Fantasy is more than dragons

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" I really can't think of another series that tied the world of fantasy and sci-fi together so well since Pern... a truly original viewpoint of fantasy, and I loved it."
~ Riley Westbrook

Welcome!

Found on laura-marshall.com

Found on laura-marshall.com

Thank you for visiting the Nicholas C. Rossis author blog! Before becoming an author, I had no idea just how much work book marketing entails: it’s never been easier to publish your work, but it’s never been harder to get people to read it. So, my blog is mostly aimed at helping authors with their book marketing efforts and at sharing every trick of the trade I pick along the way.

You may also be interested in my web design services aimed at authors. I also post writing tips and free stories. For some fun reading, visit the Fun Historical Facts and the Entertainment sections. If you like what you see here, check out my books on Amazon. And if you leave a comment or contact me, I’ll keep you up-to-date with my news and send you exclusive short stories as a ‘thank-you’. Oh, and please feel free to reblog and share. I’ll be grateful to you if you do! For an easy way to do so, or for those who have trouble viewing this blog, I have set up a mirror blog on nicholasrossis.wordpress.com.

Recent Posts

A Gluttonous Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I have a lot of things to be thankful for. First of all, you--my awesome readers. Thanks to you, I have now been blogging for 6 whole years, as WordPress kindly reminded me the other day. With over 1,500 posts and counting, this is definitely...

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How Better Sleep Can Boost Your Writing

I recently posted about the Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Famous People. The subject generated a lot of comments, so here's a followup post on that. How can sleep help boost your writing? Many writers find themselves in a creative slump every now and then. When you’re...

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Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

This is a guest post by Linda Cartwright. You may remember her from her recent post, Self-Publishing Basics. Linda is an author and a freelance writer with a background in education. She lives in Seattle, teaches creative writing classes online and supports e-learning...

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7 Psychological Tricks For Book Promotion

Book marketing has come a long way since Medieval scribes advertised their services in the Middle Ages. For one thing, there is an entire branch of psychology that deals specifically with marketing. I recently came across a great post by a marketing student with 7...

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How Do People Read Online?

Most of us are writers, one way or another. We share our thoughts in blogs and ebooks. And you may have noticed that I have been experimenting recently with emphasizing certain parts of my posts, breaking up longer texts in chapters, and playing around with various...

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The Horrific History of St. Albans Bible

You may remember Erik Kwakkel or Leiden University from earlier posts like A Fantasy Tip From History: Medieval Spam. Erik recently shared the incredible history of St. Albans Bible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! A Horror Story In 1964, the New York rare book...

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Online Design Editors Comparison

This is the last post in a 4-part series that explored three online photo editing sites -- websites that can help you create stunning visuals. These were DesignCap, EDIT, and Fotor (click on each of the links for the detailed respective post). I really enjoyed working...

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Celebrating Armistice Day

As you may know, today we celebrate Armistice Day. Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World...

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Fotor Design Editor Review

Today's post is the third of a 4-part series that started with DesignCap's review. The series explores three online photo editing sites -- websites that can help you create stunning visuals and offer a free version. How Fotor can help you Fotor is an online...

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EDIT Online Graphics Editor Review

Today's post is the second of a 4-part series that started with DesignCap's review. The series explores three sites that can help you create stunning visuals and offer a free version. As a bonus, some of them will give away free subscriptions to the first five of my...

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DesignCap Review

As indie authors, we not only write but also market our books. This means being active on social media, having a webpage and a blog, sending out newsletters or advertising on Bookbub, etc. As if this wasn't hard enough, we also have to create the visuals to support...

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The Bet: a Halloween Story

Following this blog's tradition, this is this year's Halloween story. Enjoy! The Bet “No way,” I say and lick my lips. The mere thought makes my mouth water. “Yes way,” he says and leans back on his seat, a smirk playing on his handsome face. Does this young man feel...

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How to Create the Perfect Email Opt-in Form

In my last post, I discussed some proven email list-building techniques. I will conclude this 3-part feature on email-based book marketing with some great tips by Mary Fernandez on creating the perfect email opt-in form, found on Persuasion Nation. Lead the way An...

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Proven Email List-Building Techniques

In my last post, I discussed the top 7 email marketing strategies for self-published authors. The very first tip was, "the list is Number 1." But how do you create a mailing list? That's a challenge many authors struggle with. Thankfully, I came across a great post by...

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Emotional Beats Wins Second Award

I was just notified that my emotional thesaurus book, Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings, has been selected as a FINALIST in the TopShelf Book Awards! Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings...

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The Fire That Sunk The Titanic

What's that you say, it was an iceberg which sank the Titanic? Sure, but why did the iceberg cut through the ship's steel like it was hot butter? Senan Molony, Titanic expert and author of Titanic: why she collided, why she sank, why she should never have sailed,...

