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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Two kinds of manuscript

Looking back over the week, I can see I’ve been busy but I can also remember how much rain there has been. Monday was torrential. Tuesday we went on a coach trip to Salisbury and it rained there as well, all day. We went into the cathedral. It was the first time for me, but this is the 800th year of the signing of the Magna Carta (1215), and I wanted to go into the cathedral and get a sense of the history behind our heritage. While I was in there admiring the huge structure, I thought of Ken Follet’s book, Pillars of the Earth. It took about 38 years to build the central section of the building so it could be consecrated and used, but about another 60 years to complete the whole thing. Absolutely magnificent.

I had a couple of promotions on this week: Hell’s Gate and North Slope. Unusually, I didn’t see much in the way of results. I had a small shift in daily sales but the figures soon dropped.

I’m making progress with my WIP. I’m inching my way to a climactic ending (hopefully). I can’t see me finishing the draft before I go to Spain in five weeks’ time, although I could just about scramble it in. Then the hard work begins again as I go through it with an editor’s pencil and re-write it. I’m looking at Christmas as the target to finish.

I received my proof copy of Past Imperfect from CreateSpace. It took about two weeks to arrive. It’s not bad, but I need to make a few changes. I checked the jacket against the cover I had prepared, but for some reason it doesn’t look the same. I went back to the digital proofer, and sure enough, the jacket CreateSpace produced is the one I sent them. So I’m scratching my head and wondering if I made the mistake. There are a couple of typos inside that need sorting out, so I’ll get those finished and send the updated files away for printing. Or I may just rely on the digital proofer. Once I’m happy with that, I’ll have the files printed by Ingram Spark, but with the ISBN changed for the Nielsen number.

I sent five copies of The Devil’s Trinity to the Legal Deposit as required by law and a copy each of that and Hell’s Gate to the British Library. It’s all pay! Hopefully I’ll earn some of that back in royalties.

My subscriber list continues to climb. I’m up to 364 now, having just added ten new names. At my rate of increase, I would expect to hit the 1000 mark by this time next year! Hopefully the rise in names will increase more rapidly and I’ll reach that figure by Christmas. I think the promotion I did this week probably accounted for the increase of ten in one day; usually it’s about two or three. I have read of spectacular rises among a few of the writers I meet on a particular Facebook group I’m with. Amazing results achieved simply by following the same advice I am following. One guy achieved 3000 subscribers in about two months, and notched his sales up to around 100 a day from about one or two a week before joining the group. My results could be said to mirror his, but although they probably started out like that on day one, his figures left me standing still. I am pleased for him and it gives me the encouragement to press on and not panic; I’m sure it will come. Wish me luck!

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