Flipkart ebook sale – Recommended books

Flipkart ebooks:

Flipkart is running an ebook sale. 1,00,000 books are available for Rs. 99 or less. Flipkart ebooks are DRM protected. You can read them only in their Android / iOS app (in your smartphone or tablet) or in their web browser app. Reading in web browser app can be cumbersome. You cannot transfer these ebooks to other apps like Kindle. You can read the books in up to 5 devices using the same Flipkart login.

You need a Flipkart account to purchase the books. You can pay by credit car or net banking. You can purchase only from an Indian IP address. I tried sharing the account info to my friend outside India and he had trouble accessing the purchased books.

Tips for purchasing:

* Not all good books are visible in their featured list. If you have a wishlist search for them.

* Books from same author are available for different price. Search for all books of your favourite authors.

* The sale price is being increased everyday. So, rush to buy if you find a good one.

* Do not load all the books you see to your cart. Is it a one time read? Can you find the book in your local library? Is it worth having as a collection? Will you read the book immediately or will it sleep in your book shelf for ever? Think on these lines and checkout.

List of recommended books

Non-fiction:

Malcom Gladwell Books:

David and Goliath

Blink

Outliers

Stephen Hawking books

The Theory Of Everything

The Grand Design

Other

India After Gandhi

Small Is Beautiful

SuperFreakonomics

Fiction

Murder on the Orient Express – More Agatha Christie stories are on sale. Try to search by author name.

Intervention – More Robin Cook novesl are on sale. Try to search by author name.

Five Point Someone – More Chetan Bagat Novels are on sale. Try to search by author name.

The Godfather

Business

The Professional – More Subroto Bagchi books are on sale.

The First 20 Hours

Built to Last

Great by Choice

The Lean Startup

The 100 Dollar startup

Start With Why

Employees First Customers second

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

I, Steve

Self Help

The Secret

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams – Most of the Robin Sharma books are in sale.

Think And Grow Rich

The Power of Positive Thinking

How to Win Friends and Influence People – More Dale Carnegie books are on sale. Try to search by author name.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

PayPal 2.0

I have been using PayPal for last few years but hardly notice any user interface improvements. There are many alternative Payment processing services but nothing comes close to PayPal’s universal presence. While some are good, they are best only for the US market. So, if there is ever a PayPal 2.0, I wish it has the following features:

* One click withdrawals. After Indian government enforced strict regulations for PayPal, money withdrawal is the only reason I login to PayPal. Right now, it takes 4 clicks to withdraw the money though every time I follow the same procedure? Why can’t PayPal remember my withdrawal preferences?

* An android app or at least mobile version.

* Improved search based on payment amount, sender name.

* SMS alerts on receiving / transferring payments.

What are the features that you would like to see in PayPal?

 

Freelance pricing

Freelance pricing lessons from my experience:

1. No Free work

Most of the freelance work involves direct one to one manual work. If you have a digital product like a software you can afford to provide an extra copy for free but not for manual work.

2. No sample work

Your portfolio should speak for you and the client should be able to decide based on it. Most of the guys asking for sample work are either window shopping or don’t trust your abilities. If you think the client has good reason to test you before offering a big / serious project, provide a quote for the hours spent in sample work. Any genuine client will be glad to accept that.

3. No local price

Time is money and like gold its value should be same universally. You can’t compete globally with local price.

4. No Outsourcing price

Just because you work from a developing country, you should not offer a cheaper price. Unless you scale up and train a lot of people, you can’t continue to compete and sustain based on price alone. And don’t do this unless your only selling point is the price.

5. No charity

The client may have a charity site. Or, a site that doesn’t make income. But you are running a business and should make money. If the client’s cause is something that you appreciate you can just donate money. It is cheaper than donating your freelance time.

6. Dare to raise the price

The biggest mistake any freelancer can make is to work for a reduced price.

Keep raising the price until no one buys from you. Then keep raising your value so people will start buying from you.

There is some value attached to the price offered. So, even if you offer reduced price, clients may think you are charging less because you are not worthy of higher price. So, don’t be afraid to raise your price. If you are not worth the price you quote better try to become worthy than continuing to offer a less worthy service for a lesser price.

7. No partnership or income split

Some clients will prefer to develop a website or software and will offer you part of the income or some kind of partnership agreement instead of paying you real money. Never accept this. A product’s success depends on various factors and can’t be controlled unless you have complete or clearly defined control. You can’t be responsible for a product’s failure and lose your work. If you are sure of the product’s success better get paid for the development time you spend and then negotiate a new partnership agreement as you would do with real business.

8. Value Vs Need

You may work from a home office in third world country. You may have zero overheads. But its is not a good reason to reduce your price. Have an idea of the market rate and charge based on the value of the service and not based on your needs.

9. Charge for the non-working days

Besides paying monthly bills for your family and office, you may want to take a vacation. You may want to attend a business conference. You may want to take a break from work and invest the time on learning or developing a new business. You may have an medical emergency. There will be for sure a lot of days that you cannot or choose not to work for a client. If you are working a day job in a regular company most of these expenses will be taken care of. So, budget an amount for not just the days you work but also days you may not work.

10. Calculate your hourly rate

Let us assume:

You work 8 hours a day. If you spend all those 8 hours in repetitive work, you will end up like a factory worker. So, say you spend half your time in learning, trying new things, developing business, networking etc., You have 4 hours for client work and at least 2 hours can be billable. So, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month is 40 billable hours month.

Therefore, your hourly rate = (Work related expenses, investments + Tax + desired income from a month + allowances for the days you won’t work ) divided by 40 ┬ábillable hours.

Once you have an idea of hourly rate like this you will never charge less.

Email Productivity

Tips for improving productive use of emails:

0. Use Gmail. It helps in using email most productively.

1. Use separate email IDs for work, personal life ( friends, family.. ) and online ( subscriptions, groups .. ) Set the frequency of checking in that order.

2. Use Gmail’s priority inbox feature and stop checking non-priority messages and spam.

3. If the mail is addressed to many and the issue is not urgent, wait for someone else to respond.

4. Use chat / phone. This is also a double edged sword.

5. When you are away, use a vacation responder with phone number for emergency contact. Avoids repetitive mails when you cannot respond.

6. Use filters. Archive / delete / label not so important mails.

7. Use canned responses for regular template messages you send to queries.

8. Go away from computer and access your mails through a basic cell phone with GPRS connection. This experience will teach you some good lessons like:

* Not all mails need to be opened.

* Not all mails need to be replied.

* Not all mails need to be replied at once.

* Short, to the point responses are OK.

9. Go completely offline for few days. This experience will teach you some good lessons like:

* Personal and urgent messages will always reach you through phone calls.

* We started using email only a decade back and the sky won’t fall if we don’t check mail every hour :)

Adsense for Indic language websites

I tried Adsense for my Tamil blog and the result is a disaster :) I had thousands of impressions and only one click worth 1 cent !! It mostly showed public service ads or irrelevant links or went blank.

What publishers can do:

* Even if your content is non-English, name your domain relevantly in English. The ads do match the domain name when the content is not English.

* Try giving tags, categories, post titles, post summary in English. This can be only done while annoying the intended native audience.

Have you tried Adsense for an Indic language website and found it useful? Please share your tips here.