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Lesson of the Week: Know Your Limitations

Lesson of the Week: Know Your Limitations

Among all the excitement of opening The Book Room, of meeting customers, of getting to grips with replenishing stock, of choosing stock, of payment systems, of everything else there is to do, there is one bane of my life that will not go away: the website.

My brother-in-law, Sam, has built it for me, and I am so, so grateful. He has put his own work to one side to create it, he has spent hours – days – doing all the back-end stuff and showing me how to do the front-end stuff, which I tried so hard to remember at the time (I promise I did!).

Why? Well reader, I am just not a technology kinda girl and I think it’s time I recognised my limitations in this new business world. If I could write my books on a typewriter I still would, if I could send my manuscripts by carrier pigeon, I would. I started working as a journalist in offices before there was email (I remember someone explaining the internet to me and shaking my head slowly and saying: ‘nah, that’ll never catch on.’) Back then, we had to ring the newsdesk assistant and dictate our stories over the phone from court. There was no sending remotely, there weren’t even mobile phones, just a good old-fashioned phonebox and you better have a pocket full of coins.

And so, like for many people, the world has changed quickly and I’ve tried to keep up, but this website is the breaking point for me.

The truth is I find it increasingly harder to get to grips with technology, what takes some people minutes, takes me hours, and so, my website sits there…. unpublished.

It’s frustrating because I have so many other things I want to share on here with you. I desperately want to start publishing the interviews I’ve done with all the authors who have created curations for The Book Room, but I can’t do that until I have a website I can direct readers to who are outside of Tunbridge Wells. I want people to watch the video and feel as enthused as I did interviewing these authors, to immediately want to down tools and order all the books from me, but they won’t be able to do that if there is not a link that takes them through to the website.

Gah! Can you feel my frustration this morning?

It’s been such a wonderful week so far in the shop, people are getting ahead with their Christmas lists with orders and pre-ordering book hampers, and yet this website sits there nagging away at me in the background.

I guess this is the problem of a start-up that doesn’t have money behind it. Perhaps other people have budgets for things like websites, and so they can leave it to other people and don’t need to wear as many hats as me: shelf-stacker, sales assistant, book-keeper, website designer person thingy. I have got very far by relying on the kindness and generosity of others (many I have mentioned here before, and I’m still so appreciative), and this is just something else that I’ve got to get to grips with.

So, this morning, I am making this vow now to you, I will crack it. I will have that website published by the weekend come hell or high water.

It will be done. I can do this.

*goes away and sobs quietly to self*


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