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RussianParagon
25-05-2012, 18:51
Hello there, I'm writing a book titled "How to survive in Russia: the survival guide". I need opinions, critisism (long as it is constructive), additional info, real life stories, etc. Bonus: if you post something interesting or unique, I will officially include you in the co-authors list. Feel free to destroy my self-confidence. Thanks in advance

(I beg to attach the first few chapters to this message. check it out)

DavidB
25-05-2012, 19:14
Are you trying to make money with this book?

Maybe you should make it an online guide rather than a book, and you can make money from Google advertising.

From what I understand, authors don't make any money. Only do it if you enjoy writing.

robertmf
25-05-2012, 19:47
Are you trying to make money with this book?

Maybe you should make it an online guide rather than a book, and you can make money from Google advertising.

From what I understand, authors don't make any money. Only do it if you enjoy writing.

Authors aren't like painters or poets where you have to be dead :bong: If an author is prolific and reasonably good (i.e., popular with the hot & sweaty masses), then the $$ will follow. Personally since this is a niche publication, I would follow your advice and publish eBook and online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_fiction_authors


:tgif: Memorial Day Longgggg Weekend to kickoff the Summer season.

yakspeare
25-05-2012, 19:48
Writers can make a hell of a lot of money. I wouldn't mind having stephanie meyer's or JK Rowling's bank accounts...the % to the author is quite generous.

RussianParagon
25-05-2012, 20:03
I'm writing it for my own pleasure. I am planning to publish it in September 2012 just so I can hold it in my hand and see the result of my work. That said, I am not exactly sure where the whole thing will take me. Perhaps I will be able to make some money, but that's not my ultimate goal.

DavidB
25-05-2012, 20:12
I know 2 authors and they work for practically nothing even though they sell a reasonable number of books. (more than 100k copies). I'm sure some authors do make a fortune, but they are in the top 0.1% and had a lot of good luck. They probably also made not very much on their first book.

You may have some luck if you publish directly on Amazon or iBooks, but you'll have to risk your own money on advertising and marketing.

On the other hand, the guy who made tryukraine.com gets enough from Google each month to live on. The site was just his hobby and he didn't invest anything more than what it costs him to host it.

FatAndy
25-05-2012, 20:14
Moscow's metro map is quite obsolete IMHO.

Arthuro
25-05-2012, 20:18
Well, my few cents from a local

1) "Tip #1: do not buy food products in places which are locally known as “very cheap groceries full of Asian workers” – actually, not to sound racist, do not buy food in any kind of “greasy spoons” or underground supermarkets. There’s always a chance that that piece of juicy sausage you’ve just reached for has been previously savored by a huge rat."

Well, there are a lot of Asian\Caucasus workers at the markets (rynoks) and they have decent fruits, vegetables, meat etc..
Although I personally do not like them in general - I should admit that their goods are not as low-quality as you've written

2) "FACT: Numerous stories about travelling to Moscow contain phrases like: “Very rude service. Far out of the way. Never again”, etc.
Tip #2: do not worry about rude salesmen or flippant waiters. You’ve got to give them credit; they work like dogs and eat like birds. There’s a Russian saying for that “A dog bites because it lives a dog’s life”.

That has nothing to do with salaries.
that is market economy. the less you pay - the less smile you get.
And it is everywhere in most countries.
Come here and stay in posh hotels\restaurants, eat & sleep for 1000 USD a night - and you will get a lot of smile=)
BTW, I can't say their salaries are so low as you describe (at least they get smth like 40-50 USD for a full-day)

In Moscow nowadays quite a few people would offer his bed & food to a complete stranger.

3) "Russian taxi drivers! The great majority of them don’t have a license, thus be prepared to find yourself in a situation similar to an Izzardian dialogue:

You: Get in the back, I’ll drive.
Taxidriver: Oh, I don’t know, I’ve only lived here four thousand years.

