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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting around

I didn’t write my blog last week because I was in Spain enjoying the sun and linking up with old friends. The week before that I travelled up to Norfolk to attend the funeral of an old work colleague of mine: another opportunity to meet and chat with old friends of mine from the workplace. It also gave me the chance to spend some time with my eldest son, Vincent, and just relax in his company.

Despite all that, my mind wasn’t too far away from the book world. I am involved in a cross-promotion, but the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned regarding the effectiveness of these tie-ups. I’ve had three so far and have yet to see any real advance in my sales. I am also beginning to doubt the point of giving away books for free. I understand the argument about giving something to get something in return, but I have given away almost 400 books over the last four weeks (two titles), and have yet to see any reviews or have any contact from the readers who have downloaded them. I have had some sign-ups though.

As a result of my involvement with the Chindi group, I am now a director of the group and have to be a signatory on the cheques. I contacted the bank with the necessary information (so I thought), which included an official letter with my new ID. Although I had been armed with what we thought was sufficient information, I was caught out by questions that could only be answered by a mother’s daughter and had to bail out. I will eventually become a bone fide member, but it is so frustrating. I was on the phone for about half an hour.

Last Monday I picked up my car at Gatwick North terminal long stay car park. It was about two o’clock in the morning, and despite having the correct ticket with my number plate on, I couldn’t get out of the car park without paying £65. The guy on duty wasn’t interested in my plight, so I had to cough up. I did get reimbursed by the company yesterday, but what a hassle to go through because some ‘jobsworth’ wouldn’t open the barrier for me.

The Chindi group are launching their new website next month. We’re going global and are giving away £300 of books as a prize. Have a look and see what we are up to. The link is above. We are also leaving our books around the area with a sticker on asking whoever picks them up to leave them somewhere else once they’ve read them. So far I have left a paperback on a bendy bus in Gatwick, a bus stop in Chichester, a waiting room in the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth, our local tea shop here in Pagham, and one in a D-I-Y store in Bognor Regis. Five down, five to go. All the photographs were posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Apart from a couple of cross promos next month, I am thinking of paying out for some Facebook advertising. I’m not sure yet which way I’ll go with that. Needs a lot of thought. Wish me luck!

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