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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Mixing it in the book world

April 17th. 2015

My trip to the London Book Fair last Wednesday was something of an eye-opener. I’ve never been to a book event, probably because we lived in Spain for seventeen years and the cost was prohibitive when taking into account travel and lodgings etc. I’m pleased I went although the book fair is really for Trade. I did at least meet my publisher, Gill Jackson of Robert Hale Ltd., so in that respect the trip was worth it. She was busy and had people buzzing around her; but she was able to spend some time with me chatting about — well, books!

After speaking with Gill, I dropped in at Matador Books. The reason for that was because two of the CHINDI group I am with have had books published with Matador. I saw a copy of The Farie Tree by Jane Cable on their stand. So I took a photograph and sent it to Jane. If I’d seen any of my books up like that, I would have been over the moon. I like to think that Jane was pleased too.

I wandered around Olympia, amazed at the number of publishers’ stands. It was good to see that the book world hasn’t been destroyed by Amazon. They had a stand there too. I chatted to a guy about audio books; then found out he was there to sell to publishers, not authors. But it was good to talk, as they say. All in all it was an experience, but not one that I will repeat unless I’m invited to give a talk about my work. I live in hope!

Last Monday was the monthly meeting of the Chindi authors ( It’s interesting to see how independent, self-published authors achieve their hopes and ambitions. Because I’ve been traditionally published, I haven’t learned too much about the go-it-alone path. Working with Acclaimed Books ( was easy because most of the work was done for me at no cost. Now I am looking to self-publish as a stand-alone writer (by choice), I see I have a lot to learn. My first attempt is a paperback with Ingram Spark, which shouldn’t be a problem because it has already been published by CreateSpace. The test comes when I finish my current work-in-progress (WIP) and set about having it edited, proofread and published. I suspect that’s where Matador may come in added to the advice I get from the Chindi group.

My WIP is now at a half-way stage. I putting it on Scrivener and am within a few thousand words of finishing the upload. Once that’s done I will begin writing again. It will seem strange because I haven’t put pen to paper in a serious way for such a long time. Now it’s all about discipline, getting the brain cells working and finishing the book.

My e-mail subscription campaign is building slowly but positively. I am selling about one book a day, probably because of the interest generate by the campaign, and also by small promotions I’m running. The longer this goes on and the more I delve into the book world, the more I see how much involvement is required — after the book is finished — by the author. If I was a best-selling writer, it wouldn’t need much more than to attend signing sessions and attend TV interviews. Do I want that? One half of me says yes, the other half says, well, maybe. But whatever happens; wish me luck!

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