• Michael Parker

Looking Good

September 2022. Looking Good.


The month of August was quite a busy month for me. Now that the jigsaw of my life was being put together slowly, I was able to get on with my latest book and I eventually finished it. I had to change my routines for this. I gave up buying a newspaper and consciously reduced the amount of time I spend sitting on my backside watching TV. I was surprised just how much writing I could accomplish, and how much time I had to deal with unexpected diversions.


I gave up some of my time to paint my neighbour, Jackie’s fence. My side needed doing (it’s a trellis fence), so when I knew Jackie planned to pay someone to do her side, I told her I would do it for nothing. She’s going to buy me dinner though. The start of that job was delayed because I was getting over Covid. Fortunately the weather was okay; the heatwave hadn’t arrived.


I was also fortunate enough to spend some time with two of my sons, Vincent and John, having lunch with their families at Port Solent. It has been years since I was there, but it was good. I also managed a lunch date with my sister-in-law, Carole and her husband, David.


I started another advertising campaign on Amazon, but my efforts have been abysmal. So much so that I binned the campaign after a couple of weeks. I have now started the Amazon Ads Course again (paid for it years ago) and hope I can enjoy more success with that. I also plan to go through the TikTok training. I am posting on TikTok, and my granddaughter, Sarah, has given me some pointers with posting on TikTok and Instagram without the latter rejecting the former. Something to do with TikTok’s watermark. I have read on my Facebook groups of amazingly spectacular results with TikTok, so I’m persuaded it’s the right way to go. Naturally I will continue with AMS.


Other aspects of my writing which are looking up is a project I’ve started and spent a little time on. There’s nothing to reveal about this because it hasn’t been completed yet. With regard to my novel, I have completed the editing and formatting of the manuscript but have engaged a professional book jacket designer to do the jacket for me. I did think about doing the jacket myself, but having come across this designer by chance, I decided to let him do the work. His prices were good: not as much as I paid for The Boy from Berlin. The irony is that I am currently redesigning my book jacket for A Covert War and using Photoshop to do it.


But the biggest part of my month, and a kind of welcome change, was to pick up my friend, Pauline, from her home in Lincolnshire and bring her down here for a week of travelling around, sightseeing, visiting family and enjoying what the countryside has to offer. Pat and I first met Pauline and her husband, Brian, in Spain twenty five years ago. We were great friends while they lived there and continued that friendship when we returned to England. Sadly, we are both on our own now. Brian died a couple of months after my lovely Pat. We chat each week on Facetime, and I have been up to Lincolnshire a couple of times, including bringing Pauline down here last year. Tempus Fugit.


Back in the book world again, I went to the Bognor Writers’ Club for their monthly meeting. It’s part of my attempts to make connections. I also popped into the bookshop in Bognor Regis where a local author, Peter Redford was holding a small event. I spent about fifteen minutes chatting with Peter and bought one of his books. I also left some of my books with the owner of the bookshop who has managed to sell a few of mine over the last few months.


I have also posted a new campaign on Amazon for The Eagle’s Covenant. The book happens to have the highest number of reviews in the UK and the USA, and the highest average star rating of 4.5 of all my titles. But the number of reviews is abysmal compared to most other popular thriller writers. Consequently I am using Janet Margo’s instructions in building a campaign as a ‘novice’, using Ad Groups and committing a big budget. Janet used to work at Amazon on the advertising panel, so she knows what she’s talking about. Naturally I have to look at what’s happening each day, otherwise I could be spending money pointlessly. I feel this could be my last chance at understanding AMS Ads and know how to negotiate the minefield out there in an effort to attract readers and book sales.


Looking back, it seems like I’m on the mend; but believe me, it’s hard without my Pat. I still miss her, and I’m sure she’s encouraged that I’m managing to put some meaning back into my life. Onward and upward hopefully.


Wish me luck!

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