Please excuse me for just one moment. You’ve caught me in the dying twitches of an existential crisis, but it shouldn’t last more than a couple of paragraphs and I promise to mop up afterwards.
One of the jobs on my self-publishing To Do list has been to decide whether to spend money on advertising on Amazon. On the pro-side, sales can always use a boost after the publication week surge. On the con-side, it’s now the crazy season. If it’s not a vegan cookbook, a sports celebrity biography or something with a cat theme, you might as well pack up the travelling book wagon until February.
Then, by chance, friends of mine spotted a book on, ta da, mastering the science of Amazon ads. It was in a charity shop (and deservedly so) and as it was only 10p they bought it for me. The author is apparently a high-earning indie writer of sci-fi and thrillers. His advice, I thought, should be worth an hour or two of this low-earning author’s time.
Uh-oh. With barely a handshake he bundled me into a world of click-through rates, ROI and cost per click. I wanted to leave, but I persevered, until this:
Mastery of Amazon adverts, he advised, requires above-average competency in Excel.
Now, I have heard of Excel. I’ve even seen a spreadsheet. My husband made me look at one once. And what I know is that those very words make me want to run screaming from the building. My comfort zone is a place of whimsy, where characters may do the unexpected and two plus two sometimes make five. If a person can expertly straddle the worlds of fiction writing and Excel spreadsheet management, I am awestruck. I just know I can’t do it. I’m not wired for it.
So it looks like I’m back to business as usual. The To Hell with the Money, Just Do Your Thing and Ain’t Life Grand Method. Maybe I should write a book about it.