Saturday, 19 August 2017

180 Years of Thanet Social Media and Some Thoughts on Getting Paid for Writing

John Mockett farmer and churchwarden in St Peter’s Thanet around 1800 was the first person in Thanet to have a go at something very like social media albeit without the internet. Fortunately he did get his writings published in 1836.

You know this is going to lead to a buy it now button, sample pages – bad for Thanet local history addicts, but what the heck here it is

I don’t think John got paid, my guess is he paid the printer, not sure how he feels about me producing a cheap reprint, ok I suspect. There will be automated print on demand e-books and so on; but you know how it is.

An original copy Published by The Kentish Observer, in 1836 will set you back about £500; but you know how it is.

Another extract from his writing 

Every so often because I am in the bookshop business I have to speak to an accountant, this often starts with a sucking air in through the teeth sound, which indicates to me there will be a bill at some future time, from the accountant.

These days in the bookshop, despite my efforts to look out to lunch, among the bookshop customers, who can be described as roughly falling into the following types:-

Local history addict. Someone who despite my warnings has become addicted to the history of this area and has to use the bookshop as a local history resource, most of these also buy local history books form time to time, with the proviso that I have the ones they want, need haven’t got, have a worse edition, copy of.   

Interester. Someone who has an interest in something to the point they have a collection of books about the subject. This can be anything from Napoleonic military uniforms to unidentified flying objects. You would think the internet and all the modern technologies would have finished off, but it hasn’t.

Fiction Reader. Someone who to a greater or lesser extent is always reading a story. There has been a bit of a bumpy ride with this one, due to the Kindle, e-book and various bits of technology taking up so much time. slowly things on this front are settling down and I think our fiction book sales are higher than they have ever been.

Where was I oh yes among bookshop customers, who don’t necessarily seem to fit in to anything, is a group of people trying to. What? Perhaps they are trying to work out what’s going on. Perhaps they are anthropologists even without knowing it. Perhaps they are shoppers looking for the – long closed shops in King Street, selling, furniture, handbags, plumbing equipment, fishing tackle, pharmaceuticals, etc. recent in particularly. I have had some surrealist conversations with people in the bookshop who it transpires, want to buy one of the seats, pens, pencils, which are at least there, although obviously not for sale, to people who want to buy something that obviously isn’t here. I am coming to think of these people as the deprived, they want the shops that aren’t here anymore – however there aren’t enough of them, not enough demand for the shops to be here.

Anyway the other day I wrote a post about Homebasics going on the market  and in the complex way the internet works the comment wound up on Facebook, and some of the comment had misinterpreted what I said into me saying the bookshop would close, I have no plans to close.

The whole can of worms surrounding how the relationship between the writer and the reader works, and particularly how the writer and the people facilitating this relationship get paid, is something I find interesting.

It’s complex, I write this blog and don’t get paid, however as I mention my bookshop, people presumably buy books, however accountant types generally seem to be of the opinion that bookshops, in fact most shops, are not a good idea in terms of making money.

The whole business the writer writing something and people reading it and the writer getting paid something, so they can live and write something else, seems to confound them, accountant types - that is. I think they see a future here where the writer writes something and puts it on the internet beside an advertisement for something, often something someone else has written, which somehow pays the writer.

There are parallels here where there is an isolated community with an economy based on stealing each other’s washing. There is also a sense in which the problem extends to other non food shops.

But I will stick with the book business, because I understand it better.

Literature is to some extent an art form, a lot of people think reading, particularly reading books is good thing, libraries are mostly paid for out of some form of taxation and the other arts are often heavily subsidised.

Before the recent advances in technology most writing had to be paid for, because it was too difficult and expensive to copy. Battles over copyright tended to be between giants.

Also before advances in technology the money seemed to be spread out more evenly, now some authors get huge amounts of money, while some very good new authors who once would have at least got enough to go on writing in a garret, after the acceptance of their first book, well they don’t anymore. Get enough money that is.

Now when it comes to how many people read what I write on my thanetonline blog, the counter wosisname on the side is an option that Google provide as part of the blog and I don’t think it would be easy to fiddle. So if I were to claim a lot more hits than I get I think people would soon start to say something. What it says is that it gets about 1,000 hits a day, so this begs the question, how many hits a day would it need to stop me starving in my garret?

So if I were to have Google advertising on this blog (don’t worry I don’t intend to) and assuming 1,000 readers a day, anyone want to have a guess at roughly how much I would get in advertising revenue?

The answer appears to be about 30p, making a giant leap in maths I think if this blog had 10,000 readers a day this would produce £3. I think a living wage is about £400 per week, in the £60 a day ballpark.

Tenuous stuff but of course all related to your price, and the answer is yes of course I would, at some level.

I think the most pressing areas of this are local news and specialist non-fiction, both areas where I have had a bit of try at. On this blog with the news, where the constrictions because of the small area the news relates to has a limited number of readers and of course with local physical books where the same thing applies.

Friday, 18 August 2017

London visit by train from Ramsgate

I had to go up to town yesterday and so such photos as there are, are of London and therefore probably less interesting than most photos of London already on the internet.

It did occur to me that some aspects of this, particularly the trains business could be useful to other local residents, so here we go.

