Designing a Debt Free Bookstore

Whatever business you run I am sure that you would prefer it to be debt free. Usually, when we start a new business, we incur start-up costs that we hope to pay off as we progress. This may be for the initial outfit, the stock and/or the marketing of the business. A new business, often requires a campaign to make a splash and let your potential customers know that you now exist. In the book business in retail sales this is no different. You spend money on signage, ads in local papers and niche magazines, you may do a letter drop in your area as well, perhaps offering an introductory special or frequent buyer’s club with discounts on sales.

Designing a Debt Free Bookstore

How do you design a debt free bookstore that can meet these start-up costs and then progress to sustained profitability in the long run? The actual design and fittings of your bookstore are very important to achieving this aim. Unfortunately, one of the major economic pitfalls in a bookshop can be theft, shoplifting of expensive titles by amateur and professional thieves. Books can be very pricey and the loss of considerable stock can adversely affect your bottom line.

Lines of sight, mirrors, security CCTV cameras and where exits are placed in the store can all help minimise the loss of stock through shoplifting. Don’t make it easy for these nefarious individuals to rip you off. The fact is, in a bookshop as a customer service representative, you are often involved in concentrated activities for customers. You might be researching the availability of a particular title via the computer, or gift wrapping a purchase, and, therefore, not scanning the premises for shoplifters at all times; and unless you can afford to pay staff to be on constant look out, you need the design of the shop to help reduce theft.

Another danger in retail are customer and staff accidents. Protecting premises against insurance claims is pretty important in the overall scheme of things. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to think like a lawyer in life. Make sure that fittings are securely built and installed, check them regularly. Flooring is a major potential black hole for unforeseen accidents, make sure that rugs and carpets are secure and not invitations to trip up on. Stock on the shelves must be safely stacked to avoid books falling on customers. Check and recheck everything weekly, if not daily. It pays to be prepared, as the scouts say.



Marketing the Matriarchal

Icons have served causes and campaigns down through the ages, must notably those of a religious nature. Mother Mary statuettes and pictures, crucifixes dangling around necks on chains, saints with haloes and angels with wings have all graced the shelves and personal possessions of adherents. Hindus and Buddhists have had their own rich pantheon of spiritual representations vividly depicted in rich and bright colours. The computer age has seen collections of cute pictograms take iconography to a whole other level in service of the digital realm. Do feminists have icons of their own and have they promoted the matriarchal cause?

Marketing the Matriarchal

The burning bra, although powerfully symbolic in deed and text, was never pictorially well represented during the 1970s. Women depicted with clenched fists and biceps have been seen over the decades. Certain individuals like the Mexican artist Frida Khalo, have more recently become feminist icons. Previously the suffragettes like Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, who led women out of the dark ages of inequality around the turn of the twentieth century, were grainy black and white pictorial symbols of early feminism. Madonna, the pop star, could even be considered a feminist icon of her time.

The original matriarchal icons are the earthy figurines of the goddess, like the Venus of Willendorf statue c. 25 000 BCE, which emphasised the life giving breasts and belly of the female form. Could we see a modern interpretation of this figure becoming a modern day cult icon? Perhaps, Pokémon could invest something into this ancient earth goddess symbol to refresh it in the digital age. The problem with this is that feminism has in many ways been heading in the opposite direction, away from the power of procreation. The birth control pill is more of a modern icon to women of the last few decades.

The idealised female body, is today, more akin to an asexual rendition of a slim young male. Breasts are best kept small and hips not too shapely or curved. The whole child bearing body is a thing of the past when considering female beauty in popular culture. Feminist promotional products could be the can of Mace or pepper spray to ward off potential attacks and domestic violence perpetuated by men. Or, it could be the dildo or vibrator, symbolic of the ability to self-pleasure without the help of the male member. Sex and gender still remain front and centre, even, in these LGBTIQ days and nights.

Building a Better Bookshop

A good bookshop is more than, just, a retail outlet for books, it is a haven for book lovers. When building a better bookshop, you want to create an ambient space designed specifically for the readers who love the type of books your store sells. I was a very lucky youngster, as I grew up in a family bookstore. I was surrounded by codices full of wisdom, in aisle after aisle defined by beautiful wooden bookcases. How a bookshop looks and feels, its fittings and flooring, is as important as the books it carries.

