Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Wholistic with a "W"?

I got an email from one of my colleagues in the UK the other day. In it, she used the word "Wholistic", spelt with a "W".

I don't think the word was wrong, per se, but I'd never seen it spelt that way, so I asked Google to define it. Apparently, it's a variant spelling of the word "holistic":

Which didn't surprise me; I thought it was a UK thing.

But I did some further research, and I ran across this article from Merriam-Webster. It turns out that the first usage of the word was without the "W" (which isn't the surprising bit), and that it was first used by a South African!

The article states:
Holistic was coined by South African soldier and statesman Jan Christian Smuts in the 1920s as a philosophical term. Smuts, who—aside from war and politics—was a student of natural science, used the term to describe his complex philosophy regarding the organization of nature. Viewing the universe in terms of "wholes"—that is, organisms and systems instead of molecules and atoms—he derived holism from the Greek word holos, meaning "whole." In his 1926 book Holism and Evolution, he defines holism as "[the] tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution."
The "W" was tacked on shortly afterwards, but the original spelling continues to be the most common.

I love stories like this. Finding a "South Africanism" that's become commonplace all over the world fills me with patrotic pride.

Did you know this about the word "Holistic"? And can you think of any other South African words which non-South Africans from elsewhere in the world use all the time?

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Your Favourite Book of All Time (for 2020) is...

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

By overwhelming majority, the book that you have selected as your favourite book of all time is...

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

by J. R. R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

I first read The Hobbit in Junior High School (somewhere around Standard 7 / Grade 9), and I remember it affecting me profoundly. I've tried to read The Lord of the Rings many times since then, and only ever got past the first instalment; it just never really grabbed me. But The Hobbit, wow, now that was a story!

Have you ever actually read it? If so, is it your favourite book of all time?

If it isn't, did you vote for your favourite?

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Win monthly ebook vouchers over on my Facebook group

How would you like to win $5 (or equivalent in your currency), every single month?

This year, I'm running a competition over on my private Facebook group, where I'll be giving away ebook vouchers and PayPal credit every month, in exchange for you posting your reviews.

To find out more, join the group and read the announcement on the top.

Note: you must be a subscriber to my email list in order to join the group.

Are you already a subscriber? Click the image above, click Join, and enter the email address you used to sign up.

If not, click below and fill in your email address. Your Welcome email will contain a link to the group.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The Real Cost of Kindle Unlmited

Did you know, in order for us Indie authors to make our books available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited platform, Amazon requires us to sign a very restrictive agreement with them?⠀
This agreement gives Amazon worldwide, exclusive rights to sell our ebooks. Which means:⠀

  • We are not allowed to make them available on ANY other platform, including digital libraries through library aggregators such as OverDrive
  • We're not allowed to use them as "reader magnets" (incentives to sign up to our newsletters) 
  • We're certainly not allowed to give them away, other than by gifting them on Amazon, or running officially sanctioned Amazon giveaways -which means we have to pay full-price for them

Running competitions where we email people mobi, epub, or PDF files, or hosting those books on BookFunnel, Prolific Works, etc, is against the terms of our contract with Amazon.⠀

If an indie author whose books are in Kindle Unlimited is caught doing any of these things, they could be banned from selling their ebooks on Amazon ever again, and might even get sued!

Yet, many authors who are in Kindle Unlimited do just that. They either don't realise that this is, in fact, against the terms of their contract with Amazon, or they underestimate how dangerous it is for their careers.⠀

So, if you see an indie author giving away a book that's in Kindle Unlimited, please say something. The contract they entered into with Amazon is legally binding, and very serious. The last thing you want is for your favourite author to fall foul of the law.

Incidentally, publishers of traditionally published books don't have to sign this exclusivity agreement, and can freely enter and leave Kindle Unlimited at will. Why? Because Amazon knows that these publishers would never stand for it.⠀

So why do so many indies stand for it?⠀

Well, a significant number of us WON'T stand for it. Which is why, for as long as Amazon requires us to sign this draconian exclusivity agreement, denying millions and millions of people access to our ebooks, you will NEVER find my books available in Kindle Unlimited.⠀

You can help by standing by me and other authors like me, and making it clear to Amazon that you won't support Kindle Unlimited as long as they persist in punishing indie authors, and the people who would otherwise discover, read, and potentially fall in love with our books.

For the full copy of the KDP Select agreement, which indie authors have to sign to make their books available in Kindle Unlimited, click here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/select

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

The Stingers Second Edition Paperback is Out

The newly edited Second Edition paperback of my High School bullying story is now available, complete with a beautiful, brand new full-wrap cover!

I haven't even approved it for global distribution yet, but you can get it for 30% off from its official Lulu page. Once I've approved it, it'll be available everywhere else, but the 30% discount is only valid for a limited time.

What this means is, if you buy it now, one of two things will happen:

  • If there are errors in it, you have a highly valuable misprint, which will never be available for sale again!
  • If it's perfect, you're one of the first people to hold the new edition in your hands, and you got it for an amazing price.

What's more, if you happen to be in Joburg (Or you can get to Joburg), and you buy a copy, I'll sign it for you with the greatest of pleasure!!

Click the cover below to buy it from Lulu.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Your Favourite Book of All Time (Shortlist)

Well, well well, all through December, you voted for your favourite book of all time. And I can now share with you that the shortlist is out!

Write-in votes are now disabled, but please fill out the form below and pick which one of the following is your favourite.

Once again, I'll leave this running for a month or so, and close it off on Monday, 3 February 2020. I'll announce the winner on this blog on Tuesday 4 February.