• Michael Parker

Ups and Downs for October


A lot of stuff happened to me during the month of October: some good, some not so good. None of the downs were life threatening, nor were the ups come to that. I published my latest crime thriller, A Song in the Night, and ordered a proof copy. I couldn’t believe how many errors there were, considering I’d read through it twice before publishing, but such is the life of a writer. I edited again and uploaded the new manuscript. Once I was happy with it, I produced the eBook. And that’s were it went off the rails again. There were no table of contents (ToC) in the book, even though I included a ToC in the manuscript. Always have done and never had a problem. I contacted KDP Support and was advised that I needed a “Logical ToC”. It’s something new I guess, but why did KDP have to change something that worked fine? I did try to figure it out using KDP’s instructions and advice from Google, but I’m still scratching my head over that.


I decided to promote my latest book on Bargain Booksy, using a promotion company I’d watched on an SPF Podcast. Promises were made of course, but I sold nothing. I pointed this out on their Social Media platform and, surprise, surprise: I received an apology and my money back.


Next up was a threat of legal action from an American finance Company who keep the accounts for D2D, an aggregator I have used for about five years. It seems I used the wrong name for my tax return, so my account was suspended, fraud was hinted at and the threat of legal proceedings against me. And all my books were delisted. Fortunately, I posted a warning on the SPF Facebook Group and Mark Dawson, the administrator, contacted one of the D2D staff. I received an email from them. They didn’t even know this had happened. Eventually the error was corrected (by them) and all my books republished. Phew!


Then my banking app stopped working because HSBC were very excited to introduce a better way of accessing the online bank. It meant I was unable to view my account or even have control. I went into the bank here in Bognor and fortunately, the lady behind the glass took my phone off me and fifteen minutes later I was back in the new and “Exciting” world promised by the bank. Why do they do this? It all worked fine, so why change it?


Can you remember what you signed for three years ago? Me neither. I received an email from my Web provider, Wix, to let me know that they would be taking £300 out of my bank for my premium account. This would be for another three years. After a spell of apoplexy, I checked back through my Website editor and found that I had agreed to this in November 2019. It was only £2 per week. Nothing, eh? Until you forget and they want to lift £300 out of your bank. So, I grinned and put up with it.


So you see: all those ‘downs’ were not life threatening but did get me stirred up. Not something I need at my age. Oh, I forgot. Went to take Tuppence down the beach for the morning walk and found I had a flat tyre. I decided to take Tuppence round the village and change the tyre when I got back, but I couldn’t undo the nuts! Nothing I did would shift them, so I had to call Green Flag. A guy came out from the garage and five minutes later I was mobile again.


But on to some positives now. My latest book, A Song in the Night, is now available, but only on Kindle Unlimited. I thought I would give it try. In three weeks I have picked up almost 2000 page reads. That’s the equivalent of about four book sales. It’s an encouraging start, bolstered by advertising on Facebook of course. I have also sold ten copies so far (eBook and print), plus I have sold five other books; one of which was my box set. I’ve had the box set on KDP for about five years and only ever sold one copy I think. But it was a nice surprise to think, maybe, the interest in my latest book may have pointed readers to my website and my other titles.


Another ‘positive’ in a way was the decision I made to promote my Christian Narrative. I realised that as much as I like to see some benefit from advertising, it has always been my works of fiction (apart from My Pat, a love story) that I’ve promoted. I thought to myself that if I want God to open doors for me, I really ought to promote my Christian book: A Word in Your Ear (how God changed my retirement plans). So I now have ads for that on Amazon, but in the USA at the moment. Probably hoping to get some sales for that in the Bible Belt down south.


This month is NaNoWriMo for authors around the world. It’s for anybody really. It stands for National November Writers Month (I think). The idea is to produce 50,000 words in four weeks. Although it’s a peculiar kind of arrangement, the idea is to write 2000 words a day knowing that there are others alongside you, all over the world, doing the same thing. I actually did a thirty minute ‘sprint’ with three other authors on my laptop and about 50,000 in the SPF group on the first day. But I had to admit that I was already 36000 words ahead because I’d started a new project: writing a romance under a pseudonym. The word count for that currently stands at 46000. The first draft will be finished well before the end of the month, but I will be going back to the beginning and rewriting where I can. Eventually I hope to have the completed novel at 60,000 words when November comes to an end.

Wish me luck!

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