Showing posts from May, 2015

The United Nations Needs a Reset!

I recently went to the World Food Programme headquarters here in Rome - there was an Executive Board meeting this week. And here is a report of the opening event marked by some arresting statements, just published on Impakter:

The United Nations: The Reset and Syria’s St. Bernard on 26 May, 2015 at 11:05 World Food Programme, Executive Board, 25 May 2015. This was a memorable day – the WFP Executive Director,  Ms. Ertharin Cousin, made a highly remarked opening address, exclaiming: “the United Nations is 70 years old this year, it needs a reset!” And her guest of honour, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy to Syria, described his job as “mission (nearly) impossible”.

In the photo: UN Special Envoy for Syria Briefs Press Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, speaks to journalists, following closed-door Security Council consultations on the crisis in Syria. 24 April 2015 United Nations, New York – Photo credit: UN Photo/Loey …

Europe vs. Greece: A Logjam that Threatens the Euro

Greece, whose economy has been destroyed over the past five years by vicious austerity policies is now precariously balanced on the brink of financial disaster as Eurozone financial ministers and the (infamous?) "troika" - the IMF, the European Central bank and the European Commission - mull over what to do.

The European Commission has reportedly tabled a proposal to break the logjam, offering the use of the Euro financing facility, the ESFS, created in 2010 as a "temporary crisis resolution mechanism". And recourse to the ESFS is offered in return for pension and labor market reforms in Greece.

Problem solved?

No, it appears that the other two members of the Troika have not approved the EC proposal and perhaps not even read it. So nothing happens. Eurozone finance ministers go from one meeting to the next, week after  week, expressing increasing annoyance at the flamboyant Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis - no doubt because he is telling them the truth.


Self-publishing for Newbies: Risky but Useful

Last week's post, "Newbies Self-publishing: No Longer a Good Idea" must have resonated with a lot of people because I never got so many reads for a post in a single week (over 2,000 views) and so many thoughtful comments. Thanks to everyone!

There was one comment however that forced me to look back at my own experience, it came from someone calling himself (or herself?) "Bookshelf Battle", a great looking avatar:

And he (or she) concluded:

"I suppose the question boils down to 'Will you start with traditional publishing queries or just go directly to self publishing?' As a newbie, I'd love for a traditional publisher to take my hand and guide me through the process.On the other hand, I'm a nerd from Podunk, Nowhere and the likelihood of me jet-setting off to NYC or LA to charm the literary world into making my dream come true lies somewhere between slim and nil. For me and a lot of people like me, self-publishing may very well be the on…

Newbies Self-Publishing: No Longer a Good Idea

You've just finished your first novel, it's professionally edited - yes, you're a newbie but you know you've got to get everything right if you want to succeed in this cutthroat business. You've gone all the way, you've boned up on the latest industry news with Publishing Perspectives and the Passive Voice, you've absorbed all of J.A. Konrath's precious advice on his Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

You've used Reedsy, the latest, most up-to-date site to find professional help to edit and design your book - you chose among the best free-lancers in the industry and you just know you got the best.

Your book cover stands out, the pitch is arresting and everything you've done is as good as it could ever be.  Your beta readers love it. You're ready to go.

Ready to self-publish?

If you're a newbie, don't do it. Shocked? Don't be shocked. There's a truth about self-publishing - the truth that your likelihood of breaking through an…

Why Social Media is Useless to Promote Books

Let me start with an example of how Facebook is supposed to help you promote your book (or any website for that matter) and next I'll take a look at Twitter.

I just posted this message on the Facebook Boomer Lit page (that I set up and run since 2013), together with the book cover of my Boomer Lit novel, currently under promotion that started on April 1st - yeah, I know, April's Fool day, no doubt a good start for what turned out to be an exceptionally foolish campaign:
Hey, Boomer Peeps, the quintessential Boomer Lit novel, Crimson Clouds is still selling at half price, hurry up to get it and find out why 60 is the new 20! Available in Kindle Store.
Posted by Boomer Lit on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 And Facebook immediately suggested that I "boost" this post for the modest (!) sum of $60 that would let me reach out in "one day" (wow!) "all the people who like [my] page and their friends", and I'm further informed that means reaching out to an …