Tag Archives: Melbourne

Printing Resources for Melbourne Indie Authors

My thanks to Michelle Lovi, David Prosser, and Suzanne Newnham for all the wonderful information they shared with me. Armed with this information, I went researching and found some resources that may be of use to others as well.

The following are by no means all the POD printers there are in Melbourne, but they are the ones that seemed to provide the best match to my needs.

In order of discovery:

Bookpod

http://www.bookpod.com.au/book_printing.html

This printer is based in Melbourne and requires a minimum 10 books.

Print on Demand

http://www.printondemand.net.au/content/books-manuals-reports-training-materials

This printer is based in South Melbourne. No info. on costs or shipping.

Blurb Australia?

http://au.blurb.com/lp/make-a-book?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google_AU_Printing_NonBrand_DesktopTablet_Beta_G&utm_term=%2Bprint%20%2Bbooks&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-KLXxMr91QIVxgoqCh0zvAS0EAAYASAAEgJDBvD_BwE

This company rang a bell, but when I investigated further, I discovered that you have to use their own proprietary software and fonts. And they only seem to offer one trim size : 6 x 9

Shipping – Express only. Cost in AUD 14.99 [that was for shipping only; no idea what the print costs would be on top of that].

The shipping cost is pretty much the same as for CreateSpace so I was disappointed. 😦

IngramSpark

http://www.ingramspark.com/

IngramSpark have an Australian print facility but they do not have an Australian website [yet]. This was very confusing and I spent about half an hour following links all over the place, trying to find the Aussie site.

In the end, I rang the Lightning Source phone number and the very nice voice at the other end explained that:

  • Lightning Source is for big print jobs
  • IngramSpark is for small to tiny print jobs
  • One account to bind them all
  • Printing processed according to actual, physical location – i.e. in Australia for Australian Indies.

So, to have your book printed in Australia [with IngramSpark], you have to setup an account via the international website [shown above]. Processing the print order is the same for everyone, everywhere, but if you’re in Australia, the printing and shipping will be done from /here/.

To check the shipping costs, click on the IngramSpark website, then click on Resources followed by Tools.

You will now see a whole range of tools available for selfpublishers – including templates and the shipping calculator. I had a little bit of trouble with the shipping calculator because it didn’t seem to like the page count of 370. -shrug- When I entered 380 instead, everything was fine. This is the info I entered for the calculator [the book is Nabatea]:

I have to say, the results made me very happy. 🙂

The shipping costs for 1 book gave this result:

The per book cost is almost double what the CreateSpace eStore would charge [buying at cost], however the shipping and handling work out to be more than 2/3 less. Thus, printing here works out to be quite a bit cheaper than shipping in 1 book from the US.

When I looked at 10 books, the savings were even greater:

The per book cost remains the same but so does the shipping! This means that each book costs only 44c to ship. Colour me laughing all the way to the bank. 😀

And finally, just out of curiosity, I looked up the cost of 100 books:

Clearly, the economies of scale just don’t stack up with POD as the reduction in per book cost was tiny. Nevertheless, it was heartening to see that the shipping costs worked out to be 25c per book.

So there you have it. The local copies of the Innerscape saga will be printed here in Australia, by IngramSpark. This will mean another learning curve for me, but even that has an upside as I’ll be able to publish a second how-to book titled “How to print your book [using Word and IngramSpark]”. lol

I may even offer workshops as well… Guess who’s going to be a very busy girl? -dance-

Hope this is of use to others out there.

cheers

Meeks

 

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A smelly but good news tech post

Apologies if this puts anyone off, but I’m really excited by this innovative way of dealing with sewage. Not only does it make something useful out of a big, smelly problem, it does so in a ‘relatively’ small space. [Conventional sewage works take up acres and acres and acres of land that could be used for other things].

