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April 2020 - Spare bedroom

Updated: May 12

Last month I confirmed that I wasn’t resting on my laurels and didn’t even know what laurels were. It turns out that the saying originates from the ancient Greek Olympics when victorious athletes received a laurel wreath and then basked lazily in their glory. I liked the sound of that, so since then I’ve been attempting some laurel snoozing. Well, maybe that is a little harsh on myself. However, I don’t seem to have carried out my plan to use twitter and ‘the virus that is always named’ put paid to my plan of getting my book into its first shop. Yes, it is difficult to write without that virus rearing its ugly head.


The world has changed since last month. I even noticed a little adrenaline kick when I went to the Supermarket. It was oddly akin to heading to Machu Pichu or Everest base camp. Mind you, I had treated myself by heading to Waitrose. At home, things have also changed. My hospital-working wife went into self-isolation or at least that was her excuse for sleeping in a different bedroom and assigning different bathrooms.  She uses the upstairs one (the now sparkingly clean one), whilst myself and my son use the downstairs one (the recently downgraded grubby one).


Back in the book world, I’m not sure what my Amazon book price is going down with. The price of my book is £12.99. Well it was. Since Christmas, Amazon reduced the price to £11.50, then £10.20 …………………£5.99 (couldn’t believe it)……………….£4.50 (they are selling it cheaper than I can buy it!), it can't get any lower…………….oh it has .... £2.98! How low can it go? I am tempted to buy some, but I am trying to hold out until they offer to pay me to take the books off their hands.


I could understand it if Amazon weren’t selling any of my books, but on average they are probably selling about 10 a month, so what is happening? They haven’t purchased any books from my printer for several months so how much stock do they hold? What is that Amazon algorithm telling them? Probably to sleep in a different bedroom to me and use a separate bathroom.


In my own bit of the house I have managed a couple of things:


  • I’ve tried to change my book’s categorisation to budget travel, humour travel and biography (adventure & explorers). The theory is that it will significantly increase my chances of being a top 100 author in a sub-category and still allow me to remain in the more general travel and biographies sections. I do have the feeling that Ranulph Fiennes and Michael McIntyre are currently organizing petitions to oust me back into the travel category.

  • I’ve also joined ACLS which gives you free money – I don’t quite fully understand, it but it sounds brilliant. Basically, they collect secondary book rights money on your behalf and which you would probably not know about e.g. from libraries 


So over the next month:


  • I’ll try to contact my book writing hero

  • I have to break through that elusive 300 book sales

  • My book reviews are stuck on 10 so I need to encourage a movement upwards

  • I'll see whether my cunning plan to be a top 100 author works

Anyway, the updated numbers are:

Books sold = 296 (up 6 – although I know Amazon have sold about 14 from their stockpile)

Money raised for Meningitis = £1,220

See you in May!

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