‘If you stand still in this game, you’re dead in the water.’

 I’ve no idea where that quote came from. Nor do I know which business or sport it referred to but it’s certainly true as far as the writing and promotion of books is concerned.

After the high point of Mid-March, the last four weeks have been very much as I predicted. The lessons learned on my journey so far told me I had a mountain of work ahead of me to realise the full potential from the significant leap forward that Book Bub Featured Deal created.

In a recent article I wrote for our local newspaper I said that ‘exciting times lay ahead and the incentive to write a new series to provide new material for a growing number of fans has never been greater.’

As I attempted to gather my thoughts on a possible theme for the new series and decide which option was best, I received a customer service complaint from Amazon. At that stage, it was only one title – the troublesome Boxed Set of the first four books in the Phoenix series – whereas in the past it was typos that rocked the boat, now it was a lack of a Table Of Contents.

When I started self-publishing in 2013 my first outlet was Smashwords and once that initial book was through their strict processes, I felt confident my file would sail through the KDP set up. It did, and I continued using the same formatter ever since. What she thought I knew was that although Smashwords don’t insist on a TOC, Amazon changed tack some time ago and it’s now on the list of things they require.

So, most of the past four weeks have been spent adding a TOC to each book and inserting links to the next book in the series. That was time I had assigned to the steep learning curve I knew faced me as I dug deeper into Ads on Facebook, AMS and BookBub. Sadly, although I’ve tinkered with those marketing avenues in a few snatched moments a lot of the impetus has been blunted by the ‘housekeeping’.

How many times have I written on this Blog Page that progress has been slowed by another bump in the road over the years? I dread to think. Three steps forward, two steps back come to mind.

In the end I decided to clear the decks, get the housekeeping behind me, park the marketing seminars and finalise the next phase of my journey.

Breaking News. Coming by the end of 2019 the first books in a new crime thriller series. 

The Freeman Files  – a six book series featuring a retired detective reviewing cold cases. A departure from the vigilante justice genre, but the police procedural has always been one of my favourite reads. What do I hope to bring to the party, where many other authors have gone before? When I read the comments on recommendations from BookBub followers I enjoy seeing words such as ‘wonderful characters’; ‘entertaining’; ‘great plot’.

I believe that’s what I’m good at. I need to play to my strengths. The battle with the marketing strategy will continue. Any further ‘housekeeping’ tasks will be dealt with without delay. No matter what obstacles lie ahead I shall be back in the saddle writing in the very near future.

We’re off on holiday next weekend. Time to chill out and think about those six plots, all the supporting characters and attention-grabbing titles & blurbs.

I did say it was a holiday, didn’t I?  

Ah well, please refer to my opening sentence. Standing still isn’t an option.

I’ll be back with all the latest news in early June. If you want to write to me, you know where I am, and I’ll be happy to hear from you. Best wishes.

Ted Tayler

Categories: The Long Hard Road