• Michael Parker

Planning ahead, hoping for the best

Looking at the pages of my diary for the past week I see they are blank! I must have done something because I couldn’t let a week go by without doing something. I cut the grass, I remember that. I visited my sister who is 87. We often talk about the past. It reminded me that people of her age are a wonderful source of information for writers when researching those early years. She has been a fan of my writing for years, ever since she typed my first novel for me that never saw the light of day. I have thought about resurrecting it. The title was “The Perforated Edge”, and it was about a packet of extremely valuable stamps. Not so sure it would excite readers today though.

Last Monday, my author group, CHINDI, had a photoshoot for their relaunch in May. We have opened the group to anybody, rather than locally based writers. We still intend to work as a group of writers helping each other with promotions and advice about publishing. What we will not be doing is trying to sell each other our books. The website will be focussing on authors and readers as a separate group (if that makes sense). The idea is to allow author members to edit their own pages and update them, while the readers can log in and see what books are on offer and any recommendations from other readers. The website is www.chindi-authors.co.uk.

After the photoshoot, we all adjourned to a local pub for an informal meeting. The main topic of conversation was mainly about the upcoming Chichester Arts Festival in June. We are running a week of ‘workshops’ and fun stuff. The website is www.festivalofchichester.co.uk. Three of us — myself, Helen Christmas and Christine Hammacott, sat down and discussed our participation in the festival week. We are doing a crime seminar where we’ll be talking about what’s involved in writing crime novels. I am more of a cross genre writer rather than specifically crime, but most of my novels have an element of crime in them, so I can at least have some input.

I have another interview on line with Ben Jackson of the Indie Publishing Group. It’s very similar to my other interviews (naturally), but you can catch it at http://www.indiepublishinggroup.com/author-interview-michael-parker/.

My YouTube interview with Debbie Mack is at http://bit.ly/2oyRSY8.

As I look at my diminishing sales, I reminded of a conversation on line in one of my author groups about the lack of sales. One theory, which I tend to support, is that it is our own fault; we are giving away too many free books. Readers have no need to buy anymore; they can stock their own libraries with hundreds of free ebooks. If that’s true, it means we are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. The only way now, it seems, to get my books out to a wider reading public is by advertising. I could spend a fortune and ‘hope’ for success. Or I could wait for a massive dose of luck and watch all those readers beating a path to my doorstep. Wish me luck!

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