Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Australia

A Few More Reasons to Consider #SelfPublishing


This will make the 148th post I’ve done about “Self-Publishing”.

To see all the others, find the word in the Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left side-bar…)—you’ll see this post there, too, since I’ve tagged it with “Self-Publishing” :-)

So, a few more reasons to consider this “new” (it’s been around since the ’90s…) way to publish

You may not have noticed that traditional publishers are floundering all over the place to “adjust” to the economic realities of the BookWorld.

You also may not have noticed that governments around the world are flailing about, nearly helpless to stop the global economy from unravelling.

About the only thing that’s positive about these situations is that the economies of most countries all depend on one another—unified whether they like it or not—so the “leaders” might just work out some solutions

It’s times like these that breed individualistic activity

Two cases that boldly highlight these issues are in Australia and Israel.

The Australian government has recently attempted to change the traditionally published authors’ protections—witness this articleCall for Clarity on Copyright.

I believe the government may have backed down but the situation is still a sign of the times.

Just one excerpt from that article:

“The government risks seriously damaging an Australian book market that generates $2b in revenue per annum – a healthy, competitive and unsubsidised creative industry — with its unproven plan to abolish the right to buy a licence to publish and market a book in Australia.”

Now, the situation in Israel

Amid Controversy, Israel Repeals Its Fixed Price ‘Book Law’

Again, just one excerpt:

“…the law resulted in a large increase in the price of new titles along with a subsequent decline in sales. Publishers say that while book sales overall fell by 20 percent, sales of newly published books–which fell under the law’s restriction on discounts–declined by as much as 60 percent…”

Something to consider:

As long as there are still governments and economic systems and global communication, self-publishing is “relatively” immune to governmental malfeasance—and, I should add, as long as governments don’t shut-down companies like Amazon and FastPencil and Smashwords and many other outlets for self-published books.

For instance:

I published my novel through FastPencil (though you can grab a free copy Here…).

FastPencil distributed it to Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.

Primarily because it appeared on Amazon, it was picked up by retailers in many other countries, with FastPencil and I not lifting our fingers—just a function of the global economy.

Even in Australia, where they apparently have various restrictions on books from other countries, my book is available on AmazonAustralia

The main point is that my book is as open to not being available as traditionally published books, IF society in general unravels a lot more; but, if it can hold itself at its present wobbly level of functioning, self-published books are more immune from government interference than traditionally published books.

Do be aware, I’m not trying to present a “well-reasoned” “case” for the dangers of traditional publishing—just presenting a few situations that seem, to me, to indicate the worth of investigating self-publishing.

The only thing I can’t do in this post is predict the future………
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Writing Knowledge from Down Under…


I wonder if there are a few readers who saw the title of this post and thought, “Oh, wow! Alex is going to talk about getting help for our writing from the subconscious.”

Melbourne Australia

Image of the Capital of Victoria courtesy of Greg Bains ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/bphotos-61699

Actually, I’m not gonna do that…

But, really-actually, I’ve done that before here and will probably do it again.

And, really-truly-actually, one of the links in this post is to an article that does get close to the subconscious

However, for those who didn’t know, “Down Under” is a physical place that’s also called Australia.

Though, I’m going to share about a particular place on/in the continent/country—the state of Victoria.

My Best Friend happens to be a writer in the Down Under state of Victoria.

And, if it weren’t so late at night where she is, I’d ask her if she recommended a particular WebSite to me or if I just, as we all do, happened upon it

The site is Writers Victoria and that link is their Home page; but, I’m going to first share a few links from their On Writing pages

Here’s an article by Lee Kofman, a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author—My Top 13 Writing Resources—a wonderfully varied list of fantastic stuff.

Next, an article with Margie Lawson, psychotherapist and editor—Deep Editing—where she says, “I analyze how writers capture emotional reactions including body language, dialogue cues, and visceral responses on the page, and teach them how to make them fresh and natural.”

And, an article with Greg Foyster, full-time freelance writer and editor—The Business of Freelancing—for those brave souls who write for cash (not “advances”…).

There are a ton of other articles in their On Writing pages………

Other places of interest on the site:

Writing Advice

Writing Workouts

Short stories, features and poems from their writing community

There’s Way More on the site; but, I’ll let you discover it—especially those of you who either live in Australia or plan to visit :-)
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Books and Translations


Most of the readers of this blog come from three English-speaking countries—the U. S. A., Australia, and the United Kingdom (in that order).

However, since there have been substantial numbers of visitors from over 40 countries, I have to assume English is read in many places where it isn’t generally spoken.

I wonder, often, about blogs published in other languages, and their readers

How often is something written in, let’s say, Finnish, read in countries other than Finland?

My main question today, however, is how often do English-speaking readers read books translated from other languages?

