Two quick questions…

Two quick questions –

What is the name of the Sydney based Camino association… and when are the next dinners / lunches? And who’s in charge of the organisation?

Second question, this relating to the book…

What do you think I should price it at, as an ebook?

 

61 thoughts on “Two quick questions…

  1. On Amazon.com the price of ebooks on the Camino run from $3 to $14. It looks like most of them in the US average about $7, $8 and $9.

    As for the Pilgrim office, I was looking on line – I would love to have an Australian Pilgrim Patch, but could not find where to purchase one. Let me know if you find your local chapter and if there is a patch I could have you purchase for me (certainly I will pay for it). I have the APOC, The Camino Forum, The Confraternity of Saint James, the Canadian Pilgrims and I am now having an Old Pueblo Chapter patch made. I have them on my pack and my baseball cap.

    Arlene

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    • Wow – Arlene – you’re going to be decked out with all those patches!

      You have to take a photo and put it up on the blog before you leave.

      If I found out about an Australian one, I’ll get it for you.

      As for the price of the book – I want to make it accessible.

      I read that Four Pilgrim’s book, (I paid for it off Amazon) but it was just a book version of a blog. I was expecting a lot more, and particularly since I paid $4.95 for it.

      I found it to be very disappointing.

      There are website where you can turn your blog into a book, and maybe that’s what he did – but if I’d known it was just a blog turned into a b=ook I would never have bought it. And I think it’s unfair that about a month after publication, he’s now giving it away free!

      Bill

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      • Thanks Bill,

        That will be way cool! I will post a picture before I leave of my pack and me in the cap.

        Was the ebook, the one you got that is now free, “Four Pilgrims A Journey on the Camino de Santiago” by Marc Buchner? I just downloaded that one yesterday because I saw that it was free. I figured I needed to load up the Kindle with books for my Camino.

        I am reading (just started) “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It is the hardcover edition though, but it has a white cover with just a picture of an old beat up hiking boot. That cover sure does jump out at you, though.

        Arlene

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        • Hi Arlene –

          Just looked at Wild – that’s a good book cover.

          Very simple, uses white very effectively.

          I notice that she’s published by Vintage Press, so they’ve obviously thrown some bucks at the cover-art.

          Whats the book like/ I see that it’s had some good reviews. Is it good?

          And yes, the Four Pilgrims book is my marc. He was promoting it on Ivar’s forum about 4 weeks ago – at that stage it was selling for $4.99 and I bought it.

          Regretted it immediately. It was a reprint of his blog – and as such should have been priced at $1.99, or even $0.99. And it should have been stated clearly that it was a print version of his blog.

          Bill

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          • Bill,

            So far Wild seems okay. Just got through the time before she hiked the PCT, the times leading up to her decision to hike.

            I’m now on her getting to the trailhead, so really can’t say much yet. I will let you know when I read more.

            I do like the cover though – crisp, clean and pulls you right in.

            Hmmm – May just be something about the hiking boot that attracts me!

            Arlene

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          • Hi Arlene –

            the cover is very clever –

            the pink laces counterpoint the masculinity of the boot.

            Before I said a cover has to ask a question –

            that juxtapositioning is the question –

            The other thing is this – the majority of people who read books are women.

            So the feminine touch in a masculine realm speaks to women.

            Like I said, a very clever cover – but that’s Vintage, or Knopf I think who were the original publishers, really throwing some money at the key art.

            Yes, please let me know what you think of it. So far I’ve just read some of the samples that Amazon allows, and it seems well written, but not brilliant.

            Not Steinbeck brilliant, or Hemingway brilliant. But these books get their power through the accumulation of experiences as the book progresses. And the engagement the writer makes with the reader. That’s when they hit their mark and the writing itself just serves that.

            Bill

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      • I downloaded the free copy of the Four Pilgrims book this afternoon. It took no time at all to read it and I’m glad it was free since it was short and not edited. I had a hard time getting past the typos!! Caveat emptor, even when free.

