Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Alternative Living -Live Below Your Means…

March 2, 2016
mandyevebarnett


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We live in a product driven society bombarded with – buy, buy, buy advertising and promotions. You ‘must’ have the latest and best, you ‘must’ buy new. Add on top of that peer pressure and we all experience stress and ultimately dissatisfaction. Our family, friends and neighbors all seem to have the newest gadget, car, home styling etc. etc, the list is endless. However, do you actually feel happy when you do acquire all these objects? Does the acquirement actually benefit us in real terms? Do these things plunge us deeper into debt? What is the point? As the saying goes – you can’t take it with you! So why try?

To live below our means, in theory sounds like an easy task, in reality many of us cannot maintain the lifestyle we want with less. The less being primarily money. However, if we take a cold hard look at our stuff and the ever growing debt it brings with it, does it give us enough joy, happiness or communication with those we love to warrant the financial cost?

There is a Canadian saying – ‘he with the most toys wins’. But what does he win if he is dead? Nothing. The toys will be sold off, at a fraction of the cost and the cash distributed to his family. Obviously it is nice to own a range of sporting and leisure vehicles and equipment, go on expensive vacations or live in a huge house but do you spend quality time with family? Will you leave a financial burden for the next generation to cope with?

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Not everything needs to be bought new, there are numerous options from thrift stores to second hand or even barter for items we need. Need is the word we should keep in mind when pursuing that next desired object. Ask yourself do I want it or do I need it? You don’t need to change your cell phone every time a new model comes out. You don’t need to upgrade your car every year. However, you do need to eat, heat your house and put fuel in your vehicle.

Try to resist the ‘I want’ and think about what real benefit that item will give you. Think long term not short term.

How do you save money? Do you live frugally?

save money

The following links will give you an idea of ways to manage living below your means.

Links: http://www.marcandangel.com/2008/10/20/18-means-of-living-below-your-means/

http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/10/10-smartest-ways-to-live-beneath-your.html

http://money.usnews.com/money/the-frugal-shopper/2015/03/27/10-ways-to-live-within-your-means

http://www.overgrowthesystem.com/blog/meet-the-no-money-man-mark-boyle-food-is-free

Just had to add this posted by a friend on facebook this morning! Just perfect for today’s post.

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What’s Your Motivation for Writing – Money, Success or Satisfaction..?

July 21, 2014
mandyevebarnett


What is your motivation for writing?

Let’s look at each scenario:

money

a) Money – we would all love to be a best seller and have fame and fortune like the ‘big’ names, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and the like. However, we need to be realistic – firstly can we manage to get a publishing contract with a big publishing house? How many years are you willing to wait for that? If you use the self-publishing route how much of your time (unpaid) can you sacrifice for promotion? Should you give your work away?

These links will give you an idea of the practicalities of writing with monetary visions foremost:

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/how-much-do-writers-earn-less-than-you-think/

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2008/11/validation-of-money.html

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b) Success – once again we should temper our expectations. Global sales are a dream we want to make real but maybe measure our success on more of a local level. Do you have your books in local bookstores, the library, offered at local events? The more you attend and promote within your own locality the more your ‘success’ becomes tangible. Articles in the local newspaper could have people approach or question you in regard to your being an author. Social media allows us to expand our locality, of course, but starting small will give us a firm basis from which to start. Never under estimate the power of word of mouth for promotion.

This link has a list of concepts:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/03/01/definition-of-success/

satisfaction-

c) Satisfaction – Although this is third on the list, I feel it is the most important of all, as having your words, ideas and stories readily available for people to read now and for future generations, is the penultimate success. Our narratives will be enjoyed and relayed long after we are gone. It is our legacy.

A tongue in cheek link:

http://magicalmusings.com/2006/03/27/10-advantages-of-being-a-writer/

Obviously, a mixture of all three of the above would be the perfect scenario.

What do you consider the most satisfying part of being a writer/author?

Publishing Scamming Sites…

December 30, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Peculate – definition: to steal or take dishonestly (money, esp. public funds or property entrusted to one’s care) : embezzle

embezzlement

Unfortunately, there are numerous sites offering inexperienced authors a publishing ‘deal’, just as long as they pay lots of money. While researching this post I found a great article on this subject. See here: http://www.authormedia.com/3-signs-of-a-publishing-scam/

I often use Writer Beware – http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/ which publishes known scamming sites and companies. Do not be put off by the science fiction association, there is a lot of relevant information for all authors.

My own experience has been good and I count myself fortunate on having found Dream Write Publishing ( http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/)  to publish my novels. This company has published a couple of novels of authors who were unfortunately, the victims of scams. Their money is lost and there is no recourse unless they want to spend even more money pursuing these fly by night companies through the courts, with no guarantee they will be successful. Many of the scamming sites change their name or dissolve to appear elsewhere on a regular basis. They use these loop holes to avoid detection and prosecution.

It is understandable to get wrapped up in the excitement of getting your first work published but please take the time to do thorough research and find independent reviews on the companies you are viewing before committing yourself to paying any money.

Linkshttp://myplace.frontier.com/~mfinke/Beware.htm

http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

Money verus Fame verus Satisfaction…

May 14, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Pittance – definition: a small portion; allowance, especially of money

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The publishing industry is in the midst of radical changes as they compete with the increase in self publishing . I could site story after story of authors managing their own novels and being extremely successful. Some have been approached by the traditional houses; others not, but all made the decision to send their work out into the world.

A major factor in an author’s choice of a publishing route comes down to money – that necessary evil. Once you begin researching the actual costs involved and what may be your return for your book, the choice becomes clear. On average agent get 15%, book distribution 35% and book stores approximately 40% – this leaves the author with about 10% give or take. (**these are approximate figures**) Now as a famous author with global sales this figure may be alright, although I’m sure many of them have contractual clauses that differ. For the rest of us with a book or two these figures bring into sharp focus what we really want for our story and ourselves.

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If you go into publishing with an idealistic view of millions of sales and making your fortune then sadly you will be disappointed – on the whole. ( Yes, I know there have been a few exceptions!) However, if your wish is to share your words, even with a few people, then you will accomplish your dream. I’m not saying being rich and famous isn’t something we would all love, but having practical expectations will give you the opportunity to relish the ‘success’ of your book even if it is a ‘close to home’ one.

For me knowing my stories will live beyond my life in libraries and hopefully handed down from generation to generation is reward enough.

What are your thoughts?

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