Building a Better Bookshop

That statement may sound overly materialistic to some readers, who may consider that they would be happy reading their favourite books in an airport hangar if they had to. However, when you really consider what a bookshop should offer, it should provide readers with a comfortable space to engage intimately with the book that they are perusing. The red leather Chesterfield couch and chairs, which furnished my family’s bookstore fulfilled that remit. Readers would inhabit this part of the bookshop hungrily with open books on laps. In many ways the shop was like a library, with a deep plush carpet to absorb noise and signage encouraging shoppers to respect the natural quiet of the store.

Book shop furniture must reflect the peace and focus inherent within the act of reading itself. Immersing yourself in the words and sentences of a writer takes time and demands quiet, a good bookshop delivers those requirements for its shoppers. The deeper the content within a text, we are not talking about picture books here, although they too are best served by library like conditions, the more intimacy between reader and written words is required. Essays on wisdom and meaningful issues cry out for silence.

A book is unlike most other consumerables, its magic lies within lines of symbols or code, that must be deciphered by the focused reader. Concepts and big ideas are not communicated well in noisy and distracting settings. Detailed information is not transferred from the written page to the human mind optimally in the midst of chaos, chatter and traffic. Building a better bookshop is a service to knowledge and the sharing of that human wisdom. The serenity within a well-made timber chair, table and bookshelf emanates around a beautiful library or bookstore. Great art on the walls can inspire the desire to feel and know. Well-appointed bookstores contribute to the font of knowledge through their appropriately displayed titles and the ambience they create for their customers.


Are Psychic Readings Mills & Boon for New Age Women?

In the 1930s, Mills & Boon started circulating escapist fiction for women. Eighty years later, the company is still engaged in publishing novels that are mostly romantic in nature. However, with the proliferation of psychic readers and the fascination of people, especially women, with psychic readings, are visions of clairvoyants the new Mills & Boon of today’s women?

A psychic reading can plant ideas into the minds of the recipients, and usually they involve prospective romantic opportunities. This may be the primary reason why women are getting addicted to these readings to the point that some have been psychic dependent. Normally, women are said to be psychic dependent when they had at least two readings in a year regarding the same problem or concern.

For years, women are the number one market of astrology and psychic readings. In fact, most of the magazines for women that are currently in circulation have sections for horoscopes and advices for women on love, career and money.

Women and Their Fondness to Their Future

In a recent issue of the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, it features the story of a woman who became dependent on psychic readings. On a daily basis, the lady spends at least $200 on fortune tellers, either via phone or online. Even if she’s bringing in a decent sum of money, her addiction resulted to piles of debt. Probably just like everyone else, the lady started seeking for intuitive guidance when she felt that she’s like a hamster stuck on a wheel and can’t proceed with her life. Since she wanted to know what will be the outcome of her problems, she became increasingly psychic dependent.

Just like the lady, women in general, are convinced by astrology, clairvoyance and fortune tellers. In fact, a 2009 poll showed that 25 percent of the women’s population in the United States believes in such readings or predictions. This number increased by 4 percent in 2013. Even if astrology and psychic readings have this universal allure across all people, women still get more bewitched and enthralled by them. If polls will serve as our basis, women are more disposed into believing the unproven, mystic and supernatural. Maybe, this is a result of today’s male-dominated society; thus, forcing women to embrace and accept the comfort that astrology and psychic readings provide.

Offbeat Careers and Jobs for Feminists

Forbes reported that women are starting to narrow the gender wage gap. As per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) report, women are taking home 81 cents for every dollar men are paid. In addition, reports show that young urban women are making 8 percent more compared with their male colleagues. Despite these trends, there are still some feminists who prefer exploiting male sexual desires to make money from jobs that service those proclivities. Some even choose to be web cam girls for porn sites.

Offbeat Career Paths

It is fairly common for people to chase their dream jobs. More often than not, these jobs are your conventional professions wherein the hiring process is strict and cut throat. By pursuing offbeat career paths, women get the opportunity to enjoy the “road less travelled” especially that men still get paid more in certain jobs in the United States. Here are some offbeat jobs that feminists may want to consider:

1. Construction or Mechanical Jobs

Women who are engaged in this male-dominated industry actually earn more than men. This is in contrast with the stereotype to women who also happened to be associated with low-paying professions. Feminists can work as labourers or supervisors in construction firms, or as maintenance painters and mechanics.

2. Body Collector

As crazy as it may sound, there are people who work as body collectors. There is a company that manages dead bodies resulting from accidents, murders or old age. The company will call its “collectors” who will then pick up the cold, sometimes bloody, bodies of strangers and bring them to the morgue or funeral parlours.

