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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Rights and Wrongs

I finished the edit on my novel, The Boy from Berlin, and worked on the book jacket until I was happy with the result. My wife didn’t like the jacket, but as we all know, it’s a personal choice. I uploaded the files to CreateSpace (printed book only), and was quite happy with the digital proof. I always do it this way: approve the proof so that the book gets published on Amazon. I buy a copy (free P&P because I’m a Prime member), it means one sale and a royalty. This also means I don’t have to pay the postage for a proof copy from USA. I then go through the book with a red pen and update my files and reload to CS. That’s was the plan until Amazon sent me a “Content validation request”. That made me panic because I couldn’t remember where I’d put the letter from my publisher giving me the paperback rights. I did find it eventually and sent the copy by email to Amazon who accepted it. The book will be available within a couple of days. I’m hoping I can have some copies ready for the UK Southern Bookshow at Worthing next month.

My next job was to ask my publisher if he was prepared to give me back the ebook rights, bearing in mind the book was slumming it down at the bottom of the slush pile, with no sales and no royalties. He asked if I was prepared to buy the remaining stock of the hardback copies he had for a reasonable price (£2.50 each), for which he would return all the rights. Naturally I jumped at the chance, and can now look forward to publishing and promoting the ebook.

I met a member of our Chindi group yesterday: a writer by the name of Paul Asling. It turned out he lives about 400 yards away from me. We met at the local pub and had a chat about our books and writing in general. Paul has one novel to his credit: Love You Till I Die. The book is set in London, and Paul, being an ex-London Cabbie, knows a great deal about the city. I wonder how much he knows about the characters featured in his excellent crime novel?

Paul isn’t the only member of Chindi writing crime novels set in London. Our very own Helen Christmas has written a series, a trilogy, set in London called Beginings: Same face, Different place, that could hold their own with Martina Cole

I have managed to get to grips with my WIP, making changes to the early part of the story. It’s not recommended, really, to make changes as you go; far better to write the story, page by page, and then go back and edit. But I can’t help myself because I see things that can improve the story and help me with a sustainable and credible plot.

Next week I begin a ten week course at the local gym. It’s the only way I can get some discipline into the exercises my physio wants me to do. After each visit to the physio, I get home fired up with enthusiasm, start my exercises and then let them tail off. This way I will have somebody keeping an eye on my so I can’t shirk off. There is also a Chindi on-line meeting Monday evening. We use the ‘Zoom’ programme to chat with each other. Three of our members will be involved in the Portsmouth Bookfest, so hopefully we’ll hear a little bit of what they are planning to do.

I had an interview during the week with a local, on-line radio station. You can find it at Maybe it will help me to sell more books. Wish me luck!

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