Published November 13, 2017 by

November Writing update

Hello and welcome to my November writing update. These are post that I try and do once a month to talk about what I'm currently working on, as well as my attempts at self-promotion and selling ebooks.

Sorry for the delay in this writing update. I decided to dedicate any writing time I had to trying to finish my story, so I decided to skip doing them for a little while. I also recently went back to working one of my part-time jobs which I do on public holidays and weekends (the world is cruel and I need more cash) so I haven't had as much time for writing as I would like.
As great as the experience and money is, I find my current workload overwhelming at times, physically and mentally, so I hope to quit it sometime next year and give myself some more free time.

As for my writing, I'm currently still working on my free story Memories of a Soul in the Underworld. You can read it for free online here. At the moment I've been focusing more on trying to just finish it, than lamenting over every single chapter, or what I've written so far. There are still some scenes and conversations in previous chapters that I'm not so please with, so I could like to one day go back and fix them. I also want to try working on the first chapter more to make it more exciting and do a better job of drawing the reader in.

I recently made a new cover. You can see it here on the left. I can't really afford to pay someone to make the cover for me, and stock photos are also expensive, so I drew the picture and designed it myself. I'm no good at actual art, so I decided to aim for abstract art. I'm pretty happy with the current result, but I may end up changing my mind again after a few months.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section.

As for my other story How I Was Murdered by a Fox Monster, I spend a few weeks over the summer going through and trying to fix any mistakes I made when I first wrote it a few years ago. You can read more about my attempts here.
I'm still working on an extra chapter which takes place after the second book, but I'm pretty busy trying to finish Memories of a Soul in the Underworld, so progress is a little slow. I'll post it on this website as soon as I can. I would still really like to write a third story, but I'll see how the current sales of book one and two go first .

As for story promotion, I recently decided to put some money towards promoting my stories, for the first time ever. Until now I've kind of refused to put any money into promotion (many of them are free stories, so my not promote them for free) but I haven't been getting anywhere for years, so I finally decided to put some money towards it.

Another reason I never tried any paid marketing until now, was because I couldn't get a credit card, and you need one to pay for most advertising services. I live in Japan, a country notorious for not allowing non-Japanese citizens to have credit cards (out of fear that you'll leave the country without paying your bill) but I finally found a company which would allow me to have one. This means I can finally try some Amazon and Google ads for my book and blog.

I don't have much money that I can afford to lose, so I set my budget pretty low, about $30 a month and decided to see how it goes from there. I first tried some of Amazon paid search ads.
After one month I discovered that I'd come across a great way for Amazon to make more money.
The system is that you select keywords, and then chose how much you wish to bid for a click. The higher the bid, the more likely your add will be shown within searches. Therefore if you bid 50 cents a click, you will be charged 1-50 cents every time someone clicks on your add. Therefore Amazon makes money every time someone clicks on your add, and then get a cut every time someone buys your product, therefore it's a win win for them.

With my experience I did managed to sell more books than normal, but I was just spending more on ads than I make making from sales, so I've decided to give it up for a while.
I guess I could also take a gamble and hope that some sales could result in reviews, which could result in more sales, but I don't have enough money to risk it, so I've kind of given up. I feel that perhaps non-fictions books are a little easier to sell than strange Japanese manga style stories.

If anyone has any great advice for getting more money out of Amazon marketing I'd love to know.

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