Twitter Updates 2.2.1: FeedWitter

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Continuing battle with Kwik Fit - the tide turns.........

Hi,

Interesting. It was actually a Kwik Fit I had this problem at. I complained to via the website but was called from the branch to say that having an odd sized tyre would NOT cause undue wear and tear on the juxtaposed tyres.

Could I therefore please be reimbursed for my expense?

Please do not call.

Kind regards,

Ross Taylor.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Proposal to Colin Cloud


Hi,

 

I really enjoyed Colin Cloud’s show at the Edinburgh Festival on Thursday Evening. I have been to see Derren Brown 3 times. Once in London, once in Northampton and once in Edinburgh, and I can honestly say that Colin was equally impressive.

 

I work as a Business Analyst for an English Publishing Company, however I am based in Alva, Clacks. I work Part Time so generally have free time available if required. Given my relative localness to Colin I was wondering if I could offer my help if he ever needed it. Perhaps as a practice person or something along those lines?

 

Kind regards,

 

Ross Taylor.

Interesting post from Amazon to all Kindle Authors today............

Dear KDP Author,
Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.
With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.
Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.
Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.
The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.
Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.
Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.
And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read).  A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures.  And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.
We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.
We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.
Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com
Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com
Please consider including these points:
- We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
- Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
- Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
- Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.
Thanks for your support.
The Amazon Books Team

Monday, 4 August 2014

Complaint to Kwik Fit

Good Afternoon,

I visited your Alloa store on the 8th July to have a burst tyre fixed. I paid a total of £73.50 for the work. I wasn't until I was at the National Tyre Centre in Stirling almost a month later that I was informed that the wrong sized tyre was fitted. I had an R55 instead of an R50.

I took the car back to Alloa where they changed the tyre.

This obviously means that I was driving illegally for over one month. My car would have been working inefficiently and the other 3 tyres would've endure more wear and tear than normal.

In light of this I would like to be reimbursed for my £73.50 by cheque. I have included the reference number in the subject line of this email.

Kind regards,

Ross Taylor.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Posh Dog Kennels Business Idea

http://www.clydevalleypetretreat.co.uk/

I'd probably go "big" dog only. Newf, St Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog sort of thing.

You can get a Pet Sitter certificate (whatever that means) on Groupon for £19 at the moment. That gives you credibility.

I'd probably start off by giving out freebies so I could get some testimonials. I'd write specifically to Crufts champions (of any level) so you could describe youself as "as selected by Crufts Winners".

£30 per night per dog.

I reckon you're looking at an initial layout of £2000 to do it right and ongoing costs of c £300 per year for advertising and website fees. If your rig is going to last 10 years you'd need 17 "dog nights" per year to break even, 34 to make it worthwhile.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Email to "The Beechgrove Garden" (BBC Scotland)


Hi,

 

Please consider my project if you are interested. I have decided that what ever the result of the Independence referendum in Scotland in September, I am going to try and declare my own independence here in Alva, at the foot of the Ochil Hills. I am lucky enough to live on a rather substantial plot. Roughly speaking the garden is about 500m2, with my bungalow right in the middle.

 

I believe that by using square foot gardening, Aquaponics and by keeping chickens, I could satisfy at least 25% of my families requirements. I also believe that the land has enough space to ensure that electricity could be generated to such an extent as to meet our needs.

 

Furthermore I think the property could be extended to 5 bedrooms and a granny flat could be built on the land. That would leave enough space for a small B&B operation.

 

If you have ever seen “Sovereign Living” on Youtube then I am thinking along the lines of this.

 

Kind regards,

 

Ross Taylor.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Unbound Publishing - a risk free business model?



 

I love the low-risk profile of this publishing business. Authors upload videos of their ideas. These then are open to donations via crowdfunding. In exchange the funders get lunch with the author or a mention in the acknowledgements or whatever.

 

One there is enough money raised, the book gets printed. The publishers share the profits with the author.

 

So from the Publishers POV:

 

·         Content is free. It is being provided by the author.

·         Production cost is free. It is being paid for via the Crowdfunding.

·         Marketing is going to be cheaper as the nature of the Crowdfund will provide exposure. Every person willing to donate is going to be a raving fan.

 

What do you think?