Russian taxi drivers are commonly known as “bombili” (a term which is destined to be lost in translation), they’re ambiguous characters, liable to get you wherever you want, but not necessarily in one piece. "

BTW apart from marshrootkas, there are trams. buses and trolley buses - that I find considerably more comfortable than marshrootkas

4) "If you’ve found yourself in an emergency situation and are in need of medical help, do not hesitate to call 03 (this being the Russian version of 911). The ambulance will arrive eventually (due to a traffic jam, repairs, etc. – see above), load you inside and perform magic upon you just like anywhere else, so you’re on the safe side. Pharmacies are all over the place as well; but they lack some of Western medicines – so you’ll have to go for Russian equivalents. Remember: Pepto Bismo = Baralgin, Noshpa; for a headache, order aspirin. "

030 - from the cell phone.
Most of the drugs here are imported. they are not produced in Russia but in EU,US, India (mostly). So no Russian equivalents - but different tradenames of the same products in the West.
Still there could be fakes (that is a big problem), but I suppose not in the central Moscow.
What is good in Russia - you do not need a prescription almost for everything.


And generally - if I didn't know life in Russia I would think that you've described Afghanistan=)
You're right about phrases. But you won't be bitten for this.
People will think you're an idiot or narrow-minded - or don't know anything about the country. Actually most people won't care much about what you think\say etc if they don't know you.

yakspeare
25-05-2012, 20:34
David:

According to the Authors Guild, you should earn royalties for sales of
your book that are in line with industry standards. For example, many
authors are paid 10% of the retail price of the book on the first
5,000 copies sold, 12.5% of the retail price on the next 5,000 copies
sold, and 15% of the retail price on all copies sold thereafter.

Subsequent books can achieve higher royalties. So someone who does 100k copies should be making 10-15k on that.

As to the orginal poster, a satire book by that name would be worthwhile, but your script I find rude, condesecending and racist. It's trash and no publisher would touch such a thing. ou need to go out and find the real Moscow and Russia and certainly if you wrote that, then you should leave.

DavidB
25-05-2012, 20:43
Subsequent books can achieve higher royalties. So someone who does 100k copies should be making 10-15k on that.

That's what I mean. It's practically nothing for the amount of work involved. Editing takes as long as writing the book itself, if not longer. I know the amount of time involved for one of the authors - 2 days per week for almost 3 years. For him, it was more about his ego because he wanted to be a published author.

If you have a skill for the English language and want to make money... open an English school. It's much safer and gives a great return on investment (both time and money).

yakspeare
25-05-2012, 20:53
except when this happens:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140282/Is-Samantha-Shannon-new-JK-Rowling-Oxford-student-lands-figure-book-deal.html

and trust me I know all about the time to write a book. I just finished my first but have decided to split it in two which requires somewhat of a rewrite. But I think the books I am doing have enormous otential, unique in the mix of genre, and they better make me some friggin money because it really has been my life's work!

BabyFirefly
25-05-2012, 22:57
I dunno, I'm tired of seeing Moscow/Russia guides that focus on what's horrible first and foremost... are expats so proud of being "brave enough" to live here they need to broadcast how crap it is?

How long have you been here? I don't know, some of the things you're talking about in my experience are not true, at least not in Moscow. You sound like you're trying to feed paranoid AMericans about scary terrible Russia

ezik
25-05-2012, 23:32
With all due respect.

I like the text, but I think I'm in BabyFirefly's camp here. I don't think the text is feeding paranoia, but it is kicking in some doors that already have been opened hundreds of times: in countless blogs of immigrants with a culture shock, and even more times right here on this forum.

A real survival guide would have to contain smart tips and tricks - to write one you actually have to be in a position to have tackled everything. Being amazed and impressed can make for nice material, but not a survival guide.

I think that everyone's first stay in Moscow is a bit of a challenge. That goes for both foreigners and non-Muscovite Russians. But exactly that makes your experiences common rather than unique.

My advice would be to blog your experiences, get to know other bloggers about Russia, and join them. In that case, your blog may get visitors, which is a way to make money of your writing.

I'm not criticizing your writing style. It's an entertaining read. But it won't be a survival guide.

Arthuro
25-05-2012, 23:58
I dunno, I'm tired of seeing Moscow/Russia guides that focus on what's horrible first and foremost... are expats so proud of being "brave enough" to live here they need to broadcast how crap it is?

Yes.. and consequently to have a better package from their maternity office to stay here =)

RussianParagon
26-05-2012, 07:21
David:
As to the orginal poster, a satire book by that name would be worthwhile, but your script I find rude, condesecending and racist. It's trash and no publisher would touch such a thing. ou need to go out and find the real Moscow and Russia and certainly if you wrote that, then you should leave.

