Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Technical Challenges of Life.

With the last draft of latest travel book completed, it was time to catch up on more technical aspects of marketing and life.

The Nat Cargius Hair Experience.

Firstly though, I addressed a technical matter of another kind and paid a visit to my favourite crimper in his new salon. Well, first things first and we do have a wedding in the offing.
The Nat Cargius Hair Experience is one to savour. Unusually for most hair salons, you have Nat's undivided attention and skill from consultation through to colour application, shampoo, cut, and finish. You really do get what you pay for. Nat has been looking after my tresses for a number of years. (This time I simply said 'chop it off' and left him to it.)
We have many chats about his native Italy and my travels as he snips away to give me a style to suit my face.This time we discussed colour and the new range of fruit-based colours. So vibrant. 
(Nat has recently opened his new salon in Rossett. Being early, I was settled on a beautiful white and gold sofa in the  private consulting area for the cosmetic hair piece and custom wig specialist side of the business - Really Really me. Nat also caters for the men with traditional barbering (wet shaves) services - steam towels etc just as you see in the films.)
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/nat-cargius/3a/979/7a8 https://www.facebook.com/natcargiusreallyreallyme
There is also a new Nail Bar next door so preparations for that special occasion are one-stop and no need to move the car. Yes, there is parking too!

Google Books and Google Play.

Hair sorted, I then turned to file uploads for Christal Publishing to Google Books and Google Play.
Submission guidelines and file naming extensions are specific and different for each organisation. The print books are image rich but are in grey scale (b&w); the Google preview files therefore have to show images in grey scale which meant using the print format files. The interior images in the eBooks are in rich colour; I had to use the correct eBook file with correct ISBN.
They are now all live in both Google Books with links to buy and the eBooks available in Google Play. Good stuff! There are a few processing errors though as in some instances they have put the print book price as the eBook price.
A message will be sent to Google to correct! The eBooks range from under £2.00 to around £3.50 for the more technical 'workshop-in-a-package' ones. All a bargain.
See them all here.

Amazon Search Inside.

I realised that the first three (travel and ORANGES) had been uploaded with the interior images in colour for the print books. The print formats are in grey scale so this meant a new formating session. Thank goodness for Adobe Acrobat Pro as it made it all so much easier.Again, there were different submission guidelines and file naming requirements.
After re-formatting the travel books and uploading, I uploaded the Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides. These are still being processed.
Checking on Amazon.com,(US store) to my horror I found that they had used the 1st edition of Just Us Two (2009 Author House) as the preview for the 2nd edition 2012 Christal Publishing. A polite notice explained this saying that you would get the second edition you had searched for. This was not good enough. Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery 2nd Edition has a different jacket front and back, a different copyright, ISBN,different format, and back matter for links to other publications.
If the Amazon UK site can get it right. . . .
Visit my UK Amazon page  Visit my US Amazon page

I am still feeling very relaxed after a lazy Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday but needs must and I have to pop off now to see my Mum and sort one or two things out. Then it is back to a final jacket design  for The Long Leg of Italy where you can explore with Just Us Two from the borders with Switzerland and Austria at the top to the toe where it meets Sicily. Watch this space!

2nd Draft. The Long Leg of Italy jacket front.

Rosalie xx  

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Monday, 18 August 2014

A Flavour of Italy.

 A Preview Peek at The Long Leg of  ITALY.

Final draft has now been submitted to publisher for the a casting over of the gimlet eye.
What a journey it has been and an emotional one at that as we revisited our journeys over the years.

Our love affair with Italy started because 'him indoors' would not have a party for a special anniversary some years ago. 
'We will have a little trip,' He informed me.
He meant one in the UK but I had other fish to fry. A burning need to fulfil a dream glowed inside me.
After plotting and planning all one winter - before the big day - I announced,
'You want a trip for our anniversary? Well, I want to go to Rome, and if we go to Rome I want to go to Florence and Venice.' I waited with baited breath.
'I will think about it.'
A few days later he came home from work an announced that he had been talking to someone in work and that if we were going to Rome we would need a new camera.

Later, we discussed the options and so began our love affair with Italy. We had only been abroad twice at that time and those trips were an organised group travel where everything was planned.
This three-centre trip was a huge leap in the dark. We would be independent travellers. On our own. Just Us Two.

Back to the present.

