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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Happy planners

Last night our Chindi group enjoyed a pre-Christmas get together at The Dragon restaurant in Rustington. Twenty of us made it there, although not all were writers. However, it made for a good number to crowd into a very full restaurant. The oldest of our members is in his eighties, and is reaching the fulfilment of three years’ work: he is publishing a semi-fictional account of a soldier relative who fought during the First World War. Our youngest member there was a newcomer to the group who writes children’s stories. We are a diverse bunch and cover just about all genres in fiction and some non-fiction. It was a chance, too, to be able to chat with some of the group about what problems we have encountered throughout the year, and what success we’ve had. Success in our case is largely relative, but we all have been able to blow our own trumpets from time to time.

We have some good ideas to carry us forward into the New Year, and it gives us all a sense of excitement and hope. We are already discussing our summer promotions in the Chichester Arts Festival, plus we have a couple of things planned for Littlehampton, which should be around the earlier part of the year. And March is something else eight of us will be looking forward to because of the UK Southern Book Show at Worthing. I’m sure we’ll come up with other little gems too, but it does give us some impetus, knowing that we are reaching out and not waiting for things to happen.

Earlier this week I cracked on with my WIP, and managed to push ahead somewhat. I still have a long way to go with this, and will probably struggle to have it ready for a summer launch at my current rate of progress.

I mentioned my efforts last week about BookBub advertising and the fact that they seem to feature a lot of best-selling authors: some who aren’t even living now. I received an email from them advertising Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird, which kind of reinforces the complaint I saw on an author forum about BB capitalising on the top writers and leaving less room for the indie guys. So far I have received an email each day and only one has featured an indie writer, all the others have been NYT best-sellers. Make you think.

Anyway, back on the advertising bit: it is a recommendation from BookBub that it helps to use their list of top authors when searching for a “keyword” writer. As I am trying to promote my book, A Dangerous Game, I searched through their list for an author similar to me. Almost without exception though, the list of thriller writers is populated with those who write series characters. This makes it hard for people like me, a cross-genre writer, to find an author to use as a “keyword” author. I’ve already tweaked my ads, and even changed them, hoping for some positive results. I can’t expect overnight miracles, but there are pointers to the way in which your ad is performing. I’m getting a few sales, thankfully, but at the moment I can expect to struggle. Hopefully things will improve in time. Wish me luck!

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