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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting down to the root of the problem

Root canal filling — now I know what it really means: one very uncomfortable hour in the dentist’s chair and another appointment to come. Fortunately my dentist knew what she was doing and I suffered no ill effects once the anaesthetic had worn off. I’ve just had an image flash into mind of Dustin Hoffman in a dentist’s chair. I can’t remember the film title, but he wasn’t enjoying the benefits of modern dentistry.

Tuppence failed her weigh-in too. We got an earful from the Vet. We tried to blame Christmas but the Vet was having none of it. So, new eating plan: chopped carrots for her treats only and no extras in her bowl. I’m supposed to be on a diet too, but I know where the chocolate biscuits are kept. That makes me smarter than my dog. And a trifle bigger!

Back to the world of books now and the calamity of Amazon publishing. For a second time they have sent me the wrong paperback: wrong size, wrong colour paper and not the book that is shown on the product page. I have now asked Ingram Spark to unpublish Hell’s Gate. The reason for that is because Amazon have sent the IS book twice, and not the one I uploaded to CreateSpace. Once I know that IS no longer have the book on their file, I’ll order one from Amazon and hopefully get the correct book. When we are back on track, I can order a few for the upcoming UK Southern Book Show in March. Check it out on FB

I managed to get back to some editing and writing. I am currently reading through The Boy from Berlin. I have the North America paperback rights now, so I’m anxious to make that available in USA, and need to edit for reasons that have become apparent over the last couple of years. Not having the rights has stopped me of course, and I still don’t have the ebook rights. I’m hoping I might see some change in that respect later in the year. I’ll just have to plague the life out of the publisher; after all, they are not selling or promoting the book: something that I am reluctant to do simply to boost their income. Incidentally, this particular publisher only produces non-fiction work. They bought my publisher (Hale) out a couple of years ago, which kind of leaves me and the other Hale authors in limbo. Hopefully that will change.

I made a little progress on my WIP by binning an element of the story that happened sixteen years before the beginning. Without realising what I’d done, by having to ensure I had a link back to that particular period, I was inhibiting the entire plot. I have subsequently changed character profiles and have begun thinking along a different story line. Sounds confusing, I know, but that’s what we authors do: make hurdles for ourselves. It’s the only way to write a “keep them guessing” thriller.

I am also falling out of love with BB advertising. I still haven’t seen any real benefits to my particular efforts. I can’t blame BB; it’s simply a case of not targeting the right authors as Keywords, and not having a big budget. I increased it from $2.50 a day to $10, left it like that for about six days and saw no improvement or significant change in sales. In fact, they’ve gone down. So tomorrow, I’ll be having a real think about which way to go: Facebook, AMS or stick with BB. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

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