Salehoo – A Great Resource for Online Traders

Regular readers will know that one of my main clients nowadays is the More Money Review website and newsletter.

Among other things, I review home moneymaking opportunities for them. Quite a few of the products I see are mediocre at best, but occasionally I come across a really good one. And I like to share this information with my own readers when the opportunity arises.

Today I’d like to draw your attention to a product I reviewed recently for MMR which is aimed at online auction traders and Amazon sellers. I appreciate that this isn’t something that will interest all my readers, but if you are looking for a moneymaking sideline (and all entrepreneurial writers need a few strings to their bow) it is definitely worth considering.

The product I am talking about is called Salehoo. It is a subscription-based membership site for online traders. Its main feature is a directory of wholesale suppliers of products that can be sold via eBay, Amazon and Etsy, or in your own online store. Members also get access to a range of other features, including market research data and a community forum. There is also advice and information for new traders on how to get started and build their businesses.

I was very impressed with Salehoo, which appears to be a highly professional operation. I particularly like the way you can search their comprehensive directory of suppliers by various criteria.

Salehoo also has a “Market Research Lab”. Here they analyze products selling well online across a range of categories. For each product they show potential suppliers, and links to current listings on eBay and other trading websites. The information given includes the average price at which the product is currently selling online and the amount of competition from other traders. This information would be valuable for any trader looking for potentially profitable items to sell.

Members also get access to a forum and a blog. The forum is quite active, and is typically used by members to ask questions about aspects of their trading. Salehoo staff regularly reply to queries posted here. The blog has some interesting and informative articles as well. A couple of recent ones were “How to Make Sure That Your Dropshipping Business Makes Big Money” and “Online Shopping for Men: 10 Items They Can’t Resist!”.

You can read my full review of Salehoo on this page of the More Money Review website. Note that you will need to register for an account to read the whole thing, but this is free and only takes a moment. You can also go directly to the Salehoo website by clicking on any of the links in this post.

Signing up to Salehoo only costs $67 (about £44 in UK money) a year, billed annually, which strikes me as very reasonable for what you get. If online trading is something that interests you it is definitely worth considering, especially as there is a 60-day money-back guarantee if you find it’s not for you.

If you have any comments or questions about Salehoo, as ever, please feel free to post them below and I will do my best to answer them.

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scriptwriting course

Free Introduction to Screenwriting Course

If you’re interested in screenwriting you might like to sign up for the free introductory course currently on offer via FutureLearn (a UK-based educational initiative that advertises short online courses from British and international universities).

The course title is An Introduction to Screenwriting and it comes from the University of East Anglia. It starts on 29 February 2016 and runs for two weeks with an estimated time commitment of three hours per week. If those dates don’t suit you, the course is running again on 2 May.

An Introduction to Screenwriting is a course for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.

On the website, it says:

You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises. We will explore key principles as they’re expressed in great films, then immediately apply these concepts. Videos, articles and discussion steps will offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with other learners on key concepts and ideas.

By the end of the course, you will understand the key concepts necessary to write an effective screenplay and be fluent in the language used to discuss the form.

The Start Writing Fiction course is run by Michael Lengsfield and his colleagues at UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

The course is free of charge and open to anyone anywhere in the world. For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Introduction to Screenwriting information page of the FutureLearn website.

FutureLearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally, on subjects ranging from renewable energy to an introduction to dentistry!

  • If you are interested in screenwriting, you might also like to check out Movie in a Month, a high-quality CD-based course from my publishers WCCL. As well as in-depth advice on screenwriting, this also includes over 800 actual movie scripts and treatments you can learn from.
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Who, Whom, Whoever, Whomever – How to Choose Which Is Correct

It’s been a while since I discussed a grammatical topic on my blog, so today I thought I’d address a problem area that arises quite often among writers. It concerns the use of the word who and its variations whom, whoever and whomever.

Grammatically speaking, who is a relative pronoun. The relative pronouns (who/whoever/which/that) relate groups of words to nouns or other pronouns – for example, “The writer who works the hardest usually achieves the most.” Here the word who connects or relates the subject, the writer, to the verb within the dependent clause (works).

One major source of confusion among writers is when they should use who and when whom. Of course, in spoken English today the word whom is seldom used, and many people simply use who in every context.

In written English, however, and formal English especially, the distinction is still preserved.

The rule is that who is used when it refers to the subject of a sentence, and whom when it refers to the object.

Often, the simplest way to decide which version is correct is to re-phrase the sentence so you choose between he (the subject form of the third person singular pronoun) and him (the object form). If you want him, write whom; if you want he, write who. The examples below should make this clearer.

