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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

No pressure then?

Another busy week for yours truly. I travelled up to London each day and brought Pat home Friday. We now have to wait until about March 11th. for the results. There was precious little time to do much else except make sure the dog had her walk and keep on top of the small jobs around the house, but I did manage to get on with my Pulp Fiction thriller. I now have a book jacket for it. I won’t say it’s brilliant, but that’s something I can deal with later if it’s really necessary. I also received a fairly comprehensive report from one of my beta readers with a beautifully laid out column of typos and an adjacent column with suggested changes. It cost me nothing! I had already done an edit myself, so I can hold my hand up and say I had already caught about 30% of the errors. I have now sorted them all out and can take the next step: publish. That will probably be some time during the week. I’ll be setting the price low and spending some money on advertising. But (there’s always a but), I have just bought David Gaughran’s book on BookBub ads, and I really need to go through it before putting any ads on BB. No doubt I’ll do that anyway and then tweak the ads later.

Regular readers of my blog will remember me talking about being selected for Mark Dawson’s Book Lab; it’s something I’m eligible for because I’m a gold Patreon member. I volunteered for selection, never for one minute expecting to be picked. I’m No.5 and will be interviewed later this month. Meanwhile, I watched the Book Lab 4 video last night on You Tube. It was an author called Niki Danforth, and the video ran for about two hours. The three professionals who looked at Niki’s latest release, using the ‘Look inside’ feature on Amazon, were Jennie Nash, Bryan Cohen and Stuart Bache. To hire these professionals would cost the earth: I think Jennie charges $3000 a month to work with an author through the writing process. Stuart Bache charges $600+ for a book jacket, and I’ve no idea what Bryan Cohen charges, but it will be up there with the rest. They have all worked with top authors like John Grisham, David Baldacci etc., so they know what they are about. Having seen Niki Danforth’s work taken apart, dissected, critiqued and other little peccadilloes thrown in, I’m now wondering what on earth they will say about mine. It’s The Boy from Berlin they’ll be looking at, and already I’m a nervous wreck. I will have to find a sanctuary just to hide my shame: a remote retreat somewhere. When Niki was interviewed, I could see her reaction was, well, controlled is the best word I can come up with. The upside to all this though, is that if I take on board the suggested changes to my book jacket, the blurb and advertising strap-lines, it should — should — give me an increase in book sales. I know I would be a mug not to take advantage of this. However, it could be different, couldn’t it? After all, they may say I’m brilliant and nothing needs changing, right? No, I didn’t think so. The results will be posted to me on March 18th (my birthday), and the video interview will be released in April. Should be fun.

My book talk at the Ladies Friendship Club is on Wednesday, which is something I’m looking forward to; nowhere near as frightening as the Book Lab. It was touch and go for a while because I wasn’t sure I could make the date with Pat being the way she is at the moment. Thankfully she’s home and will be coming to the event with me. It’s only a two minute drive up to the village hall from here. The talk is scheduled to last 45 minutes by which time I will probably have managed to cover most of what I want to say. However, I do have a habit of going on a bit, so may have to wind things in a little. Hopefully the women will all love me and will want to but my books. Wish me luck!

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