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5 Foods and Drinks to Help you Boost your Creativity

I've often written about ways to boost your creativity, including even tips on using AI to do so. But can certain foods help get the creative juices flowing? There's research which suggests that yes, there are. So, what should you be eating and drinking to help you...

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Write About Your Passions

As you know, an increasing part of my income has started coming from my freelance writing. What I'm starting to realize is this: making it as a successful freelance writer isn’t easy. You have to be prepared for the reality that something that was once a joyful way to...

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Amazon Kindle Matchbook Is Retiring

This is the third major change announced by Amazon in the last days. After retiring Amazon giveaways, Amazon now is ending its Kindle Matchbook program on October 31. Strangely enough, I heard the news on The Passive Voice and The Digital Reader instead of Amazon....

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Amazon Ads Now Available For UK and Germany

In my last post, I mentioned that Amazon giveaways are retiring. It looks like Amazon is going through an autumn cleaning phase, as it has now introduced something I've been itching to try for years: Sponsored Products in the UK and Germany. Okay, since none of my...

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Amazon Giveaways Are Retiring

When Amazon giveaways first appeared, back in 2016, I was enthusiastic about them. Within 24 hours, I had gained an amazing 774 new Amazon followers at a cost of $40. Soon, however, everyone jumped on board. Costs rose, returns declined. My latest giveaway resulted in...

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The Real Exoskeletons

Do you remember Ripley fighting the Alien queen? If not, here's a quick reminder: https://youtu.be/FSrcMaid0mg?t=9 Real exoskeletons are now making their way into the construction industry to increase safety and productivity for all workers. These machines aim to...

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How To Βe A Good Content Marketer In 2019

In my last post, I wrote that we live in a golden era for content marketing. But what skills do you need to take advantage of this new opportunity for writing? Do you have what it takes to apply for a job as content writer? This guest post by Tom Siani of Social...

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Help Me Help You

Since 2014, I have published almost 1,500 posts on my blog. I am grateful to you all, not just for your visits and comments, but also for letting me be part of such an awesome writing community. When I first published my books, I could never have imagined the level of...

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This Fall, Fall in Love with Books

This Fall, fall in love with some great romance books, FREE or 99c! Accent on Romance Giveaway Accent on Romance and Great Books Great Deals are running a collaborative promo until September 20th. Three lucky winners will go home with one Fire HD 8 Tablet, plus two...

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The Hackable Internet of Things

In my book, A Heaven for Toasters (which, by the way, is FREE until the 20th), a zoomer (flying car) is hacked and made to crash. As with all things futuristic, I based this on current trends. One of these is the so-called Internet of Things: a common language that...

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Carmen Maria Machado on Theme

I was sending some files using WeTransfer the other day, and I saw a link to their blog. Turns out, WeTransfer has a surprisingly interesting blog with many posts related to writing! I found the excerpt below in a recent post titled New Rules of Storytelling. It is by...

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How Many Bits In A Word?

The world has known many languages; some 7,000 are currently spoken. And we use language to inform others. So, are some languages better than others when it comes to how fast we convey information? A group of intrepid linguists set out to find out. How many bits per...

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Are You An Employee Or An Entrepreneur?

Writers with employee mindsets measure their weeks and days by how many hours they’ve worked. Writers with entrepreneur mindsets measure their weeks and days by what they’ve created and how many projects they’ve finished. Which one am I? Which one are you?

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The Indie Writer’s Handbook

I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC for The Indie Writer's Handbook by one of my favorite authors, David Wind. David has included a kind mention to this blog in his book, which is specifically aimed at Indies, hence the ARC. "A great primer for new Indie authors (as...

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Medieval Books Reenacted

According to DesignYouTrust, a group of Czech students has recreated weird scenes from Medieval books, thus proving that those Medieval scribes did more than just sell all those beers they were producing. You can see the result in the original post but here's a...

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Self-Publishing Basics

This is a guest post by Linda Cartwright. Linda is an educator and a writer on the verge of coming out as an independent author after years of freelancing and ghost-writing. Her darkest secret is that writing is only her second favorite thing to do… after reading. You...

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How to Develop Your Brand as a Book Author

This is a guest post by Stewart Dunlop. Stewart is a full-time content marketer at Foundr and part-time reader, gamer & footballer. You can follow or tweet him @stewydunlop. How to Develop Your Brand as a Book Author From a literary point of view, we live in blessed...

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Yummy Insects

In my book, A Heaven for Toasters, the main source of protein is insects and lab-grown meat (I only hint at this, so don't worry if you missed that). As with all things futuristic, I based this on current trends. One of these is using maggots, specifically the larvae...

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When Will They Ever Learn?

