My latest obsession – Amazon Ads

My obsession lately (aside from writing a new book) has been with Amazon Ads. For a long time, I have avoided them as my budget is tight and they looked complicated. Plus, I struggle with gambling my hard-earned cash on something that may never work.

There is the saying ‘face the fear and do it anyway,’ so I decided to cast aside my fear and do some research so that I can make some calculated risks when it comes to spending money on advertising. I have been watching endless YouTube videos, Googling and scanning to see how other authors get on with Amazon Ads and the results are mixed and varied, as you would expect.

My conclusion so far is that as with any gambling, you need to decide on a budget and stick with it. It is too easy to throw money away, not get anywhere and then become despondent.

Years ago, I worked with a market trader who liked to gamble. He only ever gambled low amounts and he had a ‘system.’ From what I could gather, because he kept his cards close to his chest, he normally broke even. I will never know if that was actually the truth, but I suspect it was. For him it was a hobby.

For some, writing is a hobby and breaking even is good if you enjoy what you do and can live from other means. For others, we need to treat writing as a business and that is where we need to adjust our thinking when it comes to marketing. A book is a product and any product needs advertising. Nothing happens by magic alone.

As writers, we all have social media which is free advertising. Or at least we think it is. In fact, it isn’t, if you factor in the time you spend on it and how much your time is worth per hour, you can see that it isn’t so free after all!

I believe E.L James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey worked hard on her Facebook profile and that was a part of her achieving success. I think it’s good advice not to spread yourself too thin and try to do everything. Which is amusing coming from me because I have accounts with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My favourite is Twitter for writing, Instagram for photography and I’m a bit of a random Facebooker but I continue to try to work on it. Promote on the platform you enjoy the most as you are more likely to stick with it.

Anyway, I digress. This post is meant to be about Amazon Ads. After watching umpteen YouTube videos and Googling away, I found two good avenues of advice this week. One is a book by Deb Potter – Amazon Ads for Authors 2021. I have not read it all yet but so far so good. Easy to read, cuts to the chase, offers clear and concise advice. Great for beginners.

The other is a chap called Dale and his YouTube channel is Self-publishing with Dale. Again, he cuts to the chase, doesn’t encourage you to throw away your life savings on Amazon Ads and although I can’t prove his system works, it makes sense to me. So, I am cautiously trying it and will report back on results, which could take as long as a year according to what he says. As much as we all want sales quickly, we should remember the story of the hare and the tortoise…

The information I give here is impartial, I am not using affiliate links for this, simply imparting what I learn as I go along. The best advice I can give is do your own research and see what fits for you and your budget.

I have seen Mark Dawson’s Self-publishing formula heavily advertised; you may want to look into that. From what I can see you will need a higher budget to take his courses, but the reviews are good. If you are on a lower budget, Amazon offer their own free course to teach you how to use their advertising platform. You can find it on their website.

Do what you can for free!

We all work hard on our books, but we have to work just as hard on marketing if we want to reach as many readers as possible. If you have any tips, please feel free to share them in the comments section.

If you like what you read here and it helps, you can always buy one of my notebooks– all writers need notebooks right? Every penny helps me keep this website going and they are lovely notebooks, if I say so myself… and postage is free to UK customers.

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I am also Petra Kidd so please check out my books at PetraKidd.com and subscribe there too.

Until next time…

Hey thank you for subscribing!

I’m so happy to have you here and I hope you will enjoy my blog/website. If you are in the UK look out for an email this evening in case you are one of the five lucky winners of Gavin’s ‘Gulls just wanna have fun…’ notebook.

If you aren’t lucky enough to win this time, there will be another giveaway to subscribers in September – all will be revealed soon so keep an eye out. Sadly I can only do physical product giveaways to UK subscribers but I will work out some download giveaways in the not too distant future so you can enjoy a gift wherever you are in the world.

Of course if you would like to buy one of Gavin’s notebooks you can do so here or here. He loves it when he gets a sale, it makes him flap his wings and screech with excitement…

Here in the UK it is Bank Holiday Monday which doesn’t mean a lot to me as I am self-employed but if you are having the day off – enjoy!

I will be doing some writing, following up on the prize giving draw and hopefully picking a few more tomatoes from my balcony garden. I made a lovely brunch this morning which included some of yesterday’s haul including homegrown basil. I am working on some new notebooks too so it’s going to be a full and busy day.

If you are on Twitter come say hello I am @LifeMyriad and PetraKiddWriter Instagram.

This week at MyriadLifeBooks.

