Well folks, if you’ve been visiting this website here lately, you’ve probably noticed a few changes. Some are rather minor cosmetic ones and others are a little more substantial. If you’re a long-time reader from way back, the biggest change you’ve probably noticed is that I’ve been posting more often here recently.
Back in December I wrote a post called Batting a Thousand. In those days it seemed like there wasn’t much more to add about Romania and I fully expected to wind things down here on the blog. I love (almost) all of my old posts and was delighted to leave them here on the internet for people in the future to read but I didn’t expect that I’d have much more new material to add.
Well… things have changed. Over the past three years (jesus where has the time gone?) I’ve been involved in all sorts of things and had all kinds of crazy adventures (many of which are memorialized on this blog) but my primary source of income remained the same: a specific type of tailored consulting I do for a company in America.
It was great in the sense that my expertise allowed me to charge a decent hourly rate and the money I make “over there” (in America) gets spent over here in Romania, where prices are far lower. This gave me the free time to do all sorts of crazy things like travel around the country and make documentaries and write books and all of the stuff you know about.
But the truth is that this consulting job sucks to be perfectly honest, both in the sense that it’s unpleasant as well as literally sucking away all of my energy and creativity. I also don’t want to be doing it for the next 20 years and so I want to branch out in other directions.
The good news is that this means I now have more time to write here on the blog and elsewhere. Yay!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called Out, Out Damned Spots about how advertisements were mysteriously appearing here on the website even though I hadn’t put them there and I darn sure wasn’t receiving any income from them.
I did my research and it turns out the matter was a bit complicated. Although it’s hard to tell at first glance, this website runs on software created by WordPress. Back when I first started writing (in April 2010) I was using a completely free website hosted by WordPress at absolutely zero cost to me whatsoever.
Then I decided to invest in a proper name (kingofromania DOT COM) and that costs me about $20 a year. But even though I’m paying for the name, the actual files (including all the text and pictures) still reside on a WordPress server and the folks over at WordPress handle all of the tricky technical stuff like bandwidth and caching and all the rest.
This means that there is a cost to them to host and deliver all these files and so somewhere recently (and I’m sure they sent me an email about it but I get a million emails a week and of course I never read the ones I’m supposed to read) they decided that they would put some ads on their hosted websites to try to make some money.
Therefore if I don’t want the ads to appear, I have to pay them $30 a year, which is on top of the $20 I already am paying for the domain name (kingofromania DOT COM). Or my other option is to let them keep running ads but now we split the revenue between us, meaning there’s a small possibility of me making a little money on this website (directly).
So that means the ads are still continuing (mostly at the bottom of individual posts it looks like) and I’ll let it run for a bit to see if I actually do make any money and/or whether they’re too annoying or offensive and turn people away. If they’re rather small and unobtrusive (or actually are useful to some of you, which would surprise me but hey, you never know) then I’ll leave them be for a while and we’ll just see how it goes.
My other option besides paying WordPress $30 to get rid of ads or splitting the ad revenue with them is to move all of my files to a completely independent host, which would cost me money (I’m not quite sure exactly how much just yet) but then I could do various other things which I can’t do now, such as run different ads (that might be more profitable or look better, etc) and thus keep all of the money myself.
I don’t expect any of these options will ever make me rich but just wanted to inform you so you know.
I just updated The Complete Insider’s Guide to Romania, a link to which you can see on the top left of the main (home) screen. Right now it’s only in paperback form because somehow or another I offended the gods of Amazon and so my Kindle account (ebooks) is frozen.
I’m sure they too sent me some emails about it but as you know, I’m bad about reading emails sometimes. I do “love” their haughty replies to my inquiries as though I haven’t sold thousands of books through them already and made them a ton of money and never once did anything weird or illegal but somehow yet of course I am the “offender” in this situation.
UPDATE: Well they finally decided to un-freeze my account after a rather snippy email warning me in vague terms not to break any of their rules in the future, as if I’ve ever done that. So classy.
If you own a Barnes and Noble Nook device though, that ebook version of my book is online and for sale at the moment. I’m retooling a permanent page for all of the information about where to buy my books and in all of the different formats etcetera so when that’s up and running I’ll let you know. I’d like to sell a PDF version of my books as well but until I can find a digital “publisher” that I can agree with and get all of the details hashed out, that will remain something for the future. As I said, I’ll write about it and provide all the links when that’s ready.
I’ve also got a big movie project that I think will be prepared to announce and write about this weekend. You might remember I submitted a short film (15 minutes long) to the TIFF local film competition a couple of weeks ago. Well first I thought I had missed the deadline but then I got a nice email from the lady running the competition and then they said they had extended the deadline so I wasn’t too late to enter but then there were some other problems about I don’t know what so in the end they refused to accept my film after all for no specific reason. This is Romania, you’ve got to remember, where nobody ever knows what in the fuck is going on at any given moment *SIGH*
What else? Well I’m finally getting around to editing and publishing a book I actually wrote last September, my very first attempt at fiction. It’s been so long since I wrote it that I’m essentially reading it for the first time, which is cool, and so all of the plot twists and turns are fresh and surprising to me, which is very cool. Some of the “action” takes place in Romania but it’s not really about Romania per se. It’s a mystery novel with a lot of philosophical threads woven into it and when it’s all published and for sale etc I’ll definitely write a post about it and provide the links to where you can read the first chapter or so online for free. So maybe you’ll like it too!
I’m sure there are plenty more things in the works but that’s enough for now, wouldn’t you say? Just wanted to keep you abreast of what’s going on here and sort of officially announce that I’m back in the writing “game” on a much more full-time basis, which is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
See? His Excellency now made it official! mwahahaha :)