Friday, December 14, 2018

How a German Grocer Stirs Up the US Market

Being half of the year in the US and traveling a lot there, my first stop is always at an ALDI or a Trader Joe's store.  And yes there is an ALDI, right behind the border when you cross over from Canada.  In both chains, I will always find some fine specialties from Europe, such as Marzipan Christstollen, Lebkuchen, Chocolates, Spekulatius, and Wine.

In 2017, ALDI announced they were planning on becoming a major competitor in the US grocery store market.  At the time the announcement came, they had around 1,600 stores across the country, and their game plan included raising that to 2,500 and investing a mind-blowing $3.4 billion into current and future American endeavors.  The push into the American market certainly isn't anything new.  The German company had first gained a foothold in their home country before spreading across Europe, and there's a fascinating history behind this up-and-coming US chain.
What Do ALDI and Kohl's Have in Common?
Absolutely nothing, at first glance, but in 2018 it was announced Kohl's was going to start subletting space in their stores to ALDI.  It started when around 300 Kohl's stores were remodeled to free up space that would be sublet to partners in an attempt to boost traffic and profits, and ALDI was a logical choice. On one hand, it's turning unprofitable space in Kohl's into profits, and it's allowing them both to take shots at the competition — particularly Target. 
As for ALDI, they're focusing on expanding the same kind of product lines Kohl's customers are looking for — fresh options and fine European foods.  Forbes says the partnership is a relatively small part of ALDI 's US expansion plans, but it could give them a serious boost in terms of building credibility as a respectable grocery store.  The program will start in only 10 stores, and CNBC says it has the potential to be a win-win for both sides.
Highest Quality
Since ALDI built their reputation on affordability, it's easy to associate that with a cheap product.  But they take the idea of quality very seriously, and in 2013 they invited 'The Telegraph" into their headquarters.  It was the first time an "outsider" was allowed through those doors.

ALDI has an entire team that works in their test kitchens, and they adhere to strict policies.  Product purchasers join the test kitchen twice a day, sample about 180 meals every week, and try each product 30 times before it makes it to Aldi's shelves.  They're not done yet — they re-test every product at least once a year, and every time one of their competitors launches a similar product, theirs goes back to the test kitchen.
In the test kitchen, the cost isn't taken into consideration at all — something might be cheap, but they insist that it be good.  Once a product meets the approval of the test kitchen, it then has to measure up to the standards of ALDI's managing directors… and then, it's finally offered to customers.

Save Money on High-Quality Products
Picking up ALDI 's brands will save you money, but it turns out you're not even compromising on the quality — and they have the awards to prove it.

For example, in 2017, ALDI 's Cotes de Provence Rose placed second in the International Wine Challenge for rose wines in a blind taste test.  That's even more impressive considering it only costs around $10 a bottle.  It beat wines that regularly sell for three times the price.  And in 2015, ALDI 's Highland Black 8-Year-Old Whiskey received another award.
No Food Additives!
Now more than ever, we're aware of the additives in our foods, and in 2015 ALDI announced they would no longer manufacture or sell products with questionable ingredients.
With the announcement (via Consumerist), they confirmed they were no longer selling items with partially hydrogenated oils, artificial and synthetic coloring, or added MSG. According to CEO Jason Hart, about 90 percent of the products sold at ALDI  are their own brand, so that gives them some serious control over the ingredients in the food they sell.  And, if you haven't noticed a difference yet, you won't.  They didn't make the announcement until after they'd already done it.
ALDI Nord & ALDI Sued
There's only one country where ALDI Nord and ALDI Sued share pieces of the grocery store pie, and that's in the US. You wouldn't know it, though, and that's because ALDI Sued — with its blue and orange logo — does business as ALDI, and ALDI Nord goes by another name: Trader Joe's. What? Shocking, we know!

Trader Joe's was founded in 1967 in Pasadena, Calif., by entrepreneur Joe Coloumbe. It was acquired in 1979 by ALDI Nord, a German company that also operates ALDI grocery stores in Europe.

Take a closer look, and it'll make sense. Trader Joe's is an Americanized version of ALDI. Gone are some of the elements you're more likely to see in a European grocery store, like putting some cash down to rent a cart (yes, you get it back).  Employees that don't bag your groceries for you, and a reliance on reusable bags.  But some elements remain, especially private labeling and a definite lack of advertising.  Now it all makes sense, doesn't it?

Read More:


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Is There an End on How Amazon Hurts Authors?

Streaming ebook subscription services are hurting authors - badly. But how much? 

The only known fact about it is that it will return a much lower payment per e-book than a sale.
Amazon also demands total exclusivity on all content enrolled in KDP Select to qualify for Amazon Unlimited and KOLL.  It is a very high price to pay when a content provider (author or publisher) has no idea of what return to expect.
Working for Glory?
No matter which way royalties are going to be calculated for these services and probably more new entrants in the "Netflix for e-books" subscription service business will arrive.  They are all almost guaranteed to be at the price of a much lower return for authors and publishers.
Read the whole background story written by Derek Haines here:

My own thoughts: Why do authors not band together and sue Amazon for unethical business practices - among other reasons - in a class-action suit?  How far will they let Amazon go?


