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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Resolutions 2023

Going into a new year often brings optimism, hope and a determination to stick to our New Year resolutions. As I write this blog, it’s the end of January and, statistically (I think), 40% of us have ditched our resolutions and settled back into our usual routines, dull or otherwise, and got on with our lives. For some, it will be extremely difficult, but for a few, their hopes and ambitions will be no less important than they were last year and will try to rise above those difficulties and push on.

Fortunately for me, I do not have the difficulty of making ends meet and keeping warm in my home, but I do still harbour the hope that I will make a success of my writing this year, and as Amazon increases the size of its electronic library, writers like me gradually disappear beneath the weight of about 37 million eBooks on KDP and vanish from sight, and my resolution to make a million dollars this year vanishes with it (same every year!).

But there is hope! Those of you who follow my monthly blog posts will know that I ventured into the fictional world of Romance last October and published a warm-hearted Romance under the pen name of Emma Carney (Happy Lies the Heart. I haven’t advertised the book yet, apart from posting on Social Media, and have sold eight so far. Now, this may not sound like cause for ‘hallelujahs’, but the fact is, it has outsold my other books, two of which were the subject of one-day blitz advertising. I made the decision after publishing that book, to continue as Emma Carney, and to push myself to write a minimum of 1000 words a day. So far I am 33,000 words into my second Emma Carney romance, averaging 1250 words a day. Another decision I made was to have the book jacket redesigned by I have paid an advance, and they are committed to beginning the jacket on February 7th. And continuing with the idea of keeping to our resolutions, I will have my Emma Carney jackets designed by Racheal and Nat at the book typesetters.

To get an idea about the Romance genre on KDP, I did some brief research. I started reading Avery Maxwell after seeing her on a Mark Dawson podcast. Phenomenal, that’s all I can say. But after reading about thirty pages of one of her books, I had to give up: sexually explicit doesn’t even cover it. But good luck to Avery, although she doesn’t need it. It made me realise that writing that kind of pornography is simply not my bag; I have to stick with ‘wholesome’ romance. But! Yes, there’s always a ‘but’, it doesn’t have to be about a six-pack, stripped to the waist, love-island man and scantily clad, love-island woman; it can be reasonably clean. So I’m reading Barbara Freethy (not really enjoying it though). Never heard of her, you say? She has sold more books on Amazon than anyone and is a New York Times best seller. ‘Way to go’ as the Americans say.

Another development in my world of books was an unexpected email from D2D (Draft2Digital) about a new direction for Apple books. Apple has been developing digital voice technology using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and is commissioning selected eBooks in the Romance genre and producing audiobooks. D2D sent me the email because of my Romance, which they have published as an aggregator on several online bookshops, including Apple. This is not a guarantee that Apple will take my book on, but if they do, it will cost nothing, and after six months I will be free to publish the audiobook through other outlets.

On the subject of AI, there is a class one action being launched in America by some high-ranking litigators against a global company who have been creaming off millions of bytes of creative data from all over the world, infringing copyrights in the process, which is illegal of course. Some big Companies have joined the fight as well. AI looks like a force for good and a force for evil: rather like the Internet.

On a more homely and domestic note, I have bought a new mobile phone, signed a new contract with BT for a digital voice landline phone (fibre optic) because of my poor hearing, and started popping 60-second videos on Tik Tok from time to time. I’ve been caught by the localised flooding and signed a petition to stop the idiotic councils from allowing developers to build houses on flood plains (not that they will listen). I also travelled up to Lincolnshire to celebrate my late wife’s birthday on January 14th. This was with our friend, Pauline, whose husband died shortly after Pat. Had a really nice Chinese meal, a bottle of Red, and a pint over at the local pub. The next day it was church. Then home to the localised flooding. A memorable weekend and a memorable month indeed.

That’s it! Hopefully, there will be more next month. Wish me luck!

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