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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Busy, busy, busy.

Lot of book stuff for me during the week. I watched a webinar Monday evening about 9pm. It was with Mark Dawson and the chat was about book reviews: the right and the wrong way to go about them, how to get them and how to use them profitably. I also watched a podcast from the London Book Fair with James Blatch of SPF talking to the author, Michael Anderle; more about that later. I went back to editing my pulp fiction book, HUNTED, dived into my current WIP and received the first report for my Book Lab venture from Bryan Cohen. Oh, and while that was going on, I celebrated my birthday, took Pat to a cancer seminar at the hospital, took her to the doctor’s and also to the hospital after being called in for an ECG. Phew!

The talk about book reviews was informative and educational if you haven’t been down that road before. There was a great deal in it that I knew about, but never really managed to apply the philosophy successfully; and there were elements that I disagreed with. I think the idea of paying for reviews, however ‘legal’ it might be, is simply not something I ascribe to, which is probably why I don’t sell many books.

The interview with Michael Anderle was jaw-dropping in a way. It always amazes me when a writer decides to reshape the whole game of writing and self-publishing, and is turning over thousands of dollars within a couple of years. This guy not only decided he was not turning out books fast enough, but encouraged other authors to write with him and guarantee several books per month between them, simply to feed a market that I for one never knew existed. It was all about Science Fiction and Paranormal Fantasy, but with a kind of Orwellian twist. Certainly nothing I could get involved in. But for him and those who joined him, it works. And the turnover after five years from beginning was brilliant.

My initial Book Lab report from Brian Cohen included a new blurb for The Boy from Berlin, Amazon Ads headline options and options for Facebook ads. I can’t use these yet because I have to wait for James Blatch to speak to Jennie Nash who will be providing a critique, and Stuart Bache who will be offering advice and suggested changes to the book jacket. Once those interviews are over, James will contact me and conduct a video interview which will be published in April on the SPF You Tube channel. I plan to use the advice these experts offer, and will probably ask Stuart to do a book jacket for me. I won’t know how successful any of this is until I’ve tested it all on promotion and marketing.

I started editing HUNTED again because the inevitable happened: I picked up the paperback and immediately saw changes that were needed. We all know about typos etc., and how they slip through. I’ve edited the book twice and have been completely satisfied, so I thought, but now I have to do it all again.

I picked up my WIP and began looking at the chronological sequence of events, putting them all down on paper with the help of Scrivener. This meant I was able to fit the new character in that I introduced before Christmas without messing the story-line up, and it also gave me a clearer idea of where I was going with it.

And I now have some dental work coming up: totally unexpected, but it is what it is. So, what with dental appointments, Book Lab, rewrites and hospital appointments, I seem to have my hands full. Let’s hope it’s all worth it. Wish me luck!

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