Housekeeping. The art of keeping everything neat and tidy.

I’ve slowed down in my writing operations for a moment, as there’s some housekeeping to do to my publishing empire.

It’s one of the things that sort of creeps up on you, the jobs you didn’t realise you’d have to do. Whenever you ask about marketing, the usual advice is to write more books to improve your chances of success.

What is never mentioned is the ongoing work that’s involved in maintaining the visibility of the titles you already have published.

Keeping everything updated can turn into a really big job, before you even start on the promotional and social aspects of the business, the basics must be in place. Things like covers, descriptions, categories and keywords are part of the system that Amazon uses to decide how it presents my work to prospective readers. They all need regular reviews to make sure that they’re relevant.

At the moment, I’ve decided that some of my novels need categories and keyword adjustments, based on their sales performance and new trends.

Now, this is a very contentious subject, there’s a lot of debate about how many categories books should be in and which ones are best.

In the past, I’ve despaired to see the category that my book belongs in, filled with titles that bear no resemblance whatsoever to the genre. They appear to have been thrown in there in an effort to get a best-seller tag. For example (and I’m not going to be mentioning names) look at the top 100 titles in a specific genre like Steampunk to get an idea of what I mean. I looked as I was writing this and I think the first actual Steampunk book was at number 35 or so.

I digress, I try to keep my categories relevant, which means a lot of searching through all the possibilities. A quest which is not helped by the fact that they keep changing.

Another part of the equation that has to be considered is that a lot of the stuff I write cannot be easily characterised. I tend to mix genres and themes, I certainly don’t write to market or trends, I’m simply not quick enough for that.

It’s extra work, important in terms of getting my name known but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t take time away from writing the next book. Which is what I would prefer to be doing.

Of course, it all needs to be done, I shall be diving into the category maze and trying to decide whether Metaphysical and Visionary is an appropriate place for my novel, We Are Saul. I must admit that I hadn’t considered it, until I got this review,

As you can see, it’s clearly mentioned in the review, I guess that justifies my including it in my latest round of updates.

The great thing about being self-published is that you’re in control. You can easily change things around, to see if it makes things better or worse. If you don’t hit on the magic formula straight away, you can change it again, as many times as you want to. Just keep a record, so that you know what you’ve already tried.

Does We Are Saul belong in that category, see what you think.

When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

While trying to come to terms with his injuries, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out.
What choice does he have?

Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed.
Or is it?
As time goes on and he learns more about Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s new life becomes increasingly difficult.
In the end, he has to abandon everything as he learns the truth.

All second chances come with a price.

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