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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Boxing Clever? Maybe not.

No, Tuppence didn’t win best puppy, but it didn’t appear to bother her. Why can’t people be more like dogs?

While I was struggling through my manuscript, I thought it might be a good idea to put it on hold and knock out a box set for three of my least performing novels. After all, it would only take an afternoon to set the thing up and get it on KDP, so I thought. For a box set of books, they need to be one document, each book following on from the other. So I began to process of creating a file and loaded the first book in. It needed a little attention, but I made good progress and then loaded in my second book. Then the problem of inserting a “Table of Contents” reared its ugly head. Each time I searched for Chapter One, say, I ended up at the beginning of the document: right chapter, wrong book. Undaunted I loaded in the third story and, after a few adjustments, realised that one of them had the wrong indents. It would have been a bit time consuming to work through each page, so I binned it all and started again. So the next day I was at it again until I had it all working perfectly. Then came making up a box set image in PhotoShop. I can make a 3D image of a book, no problem, but to make a 3D box set image gets a little tricky. Sure, you can Google it, but there is always a problem, usually one of not being able to understand the wiz kid who is explaining how to do it at ninety miles an hour and using a programme that doesn’t quite match up to the latest version of PhotoShop. I gave up in the end, having decided to make an image of three books, all in 3D but stacked as though they were part of a box set. Three days later and it’s still a plan. I will get there eventually.

I had coffee during the week with a fellow author, Rick Haynes. I’ve only known Rick briefly, but we have a lot in common, not the least that we come from the same area in London and went to the same speedway stadium in Somerton road, home of the Wimbledon Dons (defunct now). Same Pie & Mash shop? Yes, still there I hope, although it may be a kebab outlet or a halal butchers. Whatever it is, it won’t be serving bagels. It’s nice to spend some time reminiscing and talking about common ground. We chatted about books and writing of course, and Rick is well on his way to producing his second, full length fantasy novel to go with his short stories and “Drabbles” (no, I haven’t either!).

I said earlier that I was struggling with my WIP. What author doesn’t? I have made it past the halfway mark and have a clearer idea of where I’m going with it. I just need to up my discipline levels and knuckle down.

Next week I will be at the Arundel Festival for a couple of stints on our CHINDI book stall. We are donating a sum to charity as part of the fee, and giving something like a 20% cut of our sales to the cancer charity. At the moment it’s raining, there is a very strong wind blowing and the forecast doesn’t look too promising for now. The festival began today and will run for a week. At the time of writing, one of our authors has sold seven books (Dan Jones). Dan usually does sell well because his books are self-help based on his twenty years of working with children who have problems like Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. He has released a particularly helpful book of bedtime stories for youngsters, which is receiving good reviews on Amazon (ASIN: B015HVQZV4). You can find out more about Dan and other members of the CHINDI group, plus buy their books at

So for me next week it’s a trip to the dentist, two stints at Arundel, a family meet at Petworth (lovely place) and more work on my novel and the box set. Wish me luck!

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