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Thread: "How to survive in Russia" opinions needed

  1. #1
    RussianParagon Guest

    "How to survive in Russia" opinions needed

    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)

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    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 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...iction_authors


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    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.
    cured

  5. #5
    RussianParagon Guest
    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.

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    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.

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    Moscow's metro map is quite obsolete IMHO.

  8. #8
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    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.

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    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.
    cured

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    Quote Originally Posted by yakspeare View Post
    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).

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    except when this happens:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...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!
    cured

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    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

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    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.
    We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    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 =)

  15. #15
    RussianParagon Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by yakspeare View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by ezik View Post
    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.

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