A lot of my friends have a pretty bleak outlook on life. Gun massacres, polarizing politics, climate change... the list of horrors goes on. Given humanity's bloody history, one may be excused for wondering why we haven't figured out what's good for us yet. A possible...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 6

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments.  Note: You can find a link to all published chapters at the end of this post or read more parts on Wattpad. A Heaven for Toasters What if your perfect man...

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August 15, Dormition of the Virgin

The Dormition of the Virgin is the third greatest celebration in Greece (and the Greek Orthodox tradition), after Easter and Christmas. Greeks celebrate it in their usual boisterous way: large family gatherings, public festivals, and loads of lamb eating. Some escape...

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Ideas For Keeping Your Blog Fresh

Struggling for blog ideas? Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom // CC0 1.0Blogging consistently for days and years takes its toll. The mind struggles to generate ideas strong enough to keep the blog fresh. Over time, even a well-intentioned blogger who makes a fair effort to...

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Dealing with Vampires the New England Way

In early 19th century rural New England, there was little doubt about how to deal with vampires: you dug up the corpse, took head and limbs, and rearranged them on top of the ribs in the design of a skull and crossbones. That would stop the mischevious spirit from...

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600+ Power Words

Jon Morrow is a famous blogger who recently compiled an impressive list of 600+ power words -- words cherry-picked to give your readers an emotional response. In a way, his article is similar to my own Emotional Beats, only he's focusing on words rather than phrases:...

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Online Writing Jobs

You may remember Ben Taylor from his guest post, 5 Things I Learned About Marketing my First Book. Ben has built Telecommute Now, a website dedicated to information about telecommuting. It has an impressively exhaustive article on online jobs, listing 50 of them....

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Nellie Bly, Pioneering Female Journalist

With all the controversy surrounding fake media and fake news, it's easy to forget that real journalism not only has existed for a long time but has many forgotten heroes. One of them is Elizabeth Cochrane, a pioneering female journalist who's finally getting her...

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Short Story: The Egg, by Andy Weir

I came across The Egg, a lovely short story, thanks to Nat Russo. Written by Andy Weir, better known for The Martian, it's proven pretty popular. I hope you enjoy it as a great example of a tongue-in-cheek tone, a sharp twist, and a brave choice of second-person...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 5

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments.  Note: You can find a link to all published chapters at the end of this post or read more parts on Wattpad. A Heaven for Toasters What if your perfect man...

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RIP, Basta

I've been putting writing this post for over a week now, but I think it's time I did so. You may remember our cat of 17 years, Basta. I've mentioned him a couple of times and he indirectly features in my author bio as one of the two cats who were fighting with the wee...

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Infographic: How Relevant is Facebook?

Toward the end of last year, I stopped using Facebook for my book Ads. Whereas a few years ago I was enjoying a healthy Return on Investment (ROI), generating around 80c of profit on each advertising dollar I spent, that amount had steadily been decreasing over the...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 4

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. If you'd rather not wait, this is your last chance to get it at $0.99 before the price goes back to $2.99. Note: You can find a link to all published...

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Harry Potter… Scots Style

You may recall that, even though I spend most of my time in Greece nowadays, I consider myself half-Scot after studying, working, and even starting my company, Istomedia, in Edinburgh. Which is why I was so amused to hear on GeeksAreSexy.net about an Imgur user called...

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Back from the Holidays

The title says it all, doesn't it? We're back and nicely tanned, having spent a few days on the islands of Skyros and Evia. Located in the middle of the Aegean, Skyros is the place from where Achilles set sail for Troy after Odysseus discovered him in the court of...

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Summertime

I'll be taking a much-needed break this week. At first, I thought I'd simply schedule a few posts and respond to any comments upon my return. But, to me, the best part of blogging is interacting with you and reading what you have to say. So, I decided instead to not...

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Astronauts, In Their Own Words

I don't know about you, but it's been one of my childhood dreams to travel in space. As a big sci-fi fan, I've watched a ton of movies, read even more books, wrote a few of them, and spent countless hours wondering what it must be really like to fly in space. The...

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July, America! While you're waiting for the fireworks to start, you may enjoy this fine selection of past years' articles: 4th of July: What Happened to the Signers of the Declaration of Independence? 4th of July Special: Where Does the Dollar Symbol Come...

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What’s With Those Pointy Shoes?

A source of much mirth in Atkinson's celebrated Black Adder series, pointy shoes were a real thing as attested by this Medieval manuscript detail of a royal Parisian wedding: Such was the fascination with them that in 1463, English monarchs felt compelled to outlaw...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 3

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. If you'd rather not wait, I will leave the book at $0.99 for a few more days, then I'll raise the price back to $2.99. Note: You can find a link to all...

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5 Video Marketing Tips to Help Sell Your Book

This is a guest post by Qurat-ul-Ain Ghazali, a system engineer with a passion for writing, designing and anything tech related. Currently, she is the digital content manager at Dynamologic Solutions, a leading website design company. 5 Video Marketing Tips to Help...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 2

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. If you'd rather not wait, I will leave the book at $0.99 until mid-June, when I'll raise the price back to $2.99. Note: You can find a link to all...

