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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Great Expectations

A lady came round to my house the other day and asked if she could buy a couple of my books. I was out but my wife was here, so the lady went away. I got back home about ten minutes later. It made me wonder if that was a kind of metaphor for my book writing life: not being in the right place at the right time. But she came back, so that’s alright then. She bought a couple of thrillers for her husband who needs dialysis three times a week. Makes you realise what side your bread is buttered. He has to be up at 5.30 on his dialysis days to be taken to the hospital. I know some writers get up at that time, but I certainly don’t. It’s nice to be reasonably fit and well compared to some people, so my writing and my books have to be seen as not that important. They are to me, but not in the context of the reality of life and our expectations.

Talking of expectations; it’s something I am filled with now because of small results from my Facebook campaign and another idea I came up with during the week. The FB campaign has increased my visibility, although I had to make some changes to improve the cost effectiveness of my advert. It’s just about finished now, but I have seen some positive results. The other idea I came up with was to drop the price of my two, lowest selling books and let my subscribers know. The idea was to get a response and lift my sales of course. It worked and I sold 32 books the day following my e-mail. My Amazon rankings shot up too, which is always nice. Everything has calmed down now, but I am beginning to pull in more ‘likes’ for my Facebook author page.

As I work my way through Mark Dawson’s course I want to rush ahead and get it finished so I can get cracking, but I know I have to be patient and make sure I know what I’m doing. I also have to make sure I don’t waste my money, which is quite easy with promotions. I will be preparing another ‘campaign’ next week and hope to see some improvement in my subscriber list. There’s an irony there, too: each time I contact my list, which is not very often, people unsubscribe. I think it’s a common enough thing. I know I do this to some of the companies and websites who send me e-mails regularly. In time I realise that I never respond so I unsubscribe. I guess the e-mails to my subscribers act in the same way, and trigger the negative response. Thankfully my list is still growing.

I have made little progress with my latest book. It’s getting more and more difficult to fit the time in because of other distractions. The UEFA cup isn’t helping either. I have to ignore some football matches, which is unfortunate, but we suffer for our art, don’t we?

Next week our CHINDI author group are launching our “Summer Reads” week. It will run from the 21st – 27th June. We will be discounting the print books in our on-line bookshop and running a writing competition as well as a Facebook chat with four authors. The discounted books will only be for UK only because of postage. The book I have offered has been reduced by a third as an example. The website for CHINDI is if you want to pop in and have a look. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the success of this event, and hope we may be able to hold something like this each year. Naturally I hope readers will look in and choose several books, mine included! Wish me luck.

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