Podcast Episodes

SPA Girls Podcast – EP38 – Writing Good Sex Scenes

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP38 – Writing Good Sex Scenes

This week we decided to talk about Wendy’s favourite subject – sex! 🙂 Just kidding, it’s the favourite topic of all the SPA Girls… When you’re writing romance, there will generally be some form the physical activity that happens when people fall in love. ie Sex. The different genres have different heat levels, and it’s partially about knowing the conventions of your genre, but also about knowing what you’re comfortable with personally. This week we talked through what each of us personally is comfortable with, what we like when we read other romance books, and how to write a sex scene that will knock the socks off your readers. I hope you enjoy it! FAIR WARNING: The language in this episode is a little grittier than we normally go for, sorry about that. If you’re not keen on bad language and talk of genitalia, you might want to skip this episode (we’re pretty tame, really, but just in case…).

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP37 – Intro to Twitter

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP37 – Intro to Twitter

In episode 37 we were all together in person again and we talked about Twitter. It’s probably the second most popular social media platform after Facebook, and it’s definitely one worth investigating. We give some basics on the platform, how to get started, what some of the jargon means, and a few tips on the best ways to build up an audience and connect with others on the platform. It’s probably more of a networking opportunity than somewhere that you will make a huge number of books sales, but it’s a fun way to connect with readers, authors, publishers and other industry folk.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP36 – Help! What Do I Write in My Newsletter?!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP36 – Help! What Do I Write in My Newsletter?!

This week is episode number 36 and we decided to talk a little more indepth about the kind of content you might provide in your newsletter for your subscribers.

They’ve signed up to your list, now what? It’s all very well being told that you need to write to your email subscribers regularly – but what on Earth do you write to them about? Your latest doctor’s appointment? Which politicians you hate most? NO! That’ll just get you a nice high UNSUBSCRIBE rate.

This week we give you a whole bunch of ideas on the best way to connect with your readers, how to keep them engaged and interested in you and your books, and how to figure out what they will be most interested in reading about. Enjoy!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP35 – A Great Hook for Your Book

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP35 – A Great Hook for Your Book

This week we’re up to episode number 35, and we talked about brainstorming your next novel. We each talked about how we do it, the kind of methods we use and what we recommend for people wanting to create a solid book idea. At the end we decided to do an impromptu session where we actually brainstorm a brand new novel together. It was a huge laugh, and we hope it’s both entertaining and helpful to you when you start planning your next novel…. 🙂

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP34 – How Do I Get Reviews?

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP34 – How Do I Get Reviews?

This week – episode 34 – we talked about reviews – what they are, why you need them, and how you might go about getting some more!

The best thing about Amazon is the ability to leave reviews and to gather momentum for your books through word of mouth, and we love them for it. Even better, they’re pretty good at trying to make sure those reviews are legitimate reviews, rather than people trying to game the system (and okay, there will always be peeps trying to game the system, but at least they’re trying).

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP33 – Getting Your Newsletter Started

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP33 – Getting Your Newsletter Started

Welcome to another episode of the infamous SPA Girls Podcast, where we break down the journey to self publishing one step at a time. This week we talked about newsletters – what they are, why you should have one, and how to go about getting one sorted. Setting up an email newsletter is often quoted as being the number one top priority for a self published author – it gives a direct line between you and your readers, which can be invaluable.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP32 – Getting The Price Right

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP32 – Getting The Price Right

In this week’s episode we tackle the always-changing topic of pricing in self publishing. It’s a biggie, and it’s sometimes hard to distill this one down, especially because most people who are new to self publishing just want those who are older and wiser (haha) to just say – “You must do it this way!” Unfortunately there is no “one true path” for pricing, especially given the vast array of differing goals and aims of authors, and the constantly changing nature of the industry. What worked two years ago won’t necessarily work now.

