I love being an Indie writer – but more to the point I love working with other Indies – cheerful, encouraging and friendly and all folk with a huge work ethic and customer service mentality.
This week I got the OK from the bank and the bank account was set up – I was quite impressed with their On Line team – their script allowed them to remember me – phone call to phone call – and that is more than the tellers in the real branch do who seem forced into the same script even if they see you 100 x /day 🙁 So here I am in a new business then 🙂 Did’t think that was on the cards for 2018 but the dice rolled and I played the hand I was dealt and here I am 🙂 Continue reading
Been moaning about this blog editor and Dashboard, as when looking back at Blog Library the titles were verticle – but given my seat of pants approach to life, let alone blogging – a few verticle titles aren’t enough to make me get the Blog Spanners out. Today, I decided that I would spend 15 min checking the blogs and thinking about getting back to regular posting – and the first thing I noticed – and ignored – was verticle titles and groaned ‘no change there then!’ and then, I ‘just wondered’ what would happen if I reduced the screen size on the Google bar to 90% – low and behold – my Library re appeared. 🙂
Lessons learnt from this?
Could be that if you don’t know what you are doing; don’t tinker till you have an idea. Trust emergence, as just ‘pushing buttons’ can take you places you don’t want to be – for as long as it will likely take to get back where you started – wiser about many things; excepting the issue in hand.
On the other hand, if I waited till I knew what to do, I would not act at all; and in the course of acting I eventually get the result I want – sometimes it is a long journey – but I get the result.
How to tell the difference between the time to wait and the time to act?
How important is it to the goal that this thing get sorted now? If life can continue – only inconvenienced – by the failing, then it is best to carry on: if life has stopped because of it, then act regardless.
Not sure that I go much on the 2016 version –
All snakes and no ladders me thinks. Looks like husband will be home for a week or three – or four – DIY, dentists and knee ops – if it goes to 5 or 6 I am sure we will have got used to each other again.
So The Writing Week?
Has consisted – so far – of Panic Stations and Much Grumbling about not being able to ‘get on with my revision’ SOON – while wasting a perfectly good week NOW to do so.
I read a lot of self help, motivational and ‘productivity’ stuff – mind you I will read a cornflake packet – and I try to be ‘mindful’ ‘disciplined’ and ‘productively self motivated’ – well it all comes down to diddly squat when my few days ‘as alone as it gets now’ are threatened…
Thanks to the house being in ‘recovery’ from ‘surgery’ bits of it are warm, dry and writer friendly – ie the door shuts and it has power. So today I spent the day cleaning old white picnic tables and lugging them up the stairs and reassembling them so that the MS and course work can be left spread out and husband can then enjoy peace and quiet doing the decorating etc and I can pick up where I left off without paint splatters – it may not proceed as smoothly as it was (! OK it wasn’t ever) but proceed it will.
My Take Outs this week?
I am writing this Wed and have have already had a plateful!
BUT – it isn’t HOW you proceed it is how you show up to deal with it – I never leave home without a tin hat, tissues and chocolate and a large note book and several pens and some baling string.
Sitting around being mindful is one thing but DO something as well or you won’t feel good and you won’t help yourself or anyone else…
In My Peripheral Vision…
I have also had fun and games this week with automated email for an account with a big site and their lack of support over weekends etc AGAIN!
Take out for BIG SITES –
It doesn’t matter how big you get if your customer service is shut and your customer is in a different time zone ie has been up 6 hours already – but your auto emails keep giving your customer headaches – they will leave.
Belated patronizing smiles and saying you have ‘world class’ support when the facts say otherwise also lower opinion – better to wince and grin and admit you got it wrong than make the hapless customer – I mean follower – feel small and bad. Automation is like everything else in life ‘crap input then crap output.’
‘I may be out side you core demographic BUT…’
I am getting fond of the expression ‘I am outside your core demographic’ – it seems to worry folk. Personally I am not proud – if I am lost I will follow anyone UNTIL they take me the wrong way then they find out PDQ I like sheep but I am not one.
Progression – To Conscious Incompetent…
Nothing like being a Newby to make mistakes ‘no one has EVER done before’ which is how come I ended up with three separate accounts at three times the cost for my three websites when one account would have let me have 5 on it. Or looking at it another way I could now have 15 websites….
I discovered this only when contacting Blue Host through the ‘amazing’ chat- bubble -helpline- with -inbuilt -delay to query a price rise from about £90 to £150 each site – this was when the assistant pointed out my mistake – I can pay a fee of aprox $149 and have them amalgamate and even get a refund BUT so far I haven’t done this as the instructions to ‘back up everything’, ‘fill in cancellation forms’ and trust to thought bubbles with time lags as a means of communication – frankly terrified me as did the confusion that arose as to whether the sites would be down between times…
Emotional sort of day(!!)
But there you go ‘you can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs’ would be my take out this week – it WILL feel personal – £300 is always personal if you have spent it pointlessly.
