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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

The Skill of the Professionals

I have to say that my blog has been delayed because the World Cup got in the way. So while the Americans are celebrating Independence Day, we English are celebrating our first victory in a penalty shoot-out. For those Americans who don’t understand football, let me say that the referee in our game against the Colombians was American (no, I’m not suggesting anything!). The picture of Jordan Pickford saving a penalty in the shoot-out is significant to us because that was the moment we knew we almost had it in the bag: just one more of our lads to take a shot at the Columbian keeper and we would win. Well done, Eric Dier for being “cool” and scoring the winning penalty.

So what’s all that got to do with writing and selling books? Well, I’m convinced that photograph is allegorical: Pickford is not really a footballer; he’s a stopper working for Amazon and other on-line book sellers. He’s there to stop all my efforts at promotion and marketing — not a particularly difficult task, but he comes into his own when he’s up against the professionals I employ to sell my books (BookAds). And he’s been doing a classy job up till now. Ten days into the AMS ads campaign and I’ve sold three copies of my book that BookAds are promoting. It’s so glum that I’ve picked up advertising on BookBub ads again, just to see if I can outstrip BookAds. Hopefully BookBub will have a weak ‘stopper’ and I’ll see some results.

This week is important for members of our Chindi group ( It’s the Chichester Festival time, and we are holding six events in Chichester. These will be at Henning’s Wine shop (in the room above) for five evenings, culminating in a stall at Graylingwell Park, and also a ghost tour round the city that evening. I’ll be doing a talk on the ups and downs of an Indie thriller writer on Friday evening. If you’re in the locality, why not pop in? It’s a ticket event, but they can be purchased on the night.

Last week we had a visit from our Grandson, Sam who lives in America. His family home is in Australia, but he came over to UK from the States with his girlfriend, Taryn. He’s lived in the US for a couple of years now, and its funny hearing a mixture of American, Australian and English colloquialisms. We wanted to take them out for a meal; Taryn said she wanted Fish and Chips, seeing as it was her first visit here and she’d heard so much about the traditional English take-away. We ended up at the end of the pier in Bognor, sitting by the beach eating our Fish and Chips. Really enjoyed it and I’m sure Taryn did too.

I have often said that I feel as though I’m in a literary straitjacket, trying to write series thrillers. Having decided to put my WiP on the back-burner for now, I’m fast coming to the conclusion that the reason I have struggled with this book is simply that: I shouldn’t be writing another Marcus Blake thriller; I should be looking for inspiration from another source, and there’s plenty of that around. So there’s the dilemma: do I pick it up later in the year and produce something mundane, or do I try for that inspired moment as I have done with all my other books? Wish me luck!

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