Actually, this is not an automated message.
However, times being what they are, a quest for efficiency has begun here at OnlineItalianClub.com, which means a degree of ‘automation’ is very much on the cards!
Now, you’re probably much better educated than I am, so I’m sure you’ll already know how the city which is now known as İstanbul (dig the dotted capital I – bet you don’t have one of those on your keyboard), but was formerly Constantinople, got its earlier name.
Well from Constantine, naturally. And the ‘-ople’ part, our series writer explains, means ‘city’ in Ancient Greek. Well duh, of course it does!
Consider yourself reminded, then. Though before you go off to check on your colleagues’, or long-suffering family members’, familiarity with the etymology of the former name of one the world’s greatest cities, better make sure you’re up to scratch on WHY the city, which had been known to Ancient Greeks and equally ancient Romans as Byzantium, got its rebranding.
It’s all explained here:
So where were we?
So I’ve been running the club, and later our online shop, more or less single-handed since we began back in 2012, or whenever it was. And that’s grown into more or less a full time job. Which is fine, except, well, for the coronavirus.
Given the way the world has gone this year, it rather looks as if I might be doing a bunch of kiddie classes at our language school during the autumn and winter. Those are the ones that were suspended back at the end of March when the Italian state closed us down. The regular children’s teacher, who is older than I am and so in the vulnerable category, seems to have decided that caution is the better part of valor. Leaving me next in line at the chalkface.
Hence, I’m likely to be busier. Hence again, doing things the way I’ve always done them (manually, basically) seems no longer to be so bright. But hey, guess what? These days it seems possible, anzi quite normal, to automate a lot of the things that I’ve been spending my time on.
For example, when someone tries to buy an ebook, and there’s a problem with the cursed Paypal, their order ends up as ‘pending’ or ‘cancelled’, and the customer as disappointed, anxious, frustrated, or all three.
So, periodically, I’ll check the shop, spot such problems, and email the person to offer reassurance and encouragement (please try again, I’m here to help!)
I’ve made lots of friends that way over the years. But it IS time-consuming, and does mean being willing to sit at a computer 365 days a year.
Turns out, though, for a few dollars more and a couple of hours of effort, I can set up the shop so that all that happens automatically, thus saving myself a lot of time, which I will now be able to spend wiping snotty noses.
It’s also possible to automate the sending of ebooks to customers (in the sense that they receive a download link rather than me having to email the ebook as an attachment), something I’ve long resisted because, back in the day, people used to miss the download links and get very stressed about the whole thing. Emails were easier. Doing everything the time-consuming, old-fashioned way was easier.
Needs must, though. Perhaps the time has come to give the automatic download route another try. Which brings me to this week’s new ebook, ‘I racconti della vestale‘
This is an advanced-level story, so I’ve left the product description mainly in Italian. If the text below in italics is too hard, then the ebook will probably be above your level (though there’s a wide choice of easier material listed on our Catalog page…)
Comprendo che è un peso stare a sentire una vecchia logorroica, ma non ho molto pubblico ultimamente, però vorrei raccontarti la mia storia.
“La donna ha bisogno di essere protetta da un uomo perché è debole sotto molti aspetti. Per questo nessuna donna è libera. Né le attrici né le prostitute, né le cittadine, né le campagnole, né le matrone né, ovviamente, le schiave”.
Così aveva sentenziato mia nonna, accompagnandomi alla cerimonia di iniziazione, e poi aveva aggiunto, alzando il dito indice: “Ma le sacerdotesse della dea sono protette da Vesta, e sono preparate fin da piccole ad avere grandi responsabilità. Perciò possono scegliere cosa fare della propria vita, e quando finiscono di prestare servizio alla città, hanno la stessa libertà di un uomo”.
Avevo solo nove anni ma non ero stupida: sapevo che sposarsi significava sottostare al volere del proprio marito, produrre eredi per lui e accettarne le scappatelle. Questa era la vita di mia madre, e anche mia sorella Lucilla Maggiore stava per diventare esattamente quel tipo di matrona: a tredici anni aveva sposato un uomo di ventiquattro che aveva conosciuto il giorno prima del matrimonio.
Mi aspettavano dunque trent’anni di servizio alla dea e poi sarei stata indipendente!
As the title says, ‘The Reminiscences of the Vestale’, or something like that. An elderly Roman woman reflects on her life and long career spent guarding her city’s sacred flame. With zombies.
There’s a free sample chapter (.pdf), of course. Why not take a look? And the audio for the entire story is available free online (the link is in the free sample chapter, at the top of Chapter 1.)
‘I racconti della vestale‘ will sell for the usual ebook easy reader price of £7.99 from next week. But this first week only, it’s discounted -25%, so just £5.99!
Get it while it’s cheaper, then, but TWO NEW THINGS!
1.) For everyone who has had issues paying through Paypal lately, or ever, and I know that really has been a lot of people, we now have a ‘PAY BY CREDIT CARD’ option in our online shop that doesn’t involve Paypal. Hurrah! It’s operated by a company called Stripe, and seems to work smoothly – two people already used it this morning, within an hour of me pressing the button to activate it.
2.) As mentioned above, ‘I racconti della vestale‘ is offered as an automated dowload, to see how that goes. Maybe we’ll do the same thing with the other ebooks, instead of me manually emailing them, or maybe we won’t. This is a test, to see what happens. Here’s how I’ve tried to explain it on the product page:
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (allow up to 24 hours), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.
Here are those links again:
And the history stuff is here:
And of course there’s Saturday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news to read/listen to.
A mercoledì, allora!