Our digital photo frame is busy scrolling through photos of our southern Italy tour in 2011 to Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Ostuni, Martina Franca, Alberobello with the trulli houses (see picture top left), Trani, Altomonte,,, the list goes on. All little dots on the map. Some were not even on the map. Saga Holidays had planned well.  

St Peter's Dome. Rome
House of the Vestal Virgins. The Forums. Rome.

But we ventured first to Rome

at Easter. . . with the temperatures at 70 degrees in March! Modern technology has allowed us to scan photographs and convert to digital files.

More later. The curtain is closed for now on the little peek.

Rosalie x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Living in an oasis of calm.

Hello from Rosalie's Chatter. Have you all had a good week?

Employment first.

For the last two weeks I have been concentrating on employment, moving forward, and what is expected in the business environment. It is that time of year when exam results are not always as expected and an army of young people have to think about earning their living.
On that point, don't ignore Apprenticeships. They are a fantastic way to earn while you learn and don't forget, although you may not be paid as much as some of your peers, you are not paying for your training. At the end you will have a good qualification, bags of experience and no student debt.
Read the guest articles I wrote sometime ago for judithsharman.com about getting that first job and how parents and family can offer support. 
There are more articles in the Feature Articles and Scribbles link in this blog. One is about Steps to Employment.It is relevant for those seeking their first job. And some results are out this week aren't they. Back into the world of work: Steps to Employment. 
Guest Feature posted in Women's Thoughts on-line magazine August 30th 2012 

My Oasis.

But enough of that. What about my oasis of calm as I bury myself in editing a manuscript?
After immersing myself in a huge spell-check session and then tackling the manual edits which my copy-edit/proof-reader found, I have once again been transported back to Italy. An an emotional journey it has been I can tell you. Our first foray to Italy was as an Independent Traveller when we had only been abroad twice and that in an organised group. I am amazed and kept thinking,among my tears, 'Did we do all this?' 
As with the first two in the Just US Two Travel series, we have chosen and prepared the photos to include at salient points in the story. All in colour in the eBook.
Constructive feedback on the first draft for the jacket cover, confirmed one of my thoughts and the jacket has been re-designed. We had more good constructive feedback yesterday so I think we are on the right track.

Another side of my oasis has been my focus on getting fit.
I am always banging on about taking control of your own learning and development. I thought it was time that I took control of my long-neglected fitness.
So, hey-ho! It was off to our local Gwyn Evans Leisure and 
Activity Centre where they had a summer special offer. At the moment I am hurrying to finish this post, as I am off to my Aquafit session shortly. Later in the week I will do a circuit of the gym followed by a gentle swim in the pool at one of the General Swim slots. The gym all came back to me from about ten years ago when I was fit from regular gym and pool sessions. Something certainly went by the board didn't it?  The pool exercises are hard work, especially the polystyrene dumb-bells. No pain, no gain though. The range of machines in the gym is amazing and apart from weight-lifting, I use all of them. My favourite is still the rowing machine which is a good stress buster. You can sort all your problems out on one of those you know. I was pleasantly surprised by the bike as I found this hard last time. Here they have a couple with a back rest which you can adjust for comfort. Great! And I can watch the TV while I pedal as the machines have little screens now plus, there is a large screen on the wall. The time soon passes. Even better I don't have to pay for the pool as I am over that special age which comes to us all - if we are lucky.

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Take Care.

Rosalie xx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Some Basic Skills for Employability. Check Your Knowledge.

Last month our first topic in this series was 'Working Effectively in the Workplace - An Employability Skill.'
You are looking for a job or promotion. You have had an interview. Did you impress the interviewer - your prospective employer? Do you have what it takes or have you failed on some basic points?

Below are some check points based on the topics in Chapter Three of Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. They can be found at the end of the chapter.

"If you have completed all the tasks set out in this chapter properly, we can see if you have understood the lessons in the topics.
You have learned about attitude and behaviour required in the workplace; things to think about in getting to work on time; how to communicate effectively and a little about working effectively.

In Chapters One to Three we have looked at preparing for work (looking for a job and where you fit in); how to go about getting the job you want; and working effectively in the workplace. You have come a long way in a short time haven’t you?
For now . . .

Check your knowledge.