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        • Yes – and I paid $5 for it!!

          I was going to post something of a warning on the Camino forum but decided that would not be appropriate.

          But if you’re going to charge $5 for a book, then at least clean up all the typos – and the grammar.

          Typos and dodgy grammar are tolerable on a blog, because everyone know that the posting is sometimes hasty, or not under the best circumstances, but when you’re putting a book up on Kindle or iBooks, then it’s got to be professional.

          Bill

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          • This will probably sit on the Kindle bookshelf because I have no interest to read it now.

            Glad I didn’t pay for it.

            Arlene

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          • Arlene –

            you should take a stab at it – read a chapter or two, see what you think.

            Don’t let me or others put you off!!

            (it was free after all! My griping has to do with that fact that I paid for it, then a month later it’s offered free. I don’t think that’s right.)

            Bill

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    • Hi Arlene – I have just realized that I don’t have the AFOTC cloth patch after all (I’m at Culburra on the NSW South Coast at our weekender at the moment and all my Camino items are at home in Sydney), and the item’s a Fridge Magnet, not a cloth patch! Arrgghh!!! However, I do have a spare beautiful, plain, cloth patch, which I ordered from David at Pilgrim Supplies in the UK which I would love to send you if you would like it. Cheers – Jenny

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    • Hi Julie –

      I think you’re absolutely right.

      I’m thinking either $4.95 or $5.95.

      Not sure whether $5.95 is just a tad too high though.

      Bill

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  2. Hi Bill and Arlene –
    The Pilgrim organisation in Sydney is called Pilgrims in Sydney and Britta and I are members. It’s an informal group who meet every month. If you google Australian Friends of the Camino you will get to the page. The Co-Ordinator is a fabulous person who is a dedicated pilgrim – her name is Sandra Collier and you can contact her on her email which is sandra_collier@hotmail.com – these details also appear on the AFOTC website. When you email her make sure to preface your heading with the word Pilgrim as she receives tons of spam and won’t open anything that doesn’t begin with Pilgrim.
    The dinners are on the first Wednesday evening of each ‘odd’ numbered month – ie next one is next Wednesday, 4 September, at 7pm. We meet at the pub on the corner of George and Liverpool Streets in Sydney. The meetings will be held at the Spanish Club once they find a new venue but for the time being it’s great being in the pub. We have a Saturday lunch each ‘even’ month at the pub – 12 noon – next Saturday lunch is 5 October. At the dinners we all order the Tapas set menu as there’s so many of us – usually around the 30 mark – and at the lunches we just order what we want. All the drinks are purchased at the bar … ‘the lads’ generally stick to beers and ‘the girls’ stick to the whites and the reds!
    The lunches and dinners are simply amazing … we all share so much … some of the pilgrims have walked the Camino many times and these people give so much wonderful advice to pilgrims who have yet to walk. Sadly I won’t be at the next meeting – the dinner – as I am going to a memorial dinner for a friend who died way to young from cancer – but Britta might! She can introduce you to everyone! One of the delegates of Pilgrims in Sydney and the Australian Friends of the Camino, Julie Milne, is Sandra’s ‘No.2’ and Julie and I are co-hospitalering at Refugio Gaucelmo next year.
    Bill, Arlene and PGS family – I simply cannot say how much this group means to me … over the 12 months since I’ve joined the group I’ve attended most of the meetings and the support and friendship with all the people there is something that is so valuable to me. I’m sure Arlene – you feel the same with your group. Both Sandra and Julie give a lot of their time to the group, to the AFOTC and Sandra particularly, to the Confraternity of St James. BTW – there’s a link on the CSJ website to the AFOTC and then to the Pilgrims in Sydney group.
    Arlene – I have a spare AFOTC cloth patch that I would be delighted to send you … if you’d like me to post it to you, email me on sjheesh@optusnet.com.au and I’d be more than happy for you to have it. To think of it on your backpack would be fantastic!
    Bill – your ebook – it’s going to be an item that will be treasured by me and whatever price you set I’ll be more than happy to pay.
    Cheers to everyone – Jenny

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    • Jenny –

      thank you for this info – I know you and Britta sent me stuff earlier, but for the life of me couldn’t find it.