First of all I would like to say a massive thank you to all of my new subscribers. I’m super happy to have you here and hopefully you will find yourself a lucky winner on 30th August of one of my Gavin the Gull notebooks! Apologies that this giveaway is UK only but over time I will think up giveaways that can be downloaded wherever you are in the world.

If you haven’t subscribed yet and you love books or writing or both, please do. My ambition is to make this a site where readers can enjoy being introduced to new authors (indie and traditionally published) and writers can pick up tips and information I am learning as an indie author or share their own. My intention is for this to be a positive, supportive and interactive site.

If you are a new author and would like to be featured here, please email me at myriadlifebooks@gmail.com – check out my currently featured author Angie Bardot here. My aim is to build a Select 20 group that will rotate every three months. I love to do interviews as it’s always fascinating to find out more about authors/writers and how they work, so don’t be shy, get in touch!

I create notebooks because I love photography and design and enjoy using a nice luxurious notebook myself and it helps fund my writing ambitions. As the collection expands I will share my latest notebooks with you and create giveaways or competitions. Gavin the Gull has his own collection of course. He’s always willing to keep you company, especially if you have chips… If for any reason it is easier for you to buy my notebooks from Amazon (this is likely for overseas visitors) please visit the collection here or if you see a notebook you’d like on this site, just email me and I will send you the Amazon link.

This week I have been also been working on being an affiliate for Bittern Books who promote books from Norwich and Norfolk. As well as local history they also stock fiction set in Norfolk. I have had the good fortune to meet the brilliant Elly Griffiths in the past and recently I have discovered David Blake as I was kindly gifted The Wherryman. There is something very special reading books set in the county in which you live so I enjoy both these authors and can recommend their work, wherever you are located. Hopefully if you decide to read their books it will encourage you to visit Norwich (the city of stories) and Norfolk. Please don’t think it’s a permanent crime scene here!

In fact, Norwich is a beautiful city with medieval architecture, many historic happenings and stories abound. It truly is an inspirational place to live. If you love history, I know you would love it here. Further out the Norfolk Broads are magical waterways again brimming with stories as well as wildlife. Then of course there is the coast, wild and sweeping beneath those famously big skies. I sound like tourist information I know, but I am passionate about this place and I love to share it.

Gradually I am adding a collection of secondhand books to this site. Reading is for everyone but not everyone has the budget to devote to books so it’s always good to find something a little more affordable. If you buy a secondhand book and want to review it, please get in touch and I will publish the best reviews here. That goes for new indie authors too. If you see a featured author and enjoy their work, please share your review with me and again, the best reviews will get posted.

I mostly hang out on Twitter so come say hello there. You can also find me at Instagram and Facebook too. I look forward to hearing from you!

Because everyone loves books – don’t they?

This is my third blog post for MyriadLifeBooks so hello there and thanks for taking the time to visit.

If you love reading books, writing books or have a thing for very nice notebooks this could be the site for you. I want this to be an interactive site where you leave your ideas and comments too. If you feel you have something useful or informative to say, I would love for you to do a guest post here.

I am also on the look out for authors who would like to be featured on this site. Check out my interview with Angela Bardot, the first author to feature here. In time I’d like to build up a Select 20 who feature for three months at a time so if you are interested please fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page for further details.

I would also like to build a directory of book illustrators, editors and proof readers so if you are interested in being listed please do get in touch (via the contact form below.)

Who am I?

I am a photographer who also writes. It’s hard to decide which I like best so I think I better call it a draw. That’s a point, I love drawing too but I hardly ever get to do it!

I’m based in the amazing county of Norfolk UK which is lucky for me because there is a lot to photograph and write about here. I live by the River Wensum in the city of Norwich, which is perfect. The river wildlife is ever entertaining and diverse, from the odd seal who decides to take a break from the coast, to a night-time fishing heron. The Swan Massive glide up and down regally as if they are the true owners of the river (they are). There are Egyptian geese, ducks and pigeons plus a stray dove who chooses to hang out with them whenever a human turns up with some nibbles. The seagulls provide a cacophony of sound and are typically experts in spotting chips or any food that gets dropped. Occasionally a cormorant will drop by too. Let’s not forget the bats who provide spectacular air displays at dusk and the less popular rats who boldly go wherever they wish – until Rentokill arrive…

I am also a real beach bum too when I get the chance, we are spoilt with amazing coastline here and I like to dip in and out of the Norfolk Broads (see more info about these further down) so I truly appreciate it all and I hope my photography reflects that.

Norwich is a fascinating place and even after all my years here I am still learning more of the history and what makes the city tick. It is interesting to watch it grow and evolve and this provides new photographic and writing opportunities all the time.