Who do you think is responsible? (Do you think he is responsible?)
Tell the officer who has done this. (Tell the officer he has done this.)
Whom shall we ask to the party? (Shall we ask him to the party?)
Everybody knows whom I mean. (Everybody knows I mean him.)

Choosing between whoever and whomever can be even trickier. There are two rules to guide you here.

Rule 1: First of all, use the ever suffix when who or whom can fit into two clauses in the sentence.

Example: Give it to whoever/whomever asks for it first.
Give it to him. He asks for it first.

Rule 2: Now, to determine whether to use whoever or whomever, follow the rule below.
him + he = whoever
him + him = whomever

In the example above, the first clause contains him and the second one he. Following the rule above, this means that whoever is correct.
Give it to whoever asks for it first.

Here is a further example:
We will hire whoever/whomever you recommend.

The two clauses here are:
We will hire him. You recommend him

In this case, the first clause has him and the second also has him. The rule tells us that whomever is the correct form here.

We will hire whomever you recommend.

Even experienced writers and editors sometimes slip up over when to use whoever and when whomever. One reason may be that the word often follows a preposition such as to or from, and we are accustomed to anything following a pronoun taking the object form. (Give it to him. Take it from me. He’s with her.)

However, in a sentence such as “We will give the award to whoever performs best”, the object of the preposition to is not whoever but the clause “whoever performs best”, and whoever is the subject of this clause.

This means you should check any such instances carefully, using the rules set out above. As a final test of your skills, see if you can decide which form is correct in the sentences below. The asterisks can represent who, whom, whoever or whomever.

1. It doesn’t matter ***** you choose.
2. Do you know ***** is going to the conference?
3. She gave gifts to ***** she liked best.
4. ***** arrives first will win the first prize.
5. She asked me ***** I was with last night.

The correct answers can be found at the bottom of this post.

Even if (to sound more life-like) you choose to have your fictional characters say “who” rather than “whom”, it’s still important to understand the grammatical rules governing the use of these terms.

In my view, professional writers should always understand when they are breaking the rules of grammar and their reasons for doing so. Understanding the rules will also help you avoid the potentially more embarrassing mistake of using “whom” when actually “who” is correct.

I do hope you found this post helpful. As ever, if you have any queries, please feel free to post them below.

Quiz answers – 1. whom. 2. who. 3. whomever. 4. whoever. 5. whom.

  • If you need a bit of help getting your English up to a publishable standard, my downloadable course Essential English for Authors may help. It’s a guide to the main things you need to know to ensure that your manuscript is taken seriously by agents and publishers and not rejected out of hand due to errors of grammar and punctuation. For more details click here.
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Two Free Flash Fiction Contests With Awesome Prizes!

Flash fiction contests are always popular, so here are two with generous prizes that caught my eye recently…

The Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest is a free-to-enter competition for an unpublished short story of up to 500 words.

The winner will be offered a three-week writing residency at the Studios of Key West, spending up to ten days writing in Ernest Hemingway’s private study at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.

The prize includes accommodation for up to 21 days in a residency cottage, an Air Travel Card up to $1,500 and a meal allowance. The total value of the prize is $6,950 USD.

The residency must be taken between 5 and 31 July, and the closing date is 31 March 2016.

This contest is open to residents of the United States, Canada excluding Quebec, the United Kingdom excluding Northern Ireland, and Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. For further information, click on this link to the contest website.

The other contest is the Reader’s Digest 100 Word Story Competition. This one is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland, but it is free to enter and has a £2000 top prize.

On the Reader’s Digest UK website, they say:

There are three categories—one for adults and two categories for schools: one for children aged 12–18 and one for children under 12.

Your stories should be original, unpublished and exactly 100 words long—not even a single word shorter or longer!

Entries must be in by February 20 2016.

The editorial team will then pick a shortlist of three in each category and post them online on March 6.

You can vote for your favourite, and the one with the most votes will scoop the top prize. Voting will close on March 27 and winning entries will be published in our June issue.

Entry is open only to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland.

What you could win

In the adult category:

The winner will receive £2,000, and two runners-up will each receive £200.

In the 12–18s category:

The winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8.0, WiFi) and a Samsung Gear S watch (choice of colour), plus £150 for their school. Two runners-up will each receive £100.

In the under-12s category:

The winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8.0, WiFi), plus £100 for their school. Two runners-up will each receive £75.

For more information, click here to visit the contest website.

Good luck if you decide to enter either of these contests. Remember where you heard about them if you end up winning!

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