To read how this innovative approach actually works, please read the article on New Atlas:

http://newatlas.com/mimic-nature-sewage-oil/46260/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

As a sci-fi writer I’m interested in all kinds of futuristic world building and one of my earliest ideas was for an ‘undercity’ built to replace much of Melbourne, post sea level rises that drown the lower reaches. Obviously, the new undercity would have to be built on much higher ground to avoid being drowned as well, but it would have lots of big advantages – temperature would remain more or less constant, bushfires would no longer be a danger and the land above the city could be used for productive agriculture. [At the moment, all Australian cities spread outward and our suburbs are built on land that would be better used for the growing of food].

One major problem with this undercity, however, was the issue of waste. I imagined food waste being ‘eaten’ by the SL’ick [synthetic life chickens that look like huge worms made of chicken breast meat], but I simply could not come up with an innovative way of dealing with the body wastes we humans produce. Until now. One small step for my world of the future, one large step for waste management. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Melbourne

Christmas is a time for giving, but all too often the ones who get the least are the small, four-legged people who share our world. They depend on wonderful humans like the people at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital to care when no one else will.

This is the story of Metro Flinders, a small black cat a lot like my Golli.

Hi, it’s Metro Flinders here…it’s nice to meet you… Thank you for taking the time to read our stories and hear all about the great work Lort Smith does for us. I like to think my story is as interesting as Neo’s and that I too, will have a happy ending. It’s a long story which starts in April this year when I was found alone and scared at Flinders Street Station. A lovely lady rescued me and knew to bring me into Lort Smith.

The Vet’s found out I had what’s called femoral neck deformities which was why I was dragging my legs and not able to stand for long periods of time. This meant I needed to go into surgery so I could feel better. The Vets operated on my left hand side first which meant I had time to recover before they did the other side. I was feeling very sad and sorry for myself but knew I was going to feel better soon.

With the multiple surgeries, medication, food and overnight stays in the Hospital and Adoption Centre, I cost Lort Smith in excess of $3,600. Please donate this Christmas so Lort Smith can continue caring for helpless animals like me.

And this is what Metro looks like:

lort-smith-animal-hospital-1

The reason I’m telling you Metro’s story is because it illustrates the kind of care that animals receive at Lort Smith. Instead of being euthanised because his health problems were ‘too expensive’, the vets at Lort Smith gave this little guy a chance at life.

I’m tearing up as I write this because a) I love animals and b) after the mess we humans have made of this year, I desperately needed to know that we’re not all bad. Lort Smith restored my faith in humanity, at least in some humans, and that is the best gift I could have received for Christmas. In return, I gave a paltry $25. I know who got the better part of the deal.

I’m also feeling a bit teary because Rosie came into our lives from Lort Smith. Rosie died in my arms a number of years ago. It was a gentle death and I shouldn’t cry but I still miss her.

rosie

 

kushi

I miss my Kushi too. Always loved, never forgotten.

If you live in Melbourne and were thinking of giving something to a stranger this Christmas, why not make it Lort Smith?

http://www.lortsmith.com/get-involved/how-to-support-us/you-can-make-an-impact-this-christmas/

If you’re not from Melbourne, why not find an animal shelter near home to support. Even the smallest donation can save a life. Isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

Love you all,

Andrea

 


Melbourne, multi-culturalism and Ecca Vandal

My post this Sunday was requested by the Offspring. She has just discovered Ecca Vandal and asked me to promote this young, Melbourne artist.

I was a little leery at first – I’ve never been able to ‘sell’ anything I didn’t believe in myself. However after watching this video clip, I’m well and truly a fan. This girl reminds me of Gwen Stephanie before she became mainstream.

Brash, raw and throwing off sparks of vitality, I give you Ecca Vandal and the White Flag:

And now, if you’re still with me, a little background on Ecca Vandal. Radio station Triple J takes the credit for discovering her, and this is what they say about her background:

“South African born with Sri Lankan Heritage, Ecca Vandal’s parents left South Africa after Apartheid in the late 80s, her parents making the decision to find a stable environment in which to educate their daughters.”

[So familiar this; my parents made the same decision in 1957.]

