Hello! Mr Giant, Can You Hear Me?

megaphone by J Scott via Mary Ann Clarke Scott Wana Creative Commons
Image courtesy J Scott via Mary Ann Clarke Scott – Wana Creative Commons – some rights reserved

This is what I’ve been feeling like this week

Hello! Mr Giant, Can You Hear Me?

It started when I was preparing a tweet. Yep, you can find me there too  @annfoweraker with random tweets about Cornwall, writing, my books, what I’m up to… etc. So, there I was preparing to re-tweet that I had noticed Amazon had discounted one of my novels: £9.50 down to £8.95 and I thought I had better check the offer was still there. Amazon makes or stops discounts as and when they feel like it, with no rhyme or reason I can discern, but as I get the same amount and Amazon are discounting out of the amount of money they make from retailing my book I like to let my readers know when offers are on, so I tweet them.

I quickly went into the page for the book and, lo and behold, the offer was still on… but now, though the actual reduction was the same 55p, Amazon were claiming it was a larger discount than previously. WEIRD!…. then I noticed they were claiming that the RRP was £9.71   of course the discount would look to be a higher percentage. I went to my other book pages on Amazon – all had the same problem but each one had a different RRP (all more than the correct £9.50) How could this be?

I didn’t tweet – even though there was still a reduction – the fact that there was an error in the quoted Recommended Retail Price, and therefore the percentage reduction Amazon was claiming they were making, seemed dishonest

I noticed that the one closest to being accurate was the one last added to Amazon. This novel was being offered at a 1% discount – down to £9.50… yes – down to the  actual RRP. What on earth was going on?

I worked out that this change had come about after my latest paperback was added to my lists. Now I am used to Amazon taking a few weeks to sort things out when a new book goes on. It seems (I queried this with my distributor the first time it happened) Amazon put books onto their US (.com) site first, the UK (.co.uk) site picks up the data and puts it on the UK site – but as if it was a book published in the US, giving delivery dates of weeks and translating the price from the US dollar price of the book – which was set as correct when the book was published.

Now, as we all know the dollar, sterling rate fluctuates. So a few weeks down the line the dollar RRP price converted to sterling gives an incorrect sterling RRP.

Usually after a couple of weeks this gets sorted out – the book appears as delivery 1 – 2 DAYS and the price is accurate. This time, however, somehow this glitch had not sorted itself out… and, instead, had infected my other novels. And, as the longer ago a book was published the more inaccurate the conversion will be, the earlier published books had larger discrepancies .

I do not know about you.. but if I bought a book at a discounted price (even of just 1%) and when the book turned up it’s face value was the same as I had paid I would be miffed. (if the discrepancy was more I’d feel proper cheesed off) Who would I blame?  It might be obvious to me to think it is Amazon – but then I deal with Amazon both ends, as it were. I am not just a customer, I also sell my ebooks through Amazon and my publisher distributes through Ingram to Amazon.  I know a little about how it works.

Who would you blame? The publisher? The author? Amazon?

I soon found that there was nothing I could do to point out the glitch to Amazon directly and get it rectified. Hello???

At the moment, after many emails to and fro to Ingram, and their ‘channel specialist’ to Amazon,  Amazon seem to have straightened out two out of the three books .. maybe by the time you read this they’ll all be ok.

Now, all that is left to sort out is how Amazon can say a book is ‘out of stock’ (as they also had for two of mine along with the false ‘discounts’) … when the book is a POD (Print On Demand) as in, you buy it, it is printed same day and posted to you… Ah, Mr Giant … can you hear me??

I really hope this gets sorted out soon as I’m on Radio Cornwall next Friday (7th) and the new Looe Lit Fest on the 15th November, both of which I hope will generate interest in my novels and, like it or not, Amazon is the go-to place for a huge number of book buyers nowadays.

Do you get frustrated when you are trying to deal with organisations so large there seems no proper way to get through to them?

Would you have though the publisher might be the one to blame for the misleading information on Amazon sale page for a book?

Do share your trials and tribulations with the GIANTS – you know I love to hear from you.


Some things are better put off until tomorrow

DSCF7557This blog was the one I meant to write last week … but it didn’t get written as home events took over.. that blog started with watching the first of the new series of  ‘Trust me, I’m a Doctor’ on BBC 2  (not to be confused with Trust me, I’m THE Dr’ as in Dr Who)

This is the second series and I quite enjoy these programmes as I nearly always learn something I didn’t know – and as I try to keep up-to-date with things on the nutritional front I do spend a lot of my time saying to the TV, ‘yes, about time too’, as popular nutrition catches up with what has been going on in science for quite a while.  The programme is headed-up by Michael Mosley (of the ‘5/2 fast diet’) drawn from his previous programmes and ‘fast exercise’ – ditto)

I say I enjoy them.. I do, that is, apart from its ‘bitty’ approach where the team investigate about 4 different lines of scientific health issues at the same time (meaning that we start with one idea – move on to the next and the next .. and then pop back to see how the first is going along , than catch up with the second etc. etc.) At least they do not do the exhaustive re-cap each time… but it is annoying when it really doesn’t have to be. I want to say that I am sure we can cope with quarter of an hour on one health issue at a time… followed by the other three … and I’m sure that if we are watching this type of pr0gramme we will wait through the one that may not be immediately relevant to our own situation to learn something on the way.  (OK .. rant over)

Now you may know, if you’ve been following this blog for a long time, that I managed to lose quite a bit of weight by doing weights exercises, designed by one of my sons, for less than fifteen minutes a day, while continuing to eat in a low carb (not no carb) way(as I had done for years before menopause caused weight-gain)  If I eat pasta, bread,rice or potatoes I eat a limited amount – and I always go for the ‘brown’ wholegrain versions as this gives better nutrition, more fibre and uses more energy to digest.

The nutritional scientist on ‘Trust Me…’ carried out a small on screen test of just 10 people. She knew what she was expecting with the first two trials in her experiment – but she’d also thrown in a third variation she’d not tested before.

Eat pasta and very soon you’ll have an insulin spike in your blood. Now this is natural as pasta is a carbohydrate and that is only a simple digestive step away from being a sugar… and to deal with sugar your body pumps out insulin. Fine so far… only problem is that this spike is followed by a dip in that the insulin is running around your body looking for the sugar to deal with (even after its finished with the stuff you ate). This makes you feel hungry again; gives you the ‘munchies’. It is far better for you if you can keep you insulin stable and low, not such a spike, less of a dip. Keeping your insulin levels steady is key to managing your weight and your long-term health.

The experiment: #1, eat hot freshly cooked pasta – wait –  measure insulin in blood. #2 eat cooked and then cooled pasta – wait – measure insulin in blood #3 eat cooked, cooled and kept until the next day and reheated pasta – wait – measure insulin in blood.

Results: #1 – high insulin spike #2 lower insulin level (but who wants to eat cold pasta anyway?) #3 EVEN lower insulin levels! – and that surprised even the tester. When Michael pointed out that 10 people were not much of a statistical sample, she agreed, but then added … but it was ALL 10 of them!

For the scientific details of the how and why, watch the programme  – on iPlayer for 2 more weeks here: Trust me I’m a Doctor s2 – 1:

or for those of you abroad or reading this blog later-on – on youtube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r9WfXtDOHA

Only problem is – when I do pasta it is usually because I am running out of time and need a fast carb to complete a meal!

However, maybe, I’ll get my act together early enough to cook, cool and reheat my pasta, as, you see … some things ARE better put off until tomorrow 🙂   

What’s your take on Pasta? Would you eat re-heated pasta if it was better for you?

What is your favourite pasta based meal?

Look forward to hearing from you


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