      Would love to go to the next dinner.

      Bill

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        • Hi Jenny –

          just emailed Sandra and asked if Jennifer and I could attend the dinner.

          Hopefully she’ll agree.

          It would be great to meet you and Britta!!

          Bill

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      • Hi Bill – Sandra will let you know that you and Jennifer are very welcome at all the meetings. I’ve organised it so I can be at the dinner next week after all and hopefully Britta will be too, so we will really look forward to meeting you and Jennifer. Cheers – Jenny

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        • That’s fabulous Jenny.

          Do I go onto the website to find out where to meet etc?

          And is it just a dinner? or a talk too?

          It will be so great to meet you both!

          Bill

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      • Hi Bill and Jennifer – the dinner is at the Sir John Young Hotel, 557 George Street, Sydney (corner Liverpool Street) on Wednesday, 4 September. Everyone meets at 7pm and the deal is, grab a couple of seats as soon as you can! It’s a dinner only. Once we’ve ‘reserved’ our seats we all move around and chat with each other until the tapas on the set menu start being served and then we settle in, eat dinner, and once this is over we hop up and talk some more. Pilgrims generally start leaving after 9pm but most of us stay on till around 10pm or so.
        Sandra always ensures that she gets around to all the new pilgrims (ie those who haven’t walked yet). She has a huge amount of information she hands out to those needing it and she makes sure that any questions are answered. More informally, those of us who have done the pilgrimage, talk and help the new pilgrims too.
        The meetings are a ton of fun – you’ll both enjoy it. Cheers – Jenny
        PS – I park at the QVB and walk down George Street to Liverpool Street – the rate is around $12 evening flat rate which is very reasonable.

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        • hi jenny –

          I know that pub well. It has a good Spanish menu. It used to have a terrific bean soup, and do the best grilled fish, Spanish style.

          A great place to meet.

          That all sounds good. I think Jennifer and I will be staying with our daughter in Paddington, so we’ll probably get the train in from Edgecliffe Station to Central, and walk from there.

          This will be fun – looking forward to it!

          Bill

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      • Bill, I went to the lunch gathering in Sydney last December. I happened to be in Sydney for the weekend. Everyone was very kind and helpful – lots of stories shared and advice given to a “would be pilgrim”. Would love to attend again but distance is a problem.
        Anne

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      • Hi Anne and Bill – I didn’t scroll down far enough! IT WAS YOU ANNE !!! The Pilgrim Group meetings are simply the best ‘person-to-person’ support network and friendship circle there is – everyone who is a member of one will agree.
        Cheers – Jenny

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      • Thanks so much Bill – your exceptional blog is the most wonderful connection.
        Cheers and thanks again – Jenny

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  3. I’ve read Wild, and found it to be a very good book – well written, professionally edited, etc. I have to say that I was a little puzzled by some of the motivation and psychological baggage of the author, and amazed that she embarked on the trip so naively, but perhaps that was a key dramatic factor. The trip was fascinating. As it happens, I know a woman who is currently doing the Pacific Coast Trail by herself. Her blog is VERY well done and I wonder if she has a book in mind. It is at http://www.walkonthewildside.site90.com/wordpress/

    I have just downloaded the Four Pilgrims, for free. I think that offering free books is a Kindle or Amazon strategy, since it got me to sign up for a Kindle account. (I then promptly downloaded A Tale of Two Cities for free as well.) In the introduction to Four Pilgrims, the author does make it clear that it was written originally as a blog. I am enjoying it so far, but simply as a better-than-average amateur blog. I agree that it was not polished beyond that.

