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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker


Where do I begin? Well, happy New Year to all of you (that’s from my little girl, Tuppence, as well). I hope it will be a good one for you. I already have a speaking engagement in my diary, but it isn’t until January 2nd. 2019, so the world isn’t beating a path to my doorstep yet, but maybe that will change. I started the New Year well, having been given a clean bill of health yesterday from the haematologist at the cancer clinic. Dentist next week for a root canal filling and a crown. How much pain can I take? And I have to pay! But I’m looking ahead with renewed optimism, which helps.

I plan to continue with advertising, but I hope to be a little more successful. I’m still using BookBub, and the signs are a little encouraging, but not enough on which to build a writing empire.

So what else is there? I’m looking forward to the UK South Coast book show at Worthing in March. I may not sell many books, but there will be a lot of writers there, about sixty all told, and no doubt the foot traffic should be good. The book fest will be in the theatre on the pier, which kind of adds a little glamour to the event.

We have an event in Littlehampton, sponsored by Arun Scribes and Chindi, which will be spread over a few days. Once again the foot traffic should be good, and we’ll have a chance to spread our names out further into the general reading public.

The big one for us at Chindi will be the Chichester Festival. We’ll be holding events during the week and will also be sponsoring a charity. Last year it was Dyslexia Action. We haven’t decided yet for this year.

Another event we like is the Arundel Festival. We spend about ten days with a stall sponsoring Cancer UK. It’s always an enjoyable time, and we do manage to sell books.

There will be other events coming along. Crawley library comes to mind. I went last year, didn’t sell anything but it was good to be there. And my son and grandson came along, which meant we had lunch together afterwards.

Another direction for me is my local church. I have been added to the preaching team and begin at the end of this month. I won’t be able to advertise my books there, although I might ask for a little divine help if my promotion work fails.

Just before Christmas, I gave my subscribers the free gift of my African novel, Hell’s Gate. There were no strings attached to the gift, and 125 people took advantage of it. I had some good comments — not too many because it’s a fact that very few subscribers respond to gifts, offers, discounts etc. Naturally I was hoping to pick up some good reviews, but it’s too early to tell if all of those readers will have anything to say.

But I did have one piece of luck in my quest to promote the book and get some mileage out of it. I contacted Wilbur Smith some weeks before giving my book away, and asked if he would like to read it. I was chuffed when he agreed. It took him about six weeks to reply to my message, so I was not really expecting it when it turned up in my messenger box. Anyway, the book will be on its way to him this weekend. Hopefully he will like it enough to give me a quote that I can use when I start pushing it. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck!

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