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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Writing in a straitjacket

I finished setting up my Facebook advert using Michael Cooper’s advice. Some of you may wonder why I haven’t stuck with Mark Dawson. I wonder that myself sometimes, because so many authors on his forum seem to do so well with his course. I did double my subscribers list last year using Mark’s instructions, so, yes, it works.

However, with Michael Cooper’s approach, it opens up FB advertising in a different and unexpected way. For example, he insists you must never, never use your book jacket to advertise the book. I squirmed over this but he was insistent. And you can’t really argue with a guy who sells thousands of books a week and does this by some pretty forensic work on his adverts. To give you an idea of what I mean, you can see from the image what my ad will look like. Doesn’t make sense, right? But I have to go along with it for a while. If you can’t see the image, click this link: I have created two adverts: one for women over 35 in UK, and one for men. I’ll run both adverts for about three days and keep an eye on the metrics. If it fails, I’ll switch to USA, but I won’t hang on too long for results.

I began work on a new, Marcus Blake thriller during the week. I spent some time fleshing out a back story which will be revealed piece by piece as the plot develops. One of the problems I found was that by sketching out a short synopsis of characters, events and reasons why, I found I was literally developing a story on its own. I did think for a moment that I ought to go down that route, but then I remembered that this is supposed to be a Marcus Blake thriller, and that’s what sells — one character in a series of books. So I’ll stick to this literary straightjacket I’m in and hope for the best. I’m still a million miles away from coming up with a plot that’s convincing and “different”. Oh, and this is supposed to be a psychological thriller: something new for me.

My book sales have just about flat-lined, but once I begin the Facebook project, I’m hoping to see a definite change. I’ve hooked up with another author for a promotion, but these generally produce very little. It’s simply a case of trying and hoping. I received an e-mail from an author who ran a competition which included two ebooks from me. I was given the email addresses of the two ‘lucky’ winners, and duly sent them the link for their prize. Two days later and nothing has been downloaded from Instafreebie, and I have had no acknowledgement from them either.

I’m loathe to give away books now. Over the years I have given away about 50,000 books, which may have improved my readership, but it’s something you can’t quantify. I’m fast coming to the conclusion that it’s a waste of time and leads to very little in the way of author/reader connection. So, no more freebies unless I’m persuaded that something might come of it. Am I living in hopes? Maybe, but whatever I do, wish me luck!

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