Writers of course use notebooks, (as do many people) so it occurred to me that I should produce my own collection using the images I am always out and about taking. I’ve no idea what took me so long to have this brainwave when it’s obviously a no-brainer, but sometimes I am slow like that! It means that you can enjoy the Norfolk views whenever you have to write something down. Even with people using their phones, tablets, pc’s etc there is nothing like the feel of a good notebook. I use one everyday despite the fact I write notes on my phone too, just because I enjoy writing in them and it makes a pleasant change from typing. It would also be a shame to completely lose the art of handwriting.

As well as the beautiful Norfolk scenery, my notebooks also feature my buddy Gavin the Gull with his handsome good looks and cheeky quips. He’s a gull with attitude, that’s for sure! There are quite a few of those notebooks as he’s always got something to say…

If you are a sailor or simply love life on the water, check out my Boating Logbooks. They are particularly useful here in Norfolk with all the waterways but of course could be used anywhere. The total area of the Broads is 303 square km (117 square miles) made up of 7 rivers and 63 Broads, most of which are less than 4m deep. Just in case you were wondering. (Info source Herbert Woods.)

There will be other themed notebooks added to the collection as it grows so keep checking back to see what’s new.

I like to keep my notebooks even when they are full up. Sometimes it is fun to check back to see what was happening last year or in any year for that matter. I love quality paper and tactile covers too, so of course, my notebooks have a lovely soft back 220gsm matte cover and 90gsm internal paper. Quality is important.

New notebook designs will be added regularly. If there’s a particular format you’d like to see, or if you need a cover designed for your own notebook/book idea please get in touch via the contact page. As an indie author myself, I enjoy designing eBook covers so you will see a collection of these for sale on this site in the not too distant future. Take a browse if you are already an author or even if you are thinking you might like to write a book one day. Look out for tips that I’ve learnt along the way and information I continue to learn. I know how hard it can be so it’s good to support other writers where possible.

I will share my photography, introduce you to authors whose books I think you might enjoy, write the odd book review and anything else bookish that catches my eye. Some of the author information will be repeated or expanded on my author site PetraKidd.com so it’s worth following that blog too if you’d like to find out more.

Before I sign off, let’s not forget my balcony garden, I do like to share updates on my micro fruit and vegetable farm. I work out there when the sun shines, listening to the sounds of the river and day dreaming about the people who pass by… they could well end up in one of my stories one day.

Please browse the site, I hope you enjoy it and that you will come back again soon.

Follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad and @MyriadPhoto
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Gavin the Gull

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Every day I learn something new… here I share it with you.

If you are a new author or anyone trying to sell a book of some kind, here is a website you might find useful. I know I do!

Now and then I make great discoveries and if it saves you time and energy so much the better. We are all here to learn.

Lately, (on Twitter) I have seen a few writers wondering about how to make their links universal. I had the same problem and with a bit of research I came across this site booklinker.net. If you have published your book on Amazon but want to include as many countries as possible in marketing links you post on social media, through Booklinker you can shorten the URL and direct whoever clicks on the link to the Amazon site of the country they reside in.

This saves having to cut and paste links from amazon.com, amazon.es, Amazon.It etc to get your book(s) seen all around the world. It’s a really useful timesaver.

You get a choice of link styles as you can see below. I generally use mybook.to but I guess it is good to mix it up if you feel so inclined.

Booklinker also logs which countries traffic comes from so that you know which ones are providing the most hits on your links. As Amazon KDP doesn’t give you this kind of information it’s really useful and interesting to have access to.

Here is what the information looks like for one of my books.

I am sure you will be happy to know that BookLinker is a free tool, provided by the intelligent link management company Genius Link, for authors, publishers and marketers to create localised links that work no matter where in the world your audience is. Simply sign up and go! There is a premium option available too.

Of course there are other sites that do similar URL shortening so you might want to research those too.

I’m not being paid to promote Booklinker, I’m simply writing posts like these because I know how frustrating it can be trying to find the right information sometimes. I will keep my post tips short and sweet on the whole as again, when I’m looking for information I like it when the article cuts to the chase.

Please leave your comments here if you have any tips on this topic.

Of course, if you’d like to buy a notebook to show your appreciation of free information, that would be great! But no pressure. Everytime you do buy a notebook it helps me create more and helps fund my writing ambitions as PetraKidd.com.

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – it’s good to connect!

Here’s an idea, please subscribe below to get my blog updates…then we can keep in touch. If you have a blog, let me know about it and then I can follow you too.

Thanks for reading… more coming soon!