Friday, 8 January 2010


Met up with my agent just before Christmas. The agency had a good year but he was clearly exhausted and wondered where he was going to find an extra gear for 2010. It struck me that everyone is finding the need for that extra gear – whatever it is they do for a living. Is it because there aren’t enough hours in the day to service the 21st Century expectations demanded of us? That’s a whole different discussion.

Of the writers I know it’s certainly true that 24 hours just doesn’t cut the mustard. Writing is only one part of the process. It’s a competitive market out there and hoping that readers find our work isn’t an option for anyone who wants to earn a living writing commercial fiction. There’s certainly more onus on writers to promote themselves now. Is this a good thing? Maybe not for our physical and mental health but being part of and having some control over how well our own work performs – via promotional websites, blogging, interviews etc - is a fascinating process that has kept me engaged with my work long after publication. It’s also a great way to gauge reader reaction and get the sort of instant feedback writers wouldn’t have had in the last century.

But I’ve just hit a tricky milestone with STOP ME. The trade paperback has been out for four months and appears to have done well in terms of sales and this Monday sees the release of the mass market paperback. It’s very exciting and the actual book feels like it’s a different entity because of its electric blue cover. Plus Allison & Busby have secured a coup with a WHSmith Travel promotion which will certainly help sales.

However, I’m going to have to find an extra gear myself in terms of promoting it. Everyone I know has now bought their copy so it’s a case of now having to brainstorm some new ideas to help promote the paperback. All suggestions for finding new converts to the Vacation Killer are most welcome!

Book 2 is completed and with agent and I’ve started jotting down ideas for 3 so it’s also a question of juggling writing duties with promo for STOP ME. You won’t find me complaining though – even if the gearbox is making a worrying clunking sound.

Wishing you a blissful 2010.

Richard Jay Parker


  1. You're right- we're all looking for that extra gear this year. I've got good momentum with a few of the balls I'm juggling, but my 2010 goal is to loft yet one more ball into the mix and keep them all going. It's going to be a challenge, but I look forward to it.

    I think the key is to sit down every week and create a time-space for each activity. A master plan is good, but it's that nitty-gritty week-by-week plan, translated into concrete daily activity, that will bring it closer to reality.

    I wish you a creative and productive year!

  2. Thanks for taking time to set down those tips, Janice. New balls please. Hope you're keeping that extra one in the air.