The first in a series. I wrote it last week, but there’ve been problems with the Mindless site. You might need to try to reload once or twice to see it.
Back properly tomorrow.
I’ve recently seen a new kind of notification on the royalty statements I get through Lulu — sales through “Ingram”.
What that means is that my books have started appearing in the catalogues of Ingram, one of the two big distributors of books to bookshops. And that at least some sales are happening that way.
Given this, I have a request. If you want to buy *physical copies* of my books, please order them from your local bookshop.
I’m not asking this for the money — I get *far* less money from bookshop (or Amazon) sales than from sales direct from Lulu, and less money from physical books than from ebooks.
I’m asking for two reasons, one selfish and one not.
The selfish one is that by ordering my books through a bookshop, you are letting the bookshop know my books exist and that someone wants to buy them. That might lead to them ordering further copies and putting them on display, and other people discovering my books, and so on.
More importantly, though, I think having bookshops exist is a good thing, and the more people buy from bookshops, the more of them will stay open.
Of course, I’m not going to complain however you choose to buy my stuff. But if you can cope with the couple of days’ wait while a brick-and-mortar store fulfills the order, it’d be nice if you did.
I’m more or less over the pneumonia now, but still fatigued as hell — I went to bed at 8PM yesterday, and slept eleven and three-quarter hours. Between that, work, and buying a house (contracts were exchanged today) I’ve not had time to write.
My current plan is that over this weekend I’m going to write a bunch of posts — say, five — and schedule them over the next fortnight. Most will be California Dreaming posts, as that has to be my priority as people have paid for that, but I hope to have at least one post done for the Mindless Ones over that time too. They’ll be scheduled over a period of a fortnight as between Saturday the 28th (when we move) and Wednesday the 2nd I’ll have no home internet.
Once that period’s over, I’ll *hopefully* be physically well enough that I can get some solid writing done over April. Basically, I’ve lost an entire month to this infection, and I’m wanting to catch up as soon as I’m able…
Brief conference notes (I’m not actually well enough to do a proper blog post yet):
The Digital Bill Of Rights proposals from Tim Farron and Julian Huppert are the most sensible thing any party has ever said on the subject. Given that it was only about eighteen months ago that the parliamentary party was almost going to let the horrible surveillance bill go through essentially on the nod, the turnaround has been fantastic. I’m proud that I played a very small part in that turnaround, and that I’m friends with some of the people who did more of the work, and now we have an actual Liberal policy. Now to put it into action.
The Power To The People motion. It could have been better if the amendment about devolution had passed, and I think the bit about job-share MPs is a hostage to fortune (they’d be fine *with STV*, but it’s the kind of thing that could very, very easily be provided on its own as a sop in coalition negotiations, and job-share MPs with FPTP would be catastrophic, so I supported Nottingham Sarah Brown’s attempt to delete those lines) but it’s a fine motion overall.
The attitude towards equality and diversity. The party is still far too white, too male, and too upper-middle-class, but when you hear people like Bernard Greaves talking in serious, knowledgeable, terms about the intersectional problems facing trans people from Africa, or employment discrimination against autistic people, it’s clear that there is a *serious* effort to rectify this.
Meeting many people I knew from the internet but hadn’t met in real life before, as well as spending (all too little) time with friends.
The fatuous idiot from EMLD (not the chair, but someone else from it) who tried to deny that there *any* were problems within minority communities and claimed that the *only* problem they faced was oppression from white people, and then made the absurd claim that white women choosing to have labioplasty is equivalent to involuntary female genital mutilation. I was unsurprised to learn he was both a policeman and ex-Labour — the communitarianism was strong in that one, at the expense of sense. (Not all Labour people are communitarians, but almost all communitarians are Labour — it’s a failure mode of Labour’s culture in a way that Little-Englanderism is of the Tories or an obsession with systems over people is with us).
The new immigration policy. It’s largely rather good, but there are enough bad things about it that I couldn’t vote for it. I was finally swayed by Caron Lindsay’s intervention, when she pointed out a line I hadn’t seen — if our new policy had been law eight years ago, I would not have been able to get married. I could not in all conscience vote for something like that.
The dull speech from a minister which went on about improving equality in the boardroom. Frankly I think there are about ten quadrillion things more important than ensuring that a quota of women be reached on the boards of FTSE 100 companies, since that can by its very nature only improve things for a few, already extremely-well-off, women.
Clegg talking once again about keeping British politics firmly in the centre. He was pretty decent otherwise in his speech and Q&A, but he doesn’t seem to realise that his party are *not*, for the most part, centrists, but radical Liberals.
The way some aspects of the policy proposals seemed pre-negotiated-away for coalition agreements. The thinking seemed to be to go for policies we might be able to persuade one of the other parties to agree with as they are, rather than to go for the best policy we can and then negotiate it down if any coalition negotiations happen.
I thought when I was heading off to conference that the reason I was feeling ill was an ongoing niggly throat infection I’d had for weeks and that didn’t seem at all contagious. Instead, within a day or so of getting there it had turned into some sort of monstrous chest thing that made it almost impossible for me to breathe. I may, therefore, have infected people, and I apologise. I’d have stayed at home had I known this was a new thing rather than a continuation of the old one.
Oh look, that’s turned into a blog post after all. I’ll post it on my blog as well as FB…