We suggest that you research the price of other books similar to your own (in genre, length etc), and then determine what your overall strategy is for the launch (eg discoverability vs sales), before you decide what to price your book at. The main thing to remember is that you can always change it later if you decide you’ve done it wrong. That’s the best thing about self publishing, you can test and experiment to find out what works best for you!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP31 – Self Editing for Self Publishers

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP31 – Self Editing for Self Publishers

This week, in lucky number 31, we talk about self editing – what we all do, the kind of techniques and strategies that we use to make sure we don’t make mistakes in our work, and how we work in with professional editors to make sure we catch as many of the mistakes in our work that we can. And that’s a very valid point – no matter how good you think you are, you will ALWAYS miss something in your own work, which is why it’s vital to get outside people looking at your work as well as editing it yourself. Don’t miss another fascinating episode of the SPA Girls!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP30 – Self Publishing Resources

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP30 – Self Publishing Resources

This week we talk about our favourite self publishing resources to help make your writing life just a bit easier. From writing tools like Scrivener and writeordie.com to editing support with grammarly.com or the best courses on Udemy and CreativeLive.com, we’ve packed this episode full of information for self publishers!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP29 – The Ingredients For a Delicious Novel

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP29 – The Ingredients For a Delicious Novel

This week we went with a baking theme, and talked about the ingredients that we think are most important when ‘cooking’ a novel. This wasn’t an exhaustive list, just a few of the things we think you should work on first, to make sure your novel is going to be the best it can be. We know most about, and are most focused on, the romance genre, so it’s a multi-layered Black Forest chocolate gateau cake. Just saying. But for anyone who’s interested in a little bit of help with writing craft, listen in to our discussion of the most important ingredients…

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP28 – Where Do Ideas Come From?

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP28 – Where Do Ideas Come From?

This week we thought we’d take a quick detour into ideas-land to answer the most common question that writers get – where do your ideas come from? If you’re feeling lost or lacking in inspiration, just pinch a few of our ideas for gathering new stories and get going!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP27 – Self Publishing Trends

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP27 – Self Publishing Trends

This week we’re without the delightful Wendy Vella (who is off on a romantic holiday in an exotic location for her daughter’s wedding), but we managed to put an exciting episode together anyway. We’re talking about some of the more recent self-publishing trends that we’ve noticed (and some that aren’t so recent, but are still relevant) and how you might be able to use them to your advantage.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP26 – Exercise Challenge

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP26 – Exercise Challenge

This week in episode 26 we talk about exercise! It’s a challenge episode, so we mentioned it a few weeks ago, and challenged ourselves to put more exercise into our daily routine. This is the show where we talk about what we did, how we did it, and what we learned about exercise and the writer’s mind (and body).

As a writer, you probably spend the majority of your day sitting down – and all we can say is… DON’T! The latest research shows that sitting down all day at work – even if you’re not overweight and exercise every day – can be just as detrimental to your health as eating fried food and never exercising. Listen to this episode to find out more about it, and what you can do to ensure you’re not at risk.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP25 – All About Amazon – PART TWO

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP25 – All About Amazon – PART TWO

It’s episode number 25, and we’re talking about Amazon again this week. It’s the second in our two-part Amazon special, and this episode we walk you through the process of loading a book onto Amazon.com. We go through each of the sections and tell you what we do/answer for each one. If you’ve never put a book up on Amazon (or even if you have) this should help you as you as you go through the process. We give tips and advice on the best way to answer the various sections, how to find the best keywords, and what categories you should be in. It’s an information packed episode, so be sure to take notes!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP24 – All About Amazon

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP24 – All About Amazon

It’s the episode you’ve all been waiting for… This week, in lucky episode 24 (I love that number, it’s my date of birth), we talk all about the retail site Amazon. It’s the first of two episodes on Amazon, and this week we start by giving a bit of an overview of Amazon’s history, what they do, and how they came to be such a powerhouse retail site. Then we talk about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) where indie authors load up their books, the pros and cons of KDP Select, talk about Kindle Unlimited (KU), and how to use Author Central.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP23 – Dealing with Author Overwhelm

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP23 – Dealing with Author Overwhelm

