My Publishing Journey: Delving Under The Hood

This week I have been fighting off the stress of the day job whilst being thankful of my ten year plan and the ability to forget all my woes and melt into the world of writing.

Advertising and Marketing

Let’s start with the good news. My ads have become profitable. Last week I made £30 profit on a spend of £35 on Facebook ads, nearly all of the which was from the IN THE END books and across each of the different formats.

Then there’s the better news. After a bit of research I found potentially why when I tried to scale my ads they would tank. That’s because when you change the budget apparently the Facebook ad algorithm throws away all of the learning it has done to target the right people at the right time with the right behaviour and starts from scratch.

This gave me hope that all I needed to do was to be patient and give an adjusted ad i.e. a budget increase, time to recover. There was also even further hope that you could bypass the effect by only increasing your ad budget by 10-20% at a time.

Great I thought. I don’t care how much money I spend, as long as I’m making a profit that is more than 10% then that’s fine by me and the prospect of making double my money would be awesome. So I made the change, adding £0.50 to my daily budget and sat back.

The ads tanked again!

For the last three days since the change I’ve been at a 50% loss per day. However this time I’m going to be patient and wait at least two full weeks until I cry into my sleeve and throw my computer out of the window in desperation!

February royalties chart showing all but audiobook revenue

If they do become profitable again I then have to decide whether to take the hit and increase budget in one chunk and take the hit, or try bumping the budget by only 10% at a time.

There is of course the chance that I have just hit a natural quiet time, however like one of my characters, Agent Carrier Harris, I don’t believe in coincidences.

On that note I have stopped my ad for my mailing list which promotes my free book magnet OPERATION DAWN WOLF. Over the last week the results have dwindled. I plan to pick this up again but I also am considering retargeting the ad and moving away from an audience which mentions free books. The response to my mailings have been very poor and I think the type of people I have on my list may be part of the problem.

I have a paid entry in a newsletter coming up soon so it will be interest to see what I get in return for that fee.

Mailing List

I’ve been playing around with my mailer template, if you’re not on the list then why no join and you can see what I mean. I’ve moved things around a bit to make it cleaner and less sales-like, instead I’m incorporating the ad imagery I use for each of the books at the bottom of the mailer. Two of the ads show books that subscribers get for free.

These are yet to go live. My next mailer will go out when BEFORE THE END is released on audiobook, which should be soon!


I’m going to try and connect with other action / adventure writers so I can cross-promote my James Fisher and Carrie Harris series. The only problem I’m having after the initial research is that there are so many more action adventure thriller authors out there. It makes me realise how niche the zombie and post-apocalyptic fiction world is. The action adventure world is like stepping in to the abyss. There are so many more authors out there but also a bigger audience. It has made me question what approach I should be using for marketing those books.

Work in Progress

WIP is more or less on track and I’m happy with the way the two books are developing. I have the next couple of Fridays off work so I’ll be trying to get at least an extra ten hours of writing in on those days. That should catch me up and hopefully bring the schedules forward a bit, but we’ll wait and see.

Looking forward to a couple of days where I can be an author for eight hours at a time!


Next week I have my latest event. It’s a signing day in Reading, Berkshire. This will be the second with my four books and plus I’ve awesome table top posters which link in to the ad imagery. I’m excited to see how it goes and of course I will report all here.

I have hand sanitiser to lessen my chance of being drawn into a pandemic with all the hand shaking!

That’s about it for me this week. The next post will be on my day off! Yippee! Comments and questions are welcome as always.

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