• Michael Parker

Hard work, talent and a lot of luck

Last week was quite an eventful one for me and Pat, although not from a writing perspective. We purchased a park home at Pagham in West Sussex, and will be returning to England on October 1st. permanently. We have seven weeks to go and I know my writing will take a back seat during that time, even though I will make some inroads into it. The four days we spent in England were hectic, but fruitful. Bit like bringing a manuscript to fruition.

Someone spoke to me today saying she didn’t know I was a writer: a real, live one at that. I told her that we are all writers now. All that’s needed is a manuscript, converted to Kindle and published on Amazon. But I’m about to put my foot into what might be a contentious point of view and say that a lot of so-called writers don’t belong in that category. They are simply filling Amazon’s store with a load of cheap dross. Amazon doesn’t care; after all, they’re making money from those inferior books. Traditional publishers will publish a poorly written book if it’s written by a top author because they know they can clean up the manuscript and sell it. So where does that leave writers like me who write for a hobby and believe they are worth a higher place in the Amazon rankings? Living the dream, I suppose like the rest of them. I can only increase my readership by promotion and marketing, and then hope that those who read my books want to read the others. But a handful of people wanting to read my books doesn’t mean I will soar up the rankings and become a ‘name’ overnight.

Over the last couple of years I have given away books on Goodreads, promoted on Amazon and enjoyed some kind of success that has been a direct result of the promotion. After that it has all died down. To continue that moderate success I would need a permanent promotion and the money necessary to keep the promotion going. But the truth is; my books only sell while I’m pushing them. I have a plan though (we should all have a plan!). When we are settled in England, I will try to build my readership from the inside out. By that I mean I will try to spread my name around Pagham, perhaps by attending writing groups, sourced through the local library; use local newspapers for adverts perhaps at a low cost; sell my books at small, country fairs and gradually expand that way. Or perhaps I could do it the quick way: I’ll murder somebody and become infamous. I could even write the novel. Now there’s a thought. So for any of you budding writers out there reading this blog, understand that there is no easy way to become a best-selling author. It’s all about hard work, talent and a lot of luck. Wish me tons of it!

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