Welcome to episode 23 of the SPA Girls podcast. This episode we’re talking about Author Overwhelm, one of those insidious blockages sent to distract us as authors. When you’ve got so much on, and so many things that you’re trying to do, and it’s making you feel panicky and frustrated – to the point where you’re not actually doing anything useful at all… that’s author overwhelm. We’ve focused on giving practical tips on what we do when author overwhelm hits, how we keep going through the tough times, and what we do to try and avoid author overwhelm in the first place! I hope you enjoy it, it’s a great episode!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP22 – Pre-Publication Checklist (Part Two)

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP22 – Pre-Publication Checklist (Part Two)

Welcome to episode 22, and the second in our pre-publication special episodes. In these two informative sessions, we talk in depth about the things you need to take into account before you hit publish on your self-published book. This episode we talk about things like formatting, categories, key words, book descriptions, covers, pricing and your title/subtitle of your book.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP021 – Pre-Publication Checklist (Part One)

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP021 – Pre-Publication Checklist (Part One)

We’re officially 21! Well, at least 21 episodes into the SPA Girls Podcast… This week we dive into some really meaty content – it’s the first of a two part series on what you’ll need to have organised before you publish your book onto the various retail platforms.
This first episode talks about tax numbers (ITIN and EIN etc) and whether you need them, ISBN numbers (what they are, and why you might choose to get one), copyright for your books, bank accounts and accountants, pen names, and front and back matter in your book.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP20 – Find Your Tribe Challenge

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP20 – Find Your Tribe Challenge

This week it’s a challenge episode, and we talk about the ways we decided to meet new people – preferably other authors who could help with the self publishing process. We all found ways to get into Facebook groups, Google + hangouts, and forums and online groups. Listen in and find out how you can find the kind of people who will support you through the ups and downs of the self publishing process.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP019 – Interview with Trudi Jaye

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP019 – Interview with Trudi Jaye

This week we’re up to episode 19, and it’s an interview with paranormal romance author Trudi Jaye, yet another member of the SPA Girls.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP018 – The Right Mental Attitude for Self Publishing

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP018 – The Right Mental Attitude for Self Publishing

Welcome to the 18th episode of the SPA Girls Podcast. This week we delve into the fascinating topic of the mental attitude you’ll need to succeed as a self publisher. It’s not a matter of just posting your book up on Amazon and waiting for the money to roll in… You’ll need a few things like grit and determination to see you through to the end result that you’re aiming for.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP017 – Setting Goals for Success

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP017 – Setting Goals for Success

Thanks for joining us for episode number seventeen! We’re at the time of the year where we like to set some goals for the year, and we decided to sit down and discuss how we do it; things like the kind of goals we like to set, how many we set, and the things we’ve done to make our goals work for us.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP016 – Where Will You Self Publish?

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP016 – Where Will You Self Publish?

Welcome to episode 16 of the SPA Girls podcast. I hope the new year is treating you well, and you’re excited and motivated to make this year your best one yet! In this episode we talk about a few of the different sites where you can put up your books once they’re finished and ready to go.

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SPA Girls Podcast – Christmas 2015 episode

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SPA Girls Podcast – Christmas 2015 episode

It’s our Christmas episode, and we’re hanging out at our favourite restaurant, chatting about our year, and talking about what we hope to achieve in 2016. Join us for this celebration of all the goodness in 2015, and the greatness that will be 2016!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP014 – Websites for Authors

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP014 – Websites for Authors

This week we talked about author websites and why it’s vital for self publishing authors to have one, despite the naysayers (mostly from traditional publishers who don’t see the point).

We talk about what you should include on your website, the kind of content you should be writing, and the style of writing you should use on the web. We also talk a little bit about the technical aspects of setting up a website.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP013 – Author Interview with Cheryl Phipps

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP013 – Author Interview with Cheryl Phipps

This week was lucky thirteen, so we decided to do an interview… with one of our own. The lovely Cheryl Phipps talks about her writing journey, from right back when the kids were little, to now, with eight books published, and more on the way! Cheryl’s the wise member of the group, so be sure to listen in and get some self-publishing and writing gems!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP012 – Genre Break Down Challenge

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP012 – Genre Break Down Challenge

