Last Updated: Wednesday 20 June 2018
Note: I am not a lawyer, but I have attempted to spell out, as far as possible, what it means for your privacy when you visit this website, subscribe to my newsletter, read my blog posts, or interact with me on social media.
Please read through this page carefully before making a decision on whether you wish to continue interacting with me in any way.
And, if you have any questions, or think I've left anything out, don't hesitate to send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will update this policy.
This website is hosted on a free service called Netlify. It might be possible that, like most web hosts, they track your IP address and other information when you visit the site.
However, I have no access to this information; there is no way that I can see any information about your visit from Netlify's dashboard.
Similarly, my blog is hosted on the free blogging platform, Blogger. Once again, I have no access to view any information that they may have tracked about your IP address or computer, when you read any of my blog posts.
Both this website and my blog make use of Google Analytics. In order to facilitate this, a block of code has been inserted into every page, which causes Google to track your visit.
When you visit any page on this website, or any post on my blog, Google stores information about your device and, if you're signed into Google, demographic information about who you are.
When I access Google Analytics, I can see aggregated data of visits, which includes information about the countries people visit from, what types of devices and operating systems they use, their language preferences, and other demographic information. I can also see what pages they visited.
I use this information to make informed decisions about who my target audience is, so that I can effectively market to them, but it is presented to me in aggregate only. At no point in time does Google provide me with any information I could reasonably use to personally identify an individual.
Throughout this website, and on my blog, you will see Ads by Google. If you happen to be logged in to your Google account on the device you're browsing from, these ads are tailored for you based on everything Google knows about you and your interests (and visiting my website or blog also informs Google's decisions of what you're interested in). If you happen to click on one of those ads while signed in to your Google account, Google also tracks that information.
If you're not signed in to your Google account, Google might still tailor the ads to you based on your anonymous browsing history, but either way, the ads will also be relevant to the particular page or post you're viewing.
I have no access whatsoever to the information Google knows about you, nor can I see which ads you've been shown, and which ones (if any) you've clicked on.
I show these ads as a way to help recover the costs of running my business, since every time you click on one, Google pays me a small amount of money.
I have put code at the bottom of every page on this website, that identifies you to both Twitter and Facebook. If you are logged into one of those services at the time you visit my website, those services know who you are.
I do this so that, from time to time, I can run advertising campaigns on Facebook or Twitter, targeting people who have recently visited my website.
However, neither Facebook nor Twitter will tell me who you are, specifically. All those services are able to provide me with is the number of Facebook/Twitter users who visited my website in a particular period.
If you don't want Facebook or Twitter to track your visits to my website (or any other website which uses these tracking codes), make sure you are logged out of those services before visiting this website.
I make use of an analytics service called Hotjar. Although they provide a range of different services, I use them for the following:
From time to time, you may be browsing a page on my website, and a question will pop up on the screen. These questions are "Hotjar Polls". Answering these questions is purely optional on your part, and, unless you specifically choose to provide me with your e-mail address as part of your answer (which you're never obligated to do), I have no way of contacting you or knowing who you are.
At random intervals, Hotjar might take a recording of your session on this website, saved as a video for me to watch on the Hotjar dashboard.
I can see in these recordings the date and time of your visit, what type of device you're connecting from, and your country of origin. I have no way of personally identifying you, and any information you type into any field is obscured from my view by asterisks.
I use these recordings to help me figure out what parts of my website are used most often, and which parts are obviously causing confusion, so that I can fix them.
When you are subscribed to my e-mail newsletter, you will receive periodic e-mails from me. I try to keep these newsletters to once or twice a month at the most, but from time to time, they may be more frequent than that.
It's also important to understand that many of these e-mails might contain marketing information about me, my books, or other products and services you could buy.
You are under no obligation to receive these e-mails, and you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of any e-mail I send you. If you unsubscribe, I will not e-mail you again.
When you subscribe to my e-mail list, I automatically receive a certain amount of information about you:
In additional to all of the above, I have whatever information you have elected to disclose with me over e-mail.
Even after you unsubscribe from my mailing list, MailerLite keeps all the data I had about you, and it's available for me to view. This is so that I can still have a history of who you are, if you ever choose to re-subscribe.
If you wish, though, you may, after unsubscribing, send me an e-mail requesting that I completely delete you from my records. On request, I will gladly do so, and I will no longer be able to view any information about you, unless you happen to subscribe again.
There are a few ways in which you could find yourself on my mailing list. The most common way is by entering your e-mail address on my Get Free Stuff page, and selecting a free book.
As mentioned above, I do run Facebook and Twitter adverts from time to time, and some of these may be "Lead Generation" adverts, that request your e-mail address in exchange for something. If you've responded to one of these ads, you'll be on my list.
I also occasionally take part in third-party e-book giveaways, where I offer a book for free download, in exchange for people signing up to my list. If you've participated in any of these giveaways, those third-party sites have provided me with your e-mail address, which I have added to my list.
When I send e-mails to my mailing list, MailerLite is able to show me when they are opened by my subscribers. I can see the date and time, and all details of the subscriber who opened the e-mail, as well as which e-mail they opened. This doesn't always work, because it relies on subscribers either "Allowing Images" or equivalent in their e-mail client, or clicking on a link somewhere in the e-mail.
Speaking of which, if you click on one of those links, I always know the date and time you clicked, which link you clicked, and which e-mail you clicked.
I subscribe to the affiliate programs of various book and e-book retailers across the Internet.
When you click to buy one of my books or e-books, there's a good chance that the link you're clicking is an affiliate link, which means that I earn a commission on top of my royalties if you end up buying the book, or any other item in that session. The site in question will know that I referred you, but they don't give me any information about you, who you are, or where you're from. All of the pages for my books on this website also include a "Kindle Instant Preview" button, which opens a window containing the preview of the book in question, directly on Amazon.com. You are able to purchase the book directly from that sample, which again causes me to earn an extra commission over-and-above the royalties Amazon would normally pay me.
I also recommend books from time to time throughout my e-mail newsletter, social media platforms, and on my blog. The links I give to these books are almost always affiliate links, which means I earn a commission if you buy them.
I use this extra money as a way to supplement the costs of running my author business, including e-mail hosting costs, marketing costs, and direct publishing costs.
There is currently one exception to the rule that the retailers don't give me any information about who you are, and that is Scribd. Scribd is a subscription service that allows you to read an unlimited number of e-books for a fixed monthly price. I occasionally share a referral link to the service, and if you use that link to sign up, you will get two free months with them, where, if you sign up the "normal" way, you only get one. If you do this, I get no money, but I get a free month added to my own account. When you do this, Scribd tells me your name, but I have no other information about you.
If you're interested in signing up, here's my referral link: https://www.scribd.com/g/1nx29r.
I'm on a number of social media platforms, but the ones I update most regularly are Facebook and Twitter.
You should understand that, if you follow me (or equivalent terminology on the relevant platform), then I have access to your publicly available profile information on that service.
The things I share are varied, but will often contain marketing information, with the aim of convincing people to buy my books or read my work. If you do not consent to receiving such information, you should refrain from following me.