3. Surfer

In India, a woman is making rounds as the first expert female surfer in the country. Currently, she manages a surf club and a camp. Moreover, she works as the brand ambassador of a prominent surf wear.

4. Calligrapher

Feminists with a steady hand, imaginative character and a knack for words must work as a calligrapher. They can do this part-time and still earn at least $20,000 a year. Most of the time spent as a calligrapher is on client retention and making contacts.

5. Psychic

Since there is a profitable market here, women can work as a psychic. The job entails making astrology charts, playing Tarot cards, foreseeing the future and sometimes, speaking with dead loved ones. On average, a skilful psychic can earn at least $45 per session.

Eight Great Chiropractic Books For Women

It is a known fact that women read more literary and fictional books compared with men. Moreover, they also frequent book clubs, libraries and book sales. If and when you come across books on sale, look for and add these chiropractic books on your mini-library.

1. Chiropractic First: The Fastest Growing Healthcare Choice Before Drugs or Surgery

The author of the book, Dr. Terry A. Rondberg, is notable for his works in the field of chiropractic therapy. Women who would want to know more about the field should read this, especially that chiropractic is often misconstrued. The book is ideal for mothers out there who would want to know how chiropracty offers a good health choice in keeping families away from dangerous drugs and precarious surgeries.

2. Well Adjusted Babies

Written by Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani, Well Adjusted Babies is a parenting and pregnancy book designed for parents. The book serves as the companion of mothers and moms-to-be in raising healthy and well-rounded children. Moreover, Well Adjusted Babies aims to educate the readers by narrating the author’s experiences regarding holistic pregnancy and care for kids.

3. Pediatric Chiropractic

Pediatric Chiropractic by Claudia Anrig and Gregory Plaugher is a thorough resource that encompasses an array of topics regarding pediatric chiropractic care. The book intends to assert that chiropractic can be an indispensable provider of health care for your kids. Some of the talking points of the book are care during pregnancy, scoliosis treatments, spinal trauma and pediatric nutrition.

4. Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul

The book was rated 4.7 out of 5 stars in Amazon. From the New York Times Best Selling Authors, Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul tells stories of chiropractors and the chiropractic industry. Heartening narratives in the book will definitely bring tears in your eyes. It also gives a preview of the things that chiropractic therapies can do when your traditional medicine seemed to stopped working.

5. Sammy the Centipede Goes to the Chiropractor

This book by Maria Luchsinger is an entertaining yet informative way of presenting chiropractic care to your children. By means of clever graphics and storyline, readers will be enlightened on the steps and measures that a chiropractor follows when adjusting a patient’s spine.

6. Poco – A Chiropractic Story

Just like the previous book, Poco – A Chiropractic Story creatively illustrates what is chiropractic care and how it helps us. Relatively a children’s book, the plot is a good bedtime story for children.

7. Chiropractic Technique: Self-Adjustment Made Easy

The book is designed for people who are suffering from joint pains but are sort of frightened in seeing a chiropractor. What makes it a must-read for women is that the author presented in detail how they can perform simple chiropractic techniques on their loved ones. What’s more comforting is a caress of a woman, ain’t that right?

8. The Well-Adjusted Dog: Canine Chiropractic Methods You Can Do

Written by Daniel R. Kamen, the book ranks number 7 in Books related to Pets and Animal Care. The Well-Adjusted Dog: Canine Chiropractic Methods You Can Do is best for women who love their dogs. The book explains and illustrates chiropractic techniques you can apply to your favourite canines.

Alternatives to Jewellery: A Feminist Viewpoint

Jewellery has a chequered history when you really look into it. Baubles worn by men and women in the past, especially the ancient past, to signify wealth and position. Rings we all know, as they continue to be popular today, are signs of engagement and marriage. Certain clubs and secret societies have their members wear rings to identify one another. Exclusive clubs like the winners of National Basketball Association (NBA) championship are awarded rings to commemorate their victory. Jewellery is today very much associated with gender, as it is worn more prominently by women than men.

Alternatives to Jewellery: A Feminist Viewpoint

The recent popularity of body piercings has seen a proliferation of jewellery worn as studs on the face and other body parts. There has in many ways been a fashionable return to aesthetic ideas about our primitive past in terms of this kind of body art. Many feminists take issue with jewellery because of its long association with patriarchal power and trophy wives. Sparkling and shiny pieces of art adorning a woman’s body have signified ownership by their male husbands and fathers. Which leads me to ask what are the alternatives to wearing jewellery?

