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In League with The Man

Thursday, 13 August 2009

I started this blog for a number of reasons. I obviously hoped it would be of interest to other writers and I also saw it as a good way of raising my profile with (potential) readers. Having to keep it up-to-date and interesting seemed like a good discipline and I also thought it would be therapeutic : a way of letting of steam when things go horribly wrong.

But I also hoped that it might, in some small way, help to support me as a writer. Support me financially, I mean. I'm a way off this happening just yet but I'm still hopeful. What I didn't want to do, however, was to sully it with random adverts served up by a third-party like Google. So instead I've signed up to the Amazon Associate scheme.

Regular readers will be aware I occasionally post reviews on books I've read. My intention is to inform people of interesting reads they might not have come across, and also to provide a writer's perspective on those books : to perhaps highlight interesting techniques. In the past I've just posted pictures of the books' covers, but now those pictures, if clicked, will take you off to Amazon to purchase the book - or indeed anything else. A small cut of anything thus purchased then comes my way. I just thought it was only fair to mention this.

It remains to be see whether I gain anything but, well, nothing ventured. The process of setting up these clickable images is, incidentally, slightly cumbersome and annoying. It's a good example of how web sites still aren't quite joined up properly. Amazon provides the HTML to copy and Blogger lets you edit the raw page of a post to paste the HTML in. But you still have to monkey around with HTML and CSS code a little to get it all to work, which might be enough to put some people off. What we really need is a button on Blogger to fetch a suitably formatted chunk of HTML from Amazon or, conversely, a button on Amazon to generate HTML in a predefined format. If I had the time and inclination I could probably knock something up, I suppose ...

Still, it all more or less works as is. Let's see how it goes ...


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