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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting out and about

It’s been quite a week for the members of our Chindi group. We held seven events as part of the Chichester Festival, culminating in the Ghost Tour, which sells out very rapidly. The tour is led by two of our members, Julia and Helen. Julia has published a book to go with the tour, and each ‘guest’ gets a glass of wine as they begin the tour. The idea has been taken up by another of our members, Rosemary, for inclusion in the Littlehampton Arts Festival later this month. Our events over the week have covered self-publishing; a short story seminar; writing for kids; wine and quiz; thriller writing and a book stall at a major event in Graylingwell Park here in Chichester (not forgetting the ghost tour, of course). I gave a talk on Friday evening with a small group interested in thriller writing covering an age range from about mid-twenties to late eighties. So, all in all a week that helped a lot of people wanting to make sense of the world of indie writers.

My involvement with BookAds isn’t likely to last much longer. I have another two weeks before my next monthly payment is due, and at the moment I can’t see any benefit in continuing with them. I can’t lay all the blame on the group because my Amazon ads have attracted a total of about 14000 impressions, so it could be argued that the book I’m advertising is the problem. But one sale in fifteen days? I have been in touch with them and received a positive reply, so we’ll see if there is any improvement before I pull the plug.

I exchanged emails during the week with David Gaughran (clever guy). This was nothing to do with BookAds, but about his free book on decoding Amazon. I already had the book in my kindle library, but in response to a question from him, I said that all the advice and information from the experts becomes overwhelming eventually. His advice to me was to stick to one thing at a time, master that before moving on. He suggested that BookBub ads was probably the easiest to manage, but Amazon have structural defects in the system which makes it hard to learn. I now have two ads running in BB: both for the same book but with a different blurb. It will be interesting to see which one performs better.

The book talk I gave on Friday evening was quite informal; seven people came and we held the talk in the small, back garden of Henning’s Wine shop. It helped because of the heat. To have tried in the room above the shop would have been too much of a challenge. I don’t use a script for these talks: just say what comes into my head and try to understand what those attending really want. The one I did at Littlehampton ended up with a guy wanting me to help him promote his “fantastic” Western. You come across “secret” writers too: they written a huge book, but are reluctant to talk about it to anyone until you get them to open up a bit. One young woman had a degree in English and worked as an editor. She didn’t write but hoped to one day. It was the third Chindi event she had attended that week. All in all, a pleasant experience, and I sold two books. Can’t be bad.

So what’s next? England are in the semi-finals, that’s what’s next. I’ve finished one of the sermons I’m due to give later this month, and have almost cracked another which I’m giving in four weeks’ time. And I’ve been casting eyes on my WIP. I know, I said I had put it away and probably wouldn’t do anything until later in the year. That’s what being a writer means: you just can’t help yourself. Lots to do, lots to think about. Wish me luck!

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