This question touches on the form versus function component inherent in the wearing of jewellery. In the pre-zipper and button ages, a clasp called a ‘fibula’ was worn to affix a cloak around a person’s body. These fibulae were gender specific in most cultures, with a woman’s fibula generally being bow shaped and a man’s might be in the shape of a weapon. They quickly became adorned with jewels or made out of precious metals. So, form and function are combined in the fibula. Rings, as we have seen have meanings, as do religious necklaces and chains with crucifixes and other religious iconography attached.

Looking at modern culture and technology, have the ubiquitous ear/head phones attached to today’s youth crossed over from mere functionality into body art? Similarly, mobile phones and their colourful cases accompany people everywhere, and are they now physical accoutrements? Apple watches and Google glasses are likewise placed to be considered as things that adorn individuals. Even, hearables for those people with hearing disabilities can be included in this rapidly expanding category driven by technology. Art has been defined as something that’s value has transcended its functionality. Its function may be obsolete, but it is now valued more for its form. Jewellery, in the main, fits into this definition.

Feminist Porn: Women In Porn Taking Their Bodies Back

What is the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them”? Women who have, apparently, been exploited by men in the pornography industry since it began, are now taking control of some porn businesses themselves. Not all women are the same, of course, you get women with many different views about things, including pornography. Not all women are against it per se. Some believe that a woman’s sexuality is her own to be used in whatever way she sees fit. Some women like to watch a bit of porn themselves.

Feminist Porn: Women In Porn Taking Their Bodies Back

Which leads me to so called ‘feminist porn’ and the women behind it. Women making porn for women, does not sound so bad. If we are to acknowledge that there is a market for pornography that appeals to women, then, it is best served by creative women making pornographic content films and clips for that market. Women owned escort agencies is another example of this. The thing about sex is that it is a fairly basic or primal urge. Having sex, often, takes us back to our animal roots, as we rut and thrust like four legged beasts. The fact that men have penises and women have vaginas influences how we go about having sex in the first place.

When images of animalistic coitus are projected onto screens for viewing audiences it can appear to be demeaning to the woman who is being fucked. This is because we live in a clothed world most of the time and behave politically correctly, which involves adhering to ideals of equality in race, gender and religion. When we retire to our bedrooms most of us do not make love with one eye on the PC factor. We become aroused and act like animals, and enjoy these liberating romps. This does not mean that we necessarily act in insensitive or violent and demeaning ways, but these definitions are somewhat laxer in the privacy of one’s own bedroom.

This is the important point to make, is pornography a private or public viewing experience? The freedom of access to pornography on the Internet has caused it to be judged according to public viewing standards. There is an adult market for pornography and that cannot be denied. Woman making porn for women is an important step in removing the demonization of pornography from a twentieth century world. The more you control and ban things, the more they go underground and transmute into things that can really hurt people. Liberty for sexual expression is vital to a healthy society.

Women like Anna Span, who has been directing pornos for some twelve years, and Belle Knox who is a porn star who works for female owned porn production companies, are starting to change this industry for the better. Porn has been traditionally a male dominated industry, in large part because it has often operated underground in association with organised crime. If the state pushes things like this underground through laws banning it, it will remain the domain of bad men; to put it somewhat naively.


Making Money & Navigating Debt For Women


A national survey revealed that women carry more credit card debt than men. The most likely reason is that women are paid less than men. Labour statistics show that women on average earn 81% of the median salary men make in a year. The lower earnings of women contribute to their higher levels of debt. Aside from this, most women are breadwinners in their households. Some who suddenly become single from divorce or death of a spouse incur debt. Women need tailored financial advice in making money and navigating debt because most women are less financially literate compared to men.

Having a debt can give a sense of desperation and stress. Even if you are not creating additional debt, you can be still be discourage by how long it takes to be debt-free. Getting out of debt can be tough but it is an achievable goal. There are two basic ways to make more money and navigate your debts. The first is to increase your income and the second is to decrease your expenses. There are number of ways to create extra income that can be applied to help with debt management. Use some of the techniques to pay off your debt sooner than expected.

