sale at $3.99 in the US store. 

The offers keep coming – The Freeman Files Box Set – Books 7-9 is FREE on Amazon on SAT 21st OCT – This is the first time this title has been discounted, so I’m hoping many of you will benefit. 

November will be upon us before the next post, so you need to hear that The Olympus Project will be FREE on Amazon on SATURDAY the 4th. This is part of a week long Silver Dagger Tour for The Phoenix Series.

My second Subscriber Surge Giveaway, for Fatal Decision in the Mystery genre, gets underway on the 1st of NOVEMBER. The Olympic Project SSG is currently in full swing – as you can tell from the post that precedes this.

I had two regular items on my checklist to tackle since my last post, and I updated my A+ Content inside a day, yet Amazon say they need SEVEN days before I see those changes on my Product Page. Why? When I did my last updates, a month ago, the confirmation emails were with me almost immediately. Now, I have to wait around until I can update UK/CA/AU stores. I guess that’s progress?

For my second housekeeping task, I analysed my Also Boughts for both series yesterday afternoon. The familiar faces were still there, but with more Action & Adventure influence on my Phoenix comparable authors, I’m meeting a few new writers whose books I need to seek out.

What else have I been doing? I ran a Meta Ad Campaign over the second half of September for The Phoenix. I THINK the results were the best I’ve had so far, but I need an expert eye to confirm my theory. The basics couldn’t have been too bad, because Meta suggested I scaled up my campaign after the first week, but I’d committed the maximum amount per day I could afford already!

7837 Impressions @ £9.11 per 1000 – 266 Clicks @ £0.27 – the click through rate was 3.39% – the learning curve cost me just under £75.

What about the demographics? 85% of people reached were 55 and over; 65% were men/ 35% women; with zero difference in the cost per click.

When I think how many times I’d tried to run BookBub Ads, and either couldn’t spend a cent, or had CTRs of 0.25%, this feels like a WIN. But, how do I know for sure?  

Back next month with more news

Best wishes

Ted Tayler