I'm Russian, bred and born, and this is the way I see things. More constructive critisism would be appreciated btw. Good luck with your book.

I like your idea about a satire piece of writing. Perhaps I'll do that


With all due respect.

I like the text, but I think I'm in BabyFirefly's camp here. I don't think the text is feeding paranoia, but it is kicking in some doors that already have been opened hundreds of times: in countless blogs of immigrants with a culture shock, and even more times right here on this forum.

A real survival guide would have to contain smart tips and tricks - to write one you actually have to be in a position to have tackled everything. Being amazed and impressed can make for nice material, but not a survival guide.


You're probably right. Then again, I can always re-title it. And I did mention the co-authors thing.

RussianParagon
26-05-2012, 07:26
That has nothing to do with salaries.
that is market economy. the less you pay - the less smile you get.
And it is everywhere in most countries.
Come here and stay in posh hotels\restaurants, eat & sleep for 1000 USD a night - and you will get a lot of smile=)
BTW, I can't say their salaries are so low as you describe (at least they get smth like 40-50 USD for a full-day)

030 - from the cell phone.
Most of the drugs here are imported. they are not produced in Russia but in EU,US, India (mostly). So no Russian equivalents - but different tradenames of the same products in the West.
Still there could be fakes (that is a big problem), but I suppose not in the central Moscow.
What is good in Russia - you do not need a prescription almost for everything.



I worked in salaries myself - and I've been travelling around, watching and observing. Russian salesmen are rude compared to other nationalities, regardless of their monthly pay. There are always exceptions.

I'll correct the info about medicines

ezik
26-05-2012, 17:05
Sent you a PM.
I'm interested.

robertmf
26-05-2012, 17:27
Hello there, I'm writing a book titled "How to survive in Russia: the survival guide". I need opinions, critisism (long as it is constructive), additional info, real life stories, etc. Bonus: if you post something interesting or unique, I will officially include you in the co-authors list. Feel free to destroy my self-confidence. Thanks in advance

(I beg to attach the first few chapters to this message. check it out)

You might want to search amazon.com [Russia survival guide] (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Russia+survival#/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Russia+survival+guide&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3ARussia+survival+guide)

Jack17
26-05-2012, 19:55
Everyone complains about the high cost of eating out in Moskva. What would be very helpful is a listing of Russian restaurants and bars that serve really excellent food to locals at prices locals can afford. There are many such places where the potatos are ethereal, the soups are fantastic and the shashlik is excellent. A listing of such neighborhood places would be very helpful. I know they exist because I've eaten at many of them; I just can't tell you the exact address or names.

RussianParagon
27-05-2012, 07:41
Sent you a PM.
I'm interested.

Sent you an e-mail.

bcribb
27-05-2012, 14:53
I have lived in Moscow since October and my tips are:

1) Try and avoid UK bank charges. Natwest, HSBC etc have an agreement to charge you 2.5% to withdraw cash but there are alternaives. I use Sainsbury's Gold credit card which costs £5 a month but after that withdrawls are free and they use the set exchange rate (currently 49R = £1)

2) When changing stations on the metro there are a number of things to look out for:
a) If you miss your stop dont assum that the other side of the platform the tain goes back on the same line.
b) workout which entrance you need to get out of to get to your desination and whether it is the back or the front of the train. Use a map making sure it is facing north when you read it. The fine for getting out the wrong end is on average 15 minutes plus a hairy attempt to cross the traffic.
c) In addition to the above you often have to change lines to find the best entrance. For example, the entrance from the metro at PAVELETSKAYA to
the auto express to the airport is on the green line 10 not the brown line 5
d) when changing lines go by the number of the line, not the colour - somethimes the colours are wrong or misleading.
e) If you are going to buy a multi ticket this saves money but they have a time limit of I thing about 48 days.
3) Drinking and eating out can be cheap even in the centre of Moscow. Beer can be as little as 80 Roubles for 0.5L of good Russian beer or you could pay up to 250R. The self service restaurant at the top of GUM is really good value for money and there is a choice of good bears under 100R for 0.5L.
4) Apartments are expensive but if you can share its much cheaper and you tend to get better value for money.
5) Two serious crimes in a bar in Moscow a) falling a sleep and b) leaving your coat or scarf under your seat.
6) Buy a Russian sim card for a cheap network free mobile phone. Dont top it up using one of the millions of machines you see everywhere - they charge 10% commission. Use a shop that relates to your network - mine is Megafon.

