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












New Phoenix Club Members Bring Happy Days

When I finished the final book in The Freeman Files Series in April, I’d been working non-stop for four years, and I was shattered. I intended just taking the summer off from writing and returning with a short new series before the end of the year. I felt I deserved a few happy days with my feet up.

I’ve spent much of my free time over the past six months trying to get better at advertising with BookBub, Amazon, and Meta. As time has passed, I became more disillusioned. It was essential my backlist was energised to fill the gap left by me not producing a new title every eight to ten weeks.

I shall be eternally grateful to BookBub for giving me a Featured Deal at the first time of asking in Feb 2019. Any success I’ve had has been because of the opportunity to benefit from a further eleven deals with them in the last four years. However, a substantial readthrough on the Phoenix and Freeman Series is elusive. (8-10% is a benchmark for the successful writer, and I’m well short) 

I don’t have the resources to afford a media management company to unlock the potential of my backlist, and I can’t raise any enthusiasm for writing another series. I’ve got a one-off crime novel in the pipeline, featuring DCI Grace Packenham, but when she will appear on Amazon, I don’t know.

Phoenix Amazon LogoFreeman Files Amazon Logo

I’m enjoying new experiences with Silver Dagger Book Tours and Subscriber Surge Giveaways with BargainBooksy.  

The Olympus Project will be featured from Nov 4th on a week’s tour around a host of blog sites; Fatal Decision started its SSG on Nov 1st and that runs until Dec 31st.  The Olympus Project is halfway through its own SSG, and over 100 new names have been added to my mailing list so far.

Thriller eBook and Kindle Giveaway – October 1st, 2023

Mystery eBook Giveaway – November 1st, 2023

HAPPY DAYS.  There are always positives if you dig deep enough.

My promotions in October went WAY better than expected, and there are SEVEN more dates in the schedule when my books will be FREE or discounted between now and Dec 31st. New readers may emerge, and existing readers could decide to get further into one of my series. There’s always tomorrow.

As for 2024, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be seeking Featured Deals, and looking to increase readthrough on my 50 book backlist. It’s odds-on I’ll add to that number eventually. If you want to hear when that is, just sign up for the Newsletter in the sidebar, or watch this space.

I’ll be back in December

Best wishes

Ted Tayler