Category Archives: review sites

Z for Zaxaa

Zaxaa is building a good  reputation as a shopping cart platform.  stacked books in trolley fdpAnd if you’re selling your own e-books directly from your website  rather than through a link to Amazon or your publisher, it might be worth checking out. Its instant automation service is free though you do pay a small percentage on sales.

Followers claim it is one of the  easiest to use sales platforms. And better still, unlike many other free services i’ve been checking out, it does not email your customers. Your email list is your own.

If you’re into affiliate marketing, it helps you recruit affiliates to help sell your products and to find products you can sell as an affiliate.

Warning re changes in VAT

EU Vat changes are creating headaches across the board for any small business trying to sell e-books, tutorials, courses, directly in the European marketplace.

I’m not sure how well publicized this has been. I only found out completely by accident through a writer in France who stopped selling her writing courses online because of the new laws.

As I understand it, if we sell to anywhere in Europe, we must charge  the VAT  applied by the country in which our buyer lives–a headache as each of the many countries has its own VAT rules and percentage charges.

For this reason, more beleaguered small businesses are selling through sales platforms which then make it easier to calculate the tax due or even take responsibility for deducting and paying the tax to the proper authorities.

Written by an Internet Marketer, this article published on the website Gain Higher Ground at the beginning of the year is one of the best and clearest I found to explain the problem.

If anyone has any further updated information, please let me know.


Thanks to pixtawan and free digital photos for image of books in trolley.

Challenge over. But look out for my reflections on the experience on Monday. At the moment, though exhilarated, I’m totally egg-Z-austed and off for a zizz

A quick thankyou before I go  to everyone who has been visiting the blog, commmenting and cheering me on. What a wonderful and extremely talented community this is.


Tomorrow is another day–and we’re celebrating the ninth anniversary of The Wild Rose Press –May 1, 2015, all day from 6am EDT–I reckon that’s 11a.m. UK time. Meet editors, chat with authors, win prizes–should be a fun day. I’m on duty in the chat room from 7am EDT.

You’ll need a Java plug-in and I’m afraid the Chrome browser will no longer work with Java without a fix. But everything else should work fine.


X for Xanadu

Ever since schooldays, snippets of the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem have danced around in my head and heart. Don’t get me wrong. I always disliked it.

It prompted great classroom hilarity at the expense of a quiet boy named Alf.  ” Where Alph, the sacred river, ran,” we all chanted with enthusiasm looking at him meaningfully. It probably put him off poetry for life.

And a line like “As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,” is tailor-made to prompt jeers and cheers from a rowdy classroom. What was the man thinking of? To be fair, the word was only entering popular parlance toward the end of the poet’s life. But as an educated man, he must have been aware of it from the beginning of the 19th century.

Despite the wild opium-fuelled imagery of the poem, Xanadu is a real place, the summer palace created by Kublai Khan, grandson of the legendary warrior Genghis Khan.

And despite the odd vibrant image, I still dislike the poem. But it did prompt Coleridge’s story of The Man from Porlock–an unexpected visitor who interrupted his writing. His excuse for not finishing the poem.

For by the time the man from Porlock left, Coleridge had lost all impetus and forgotten how he had intended the poem to end.

We all have these interruptions to our writing life. I like to think I’d jot down a few fast and furious notes before rising to deal with the person or problem.   What’s your technique for dealing with interruptions to your writing life?

If you’d like a quick recap of the poem, find it here– Kubla Khan. It is a great reminder of the importance of setting to your or any story. It is also a great reminder to read your work aloud and check for anything that could be misconstrued.

W for Website

It seems self-evident that all writers should have a website but thenID-100247749 comes the problem of deciding what type or category of website should we choose.

A single static page can do the job, or a collection of static pages, or my favorite nowadays. a blog. Blogs are easy to administer and often free. Both Blogger and WordPress have an ever-expanding choice of free themes that are easy to customize. Both allow great flexibility and a mix of static and blog pages–useful if you wish to direct readers to a static home page, or special offer page, rather than the latest blog post.

According to Wikipedia, websites can be categorized in almost fifty ways. So it’s worth planning before diving in immediately to set up your website.

What Do You Want It To Do?

  • Do you simply want to list your books or books in progress?
  • Do you want to give away free reports, courses, short stories to your email list?
  • Do you want to sell goods directly?
  • Do you want to run an affiliate site–make money by selling recommended products?
  • Do you simply want to journal your thoughts and feelings?

Think very carefully before limit your options. Check that the website or blog format you use can adapt easily to your requirements. Check that you can set it up and manage it easily yourself. You do not want to have to pay for expert help whenever you need to change a page or special offer.

Before You Make a Decision:

Follow as many blogs as you can–take notes on what you consider to be their best features and their worst. Those of us on the A-Z Challenge have a wonderful learning opportunity with the chance to visit so many high quality blogs.

Visit and assess all the free website offers you can find.

Think carefully about the domain name you want. You may be stuck with it for some time.

www cube from Stuart Miles at Free Digital Photos