Books can be great resources in educating yourself about personal finance and money management. Reading can help you have a positive financial outlook and construct a financial plan to get out of debt. Try to read a book instead of watching television and see how it can improve your financial situation. By following the principles on these books and putting them into action, you can be debt free. Here’s a list of personal finance books written by women to help you make money and navigate debt:

Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide To Financial Freedom by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
If you’re deep in debt and plagued by calls from debt collectors, this book is for you. This book will help you get of financial rut. It teaches technique to pay past due debts and deal with debt collectors. It contains practical financial plan that if you put into action will help you become debt-free for life.

On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
On My Own Two Feet is the ultimate single girl’s guide to personal finance. This book teaches ways how to balance your desire to live well while saving and investing for tomorrow. Fresh-out-of-school girls will learn how to manage student’s loans and save for the future.

Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny by Suzy Orman
Suzy Orman teaches about financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome obstacles that kept you from making more out of your earnings. You will learn that everything starts with your decision to save for yourself. “The Save Yourself Plan” is a five-month countdown to financial security.

Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel
Alexa Von Tobel the founder of LearnVest, the financial planning website shares her philosophy in an interactive book format. She advocates smart money management doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all the fun. Her fundamental principle is 50-20-30 50% essentials, 20% savings and 30% lifestyle expense.

10 Smart Money Move for Women: How to Conquer Your Financial Fears by Judith Briles
Smart Money Move for Women is a recommended reading for women who want to achieve greater financial freedom. This book teaches techniques how to overcome anxiety from money-related decision making. It offers constructive information on how to become financial savvy to prepare for the years ahead.

Money: A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want by Kate Northrup
Having the right kind of love for money doesn’t mean you need to be greedy to achieve financial freedom. This book teaches about the right relationship with money. Northup uses exercises to help readers figure out their own relationship with money.

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski
Knowing Your Value is best for women aspiring for promotion. You need to read this book if you’re planning to ask for a raise. The book examines the reason why women undervalue her worth and what should be done to change this pattern.

Kiplinger’s Money Smart Women: Everything You Need to Know to Achieve a Lifetime of Financial Security by Janet Bodnar
Kiplinger’s Money Smart Women is designed for single women to educate them on all aspects of money management. This book prepares women about getting financial issues sorted before getting married.

Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
Having a different outlook on money with your partner can be difficult. This book teaches about language, roadmap and tactical tools for couples to have a good conversation on money. This book offers practical advice on how to have the same vision for the future together.

Suddenly Single: Money Skills for Divorcées and Widows by Kerry Hannon
Suddenly Single is the perfect personal finance book for divorcees and widows. This book offers basic money management on dealing with the financial implication of becoming suddenly single. It also gives advice on choosing a financial planner and writing a will.

Feminist Marketing: Can Advertising Eclipse Editorial?

We are all seeing the demise of editorial and the continued rise of advertorial. Journalism as a profession is shrinking and being replaced by opinion and public relations. Newspapers are dying off in droves in print and their online equivalents are streamlined to do without much more than a skeleton editorial crew. Magazines have undergone a similar process, but they have done without real editorial teams for years, even in their earlier print versions. What people are reading in the media now is dumbed down and written for SEO, as much as it is for anything else.

Feminist Marketing: Can Advertising Eclipse Editorial?

Feminists have been involved in marketing for decades at every level. The superficial state of affairs that we live in now, when it comes to social media, is being utilised by feminist activists to spread their message. Facebook and Twitter offer a platform for social activists to reach their followers and interact with them for greater impact. Campaigns can be run more effectively and cost efficiently. We have seen it in the political sphere with the first Obama election campaign. Rallies to promote hashtag awareness of violence against women by men have been organised through social media.

The digital structures that social media channels can create will only further more feminist marketing, both for political purposes and by business to promote consumer products. If social commentators and trend setters have tribes of followers linked to them via social media accounts, then these avenues will be utilised to promote issues and goods. Social marketing agencies are cottoning on to this fact already. Technology is providing platforms for change, and, also, driving change itself. Communication has become the biggest industry on the planet and most women would say that they are more naturally at home communicating than men are.

The urge to communicate seems to be hard wired into the female brain more deeply than in the male brain. As the proliferation of communication devices continues to spread into every part of our lives: mobile phones, at work, at home, in our cars, on watches, in eye glasses, and the number of digital screens increases exponentially women will network more and more. There is power in these social networks, power in numbers and the linkages between women all over the globe. Feminist marketing will drive social issues that affect all of us, both men and women. More products will be designed and marketed with women in mind. Male identity marketing will also come to the fore, in reaction to the feminisation of the world. Things are changing folks and the rate of change is only becoming more rapid every day.