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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Stop — Go

I missed the blog post last week because of Pat being in hospital. Hopefully the thousands of readers who read my blog will excuse me for that. (What’s the Latin for “Tongue in cheek”?) But I’m back now, despite being chief cook and bottle-washer in the house. It looks like it might go on for some time too!

I was able to get some work done on my WIP, and that at least gives me some satisfaction. I’ve also been keeping up with the ‘trends’ on Promotion & Marketing. I gave up on Instagram. I had signed up for a course with Bex Gorsuch, but it didn’t take me long to realise that my heart wasn’t in it. And with Pat to look after, there was no way I could get to grips with it. Bex was pretty good about it when I contacted her and pulled out.

There has been a lot of talk on the various forums about the sudden drop in sales on Amazon. Being a Mark Dawson student, I understand that this could be a deliberate shift in Amazon’s tactics to draw closer to the giants of Google and Facebook, and consequently we indie authors are faced with the prospect of having to beef up our advertising and start paying out considerably more money. Mark has upgraded his AMS ads course to help us all develop our advertising skills, and one thing he has promised is how to crack the Amazon Advantage entry rules. I tried to sign up to Advantage so I could advertise in the UK, but it seems to be screwed in favour of vendors. I’m not a vendor, but I was asked for a vendor code and my VAT registration number. However, Mark has promised us that he will uncover the mystery of completing the Advantage application process which he admits is quite complicated.

One of the decisions I made while on holiday in Australia was to let my AMS and BB ads run without any tinkering. It just happened that this was the moment when Amazon cut people’s sales figures by as much as 40% due to their change in the way in which they position product and sponsored ads. It meant virtually no sales for me at all. This week I decided to change the ‘copy’ on my BB ad for Roselli’s Gold. It had languished on 2 sales in almost three weeks. Within 24 hours of rewording the ad, I sold four copies. Not a lot by most authors’ standards, but it did show that advertising copy is a mystery that needs to be revealed to authors like me. I now need to have a go at my AMS ad, but I think it might be better for me if I go through Mark’s updated course before doing anything.

I haven’t done anything to Past Imperfect. As I mentioned in my last blog, I now have the eBook rights back. The change in circumstances in the Parker household has simply shoved the project on to the back-burner, and it’s unlikely to see any change before Christmas. I think I’m probably telling myself that it won’t happen for some considerable time; certainly not until I am happy with Pat’s progress.

I’ve just finished reading the crime novel, I See You by Claire Mackintosh. It’s extremely well written, but unusually it’s written in the 3rd. and 1st person. It took me a while to get used to the switch in narration but I managed it in the end. It isn’t something I would try; I think I’m even scared of trying to write a novel in the 1st person at all — much too difficult. I’ll stick to my tried and trusted method. You never know, I might even get my book finished! Wish me luck.

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