I will use the telephone to speak to Blue Host one day soon and clarify the procedure in a way that the chat bubbles with inbuilt delay couldn’t and I will find out what ‘back up everything means’ ie content and or settings. I will ascertain the cost and then – if I feel OK to set it all in motion I will proceed – after all I would rather find mistakes now in the site than when I have books to sell here…
This brings me to the second bite in the bum
Actually it happened first technically – but there you go – there I was having a coffee break catching up with FB and 31 Day Blogger Darren Rowse and he had posted something I took a hefty double look at- European VAT rule changes that apparently came in LAST year and something called MOSS – now I am VAT reg in my other incarnation but this had escaped me – ANY digital product sold incurs VAT at rate of the buyers EU country of residence and that requires one or two bits of proof to be kept for 10 years AND registration for VAT in Each EU country OR with MOSS AND the absolute kicker is there is no threshold of income level this applies – you sell an ebook or course or any digital thing and it applies from the first sale – go figure- as my US chums would say.
The UK Gov has said a threshold applies to sales in UK but you still have to know what you are doing and register – you can’t just sell to resident Brits that IS probably against free trade rules! AND if you are in the rest of the world selling into the EU all this still applies.
Are your eyes rolling in your head or are you rolling on the floor laughing?
What have YOU done this week that lets YOU see the hill YOU still have to climb to live YOUR dreams? A hill is not flat – and a mountain is not a hill – when I start yodelling hit the deck because I am still going up the side of this rock face…
Have I done any revision?
A little. On both In Plain Sight and Hacked Off.
Have I done any typing of Q3?
Do I feel alive?
Oh yes – it hurts so I must be. 🙂
Is that The Sound Of Music tune I hear? 🙂
Once you are in the mixture you are someone else’s cake…
This applies to membership sites and advice to find ‘outposts’ to blog on . However tempting it is because it feels companionable and you might learn something…
Beware there is conflicting advice…
‘Hang out where your future customers dangle’ – this can backfire if the membership site becomes unsuitable and when other members also feel aggrieved and ripped off by them – you have to either speak up or say nowt – and live with the consequences for you and your work/product of which ever choice you make.
‘Don’t build your house on a rented lot’ – this generally means self host your blog – a must if you aim to be commercial. Even if no one reads it for years…
‘Make your self useful on other people’s platforms’ – this one is a tricky one – we all want to belong and be useful – on someone else’s site – it can only be with their permission and not used as an excuse to blog about your product on their platform or against their ethics. You can also end up feeling used and fed up if your unsought efforts are unappreciated or feeling you are in the ‘hot seat’ if they cock up.
This Weeks Take Out…
Keep your best work on your own site and always link back to it.
Sometimes it is necessary to say things to folk we admire when we think they are wrong – however Great And Good they may be – they have feet of clay just like the rest of us and constantly agreeing with folk doesn’t lead to the development of good relationships nor future strategies.
Advice on doing this –
Keep eyes on the horizon over rough country.
Courage comes with action.
Be brave – nothing ventured nothing gained.
Be respectful – after all no one is always right not even you and certainly not me.
Agree to disagree and move on to the things you do share.
Be prepared to leave if necessary.
All relationships are give and take –
Customers and Service Providers,
Mentors and Mentees ,
Group Members and Group Leaders,
and even Business Owners …
Just because you ‘follow’ some one or join in doesn’t mean you have no view – especially if you have parted with cash.
As Business Owners, Service Providers or Group Creators it is wise to remember that the customer is always right and can always leave if your message isn’t one they want to hear and you ignore them too long or demand money back if your content is worthless or becomes useless to them.
A mentor of mine when asked what a definition of authorial success was said
‘When you sell a book on line and they don’t want their money back…’ ( para phrase Holly Lisle) It seems to me this applies to most things.
As customers we need to be able to give constructive feed back and be brave enough to do it.
If it falls on closed ears, closed minds or automated software – so be it – but have courage – it isn’t always that way. Most of us need each other – dialogue is always best.
Change is good – just tiring…
Busy week checking out and or moving to new writing groups that seem to have more bells and more whistles than I will ever discover and also new blogging sites and one I have been meaning to check out for a while.
At the moment it looks like Scribophile for the new writing group and Haynet as a new blogging space as I have enjoyed reading that one for years but not added to it.
As usual when doing something new I have to pretty much hold nose and jump in – however many bloops I make – often the fear of changing things is so much worse than actually doing it. I am not sure that you can ever get so used to change it ceases to bother you though the great thing about the internet is friends and colleagues need not be left behind nor lost touch with.
I have managed to hit my typing up of the MS targets for the week and was amused to see another Author informing her followers via email that by publication she could virtually recite her novels – I am with her on that one – though sadly this skill in me doesn’t extend to dictation via Dragon as this week late one night I fired it up only to have my text turn red and be highlighted in green – when this happens I check the room for hidden cameras 🙂
On the horse front this week my farrier re shod a fully rugged Buddy while we braced ourselves against in horizontal July rain. Rufus and Flax used the mud creatively to decorate the fly rugs and style their mane dooz
I escaped to my bolt hole this am – the pier at West Bay.
It is nice that some things never change.
West Bay looking east
Progress in so much as I am posting on this site. Not so much progress on the uploading media angle – that is next weeks challenge.
Checking out images on line for alter ego Alex’s site which I have yet to do more than set up on a basic level. I have to decide how to link that site to this – it will support my Young Adult fiction so I am thinking deeply right now what I want from it and what I need to put in at the beginning.
My goal is to get the basic shapes done and some content before end of this month as this house is being pulled down around us and I won’t have power – let alone internet connection – indoors.
Jotting some ideas down in Scrivener for May so I have new work to get on with both in the Young Adult and Adult fiction while I get on with a mass of typing up from longhand that has been on hold while I tinker with this site.