Random Thoughts and Comments 20220923

At this point I have four non-fiction titles and four short stories that I narrated myself that are out in audio on at least one site, so I’ve added a new Audiobooks page. That also includes two of my non-fiction titles that were narrated by other narrators many years ago (Budgeting for Beginners and Writing for Beginners, both which were out under different titles for most of that time so may still show up under those other titles when you click through).

Teachable turned out to be a bust for me. There’s a pretty hefty fee to use that site per year and I just didn’t bring enough traffic there on my own to justify it. So I’ve updated the video course page to remove those links.

The Affinity courses are still up on Udemy for anyone who needs them. If you signed up through Teachable and lose access there, which I don’t think you should, reach out to me and I’ll give you a free code for Udemy so you still have access to the material. I have the list of student names so not too hard to see who was impacted.

Sorry about that. I tried. But sometimes in this business you try, fail, and cut your losses.

I’m currently waiting on feedback comments for an AML compliance book so hoping to have that one out next month. One set of comments are already in and just a few minor tweaks to make so I expect it won’t be an issue to get it out on time.

I also want to do the audio of that one so that it’s out there from close to the start, so expect that, too. It’s dry material that is more interesting when narrated. Still dry, but less so.

I’m still toying with the idea of a YouTube channel. But I have commitment issues and know to do it right I’d have to post regularly there. So I may half-ass it and just put up the short stories and an intro video. I expect that seeing videos of my middle-aged writer self who doesn’t feel inspired to look good for the camera may be a limiting factor on that one.

I am vain enough to want to look good, but too lazy to do what would be required. Story of my life. (Haha. Sigh.)

I don’t know about anyone else but August was an ugly sales month for me. Partially because of AMS.

If you aren’t checking search terms on your ads, definitely do so, especially in the UK. I don’t know if this is a change on Amazon’s end or if people have just gotten sick of seeing ads for irrelevant books, but I noticed with some newer ads I tried to start that the search terms people were clicking on for some of my ads were wildly off base.

A book on Microsoft Access that used access as a keyword was getting clicks for things like “accessibility aids”. I always try to anticipate those things with negative keyword phrases, but some just had not crossed my mind.

And unfortunately AMS does not show you search terms people use where they don’t click. (Please do that instead of all the other weirdness you keep doing developer folks? Just top 50 maybe? Or ones with more than 500 impressions?)

That means there’s no way usually to know those wildly inappropriate matches are happening.

But it seems in the UK at least last month folks were clicking on those ads, so I was able to get a lot of new negative keywords for some of my ads from looking at those search terms.

At a cost, of course. Those clicks that gave me that info were not free.

What else? I recently went from a 12 GB RAM laptop to a 32 GB RAM laptop for my work computer, and wow what a difference. With 12 GB RAM every time they want to do updates it just kills my computer. So when you think new computer next time around, I’d say think increased RAM. A lot of what drove my decision was graphics because of ads/covers, etc. but that slowdown issue was part of it, too.

Also, hugs to everyone out there. I have a friend I’ve known for over 30 years who I saw this last week and who was at the breaking point because of life.

This is a person who did their med school residency while helping run the family business and was just fine for that (other than general exhaustion), so not someone who breaks easily.

But I think the past few years have just been a lot for a lot of people.

Understaffing, illness, life stressors…

So if you’re one of those folks who just feels knocked sideways these days, you’re not alone. Even the strong ones are breaking.

I know it doesn’t solve anything to say that, whatever troubles you’re facing are still there, but know it’s not just you. Be kind to yourself.

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is an author who has been published under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

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