Thats it for now

Ben

smchilds
01-06-2012, 06:11
Some commentary regarding these “tips”:

Regarding food purchases, use common sense. I bought food in the main building of Moscow State University, hole-in-the-wall shops, outdoor markets and big shopping centers. If something seems iffy, don’t buy/eat it. Frequent stores that you trust. Don’t think there’s anything special about Russia in this category.

Service differs depending on the place. I frequented places in Moscow with great service, friendly waiters, and reasonable prices. Again - vote with your wallet. If you like a place, go back; if the service is bad, don’t go back. I don’t know about small Russian cities but most Muscovites are basically aware that “good” service is preferable, and it does exist in Moscow.

About transportation, you can’t really “look for” official taxis on the road. A good idea is to keep some taxi company phone numbers saved in your phone, and call them if you need a ride at night/to the airport/etc. For short distances (to the nearest metro station) you can hail unofficial taxis. Avoid talking to them (and Marshrutka drivers) if possible. Perhaps writing the name of your destination on paper (in Russian) and pretending to be mute is advisable. Pretty much every taxi driver/marshrutka driver I spoke to tried to get my number and go on a date. And I am not a super model.

Medical care for basic issues, blood tests, etc. is perfectly fine in Moscow. I regularly visited an endocrinologist and did the first 5 months of my pregnancy check-ups in Moscow, and no complaints. I don’t know what will happen if you have an emergency/very serious issue, but I honestly think that medicine in Moscow is quite acceptable/super affordable, for basic health issues.

The police are beyond useless and should be avoided. My apartment was burglarized, most obviously by my neighbors. The police came, dumped black powder everywhere, said they’d never find the culprit, and left. Don’t count on the police to help in any situation. If something bad happens, assume it is your fault. You can’t “sue” if you fall on someone’s property or someone does something bad to you, so you have to watch your back and take responsibility.

Haven’t really noticed gypsies in Moscow that much, but as anywhere, don’t let strange people approach you and keep space. Hold your hand bag in front of you and keep anything valuable tucked away so no one can reach it. I personally found guys with their hands in my purse while in the metro. But that can be said anywhere.

Things you shouldn’t say: avoid the topic of the second World War. If someone asks “who won?” just avoid that question. I know Russians take it very close to heart. Don’t discuss whether or not Neil Armstrong was on the moon. Never criticize Russia. If people ask you if you like Russia/Moscow, say something cheesy and cliche (preferably in Russian...when I first went to Russia I always said “Ya lublu Moskvu ocenyu”) and that will get people off your back. Russians will be offended if you gush about loving Russia; they will be offended if you say anything negative. So better just avoid that topic if possible.

About alcoholic consumption: Russians like to drink. It’s a fact. I have never seen drunkenness as I have in Moscow. It can be pretty fun and sometimes dangerous. But don’t talk about it to Russians because they seem kind of defensive about it and/or in denial.

8. Don’t call Moscow a shithole. Pretty obvious. If someone told me my dumpy 600-person town in the US was a shithole, I would also be offended. Frankly, Moscow has a lot of beauty and is far from a shithole.

I think Muscovites are rude and arrogant with people from other parts of Russia/CIS countries, but not so much with foreigners.


Taking Russian residence:


About your PROS regarding living in Moscow permanently: I lived in Russia for 6 years. I lived in a dump in Ochakovo, in an apartment at Tulskaya, and then in the center. I did NOT have an expat life or live in some kind of expat compound, but I would agree with person #1.

About the CONS: The Moscow metro is great and easy to follow. Never noticed that something was wrong with the map. It is very straightforward and pretty fool proof, imho. Yes, it's true that you sometimes have to change lanes, but it doesn't take that long to catch on.
About raising a family in Moscow - most people send their kids to schools near their homes. The very biggest disadvantage is finding a decent apartment which is safe/clean/affordable/big enough for a family. As in any big city, you have to worry about what your kid is going to do after school, etc. but if you have a semi-decent salary you can likely send him/her to sport/music school, whatever.

Suzy899
11-06-2012, 16:17
u have to be angry :cussing: