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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

On a Roll

First of all let me wish all my readers a very happy New Year. I hope 2019 holds some really good stuff for you all. My year has got off to a good start with my current WIP, but more of that in a short while. Pat has had her lung biopsy and we now wait for the results which we expect will be in about three or four days’ time. I’m also having two (yes — two!) book jackets designed for me. Christine Hammacott has taken on my Romance, Past Imperfect, and a writer by the name of Paul Casselle is doing The Boy from Berlin. Christine has been in the graphic design business for a good number of years, and has already produced six jackets for me to consider. Meanwhile, Paul has also produced the same number. I decided to try Paul because he offered a major discount as a result of a competition of his I entered. I’ll show the jackets later in the month when I have them finalised.

My current WIP is now the 60,000 word novel I’m writing for Mark Dawson, although truth be told I’m writing it for myself. Mark has already warned me that the plot is not suitable for his main character, John Milton, but still wants to see the end result. So with that in mind, I decided to write 1000 words a day which will take me up to the end of February. If Mark doesn’t want it, I’ll publish the book myself. I am currently on 9565 words on day 9, so I’m still on target. The plot was something I wrote fifty years ago. My sister Joyce typed it for me, but it never saw the light of day until a couple of years ago when Joyce moved into sheltered accommodation. It was rubbish (the story, not Joyce’s accommodation!). However, it was 60,000 words long, so I shook the dust off it and am re-writing furiously. It looks in better shape now than it did a couple of years ago.

My other WIP, the one I’ve been struggling with, has taken a temporary back seat, but I intend finishing it and plan to release it this year, but not as a full length, 90,000 word thriller. I’ll probably settle for the shorter length. It may look like a cop-out, but it’s the only way I can see me getting through it.

I find writing to a target and with a plot already planned out certainly reinforces the mind and makes you focus on the job in hand. I’m already getting annoyed when I think I might miss the hour or so I need to knock out 1000 words, but I know I will see days when I can’t get on with it. I’m thinking of the times I’ll be caring for Pat and shoving everything else to the back of my mind. I might even find my emotions getting the better of me and giving in. I hope not, because Pat has encouraged me to go for the Mark Dawson project. If he likes it, he pays.

I am seeing a steady (very steady) growth in sales on Amazon. Most are for Roselli’s Gold (, but I’m also picking up a few for my other books. I even sold a Roselli’s Gold paperback yesterday, and that’s unheard of with my account. Now I need to keep an eye on my AMS ads and try to keep the balls in the air. On the other side of the coin, my BookBub ads are not performing at all, so I need to address that problem. Oh, I think the reason my sales through AMS are working is because I used 500 keywords on the campaign. It should have been 1000, but in my technical ignorance, I made a balls-up of the ad. Still, I will go back soon and copy the ad and use 1000 keywords. For those of you who are wondering how I managed to come up with all those keywords, the answer is, I didn’t; it was Brian Berni of Authorstech. He had a very low Christmas offer: 1000 keywords for $27. I don’t often go for these kind of ‘cold-call invitations’ from entrepreneurs, but I’ve been associated with Brian for a while, so I took up his offer.

So now I need to calm down, focus on my priorities, and Pat will be No.1: everything else must come second. Hope you all have your sights set on some intriguing goals this year, as I have. Wish me luck.

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