This week’s episode is number twelve – that’s right, we made it to three months! This episode was a challenge episode, and we each talked about the research we’d done on our particular genres – Trudi looked into the genre conventions of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy (with a little bit of comparison between them along the way), Cheryl investigated Chick Lit and what makes it so good, Wendy waxed lyrical on the conventions of Historical Romance, and Shar rounded it all out by telling us about Contemporary Romance.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP011 – All About Covers

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP011 – All About Covers

Welcome to the 11th episode of the SPA Girls Podcast! This week we’re talking covers. It’s a massive subject, and we’ve tried to cover the basics in this show. Having a really good cover in this crowded marketplace is a must-do. Not just a good cover, but the right cover for your book, and your genre. This will take time and research on your part, but it’s time well spent in your self publishing journey. Basically, in a nutshell – don’t try to do it by yourself! Hire a professional cover designer (not your next door neighbour’s kid) who knows and understands the industry to create a cover for you.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP010 – Editing for Indies

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP010 – Editing for Indies

Thanks for joining us for episode number 10 of the SPA Girls Podcast! We made it to double digits! This week we talk about a really important topic for self published authors – editing. What it is, why it’s important, the kinds of mistakes we’ve made along the way and who you can get to help you through the process. Don’t miss this vital episode!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP09 – Interview With Author Toni Kenyon!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP09 – Interview With Author Toni Kenyon!

This week’s episode was a huge amount of fun for us… We did our first ever proper interview (if you don’t count the one we did with SPA Girl Wendy Vella) with author Toni Kenyon! Toni was a delight to have on the show, and she was a wealth of information on being a self publishing author

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP08 – Finding Your Tribe

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP08 – Finding Your Tribe

For the eighth episode of the SPA Girls podcast we talk about finding your tribe. But what if you’re shy? No problem! We give ideas, advice and actual resources for a wide range of places you can go to meet other authors and discuss writing and self publishing.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP07 – Overview Of The Self-Publishing Process

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP07 – Overview Of The Self-Publishing Process

Today, we give you an overview of the whole self publishing process from start to finish!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP06 – Successful Self-Publishers’ Challenge

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP06 – Successful Self-Publishers’ Challenge

We all think it’s important to have someone you aspire to be like in any career, and self publishing is no different, so we set the challenge in episode one to research someone who is successfully managing a self publishing career. Today we report back on our own personal self-publishing heroes: Joanna Penn, Courtney Milan, Lindsay Buroker and Marie Force!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP05 – What Is Genre?

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP05 – What Is Genre?

This episode is all about genre – what it is, why you should know about it, and what it means to you as a self publishing author. There are certain conventions in every genre – especially in romance. No happily ever after? Then it’s not romance, and your readers are going to be disappointed! This is why it’s important to know your genre. Listen on for details …

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP04 – Facebook For Beginners

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP04 – Facebook For Beginners

Love it or hate it, facebook is THE place to be for romance authors wanting to extend their platform and talk to new readers. We talk about why you should be on there, the difference between a profile and a page, and get the hard word on the do’s and don’ts of facebook.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP03 – Interview With Author Wendy Vella

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP03 – Interview With Author Wendy Vella

This week we have an interview with one of our own – SPA Girl member Wendy Vella. Wendy has been self publishing since 2013, and she now has 14 titles and has been included in three box sets. She’s sold over 100,000 copies of her books, and at the beginning of this year took the plunge and went full time as an indie author. We interview her on her road to success, where and when she writes, and what it took to make it all happen.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP02 – Finding The Time To Write

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP02 – Finding The Time To Write

Do you want to write, but struggle to find the time in your busy schedule? In this episode we offer some ideas, suggestions and practical tips on how to make it happen!

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP01 – Introducing The SPA Girls

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP01 – Introducing The SPA Girls

We’re four New Zealand-based romance authors, who are trying out self publishing online through stores like Amazon, Kobo and iBooks, and we want to give you a few of the tips, tricks and tales of the things we’ve learned along the way. Designed with the newbie in mind, we take you from the very beginning, answering those questions you were too embarrassed to ask – basically helping you to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that we (sometimes) fell into. Thanks for joining us!

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