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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Just when you thought......

Just when I thought I was getting ahead; the whole plan went to pop. Today I should be going to a Remembrance Service with Pat, but she’s in hospital. Last week I thought I had my writing plan on track when it became clear that the treatment Pat was getting for the spider bite was not working. We spent all day Monday in A&E, followed by daily trips there. By yesterday it was clear that she wasn’t improving, so she was admitted. At the moment she is OK, but being monitored and receiving treatment. So, here I am trying to get my head together, scrabbling round and getting some jobs out of the way, and spending some time with Tuppence (our Cockapoo), who will think she’s being neglected and will want to leave home. Hopefully Pat will be home tomorrow.

When I said my plan was on track, it also involved the intent to give some serious thought to my AMS and BB promotions, but even that’s gone flat, and I can’t be bothered to look at it for now. I did manage to get about one hour on my WIP, but my heart wasn’t in it. The reason I’m able to get this blog written is because I’m pinching time by not going to the service today. I usually look forward to the Remembrance Service. Being an Air Force family, it makes sense. Between me and our four sons, we have notched up a total of 120 years’ service, and our youngest, Stephen, is still in the Royal Australian Air Force. So yes; an Air Force family.

On the subject of promotions going flat, there has been a great deal of talk, particularly on the SPF forum, about the lack of sales, and disappearance of critical data, from Amazon. The blame is laid at the absence of “also boughts”, although some writers are destroying that argument by buoyant sales. But despite the pros and cons of the argument, my sales are pathetic, and they mirror the virtual flat-lining of book sales on Amazon (according to the complainants). But I had to smile when one of the SPF group complained. He was spending $6000 a month on advertising, his sales were down significantly but he was still making a profit! Which brings me on to another trend (I think). Comparing that author to me, he spends about 6000 times the amount I spend. Although I follow the expert advice and give Amazon the opportunity to take my money, it doesn’t. So who is the more valuable customer? And why doesn’t Amazon take my money? Someone has mooted the possibility that AMS and BB are moving the goalposts and favouring the big spenders and traditional authors. To highlight that, I watched a Brian Cohen podcast on SPF in which he talked about book jacket design. He showed some of the covers he had designed for authors like John le Carre and Mark Dawson — and also Denis Wheatley! Denis Wheatley must have died before Brian Cohen was born, but yesterday I saw the same book advertised on the daily email I receive from BookBub for their featured deals. And it isn’t unusual for those BB ads to include several best-selling authors every day. I think this makes it tricky for writers like me who write across different genres, but I will live in hopes and keep pushing the ads.

So what now? Well, I finally have the official letter from the publisher handing me back the eBook rights to Past Imperfect. It has been removed from the on-line book sellers, leaving it clear for me to publish. But I still can’t make up my mind about publishing the book under my own name, or use a feminine pen-name because it’s a romance. And I need to think about the book jacket. Pat has promised to pay for a book jacket design as a Christmas present for me. The trouble is, I don’t know which book to change, either Past Imperfect or Where the Wicked Dwell. Do I need these problems? Ah well, we’ll see. Wish me luck!

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