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Showing posts from October, 2012

Euro Crisis: Time for Greece to Exit the Euro?

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ATHENS, GREECE - FEBRUARY 12: People clash with police  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)Is Greece about to fall out of Europe? Is "Grexit" (Greek exit from the Eurozone) a solution for the Euro-crisis?

A Grexit would cost the Euro-zone "several hundred billion euros" according to former Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann: it's definitely something that bankers don't relish.

As I am writing, the finance ministers of the Eurozone are holding a conference call on Greece to figure out how to avoid a Grexit. Views are still widely divergent on how to proceed and don't expect a solution to emerge today. But there's no doubt that the next four weeks will be crucial.The IMF suggests Greece needs another debt cutback, Germany is against it. At most, it seems it will consider a debt buyback (this is known as the "Asmussen Plan").
Meanwhile rumors are flying around the Internet, see articles below. It would seem the Troika (…

Even a Bad Review for Your Book Will Make People Want to Read it!

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Cartoonists like to debate (Photo credit: aaipodpics) and so do writers!That book reviews boost sales is conventional wisdom. Authors are always on the look out for reviews and when bad ones roll in they are (often) desperate.

Should you worry over a bad review? Will it hurt your sales and kill your baby, I mean your book? Authors have seen a drop in sales as a result of it.

Or so they claim.

Amazon's director of author and publisher relations, Jon Fine begged to disagree at the recent Digital Book World conference on Book Discoverability and Marketing, held in New York. He started out by listing many interesting things about the buzz that makes your books sell, spelling out for his audience of hundreds of book marketers the top three ways they could make sure to get the most out of Amazon:
(1) availability of the book: a quality e-book including in print,
(2) metadata: meaning everything that helps sell your book online, including a catchy cover and relevant keywords/tags,
(3) improve…

Save the Antarctic,Make it a Marine Sanctuary!

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Plans to turn part of the Antarctic, the last pristine ocean on earth, into a marine sanctuary are at risk!



Here's a message from  Leonardo DiCaprio, with the Avaaz team:

"Within days, governments could begin turning wide stretches of the Antarctic ocean into the world's largest marine sanctuary, saving the habitat of whales, penguins, and thousands of other polar species from industrial fishing fleets. But they won’t act unless we speak out now.


Most countries support the sanctuary, but Russia, South Korea and a few others are threatening to vote it downso they can plunder these seas now that others have been fished to death. This week, a small group of negotiators will meet behind closed doors to make a decision. A massive people-powered surge could break open the talks, isolate those attempting to block the sanctuary, and secure a deal to protect over 6 million square kilometers of the precious Antarctic ocean.

The whales and penguins can't speak for themselves, so i…

Almost $35 million for an Abstract Painting!

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This just happened in London at Sotheby's evening sale (12 October 2012): Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild achieved over £21 million, that's almost $35 million, a world record for a living artist...I know, you're all thinking of Mark Rothko, Pollock, Warhol or Klimt, whose paintings have in recent years sold near or above the $100 million mark and sometimes even climbing close to $150 million. 

But here we're speaking of a LIVING artist, and that's simply amazing! 

This is a painting owned by rock star Eric Clapton. He must have celebrated this past week-end. Champagne! Caviar! Perhaps Richter wasn't quite as happy: after all, when he did this painting some 15 years ago, it didn't bring him anywhere near this sum! But there's a big consolation now: he can ask a lot more for his next work and get it!

Did that celebrity ownership help the sale? Perhaps, but I don't think so. There's an objective fact at work here:  Richter is quite simply one of…

When One Powerful Woman Threatens Millions of Others...

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Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Bangladesh's Prime Minister is threatening the future of millions of poor women in her country: she's clamping down on the one rural bank that helps them, the Grameen Bank! Once again the poor are downtrodden, beaten down by their own politicians, a scandal! Join the fight for justice, all it takes is a CLICK on your computer!

The Grameen Bank has enabled millions of women to lift themselves out of poverty by giving them tiny loans to buy animals or equipment to start earning money. But Bangladesh's jealous Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has fired its Nobel Prize winning founder Muhammad Yunus and now wants to seize control of the bank, all to silence a political rival. This takeover could break the bank and destroy millions of people's hope.

I worked in humanitarian and development aid  for 25 years, I know personally of the Grameen Bank's work, it has simply done an OUTSTANDING job helping the po…

Is Twitter Useless For Marketing?

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Nail clipper in the sky (Photo credit: adrian8_8)I can't prove it, but circumstantial evidence is in: when you tweet your wares, "buy my book", "grab this while it's free on Kindle", "get the best nail clipper and off with your nails", well...  nobody listens to you! I tried a Twitter campaign last week, just to see whether it would work. After all, I have over 2000 followers, you'd expect some results if I gave them a good deal on my just published book A Hook in the Sky. And a good deal it was: half price (a very modest $2.99 - hey, that's less than a Starbucks' latte!), surely they'd all sit up and grab the book!

Twitter In Real Life Cartoon by HubSpot (Photo credit: HubSpot)Can I assume there was something wrong with my Twitter campaign? I don't think so. To get around Twitter rules that you can't tweet twice the same message, I devised a fun system with a (hopefully) witty message saying "in 24 hours, the price wil…

Denver Debate: Why did Obama Look Tired?

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Mitt Romney Steve Pearce event 057
(Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Obama-Romney debate scores in at one for Romney, zero for Obama, that's the consensus in the media.

Romney looked determined, Obama looked tired.

Seen from the other side of the Atlantic pond, the debate was...well, slightly boring. Romney's arguments were all too predictable. How can he honestly ascribed the state of the economy to Obama? We all know Congress in the hands of the Republicans has done everything in its power to contrast and destroy Obama's efforts to stimulate the economy. Proposed government measure were regularly passed (if at all) with amendments that weakened them. Ditto for Obamacare that miraculously escaped total destruction thanks to the Supreme Court's unexpected last-minute - and somewhat partial - support.
Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all know that government in America is weak, and more precis…