The Retro Reader

Retro is all the fashion. VSCO takes my photos and adds film simulations from the heyday of analogue photography. Whenever that actually was. We could debate it, but I’m going to put a shout out for the 70s. My Fuji camera itself, like most Fuji X series cameras is designed with an eye to popular cameras of the 60s and 70s. Music from the 70s and 80s is back in fashion, and Hollywood remakes have now moved onto 90s ‘classics’. My oh my, films from my teens are now classics.  Continue reading


TEFLing in Mexico City

Self publishing has become pretty popular, but the mainstream publishing tools have really only gone so far as to make it possible for the average person to produce a handful of rather expensive books that are sold on low traffic market places. I’m thinking of outfits like Blurb and Photobox.

But then I came across Lulu. They can make a book using cheap publisher grade paper. It’s going to be all text and black and white, but seeing as you can produce a paperbook at a cost of little more than five US dollars – score. But they do more. They’ll assign the book, free of charge, an ISBN number, so you can sell it on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Score two. But they’re not finished there. They’ll even distribute it on Amazon and elsewhere for you. Sure, they take a slice of any profit, but still. Score three.

We’ve all got a book in us, or so it is said. I appear to have at least ten books in me, working on the basis I could turn 200 blog posts in a 200 page publication – this is my 2,000th post. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to create ten books. But one? Yes, I could do that.

So I donloaded their MS Word template, added a hundred or so posts, and turned it into a PDF. I created a front and back cover. And voila. One book. It took just a moment to upload it to Lulu – and then I discovered a major drawback. They’ll assign a free ISBN number to any book. Except for those printed on publisher grade paper. And therefore, they cannot distibute it on Amazon.

Come on Lulu, sort it out! The cheap publisher grade book/free ISBN/Amazon distribution combination is the killer deal that could make your business a hit. Their ePub ebook process was also far more difficult that it should have been. I gave up on that in the end and used Amazon directly.

I finished the process anyway and have the book up for sale on their own marketplace.  I also turned it into a ebook and uploaded it to Amazon. If you have a Kindle, you can buy it for $3.99. Which is a little expensive if you ask me. I did specify $1.99, and have checked my entry since. It does say $1.99. But on the Amazon store it’s listed at $3.99, or $2.49, depending where you look. Weird. Pft. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. It’s also available for Kindles in the UK on the British version of Amazon for £1.49.

So anyway, I am now a published author of sorts. A book for sale in paperback, electronic and very soon PDF formats. The title of the book is TEFLing in Mexico City and is simply a collection of relevant articles I have published on my blog over the years. Bits about language, TEFL courses, banking, getting about….a bit of everything. I imagine it might appeal to someone thinking of abandoning their home country to come to Mexico to teach English. A taste of what is in store.

I’ll post more on the book in a few days, once I have worked out a convenient way to sell the PDF version on my blog using PayPal. I think $1.99 is a good price. I have to say I’ve done this for fun and for my CV far more than for profit. But if you want to have a look at it, send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll send you the PDF ebook. Gratis. Free. Por nada. This offer will expire when I’ve got it up on my blog with a dollar sign attached to it. Some feedback will be nice. Even better, leave a review or rating (or both) on Amazon…