Apparently the family settled in Melbourne, becoming part of the multi-cultural soup that makes Melbourne such a great place to live. We have  some of the best food in Australia, a vibrant cultural life – thanks to all those who make their home here – and now we have Ecca.

It feels good to be a Melbournite. 🙂

p.s. No Sydney-siders were harmed in the making of this post.

Meeks


“There is no skeptic at the end of a fire hose”

That line, delivered by Peter Marshall, Secretary of the United Firefighters Union [Victoria Branch] made the crowd at the Climate Change Rally roar its approval, and I yelled right along with them.

Marshall went on to say that in decades past, firefighters would have to deal with just one major fire event every ten years or so. Since 2002 however, there have been NINE major events. They all know that things have changed. They all know that their jobs have become much harder, despite new technology. And they all know that things are going to get even worse if something isn’t done about climate change.

Interestingly, David Packham, an expert on fire behaviour, doesn’t believe the incidence of more frequent, hotter bushfires is because of climate change. He believes it is down to nothing but fuel loads.

Now I have great respect for David Packham, and as a layperson, I agree that fuel loads play a critical role in bushfires, but fuel loads can’t explain the frequency of other, catastrophic natural events around the world. And I do think climate has more than a little to do with the dangers we now face every summer – because I’m old enough to remember the weather patterns we used to have. Maybe some of you will remember as well.

As a child of six I have a very vivid memory of the day the everlasting heat finally broke with a massive thunderstorm. I remember because I, along with my parents, and most of the people on our street, rushed out to dance in the rain. That was in 1959.

Then again at about 16 or 17, I remember lying in bed under the open window, praying for a breath of cool air so I could get some sleep before my exam the following morning. I didn’t get my wish.

The thing to note here is that back then, neither we nor many other people owned fans, much less air-conditioners. Sometimes it got incredibly hot, but most of the time summer was bearable, and going down to the beach was fun.

Maybe I’ve grown soft in my old age, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive without cooling of some sort these days. And I certainly worry about bushfires a whole lot more. The world I knew is changing, fast, and the future promises not relief but more of the same.

That fear for the future was echoed by a lot of other people at the rally on Sunday too.

When I realised that I was effectively a roving reporter for my blog, I gathered up my courage and started talking to people. The three ladies in the picture below were all roughly my age, and they were happy to tell me why they were at the rally.

3 ladiespic

One of the ladies talked about her fears for her grandchildren. The other two expressed similar concerns for the future, and were determined to do what they could to ensure that something was done about Climate Change. The sense of urgency was palpable, despite the pristine blue skies and glorious sunshine.

Looking around me I saw  people from every walk of life and every age bracket. If you look closely at the pictures in my previous post, you will see babies and young children, teenagers and young adults, people in their 30’s and 40’s, and lots of people like me. I even saw one placard that read Baby Boomers for Climate Action. Trust me, we Boomers were out in force, and I felt quite at home.

Sadly, a rally of 30,000 people out of a total population of  roughly 4 million is not going to make Tony Abbott lose much sleep. Even if we double that figure to factor in the people who wanted to come but couldn’t, that’s still only 60,000. Again, not enough people power to force any government to rethink its position. That is the bad news.

The good news is that we true believers got to see each other, and the seeing was uplifting. I came away from the rally feeling energized by the knowledge that I wasn’t just some mad dog barking away all by myself. Whether my efforts do any real good is moot, but perhaps the combination of lots of small efforts like mine will make a difference. While there’s life there’s hope. 🙂

And perhaps you out there will find yourselves motivated as well. As one of the speakers at the rally said, if every household in Australia invested in solar power, our reliance on dirty coal would be broken, and we’d save money as well. It’s good to dream. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Melbourne Climate Change Rally in Pictures

I’m not the world’s best photographer so I struggled to capture the feel of today’s Climate Change rally in Melbourne, but these pics should give you some idea of what it was like. I’ll follow up with my impressions of the rally in a second post, but for now I’m knackered from all the walking I’ve done today, and it’s waaaaaay past lunch. 🙂

slideshow


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