  1. What action should you take if you are delayed in getting to work?
  2. Why is personal hygiene important?
  3. Name three methods of communication.
  4. Is it acceptable to use slang or ‘text speak’ in e-mails? Y/N
  5. You have been given a task and don’t understand one of the instructions. What do you do?
  6.  Why is it important to plan what you have to do?
  7. Name two kinds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  8. Why is it important to look at how well you did the job or task?
You will find the answers within the chapter. Now you can go back and check your knowledge 

Then it will be time to take a break before moving on to the next chapter where we will take  a brief look at ICT in the workplace—e-mail, the Internet, the basics of Excel Worksheets, health and safety when using computers—and where you go from here." Excerpt from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in Rosalie's Bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

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Monday, 4 August 2014

Is - Skills for Employability - for You?

Some Features and Benefits for Those Seeking Employment and for Teachers, Tutors, and Trainers.

Over the last two weeks I have posted excerpts from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. You may be asking yourself, "Is this book for me? Originally designed for the home learner and those who want to improve their career, both books - as are all the books in this series - are also a useful resource for new and existing learning programme. here is another excerpt:

"For those seeking employment:

Ø  Each chapter/section will detail the learning outcomes and relevance to other qualifications.
Ø  At the end of each topic, there will be a series of questions/activities for self-assessment to check learner progress. In turn, this will add to a sense of achievement.
Ø  Learners will be able to measure how far they have travelled.
Ø  Much of the content will feed into and is signposted to Functional Skills; Awards and Certificates in Employability and Personal Development; or Personal Life and Employability Skills, all of which are linked to the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF).
Ø  All content will relate to the current gaps in knowledge & understanding and softer skills for those who are pre-employment e.g. Year 10 and Year-11 school leavers; 16-18 year old unemployed; returners to work; learners with disabilities who are seeking a change of employment, are in employment and seeking to enhance their prospects or are between jobs.
Ø  The book will have some illustrations to enhance text.
Ø  There are links to websites e.g. for legislation and further current information. This will provide more interaction and variety for the learner and ensure currency of information.
Adult Literacy and Numeracy will not be addressed in this book, as there are many excellent resources available.
After completing Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment, learners will:
Ø  Have more awareness of the standards of behaviour and requirements of employers.
Ø  Be introduced to health and safety in the workplace.
Ø  Have an awareness of health, safety, and security relating to ICT in the workplace.
Ø  Have completed short practical activities that aim to test their understanding.
Ø  Have raised their self-esteem and confidence.
Ø  Have an awareness and understanding of the business environment.
Ø  Have some basic knowledge and understanding, which will feed into Awards/Certificates in Employability and Personal Life Skills/Development, vocational qualifications, or company training programmes.

For Teachers, Tutors, and Trainers:

Available in print and e-book formats for most readers.
Time and cost savings. A ready-made resource reduces time and cost of design and/or photocopying.

In print form, Skills for Employability Part One can be used in the traditional way with everyone having their own copy.
It can be taken away by the learner to be absorbed as part of homework or an assignment.
It can be issued as a resource for the course to be used as intended—as a workbook.

Available in a variety of e-book formats worldwide:
  • Kindle and Kindle Apps for desktop, iBook, Android etc.
  • Adobe Digital Editions DRM *pdf for desktop and readers for download from e-retailers worldwide.
  • E-Pub. Apple iBookstore, Sony eBooks, Nook, Diesel eBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and Blio.
  • Can be downloaded to a PC and be tutor led via presentation screen or whiteboard with learners following from the print version.
  • Can be downloaded to college computers or a hand-held reader for full interaction with tutors and learners.
  • Cost effective. Budget will go further.
  • Learners can adjust the font size and background colour to suit individual sight preferences, thus overcoming one of the barriers to reading enjoyment.
  • The majority of learners are used to technology and reading on-screen.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in the bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

Hello reader,
Thank you for reading this excerpt from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. This is the third of the Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides. It aims to fill gaps in underpinning knowledge and skills needed for the future and guide you through the minefield of looking for a job and being successful at interview.
You may be on the verge of leaving school, have been unemployed for some time, and be returning to work after a number of years of home responsibility or illness. You may have a job but are unable to attend formal courses, which can help you to progress.
Whatever the scenario, I hope that this user-friendly workbook, which you can plough through at your own pace, will help you to achieve your dreams as you increase in confidence.

Rosalie Marsh

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