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Fellowships for Writers in France and the USA

    Brown Foundation Fellowship Program The program at the Dora Maar House in Southern France offers residential fellowships, lasting for between one and three months. Application fee $20. Deadline for Fall 2019 is February 15, 2019, or on October 15, 2019, for the spring 2020 session. The successful candidates will receive:
  • travel expenses to and from Dora Maar House
  • reimbursement for reasonable shipping costs for materials such as books and research files
  • a stipend of US$50 per day for basic living expenses
  • a private bedroom, bathroom, and studio

    To apply, go to the website of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: You will find all the details on how to apply on their site.
Another Fellowship - Comes up Each Year: Fellowship for Emerging Writers (not yet published or contracted): The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts Seven Months Residency Fellowship - provides an apartment plus a monthly stipend of $750)  The residencies run from 1 October 2019 to 30 April 2020 Hurry up, deadline December 2, 2018, or apply next year


Thursday, November 22, 2018

5-Star Review: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free

I’m honored by this great 5-Star review on my book 

by Alyssa Elmore for Readers’ Favorite:

"Confused about how to build an author platform?  Frustrated with slow marketing progress?  Discover how to create a viable online author presence in the informative book, 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free (Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book's Success) by Doris-Maria Heilmann.
Creating an online presence can be a daunting task for the author.  Promoting yourself and a book can quickly lead to you becoming overwhelmed.  Strategize your writing career by planning how to publish, publicize, and launch your book.  Learn how to get your books in bookstores and libraries, and correctly contact television and radio stations, and blogs.  Develop a solid plan to market your book and watch your sales grow.  Are you ready to elevate your book promotion?

For newcomers and seasoned authors, 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free delves deeply into the mechanics of taking your writing career to the next level.  With more links and resources, this book can easily become invaluable to the writer.  Although it may be more dense with information, the content is much more detailed."

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success 
eBook and Print available worldwide through this universal link:

"I liked the author's tips on how to build online relationships.  As someone who avoids social media, (it has been the bane of my author existence).  I really appreciated how the author breaks down how to work on social media.  Short, to the point, succinct.  Finally, I get it!  I am so excited to implement so many of these ideas.  I was also thrilled to read the section on how to pitch to television and radio.  Another superb writer's resource book from an excellent author."



Monday, November 19, 2018

FOTOLIA is Now Part of Adobe Stock

Fotolia's website will close next year, on 5 November 2019, less than a year from now, moving to Adobe Stock. Fotolia was offering for more than 13 years curated collections of high-quality images, graphics, videos, and more from the world's leading creative community. 

Here is an excerpt of their press release:

"Adobe Stock offers a unified, powerful platform for buying royalty-free stock assets. Here are some feature details:

You get the vast majority of content from Fotolia and more, over 120 million assets, including Premium Collection images from leading artists, videos, 3D assets, and design templates.
Just as on Fotolia, you can buy stock photos directly from the Adobe Stock website. You can also browse and buy from within Adobe Creative Cloud apps (including Photoshop CC) and also within Microsoft PowerPoint.
You can search using keywords like you did on Fotolia, and you can also use features powered by Adobe Sensei AI to find images that are similar to other images, search for images based on aesthetic characteristics and more."

From their FAQ's

Do I need to upload all my files again after I synced my account to Adobe Stock?
No. All your accepted content remains available on both the Fotolia and Adobe Stock sites whether or not you sync your Fotolia account with Adobe Stock. Syncing your Fotolia account allows you to upload and manage your content, view your sales, and request payouts on the Adobe Stock Contributor portal.

What will happen to my rank?
You will retain your rank. The rank determines the royalties for Fotolia credit sales and the minimum payout for large subscription packs on Adobe Stock.



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Jetzt auch im PRINT Format: TRAUMBERUF PILOT?

Piloten Ausbildung, Jobsuche und Berufsalltag

Alles was Sie als angehender Pilot wissen müssen, finden Sie in diesem praktischen Ratgeber – der “Bibel” für Airline, Berufs- und Helikopterpiloten.  Dank der JAR FCL sind die europaweit die Lizenzen weitgehend vereinheitlicht, sodass nicht nur (künftige) Piloten in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz von diesem Buch profitieren, sondern auch deutschsprachige Luftfahrt Enthusiasten aus allen anderen europäischen Ländern.
Laut einer Schulabgängerumfrage lag die Tätigkeit als Pilot an dritter Stelle von allen Wunschberufen.  Das bedeutet dass sich hunderttausende junger Leute für den Pilotenberuf interessieren - aber nirgendwo eine umfassende, professionelle und unabhängige Beratung finden.
Das Buch ”Traumberuf Pilot?” gliedert sich in drei Bereiche: 

Im ersten Teil werden die Einsatzmöglichkeiten für Berufspiloten erklärt und der Berufsalltag beschrieben. Vom Nachtfracht-Piloten und Helikopterpiloten, über den Executive-Flieger bis hin zum Langstreckenpilot und dem Testpiloten und Fluglehrer berichten Cockpit-Crews über ihren Arbeitsbereich und den Pilotenalltag.