    I’ve been thinking about camino books and trying to analyze what makes one compelling and another not. Haven’t figured it out yet but will keep pondering.

    About the price of your book, Bill… I read a lot, but almost exclusively free books from the public library, so I’m not a good person to ask. I would vote for $3.95, but also think that $5 is not a lot to spend for a few hours entertainment on a subject that interests me.

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    • Thanks –

      (sorry, I don’t know your name – is it Clare?)

      Yes, I saw that the author had said it was originally a blog, but he didn’t say the book was essentially the blog in book form.

      If it was a blog, then why charge $5 for it?

      As for WILD, yes, I read the blurb etc, and have read a couple of sample chapters now. It seems to be a wonderful redemptive story. And she’s obviously a bright writer. It’s selling on my Kindle Store of $10, and right at the moment I have a backlog of books that I have to read, so I’ll hold off buying a copy until I’ve got through my list. Currently reading I AM PILGRIM, by Terry Hayes. A thriller though… Well written, in that kind of style.

      And thanks also for your feedback on the price. It’s a tricky one, because if you price it too low, then you place a qualitative judgment on your work. If you price it too high, you make it less accessible.

      I’m veering towards $4.95.

      Bill

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    • Let’s not talk about the Rugby Abbey.

      That ref was a complete moron.

      And my Sydney Swans got pummelled yesterday too –

      Not a good day for me.

      I think $4.95 sounds about right.

      Bill

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      • Oh dear….
        I just caught up on the news.
        If anyone knows about bad reffing its us Kiwi’s. Just think France world cup.
        That one still hurts.

        Sorry to hear about the swans. Thats a rough start to your weekend.
        Im in Pamplona at the moment having an xtra rest day as I didn’t make it from Zubiri in time to pick up some stuff from the post office.

        Had a great PGS moment yesterday.
        Was walking into Pamplona and was wondering how I was ever going to find my hotel. All of a sudden I just felt I had to sit down and tried to look at my google maps but I couldn’t read them as the sun was too strong. I realized I was sitting next to a taxi rank and I thought. …im going to take a taxi.
        Went over…and went to hop in and said my hotel name and the guy pointed across the road…and their was my hotel. So awesome!

        Its very busy here. Ive been booking a head as most places are chocker when I get there. And im not doing the Briely stages either.

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        • Hi Abbey –

          Isn’t that walk from Zubiri beautiful though – following the creek?

          So the crowds are causing you problems? It’s wise to book ahead. I had a fabulous little albergue in Pamplona, on the right hand side just as you walk in through the big gates –

          But that was in early April – when there was hardly anyone around!!

          Bill

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      • Yes.. I really enjoyed following River. Very pretty.
        I also enjoyed dipping my feet in the river at Zurbiri. It was so nice that I didn’t even mind the little fish nibbling my feet.

        BUT Bill! That downhill into Zubiri was hideous. I thought of you and your knee. I don’t know how you made it down without poles at that stage. At one stage I thought I was going to have to slide down on my butt. !!!

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        • Oh Abbey –

          you have yet to get to the descent down into Acebo, after the Cruz de Ferro. It makes the hill down into Zubiri look like parkland.

          Yes, it was bloody tough hey? And the day i did it, it had been raining, so all that exposed shale was slippery as glass. And like you said, all I had at that stage was my staff. I hadn’t bought my poles.

          You’ll love Pamplona. Some great places to eat there too. Are you staying a day there? or moving on…

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  4. Bill, I have bought many Camino related books for Kindle reading, through Amazon. They range from $9.95 down to $4.75. Some have been excellent; some very ordinary.
    The Way, My Way – a Camino Memoir by Bill Bennett will be superb however, and I look forward to reading it.

