Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nelson Mandela - Thoughts from an Idealistic Student

Image Credit; Ben Sutherland
As a youngster growing up in the eighties I knew all about Nelson Mandela and the struggle against the brutal Apartheid regime from news reports. I was helped along in my growing knowledge by the music of my era, songs often commenting on events around the world such as Free Nelson Mandela by Special AKA and Gimme Hope Jo'anna by one of my favourite artists Eddie Grant. I soon came to learn about this great man who in attempting to lead his people to freedom (sometimes through questionable means) was arrested and convicted of various crimes and sentenced to four life sentences. Like any aspiring idealist I greatly admired Nelson Mandela, who passed away aged 95, an inspiration to his people and others fighting for their freedom around the world.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Pubslush Offers Authors Crowdfunding Lifeline

Self publishing and crowdfunding have opened doors for authors all too familiar with the hard hitting and painful rejections from the publishing houses. Whether it was through well known platforms such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, or specialist platforms including Unbound and authors have secured funds, established and collaborated with potential readers and even gained access to a publishing arm. Pubslush is the latest crowdfunding platform for books of any type to raise funds and get published but also with an analytics feature to gauge and build a strong readership.

Pubslush was founded by Jesse Potash after learning about how 12 publishers had rejected J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter novel. After much research Jesse uncovered many instances of multiple rejections of manuscripts considered to be top sellers. The principle problem identified was the lack of significant financial backing to help writers publish their work. With the possibilities of so many potential best sellers looking to grace the top spots of book stores, it was decided that a global crowdfunding platform was needed to bring a democratic quality into a cut throat industry. The platform, Pubslush is exclusively for books, whether they be printed versions or e-books, and can take any form covering all genres. 
Pubslush is 100% committed to our authors. Since Pubslush is a niche crowdfunding site meaning we are ONLY for books, we don't have as many campaigns running at once and can more easily provide our authors and users with one-on-one assistance - Justine Schofield, Pubslush
Whilst funding is a key goal to publishing successes, Pubslush offers its authors many more features to increase prospects for a successful crowdfunding campaign. Unlike most other platforms that still use the all or nothing principle, Pubslush offers a flexible funding scheme which enables project owners to keep the any funds raised at the end of the campaign, provided they reach their minimum fundraising target. The figure is usually set at $500 however project owners can set their own minimum figure. Pubslush only deducts 4% of the total funds raised, making it a competitive service provider offering project owners comprehensive support through resources and educational tools. These cover everything in bringing a book to life from writing and publishing to managing a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

At the end of any campaign project owners benefit from a key feature of Pubslush, the Marketing Analytics tool. A full report is produced with a comprehensive demographic summary providing important information on investors. Such vital data includes location, age brackets, and traffic sources, all of which should enable authors to plan an effective marketing and advertising campaign. Pubslush's support of successful campaigns extends further by helping to promote sales of the authors' books with the addition of a "Buy Book" button on the crowdfunding page. This button links directly to the book's page and any net profits from those sales go straight to the author. Publsush also monitor successful campaigns in search of suitable titles for their publishing arm Pubslush Press, the first of which entitled "A Beautiful Mess" debuted in May this year.  

Pubslush prides itself with a major focus on giving; giving opportunities and resources to authors, potentially exciting titles to readers and most importantly free books to children as part of their "One for One Movement". For every book sold Pubslush will donate one book to a child in need to help combat illiteracy around the world. The platform's first partner is Flying Kites, an orphanage in Kenya, which thanks to Pubslush's efforts received over $10,000 in September 2011. As the platform grows Pubslush hopes to expand its philanthropic literacy operations around  the world. 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Address Unknown; Sharing World's Experiences Through The Lens

If you could look back on the previous year through the eyes of the world, with all its different cultures, beliefs, experiences, and environment what would you see? It would certainly be a hard concept to grasp, like a million television sets all broadcasting different films of unfolding events.Yet amidst the chaos of visual onslaught that feels like it might overload the senses comes a clarity that opens the mind to shared global experiences. Through this clarity  one or more of these speak to us through resonance and perhaps even empathy. Address Unknown, a photo card exhibition made up of over 500 images from 30 countries taken during the year 2012, encapsulates something similar. The exhibition opened on Saturday 23rd March at the Windsor Royal Shopping Centre and will be open all this week.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The SeaWomen of Jeju

Anyone who still feels incensed at the government's plans to increase retirement age should spare a thought for the women of Jeju Province, who are the subject of a sound and video installation on show at the 
Arnolfini Arts Centre. SeaWomen is the story of the island's women divers aged between 60 and 90 years who everyday venture out into the open sea to fish for food, seaweed and pearls. Their story is a remarkable one, largely unheard of (especially by me) but with a sad reality that this unique way of life is slowly dying out.