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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Having a Good Week

It has been a good week on both sides of the coin for me, both domestically and literally (book-wise). Medical stuff started the week off for me on Monday: dentist for a small filling in the morning, and in the afternoon my bi-monthly visit to the hospital for my cancer maintenance jab. That evening I was at my book writers group, CHINDI for a pretty full meeting. Two more new faces to remember now and at least one of them will be joining the group permanently.

On Wednesday I went across to Petersfield for a book launch. The writer was a local man, Ron Jameson, 93 years of age and proudly launching his second novel. I met Ron a couple of months ago to talk about his experiences in Kenya. He had written a novel set there, called Whistling Thorn, and I had written Hell’s Gate which was set in the same place: the Rift Valley. It gave us common ground and much to talk about. I also met two people who had been at the Monday meeting. But one fairly important chat I had was with the owner of the bookshop where the book launch party took place. He gave me an insight into the other side of marketing and promotion from a book seller’s point of view.

Friday was an opportunity to spend a day at Goodwood in West Sussex. It was the Goodwood Festival. It goes on for three days and is all about the forties and fifties, classic motor racing, aeroplanes from World War Two, Rock n Roll, and dressing up in the fashions of that era. It was a terrific day out and good weather to boot. We will go again next year.

I made progress with my current WIP: actually finishing the first, 80,000 word draft. Next step is to complete the re-write, which I have started. I made an important decision about that too. I have been giving a lot of thought to the cost of proof reading, editing and jacket design, and wondering if it really is worth the outlay. I would probably never recover the costs anyway, and I’m basing that honestly on my track record as a self-published writer. To produce a paperback book would cost about £1000. The sales return on that would probably earn me a tenth in royalties. As for eBook sales, I would have to pay promotion costs to achieve significant sales, so it wouldn’t be cost effective either. You might say this means I have no faith in my ability, but that isn’t true: I know I am a good writer, but so are hundreds of writers out there competing against the likes of me! It’s all down to luck. And if I did hit the big time, I wouldn’t give a second thought to the publication costs; I would hand it over to the professionals straight away.

I have just approved the latest upload of my paperback, Past Imperfect, to CreateSpace. I received a copy of my earlier attempt, and although I couldn’t fault CS, I wasn’t happy with the finished product: hence the upload. That should be available in about four days’ time. I’ll order a copy, see what it looks like and, if I’m satisfied, I’ll order another twenty copies or so for my book launch party in November with the CHINDI group.

And to finish off a good week, I e-mailed all my subscribers to let them know Roselli’s Gold was available at a low price for a promotion, and sold seventeen copies. When I see an average of two a day, that figure of seventeen is like a huge leap. It certainly put a smile on my face. Hopefully the promotion on eReaderNews tomorrow will bring me an even bigger result. Wish me luck!

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