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Infographic: Online Safety for Children

With the wee one growing up faster than I ever thought possible, I'm already starting to think about her online safety. She's almost four and uses my tablet more than either her mother or I do, knows how to find anything she wants on YouTube or Netflix (even though...

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How Amazon Destroyed Publishing. Or Did It?

In my previous post, How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble, I explained how Amazon (alone) could not be held responsible for the bookstore's troubles. This post addresses another common complaint, that Amazon has destroyed publishing. Again, things are not as black and...

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How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble

I apologize for the click-bait title. I only used it because I'm fed up with that claim, especially now that Barnes & Noble were sold on June 7 to a hedge fund after years of trouble. Everyone seems to be blaming Amazon for that, instead of placing the blame squarely...

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A Heavenly Toasters’ Relaunch

The more observant among you may have noticed that I have been quietly experimenting with the cover of A Heaven for Toasters. I removed the kissing couple and used a single man, curious to see if that would make any difference to sales. To my surprise, it did, albeit...

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Period Images

I have been sharing information on various resources for book covers lately, for example with my posts on Free Transparent Logos and Images and A Free Mockup Book Cover Maker. I recently came across a website which has some great material for authors of fantasy,...

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Good Luck With That

I remember having a dialogue with a writer friend a few years ago. She was chastising me for stressing the importance of luck in publishing. Her argument was that, if you work hard enough, you're bound to succeed. At the time, I was wondering if she was right and hard...

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6 Tips for Adding Life to Your Locations

One of my favorite writing resources, Mythic Scribes, recently shared some great tips on using your locations to bring your story to life. Here is my summary. As always, you are encouraged to check out the original post for more. The whole point they are making is...

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Writing and Alcohol

There seems to be an unwritten rule that writers have to be heavy drinkers, too. Hemingway, Joyce, Truman Capote, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Bukowski... the list goes on. Some cheerily accepted their dependency, arguing that alcohol fueled their creativity....

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Of Father’s Day and Summer Hampers

Summer's finally here and Father's Day is right around the corner. Which means... plenty of giveaways and free books! One Heart for You Marina Gioti's One Heart for You is written by a daughter and addressed to her father, the first love of her life. Sweet and moving,...

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Is This SF/Fantasy’s Big Moment?

While Game of Thrones is finally over, another war is raging unabated: the one between premium television networks, seeking a new show to rule the world “Thrones” created. As The Washington Post reports, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Showtime have all been feverishly...

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How Scared Should You Be Of Duplicate Content?

This is a slightly technical post but it's close to my heart as it answers a question I often hear. Longtime readers of this blog will know that, since 2016, I have been posting all of my content simultaneously on both my main website, nicholasrossis.me, and my...

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A Free Amazon Keyword Organizer Tool

You may remember that Amazon has recently adopted a more flexible way of reading keywords. You see, Amazon provides you on their KDP bookshelf with a set of 7 separate keyword boxes, giving some authors the impression that they should enter just one keyword or keyword...

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What Facebook’s Latest Changes Mean for you

Facebook has been under intense pressure lately. On one hand, both public and private bodies scrutinize its every move, worried about privacy issues and undemocratic material posted online. On the other, shareholders are troubled by dwindling membership. So, Facebook...

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How to Analyze your Visitor Data

Google Analytics and your own WordPress Statistics (available through Jetpack, if you're self-hosted) can be among the most useful book marketing tools. Who visits you and which pages do they frequent the most? Do people find what they're looking for? How long do they...

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Fear of Missing Out. Or is that Joy?

When I was in my first year at Uni, about a century ago or so, I took a summer job. For a few months, I was running a one-man quality control lab. I was responsible for taking daily samples of cement, processing it, and recording a number of data including...

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My Freelance Writing Portfolio

As part of my efforts to make writing my full-time job, I've taken on some freelance writing--mostly blog posts and web content. I am sharing below a kind testimonial and some samples of my work. Future jobs will be shared on my new Freelance...

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BookLuver Newsletter Swap

Newsletter swaps are very trendy right now, especially among authors of similar genres. This is because they have three big advantages over traditional promos: You grow your list of subscribers. This way, you can reach them in the future without paying anything,...

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The Fermi Paradox

Have you heard of the Fermi Paradox? Named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is an argument explored by him and physicist Michael H. Hart. At its most basic, it goes like this: if we, humanity, have started our attempts at space travel in the past century and are now...

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A Small Guest Post Rant

Those of you who've been following me for a long time know that I don't do rants. But I have to make a small exception now. As you may have noticed, I welcome guest posts on my blog. This is mainly to help writers who're looking for a break, as I know how hard it can...

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