BEWLEYBOOKS: Registering Books & Gift Cards...
Updated: Aug 11
Forgive me, please. I'm hot. Glowing almost (women don't sweat) and sitting in my pants as I write (or type) this.
For the best part of this boiling day I've sat, almost vacuum-sealed, to a plastic chair while hugging an air-cooling system towering beside me. Have you noticed how these coolers seem to simply circulate the warm air around you, instead of, you know, actually cooling it? I do believe companies that provide products that don't do as they say on the tin, should be held accountable for their errors, don't you?
The thing is, for the first time in a long time I've been able to get down to business.
Normally, my routine is carved up into a strictly (flexible) 'To Do List'. It's one that guides me through the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years (yes, a publisher needs to have a Yearly To Do List too) in order to help me keep track of what I'm supposed to be doing and when.
Monday dot com? It's got nothing on me and my organisation skills. Having been a PA in the media, where losing the plot was tantamount to a serious crime, I've got this To Do List thing down to a T. I only wish I had created that darned programme myself. I would be sitting on a much better chair than I am now. But there you go.
In the publishing world, as well as reading and writing, there's the inevitable administration work. And it needs to be accomplished toot-sweet if you want to run a good business.
One of the mega important tasks that needs to be crossed off that list is registration of your book list so that you are able to secure a wider-reach of wonderfully excited readers for your team of dedicated writers.
Thankfully, several platforms help me accomplish this. I know, as I've just spent this (rather hot) day trawling them all.
In reality, my intention was to spend 30 minutes on the job. That was all that was allocated in my To Do List - but did I say it was flexible? I did, didn't I and...
Things didn't quite go to plan.
Any venture onto The Bookseller site takes me on a trawl through a maze of fascinating news posts about the publishing world. And I find I just have to share most of them Facebook.
The thing is, once on Facebook, you inevitably find other things to do.
One thing I found odd was in the Facebook Settings menu. It suggested that I
"Decide what happens to your account after you pass away."
Not something that I've ever come across before. I guess we have to face our mortality at some point. But it did come as somewhat of a surprise.
Why was I so surprised? Perhaps because I was busily going about my day and not even having a subject like this occur to me. Odd, I know. That, one day, my demise would be imminent.
It's not the kind of thing that passes through your mind on a daily basis. Not the kind of thing that you would put on your To Do List.
Pay invoices - check
File Agreements - check
Write Will - ... errr?
Come to think of it, I have been badgered by rather a lot of funeral arrangers, of late.
I recall a really nice Welsh girl who I had quite a long and decent conversation with. She didn't win my business (the core of which discussed how I wished to arrange how my body would be carted around the country and disposed of).
We laughed at most of the discussion points. Chiefly because she asked "Would you be happy with that?" To which I answered
"I'll be dead, so I won't know."
However, even though I was distracted somewhat by this diversion, I did manage to get quite a bit done.
After the initial hiccups with the registration programmes that had to be learned (all over again) and challenges overcome (all over again), I was able to get on with getting on with the task in hand. Which was to register the BewleyBooks bookslist.
I find it terribly distracting when I visit a site after so many months away from it and, darn it, didn't they just go and change the parameters. Again.
They always announce in a terribly cheery tone, much like an old English lady serving you tea and scones:
"We've made some improvements designed to make your visit easier."
Easier? It would have been easier had you left it the way it was!
It's akin to walking along a supermarket shopping aisle and going to grab a rice pudding tin.
You've gotten so used to them being on the bottom shelf of aisle six, and now they've only gone and moved them to somewhere else. Then you find yourself wasting so much precious time hunting around for them. In the end you think...
"Is rice pudding really worth all this effort?"
So, rather than what the store had intended (that you buy something that has been put in the place of the rice pudding tin pile), instead, you give up.
Alas, the store has lost a sale. And you've gotten nice and grumpy, ready for the check-out attendant.
You casually mention it to the old gent who is slowly tilling up your products. Then you wish you hadn't. Because he goes into a lengthy (and kindly) debate with you, that he'll just signal a staff member to retrieve a tin for you.
But, one hesitant glance towards the long queue forming behind you, and one sneeky split second of a glance at the clock on the wall by the Customer Care Counter and you're given an indication of the amount of time it will take for said person to be summonsed, register the info then toddle off to find the darned tins...
You find yourself shaking your head and sighing.
Oh, if only the plonkers hadn't moved the pudding in the first place.
You would have been out of the shop, in your car, down (or up) the street and home unpacking your shopping, in less than a jiffy.
I felt much the same as I entered the book registration sites.
It had been some time since I uploaded details on those sites and wouldn't you just know it, they've gone and moved all the bloody parameters again.
Why? Oh why do they do this?
Because they've "made improvements designed to make your visit easier."
Having said that, wouldn't you know it, I've gone and done the same thing to the BewleyBooks+ site.
Yesterday, I allocated on my To Do List the task of checking all the links. I found a few that needed to be changed. And, thanks to some kind folk (who really had no intention of having a heart filled with kindness when they embarked upon the task of typo-terrorising), highlighted some broken links for me.
Hopefully, they are all rectified now, so visitors should have an easy, stress-free route around the pages there.
The thing is, once you do one thing, you think "Ah, a tweak here and there won't matter..." and you find yourself convincing yourself, "It will actually improve the visitor experience..."
To this I say, if you do happen to pay a visit to BewleyBooks+, and do happen to find anything that needs altering, changing or amending, please, please, please - do let me know (as kindly as you possibly can) and I'll get right on to it. I may even list you as my 'legacy contact friend' on Facebook if all goes well.
Rather, much better for you, I might be tempted to put my money where my mouth is and take up the mantle of the comment I made at the beginning of this post that
I be held accountable!
Therefore, I will send you £1 (in the form of a Gift Card) for every error you spot on BewleyBooks+ site. Of course, naturally (to save my very soul), conditions will apply:
is that I actually agree to make the changes you recommend - bit obvious if it's a typo, it has to be cleared out
mega important this one: I'll only pay the very first person that lets me the change that needs to be made. Otherwise, I'm sure you are astute enough to understand that I'd be a very poor person indeed and definitely unable to help any more writers to get into print if thousands of avid proofreaders spotted the same errors
My goodness, now that will make me get my act together!
All and any help appreciated.
All the best,
Please note, if you buy anything from the links provided, I will earn a smidgen of a commission - and I mean a smidgen (like 0.0001p for any product that takes your fancy enough for you to press the buy button). But at least it's something. And, please know that none of those funds are paid by you, the buyer.
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Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.