Today is Friday, and I’m as happy about it as I ever was when I worked for big companies. But not because I ever actually take weekends off. It’s just a residual good feeling. Friday is the day when I look back at my week and think about the status of all my projects. Since I’m writing this the day before it’s posted, here is a look at what I accomplished Monday through Thursday this week.
I run ads continuously on Facebook and Amazon, and I usually let ads run for a while, until I see the effectivity going down. And I check my ad results every morning, to see how many times someone viewed or clicked it, and to make sure my cost per click is within my target range.
This week I had an ad expiring, so I did a little more research into its performance before I extended its run for another 10 days. I have a couple of Amazon ads running, one for my entire series and one for In Deep, the first book in the series. These are set to run forever, but I still check to see how the budget and performance are doing.
I usually check my ads first thing in the morning while I’m still in my PJs and drinking coffee.
I’m introducing several new characters, so I had to check that the name was either common enough or rare enough to be useable. One name I checked turned out to be a serial killer, and that gave me pause for a while. But I don’t do serial killers, so the name hit the trash bin.
I took a free marketing course this week and monitored several expert newsletters. For some reason, I had an epiphany and realized I needed to update my book descriptions in the Amazon listings. Newly enlightened, I rewrote all five book descriptions, and updated it for eBook, paperback, and hard cover for each title. First on Amazon, then on Barnes and Noble and IngramSpark. I had a stern conversation with myself about whether I am making my own life difficult. However, sales took a moderate jump and In Deep ended up in the number one position in Scuba diving, and all five books in the series were in the top 100. Worth the time.
I created a universal link to use in future ads. It directs people to a page with direct links to all the places they can buy my books, including Indy and International bookstores. Again, each book and the series needed their own.
I put a lot of details about dive sites and dive equipment in my books, so I always have to research which dive sites I want to use in the books and what new equipment I want to showcase. I also needed to check out a map of Grand Cayman to make sure I was navigating properly in one sequence.
I checked in daily with my writing group and had several deep conversations with some good writing buddies.
Squeezing in the Personal Stuff
I had two doctor’s appointments and a sinus CT scan. I bought a new car and had to manage all that. I walked Molly every day, and Jack and I did yoga every day. And I did all the stuff everybody has to do. Checked in with my daughter and my eldest granddaughter.
Writing—At Long Last
When I tell people I’m a writer, I sometimes wonder if I can honestly say that. But I’ve finished 6 books, so somehow, I must be.
I’ve been working on Sea Stars, the 6th Fin Fleming Scuba Diving Mystery, and finally broke a logjam and got a ton of words down on the page. And as I’ve said before, I’m usually at my desk between 8 and 8:30 and I work straight through until sometime between 2 and 4, whenever my stamina gives out.
Sharon Ward is the author of the traditional mysteries In Deep, Sunken Death, Dark Tide, Killer Storm, and Hidden Depths, all part of the Fin Fleming Scuba Diving Mystery series. Sea Stars, the next book in the series, will be out in Fall, 2023