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Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays to all! And wishing you every success in 2012!

I love this picture: it's a detail from Deesis Mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey.
The East is not as far away from the West as you might think!

Here's to peace on Earth!



Euro Crisis: The Real Players Are Not Those You might Think

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The media would like us to believe that the Euro-zone is in the hands of Germany. After the Euro Summit of 8 and 9 December it certainly looked like it. 
Frau Merkel succeeded in  imposing her rules of the game to the whole of Europe: strict fiscal discipline and austerity. Growth that had been a French and Italian concern was firmly put on the back burner. Even firewalls to defend Euro-government in distress (including 200 billions to the IMF) have taken second place: none are at a level sufficient to defend a big economy like Italy's and they won't become operational for many more months, perhaps (in the case of the Stability Mechanism) next July at the earliest...
Still, there was a moment of enthusiasm. The media made a show of the 26 countries pulling together around Merkel's cure for the Euro while the 27th member of the Union - the UK - opted out with a flourish. Cameron claimed he vetoed Merkel's proposed amendments to the European Treaties to …

E-book Price Battle: Free, 99 cents or Over Ten Dollars?

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Image by gurana via FlickrWhat is the Right Price for an E-book?


Some people swear by the 99 cents price: they see it as the sweet spot for impulse buying


Others claim that allowing your book to go free for a while is like a magical wand: it expands your market reach and brings in new readers who are then willing to pay for your other books. 


Yet others - usually more conservative writers who believe in the intrinsic value of literature - think this sort of pricing policy is debasing. They can accept the idea that an indie will set prices below those practiced by traditional publishers in order to gain some traction in the market, but not much below - say around $10, or more precisely $9.99, the price where Amazon still pays a 70% royalty - because otherwise it would be like a public admission that one's books are not as good as traditionally published ones, that somehow indie books are second class!


Which price is right for a newbie selling a first book?


In the spring of this year, …

Writers’ Chat: Self-publishing in the Digital Age

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Pitfalls and Advantages of Indie Publishing

Authors are rushing to self-publish as the digital revolution has removed the stigma attached to self-publishing. These days the once flourishing vanity presses are notably by-passed. The routes to self-publishing are several: from direct access to Amazon’s KDP and other digital platforms to using the services of Smashwords, BookBaby or others to upload ebooks. The blogosphere is abuzz with news of once traditionally published authors like J.A.Konrath who have struck it rich and the fabulous successes of new authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke who’ve sold millions of copies. 
I recently met with author Kelly McClymer, a traditionally published author who has decided to try self-publishing. Since 2010 she has been uploading her books on Amazon’s Kindle store and other major digital platforms and you can find her Amazon author page here. So far she has uploaded six books, four short stories, and her next novel The Impetuous Bride is due D…