    I am now a member of The Australian Friends of the Camino Inc.. Janet Leitch is the Chairman. They are based in Stirling, S.A. Have just read an article by Jenny Heesh.:-) in the July Newsletter. Also have my membership magnet proudly displayed in my kitchen.
    Blessings
    Anne

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    • Hi Anne –

      very sweet of you to say, thank you!!

      πŸ™‚

      My tendency is always to price lower, to make things more accessible. If it goes the traditional publishing route, then the publisher will determine the price – but if I’m in control of its pricing, then I think under $5 is the go.

      I will check out Friends of the Camino.

      I love Sterling. I used to work out of Adelaide for the ABC. Beautiful place.

      Bill

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    • Hi Anne – I’ve been wondering for a while if it was you who attended one of the Pilgrim Group meetings some months back … you were in Sydney for a few days and far away from your home on the far South Coast of NSW. If it was, we had a fabulous talk and you also spoke with Britta, from memory. I’d love to know, when you get a chance.
      Not long now until you leave … ‘hoping for the very best in every way for you Anne.
      Best wishes and Buen Camino – Jenny

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      • Hello Jenny. I too wondered if you were the Jenny I met. What has taken us so long to join the dots? If I recall, you had a beautiful bracelet which was a tangible reminder of your Camino. I’ll try and get to another meeting in Sydney after I return, but, as you can appreciate, it is difficult with a full time job. Flights are expensive also.
        Only 4 weeks until I leave. Getting nervous excitement and a few butterflies.
        If you would like to follow my blog, I would love to have you along for the journey.
        http://www.alawah38.wordpress.com

        Great to read your wisdom on the PGS blog. Isn’t it wonderful?
        Anne

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        • Hi Anne – I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to reconnect thanks to Bill and this wonderful blog. When you spoke of the South Coast I began to suspect that it was you! I don’t know if I told you at the time but interestingly, I bought the black beaded bracelet with the scallop shell and cross in Nowra. It’s Thomas Sabo. I had looked in Santiago de Compostela last year for a gold bracelet but couldn’t find anything I really liked so I was happy to find this one. The symbols of the scallop shell and cross keep the Camino close to me in spirit.
          I am really looking forward to your blog and will keep in touch with you as you walk. Your pilgrimage is going to be so very special – every step will be joyous.
          I hope that you can make it to a future pilgrim meeting and that we can share some time together once again.
          With very best wishes – Jenny

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    • Hi Ann, could give us the titles of the camino amazone books that you enjoyed ?
      Hi Bill, if you want to sell the book at a fair price, what about to give for free the first chapter: the people that like it will be ready to pay to see what s next. And no surprise.

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      • Hi Marie –

        yep, that’s what I’ll do – give the first and maybe 2nd chapters away for free – but even so I have to set a price up front – so I think I’ll set it at $4.95.

        The thing about eBooks, you can adjust the price up or down later, if needs be.

        many thanks
        Bill

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      • Hello Marie.
        I have listed all the books I have read on my Camino blog.
        http://www.alawah38.wordpress.com
        Have been hoping to put a review of each book on there, but no time. Maybe that will help to pass the 34 hours of travel time on my way to Spain.
        Please check out the book list. A few have been in printed form. I will edit the page so you will know which ones are ebooks.
        Blessings
        Anne

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  5. Am late to get on the blog, but just wanted to add, that, yes, I will be at the dinner on the 4th and looking forward to meeting you Bill and Jennifer. I am often astounded by the variety of people who turn up – different ages and circumstances, but of course, they just reflect the people who walk or are planning to walk the Camino – a wonderful cross-section of society from all over the world, although it’s right that not too many young people make it, but I guess their normal, Sydney lives are so very busy!! πŸ™‚

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  6. PS, Bill, you don’t need to ask ‘permission’ to come to the lunches or dinners. People just turn up and muck in!! πŸ™‚

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    • Ok, thanks Britta –

      Didn’t want to just barge in, but good to know we can just rock up.

      Sounds like a great and loose bunch of people.

      Bill

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