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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Measured Progress

June 6th. 2015

Where did the week go? Ever felt like that and wondered where it all went? Monday began with a hospital appointment for Pat, but that evening I went to a meeting of the CHINDI group to talk about our writing, our promotions and the forthcoming events that all help to get us out into the public domain. You can read about the writers group and the work they do on their website The next, forthcoming attraction for us is the Festival of Chichester. This is a celebration of the rich and varied talent that can be found in this ancient city. The festival covers all aspects of the arts and gives people like me an opportunity to showcase our talents. (I do have some, I’m sure!)

I’ve managed to add a few more words to my WIP, and have increased my word count to just over 60,000. Being over half-way is something of a bonus for me because I began to doubt whether I would ever get there. It won’t increase by much more over the next couple of weeks, and then there will be a pause because we are going on a two week break cruising Alaska. We fly into Seattle for a few days and then cruise for seven nights. Back to Heathrow twelve days later. Then a wedding, but that’s in July.

I am managing to sell a few books. Not many, but I am averaging a little over one a day. This is more than I managed in the early part of the year. I put all this down to the course I’ve been doing with Nick Stephenson and having a subscribers list courtesy of MailChimp. If I can keep it going and supplement it all with promotion, I would hope to improve my sales figures progressively and with a good rate of increase. We’ll see.

I keep an eye on my sales rank on Amazon daily, and have seen it taper off slowly to well below 400,000 over the last few weeks despite the fact that I was selling books on KDP (Amazon). I contacted them and asked why my sales rank was falling and ignoring the fact that I’m selling? I received a text book reply from them which told me nothing, but when I checked my rank after that, it had rocketed to under 60,000. And I had no sales that day! Makes you wonder just how efficient Amazon’s algorithms are. Or perhaps someone in the office felt sorry for me and pushed my rankings up.

I’m still battling with self-publishing. My latest print book came from Ingram Spark and it was a total disaster. It was uploaded during their Spring event, which meant publication was free. I have had to upload again, but this time it will cost me. The annoying thing is that when I looked at the files I used, they are not the ones Ingram Spark used. Now, you might think I’ve got it wrong, but this happened a couple of months ago with another title. When I complained they told me they only print the files uploaded by the customer. Can’t argue with that, of course, but there is no redress if you know that the error is theirs. One of the joys of self-publishing, I suppose. But I’ve uploaded the “correct” files and have had to pay $50. I probably won’t even sell that many print books to cover the cost. Why bother? Because I’m still in the game and like what I do. Wish me luck!

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