Poverty, Food and Politics…

Before I start, I want you to go and read this blog – believe me it’s worth it!

https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/02/17/my-ready-meal-is-none-of-your-fucking-business/

You may remember that  until a year ago, my family and I were considered Homeless by the local government. We’d been kicked out of the Privately Rented house that we’d lived in for 13 years; the Landlord having decided to sell the house because they couldn’t be bothered to rent it out anymore.

I’m not going to speculate the real reason that the Landlord wanted us out – it’s too depressing.

We were put into Temporary Accommodation by the council (due to my partner’s disability and the autism of 2 of our 3 children) that happened to be a fairly decent house. We were lucky in that we also had a lot of support from various agencies (again because of the disabilities in the household) so our poverty level wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

We still had to subsist on Ready Meals and Takeaways though – the Temp Accomodation didn’t have a cooker until the Kid’s Social Worker raised the roof and insisted that the council buy one for the house!

We eventually got the house we are now living in and I am pleased to say that we’re settling in nicely (it takes a while for Autistic People to settle in anywhere) and making plans to decorate etc.
That isn’t to say that we are out of the woods financially yet.
Not even going back into Teaching would do that at the moment – until I can drive and afford the car insurance hike; until I can update my subject and education skills so that I’m considered worth employing; until I can afford the childcare that full time work would require (for two of my four children) and until I can be certain that my disabled partner will be able to look after himself here without needing a constant companion.

The UK Govt seem determined to push us back down with their policies – nothing I have seen coming out of Westminster appears to be designed to help those of us at this end of the wealth spectrum. The money is being removed from the system designed originally to support those of us who found ourselves in this sort of situation.

Jack Monroe, other chefs and cooks can work miracles with basic ingredients, but without the money to buy the ingredients or pay for the energy and equipment needed to actually cook those ingredients, thousands of people below the Poverty Line won’t be able to use the recipes. Austerity policies are causing this and nothing is getting better for many people in Poverty.

Until the Politicians do something about it that is.

Facebook changes…

It’s no secret that Facebook is using the people who use it to make money – it’s the whole basis of those ad filled newsfeeds that we all hate and the “boost your post for £” message that pops up when you run a page on FB (for whatever reason).

They also do all sorts of updates and suchlike in order to adjust things – sometimes this is for the better, sometimes it’s for the worse.

The latest one (apparently) is meant to stop clickbait advertising, false news, scams etc. Fair enough, but then again…

This post sums up the technical details as pertains to authors quite nicely:

http://k-lytics.com/facebook-news-feed-algorithms-affect-authors/

So I’m going to have to change the way I interact on FB – be more careful with my wording and only post things like questions about my covers etc in my Fan Group, where they will only be seen by those of you who actively seek me out on FB… Or I can return to using my Blog more actively for such things – but again, I’d only be able to post links to the blog posts in my Fan Group.

If you’re interested in joining, my Fan Group (typing that feels so odd – I don’t think of myself as having fans of my work!) can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1111497778997568

I am the only admin, so I check the join requests myself – I haven’t yet turned anyone away!! I would set up a newsletter, but because I am not sure from day to day what I am doing and which book is going to be published next, they wouldn’t be particularly regular and I have no idea if anyone would be interested in having one turn up in their Inbox.

Maybe I’ll set one up when the fan group gets to a certain level…

Uncomfortable publishing truths…

One of my favourite authors is Gail Carriger – I adore  her work and have bought everything that she’s published. I’ve converted my family to being her fans as well. She was my introduction into Steampunk books and I’ve bought several books that she’s reccomended because I trust her judgement (I do check the blurb etc as well) and as yet haven’t been let down, either in her books or in her reccomendations.

One of the things that she and I both have in common (apart from being authors that is) is that E-Book is far easier to get published than Print. It takes a lot longer to format a print book than it does an E-Book. Traditionally, the print, e-book and audiobook often get released at the same time, but as an Indie or Hybrid author, it’s almost impossible to get all three synchronised; we just don’t have the clout.

Gail explains this much better than I could, so I’ll wait for you to read that –http://gailcarriger.com/2017/09/08/wheres-the-print-edition-the-mess-behind-self-pub-some-sad-hybrid-truths/

So the next time you think about complaining that an Indie or Hybrid author hasn’t got a print or audio version of their book for you to buy, please remember that we have a lot more hoops to jump through than a traditionally published author…