Do you check with Alexa before parting with your money?

Lorraine Pestell:

Reblogging this awaesome post from Effrosyni, for those indie authors who would like to know where to put our scarce promotional budgets!

Originally posted on Effrosyni's Blog:

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The other day, an author friend asked my opinion about a site where she wanted to submit her book for a review. As I’d heard of the site before, I said it would be a good idea. Later on, she contacted me again and said that for submitting her book, they expected her to pay $10 as to display the cover along with the review. That’s when I got warning bells. Why did they tell her the review itself was free, but they needed payment to display the cover that’s bound to go with it? Why not depend on their Amazon affiliate links for revenue if the review itself is free or just ask for a donation? It sounded weird and so the warning bells kept ringing. You see, I don’t abide to many rules in general but there’s one among very few that I find absolutely non-negotiable: “Don’t part…

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Of England

Hello from the middle of the night, where I’m wide awake with jet-lag after a whirlwind trip back to London for my mother’s 75th birthday celebrations.  Spending five days back in my parents’ home has got me thinking about how much change they’ve seen during their lifetimes.  I’m the one who’s travelled and “seen the world”, yet just as much has happened while they’ve stayed in one place!  This post contains some random musings about living in a big city, to which many of us can relate:

The line is advancing, it cannot be stopped

It will soon pass over the heads of my parents and the last few of their friends who chose not to vacate for the countryside

The quiet cul-de-sac where they live bears scant attestation to the passage of an era

But it passes nevertheless

In the age of the global citizen, my parents are of England

 

Families in the surrounding houses value the same things, regardless of where they come from

Indeed, they uprooted themselves from their homelands in order to achieve the best they could

The ability to educate their children at fine schools without having to send them away from home

Professional careers, with a salary to call their own and economic and political stability to build a successful life without fear of losing it all at a moment’s notice

A comfortable house in an area with a comparatively low crime rate, where their prestige cars are safe in their driveways

An endless supply of arts and culture with which to feed their souls

A tolerant society where people are free to believe in what’s important to them and to live accordingly

These are the global citizens who live in London but with no need to be of England

 

My dad’s lawn is mown in stripes, and my mum’s roses and camellias bloom in clay soil

Such precision is not as important to the global citizen, and largely outsourced

Neighbours exchange golfing tips with my father, but they do not belong to a traditional club because their business and social interests are best served elsewhere and with fellow global citizens

The men in the street are equally passionate about cricket and football, but their hearts rightly cannot support English teams even though their children are eligible to play

Victoria sponges, sausage rolls and cream teas are shared by my mum and the women of England, a domain even harder to infiltrate for the global woman, who is either engaged in her career (if she’s lucky) or is stuck indoors, feverishly upholding their own cultural traditions while her menfolk go global

 

My parents do not have a racist bone in their bodies, yet they lament the loss of their England

They have the utmost respect for those around them, for what they have achieved and how they live their lives

They are interested in where these friendly people have come from and the different lifestyles they keep

Together, they all suffer from the same traffic congestion, crumbling infrastructure, rubbish collection strikes and self-serving politicians who seem to have lost sight of reality

They have seen their neighbours’ children grow up with their own, knowing each of them by their first name and eagerly following news of their exploits as the new generation of global citizens

These very “children” now call in on my parents to make sure they’re alright, when I, as another global citizen whose home is on the other side of the world, am unable to be there for them

My siblings are still of England, though I am not

 

So the line advances ever onwards

The suburban pocket where I grew up now lies on the border between England and the city which is only London by name. It could be New York or Paris or Sydney or New Delhi or Shanghai or Buenos Aires.

What will be the origin of the next family to occupy my parents’ house?

Turn away from the city, and their children will play on grass. Turn towards it, and they’ll play on rubberised surfaces

To the global citizen, it only matters that they play safely and happily

But then, they are not of England

Woohoo! Hard to believe that I’m halfway there…

Hi everyone,

Hope all you northern-hemisphere dwellers are enjoying a nice, hot summer, while we south of the Equator are rugged up and lavishing ourselves with hot chocolate!

“A Life Singular – Part Three” is finally out in the wild, a week late but in good shape.  For anyone who’d like to take a look, it is available on my website (http://www.ALifeSingular.net), where my two supported charities will receive the proceeds.  Alternatively, its Amazon ASIN is B00LLB9LIO.

When I started out on my journey to publish a six-part serial, three years of solid writing on top of a full-time job and several pro-bono commitments seemed achievable, but throw in a 4,000km interstate migration, a stressful period of unemployment and more recently a house move, and fitting everything in has been quite a struggle.

Therefore I’m celebrating today!  I am now officially halfway towards my goal, which is a very satisfying feeling.  Now comes the need to maintain momentum for the other half :-)  Will it be chocolate, coffee, a delicious Indian curry or a glass or two of mellow Tempranillo?  Or all of the above?  Hey, why not!

I hope we all have a chance to celebrate something today.

Use of Twitter #Hashtags for Authors

Lorraine Pestell:

Thanks to Wendy van Camp for this very useful blog post to increase our Twitteracy…

Originally posted on No Wasted Ink:

Twitter HashtagWhen I first began building my author platform, I knew that one of the major social networks that I would need to use is Twitter. At first, I found this social media giant to be bewildering. It is a complex network of tiny conversations, ideas, links and news about everything and anything on the planet. Words were shortened into acronyms to save space. Ideas needed to be conveyed in only 140 characters. It was not long before I realized that Twitter has a sort of code, a language all of its own, that I needed to learn in order to use it properly. This code is known as #hashtags.

A #hashtag is a word starting with the # symbol that Twitter will pick up as a subject in its search engine. It is a sort of code that helps to group tweets based on an agreed meaning by a group…

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Part Three is nearly here!

Phew!  The end of June is fast approaching, and with it my self-imposed deadline of publishing a part of my serial every six months…

A new and very busy job, coupled with moving house and my volunteering commitments have taken editing and polishing down to the wire.  Nothing like being tested under pressure :-) .

Here is the cover and a quick synopsis, as proof that I’m still on track…

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Fame and fortune beckoned.  Jeff Diamond was a success, whatever that meant…  Fans followed him everywhere, reporters and photographers hid around every corner and journalists recorded his many indiscretions.  A whole different world to the downtrodden streets of Sydney’s south-west, where vices were satisfied by using people to one’s best advantage.

The star had more money than he could spend, his opinion suddenly counted, and the opportunities to feed his ever-hungry mind were plentiful.  Yet the demons continued to torment him, no longer protected by the guardian angel who had been spirited away as soon as her family found out who Jeff Diamond was and where he had come from.

Suddenly the ambitious businessman and philanthropist found himself in the fight of his life.  He would win Lynn’s heart by showing her father he was worthy, and by convincing his dream girl that they had something worth fighting for.  Would she risk throwing her privileged lifestyle away for a man whose public persona depended on alcohol, drugs and a string of pretty girls?

Jeff had nothing to lose.  The trappings of his new life held little significance until the soul-mates were reunited.  This was where their life singular really began.  Up until this point, there had only been playtime.  Now they must step up and take responsibility.  It was up to them.