So what does it cost? The answers are ballpark here based on what we paid, just turning up at stations and paying there, in a fairly disorganised and relaxed way. Adult return from Ramsgate £30, with senior railcard £20, not sure about the children this time as we met them already ticketed. This was for the fast 1 hour 15 (most expensive train) and covers all of the trains.

Waiting at St Pancras over a cup of tea I got out a paint brush and tried to sketch the ceiling.

My destinations BL and V&A was walk to the BL note the Antony Gormleys in the photos – more to see in the sea at Margate.

Obviously if I had only been going to the V&A I would have taken he other train to Victoria and walked to the V&A, how long the train takes to get to London being balanced about which bit of London you arrive in.  

The walk to the V&A is 4.6 miles, so the company split, me leading the underground component, I wasn’t there for Uncle Floyd – but the free stuff so the V&A was freeish.

The contactless credit card used at the tube barriers clocked up about £3.50 for the rerun journey and I think this would have been around £5 buying a ticket.

The journey home was done using the St Pancras, Deal Sandwich, terminating at Ramsgate route, over supper bought at the M&S at St Pancras station, this takes about 1 hour 50 and is usually the quietest train, that doesn’t involve incidents that can wake you up, should you doze off, but as it terminates in Ramsgate does offer a high probability of waking up in Ramsgate and not Margate.  

My main difficulty in London was finding a quiet spot, with a comfortable table and chair, near a loo, with a view I could paint and a decent pot of tea. On this visit I failed.

The nearest I got was at the V&A where is started to sketch, but was defeated refrigeration machinery which was too noisy, and decaffeinated coffee in a paper cup.

That said I think I will be able, like Daisy – to pull something orf there next time, perhaps a folding teapot, a Yorkshire teabag, moving round one place, the right hat and interrupting with. “I want a clean cup.” I am developing a pln nomicly.

Here are the photos on my camera card 

Here are the latest lot of books to go out in the bookshop here in Ramsgate

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Broadstairs Folk Week Photos, perhaps a Video this evening and the business with The Captain Digby, The Foreland and The Northern Belle.

I went to Broadstairs this evening for my constitutional after work, camera wise I am afraid there was a fair amount of multiple shots from the waist without looking at the viewfinder.

Anyway here is the link to what’s on the camera card

Next the history which is an excerpt from one of the railway guides All About Ramsgate and Broadstairs 1864 if you want to risk the link, sample pages, buy it now button, here it is

If I have pressed the right buttons then it should be next.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Ramsgate and the Napoleonic Wars + out and about pictures in Ramsgate today.

I know this picture of Ramsgate was drawn during the Napoleonic Wars as it is the one in the 1809 guide to Thanet, for those of you who know about my stealth advertising plan and still want to go further up this particular tree, here is the link that leads to the inevitable buy it now button.

Next some of  the Ramsgate pages from the guide.

Now at this time – oh sorry the wars – Waterloo, Trafalgar type of kidney spanned the period from 1800 to 1815, Ramsgate was supposed to be a military embarkation town. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that the area where Wellington Crescent was eventually built in from around 1820 and up on the westcliff where about 60 years later Vincent Van Gogh would eventually sketch the Churchill Tavern; was covered with tents.

I am also pretty sure that the Ramsgate Clifftop buildings that date for this period were built to rent out to officers, “can’t go anywhere without my, horses, servants, don’t you know”

Reading the guide I can only assume that this military centred, marry off your daughters social whirl was what they meant by the season.

However no mention of the war in the guide.    


Monday, 14 August 2017

The Ravensgate Arms Due to Reopen at the End of the Month like The Pav, + a few out and about photos, mainly a Thames Barge in Ramsgate Harbour

The barge is worth a look at, note the pole at 11 O'clock holding the one the sail hangs on at 10 O'clock. this enables the whole rigging - masts and sails - to be dropped very quickly and put up again when going under the bridges on the Thames  
the thing that seems to have a narrow gauge scenic railway on it is to do with the electricity cable between the UK and Europe, it is the cable that travels along the big dipper on its journey to the sea bed and not little people. 

And yes the pub.

here is the link to the rest of the photos from this evening's walk 

here is the link to the books we put out in the bookshop today

Sunday, 13 August 2017

JWM Turner, Canterbury and the ghastly gothic revival and some Margate panoramic views from around 1870

I suppose that the peak of the gothic revival, perhaps inspired by the earlier and more tasteful, is that the tight word? Dame Edna? Was around 1870.

I’m feeling a bit on the lazy side tonight so the three panoramas of Margate that I bought in Canterbury today, I’m dating on the hazard guess front as around 1870.

I suppose if you are being picky one is Westgate.

As I have mentioned before here, there are very few paintings of the inside of Canterbury Cathedral, Turner did do a watercolour of the crypt and one looking out of the gate   
here it is. 

At some time around 1870 someone knocked down the the buildings built in - medieval times, middle ages, dark ages - don't tell anyone, all three are the different ways of saying the same thing.
Where was I? Yes the castellated thing with Georgian and Gothic overtones, in ghastly good taste.
 here is the view today
are they knocking it down or will they replace it with mock dark ages?
 Back when I were a lad, you could sit outside McDonald's - well you could have done if it was there - and paint the cathedral, nowadays there are all these mock dark ages buildings, in the way

Don't despair you can paint it from upstairs in Chocolate Cafe, but the reflections in the windows of the building in front of it are problematic, which is where I am a bit stuck at the moment.

Oh nearly forgot the books that went out in my bookshop