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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

The other side of the writing desk

As I make further inroads into self-publishing, I am finding just how much I didn’t know about the game. Whereas everything had been done for me during my time with Robert Hale Ltd., and then Acclaimed Books, I have to consider all aspects of producing a quality book and realising that I have a lot to learn. I received a proof copy of The Devil’s Trinity from Ingram Spark this week, and was disappointed to see that the placement of Chapter One was on a left hand page. My wife didn’t think it was a problem, but if a book is to appear professionally done, I have to remember that the devil is in the detail, as they say. I will probably have the book re-printed, which means more work (and more money!).

I have also made some progress with my current novel; reaching 54000 words but I still find myself wondering where I’m going to go with it. I will finish the book, but I have to be sure it will be worth spending some money on to produce a quality product. The twists and turns I am creating within the story are beginning to confuse even me! So goodness knows how I will resolve it all. But isn’t that the essence of a good thriller? One where neither the reader nor the writer knows where its going? Well, maybe not. I just have to keep the reader puzzled.

I had a small promotion last Thursday for The Eagle’s Covenant and got some good results from it. This is my permafree book; the one in which there is an opportunity to sign up to my e-mail list and obtain another free book. You can go to my landing page for the free offer by clicking the link: I am still picking up subscribers, and have reached fifty six so far. Big oak trees from little acorns grow, so they say, and I hope my subscription list will continue to grow too.

I had an interesting chat with the manager of our local, Waterstones bookshop in West Street in Chichester this week. It was all about trying to get a display of books from the Chichester Independent Writers Group (CHINDI) into the store during the Chichester Arts Festival in June. She was very helpful but not able to do much at for us; although she has promised to see what she can come up with. One of the interesting parts of the conversation was that she is a self-published author and hasn’t been able to get her book into the store. Company policy etc. It doesn’t look too good for us amateurs, then, does it?

I was also in touch with Matador Books and the prospect of having my work published with them. This would only be for the back-list of my titles which are published by CreateSpace. I want to have them available in UK bookshops, but for that they need Nielsen registered ISBNs. I have those, and the first was used on the The Devil’s Trinity. Nine more to go. Matador use their own ISBNs but will accept those provided by the publisher. Trouble is; they won’t provide marketing and promotion services with those numbers. See what I mean about having to learn all kinds of stuff about self-publishing?

Wednesday was a pleasant change from our day to day routines etc. Two friends of ours from Spain came by. Ray and Lynn were on their way up to Manchester, and having docked at Portsmouth they thought it would be nice to drop in before continuing their journey north. We had a nice pub lunch in the Walnut Tree just along the road. The weather was good and kind of set the day up nicely for us. It’s great to have friends who are willing to put themselves out like that. Now I need readers who are willing to put themselves out and buy my books. Wish me luck!

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