A bit of insight could be gained from reading an article from the U.K.’s The IndependentNovel Translation Lets Us Know What Is Really Happening In The World.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Those millions of Britons who refuse to learn any other language always console themselves with a favourite fantasy. The British, they believe, speak the world’s chosen tongue as their birthright. They have won the lottery of globalised life.”

“In fact, they grow up speaking a rich, resourceful but ever-more parochial provincial dialect.”

“…we can at least honour and reward the arts of translation that deliver the world to our doorstep.”

“If many of us won’t learn other tongues, we can in any case cherish and applaud the art of the interpreters who rescue us from the loneliness of the ‘anglosphere’.”

“In the UK, the proportion of literary fiction published in translation has crept up from the oft-quoted 3 per cent to something nearer 5 per cent. Since the entire output of British publishers has expanded crazily, that modest growth hides the good news that total numbers of translations have expanded by almost two-thirds.”

But, that’s only the U.K.

What about Australia?

What about the United States?

And, especially to the folks out there who are reading this in a non-English-speaking country, are the books in your native tongue being translated into English?

And, what percentage of books written in English are translated into other languages—and, how many other languages?

I suppose I could do some research; but, I’m going to keep wondering and hoping that a few of my readers will share what they know in the Comments :-)

Also, you may be interested in checking out my past post, Readers Educated About Reading Translations.

Finally, because most of my readers live in English-speaking countries (and a substantial number of readers in non-English-speaking countries continue to visit), I’ll share the link to an article on CounterPunch100 Best Novels, in Translation, Since 1900.
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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Honoring My Best Friend


It’s been said a writer needs the companionship of other writers

I’m able to fulfil that dictum through my experience of Second Life—hanging out with writers from many countries

However, I am blessed through one of those writers being from Australia and becoming my Best Friend

It’s been noticed that a writer feels better about the demands and tasks of their profession when they have a confidant

My Best friend is my Confidant

Some of you know I recently had a major operation, left carotid endarterectomy (the little video is not what they did to me, that’s further down the page) , basically, a surgeon slitting my throat open, then my carotid, then cleaning out the gunk that was stopping blood flow to my brain

Naturally, I must take a number of medicines—one was messing with my kidneys—doctor told me to stop taking it

So the body takes measures for working with foreign drugs and, when they are removed, the body takes different measures—two days of roller coaster emotions ensue

My Dear Best Friend got hit with the result

At least, at the age of 67, I had some conscious control over the expression of my emotions—knew it wasn’t my soul expressing itself but the poor pitiful ego trashing around

So, while I was bitchin’ and moanin’, I was also engaged in a running commentary on the rotten state I was riding through

Still

Even though I had a “reason” for being so ill-tempered, I didn’t feel like my Best Friend deserved such treatment and said so

She said it was alright!

I went on a mini-rant about it never being right for her to have to put up with such behavior—even my “righteousness” was tainted by my emotional imbalance :-)

I calmed down

She sent me two videos

One I will keep to myself

One I will share—noting that a writer doesn’t have to be in emotional hell to benefit from it

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Where In The World Is This Blog Going?


Back in February, I shared the statistics for which posts and pages got the most “views” here in 2011.

WordPress just recently added stats about which country visitors come from, but the data doesn’t go back into 2011

So while you’re waiting till 2013 for a year’s worth of places, here are the numbers for the last month :-)

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 1,426
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 111
Canada FlagCanada 91
Australia FlagAustralia 67
Germany FlagGermany 32
India FlagIndia 28
France FlagFrance 24
Philippines FlagPhilippines 20
Spain FlagSpain 18
Italy FlagItaly 15
Sweden FlagSweden 12
Pakistan FlagPakistan 12
Norway FlagNorway 11
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 10
Singapore FlagSingapore 10
Ireland FlagIreland 8
Mexico FlagMexico 6
Finland FlagFinland 5
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 5
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 5
Brazil FlagBrazil 5
Romania FlagRomania 5
Portugal FlagPortugal 4
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 4
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 4
Argentina FlagArgentina 3
Colombia FlagColombia 3
Yemen FlagYemen 3
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 3
Belgium FlagBelgium 3
Ukraine FlagUkraine 3
Greece FlagGreece 3
Egypt FlagEgypt 3
Turkey FlagTurkey 3
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 2
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 2
Serbia FlagSerbia 2
Denmark FlagDenmark 2
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 2
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 2
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 2
Peru FlagPeru 2
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 1
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 1
Poland FlagPoland 1
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 1
Rwanda FlagRwanda 1
Croatia FlagCroatia 1
Ecuador FlagEcuador 1
Cambodia FlagCambodia 1
Aruba FlagAruba 1
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 1
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 1
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 1
Algeria FlagAlgeria 1
Afghanistan FlagAfghanistan 1
Cyprus FlagCyprus 1
Armenia FlagArmenia 1
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 1
Thailand FlagThailand 1
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 1

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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com