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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Question Time at the Rox Music Festival

Yesterday, five members of our CHINDI group and myself set up a bookstall at the Rox Music festival in Bognor Regis. It might sound odd, being as it was a music festival, but it worked. The six of us were there all day, and met some interesting people who stopped by the stall to chat. And we sold some books! It’s amazing what kind of questions we are asked. “Are you all authors?” was a common one. One visitor wanted to play a kind of one upmanship. “So where’s so and so then?” We’d never heard of him. Seemed he’s a local author but not a member of the CHINDI group. When we pointed out that our banner describes us a ‘CHINDI’, he got the message. And there are those who have written a book, but seem embarrassed to admit it. One woman told me she had 5000 books at home, and had no intention of adding more to the pile, so wasn’t buying. Oh, unless the price was £0.99 a book. Another lady got all excited because we were authors, as though we are hidden away, out of sight and only appear publicly on the odd occasion. I liked her because she bought one of my books. One chap listened to me for a while as I explained my novel, Past Imperfect, then decided to buy it (what a salesman!). When I told him the price, he said, “That’s cheap.”

And so the day rolled on. It began with rain, fine drizzle for an hour or so, and then the sun came out and lifted out spirits. More people turned up at the festival and we got busier answering questions, handing out brochures, collecting sign-ups for our quarterly newsletter. From the profit and loss point of view, it wasn’t worth the effort, but from the point of view of making contact, it was extremely successful. And I think we all enjoyed ourselves, and I suspect we’ll seriously consider doing it again next year.

On the domestic front, I haven’t written anything because I have been one degree under. It’s some kind of viral infection that doesn’t want to go away. I am improving slowly, day by day, but on the few occasions I have attempted to write, it’s been a non-starter; the brain won’t function. My Facebook advertising is progressing and picking up ten subscribers a day. Few more days to go before I finish the campaign, then it’s on to another FB advert. This time I think I will use my 1000 plus subscribers to get FB to select a ‘lookalike’ audience. FB recommends having at least 1000 subs to make the advert work effectively.

Today, Pat and I went to a Golden Wedding celebration. It was over at a posh looking golf club near Chandlers Ford, just outside Southampton. The happy couple immediately introduced me as the ‘celebrated author’. Nice friends, eh? Perhaps next time I should take an armful of books with me.

No more news now. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more words to my manuscript tomorrow and then be able to look ahead to seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. Wish me luck!

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