Der zweite Abschnitt beschreibt Ausbildungswege in Europa nach den neuesten europäischen Ausbildungsvorschriften, den JAR-FCL’s, aber auch den Ausbildungsmöglichkeiten in Canada, Australien, Süd Afrika und den USA - inklusive der Vorschriften für die Lizenzumschreibung - beschrieben. Es wird ausführlich auch auf die Ausbildung “ab initio” - die durchgehende Ausbildung - oder die Kombination mit einem Studium eingegangen.

Im letzten Teil werden Berufschancen besprochen, DLR Pilotentest-Vorbereitungskurse erklärt, Ausbildungskosten aufgelistet, Gehälter - weltweit - benannt, Möglichkeiten der Jobsuche aufgezeigt - mit einer umfassenden Adressenliste für Ihre Bewerbung inklusive der derzeit eingesetzten Fluggeräte von europäischen Airlines und gewerblichen Luftfahrtunternehmen.
Und es werden natürlich auch hilfreiche Bewerbungs- und Vorstellungstips gegeben. Im Anhang wird der Luftfahrtjargon entschlüsselt und Abkürzungen werden erklärt, sowie zahlreiche Suchmöglichkeiten für die weitere Online Recherche für den Leser aufgelistet.

Für dieses umfangreiche und alle Aspekte der Berufsfliegerei umfassende Informationswerk waren jahrelange Recherchen und zahllosen Interviews notwendig. Eigene Erfahrungen als Berufspilotin und Fluglehrerin runden die Informationen ab. Vor- und vor allem Nachteile dieses Berufes werden detailliert beschrieben.
Anforderungen der Flugschulen, Ausbildungswege, Marktchancen und ein komplettes Adressenverzeichnis von europäischen Ausbildungsbetrieben und von den gewerblichen Luftverkehrsgesellschaften, sowie Tips zur Vorbereitung auf den Einstellungstest bei der DLR und die Stellensuche sollen künftigen PilotInnen bei der Entscheidungsfindung helfen. Ein umfangreicher Index erleichtert die Suche und das Vertiefen einzelner für Piloten interessanter Themen.

Um den Lesern einen objektiven Leitfaden an die Hand zu geben, wurden natürlich auch besonders die weniger positiven Seiten des Berufes detailliert aufgezeigt. Diese "Bibel für angehende Piloten” geht nicht nur auf die europäische Piloten-Ausbildung und die Berufsmöglichkeiten ein, sondern will auch die weltweiten Perspektiven aufzeigen.
Die Autorin Doris Daily war selbst viele Jahre als Berufspilotin und Fluglehrerin in Europa und den USA tätig, verlegte ein Luftfahrtmagazin, und schrieb freiberuflich über Luftfahrtthemen, bis hin zu einem Ausbildungswerk für Simulatoren. 

Traumberuf Pilot?
Weltweit erhaeltlich
ISBN Print book
(Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
und in vielen weiteren Ländern


ISBN eBook

Weitere Bestellmöglichkeiten in Europa:







Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Draft2Digital Distributes Print Books

Draft2Digital is thrilled to announce D2D Print! Authors can be wait-listed for the D2D Print Beta!  D2D will email you when they are ready for you to join

Draft2Digital explains:
“Right now we are beta testing our new print on demand (POD) service, finding and eliminating any bugs and technical challenges, and making this a resource that will help you expand your author business in an exciting way!

Unlike some POD services, D2D Print will have no upgrade fees, no recurring fees, and delivers low-cost author copies.

We’ll also offer some pretty amazing features, including:

  • Cover Converter—If you need a print-ready version of your eBook cover, we’ll generate one for you automatically!
  • Cover Templates—If you want to supply your own existing print cover, you can use our free cover templates to ensure it is the perfect size and dimensions
  • A variety of trim sizes—All of the POD industry-standard trim sizes are here
  • Widow & Orphan Control—If you use our auto-generated interior we can help keep the weird line breaks and pesky widowed and orphaned text to a minimum
  • All the choices you’re used to—Matte or glossy finish for your cover, cream or white paper for your interior, a free ISBN from D2D or bring your own—we have you covered!
  • Brick & Mortar Distribution—Physical bookstores will be able to order copies of your books, to place on their shelves. 
The beta test for this service is in full swing, and though we can’t immediately add everyone we do have a waiting list you can join!  If you would like to be considered for addition to the beta, please click the button!”