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

Atop the Super-Duper High Hill of the Mountain

Greece is in lockdown mode because of COVID-19. We're urged to avoid getting out of the house for anything that's not essential - basically, doctors and supermarkets. Even the churches have closed down, to avoid spreading the virus. This past week has been pretty...

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Well-crafted “Mary Sue”/”Gary Stu” Characters

There is a fascinating discussion right now on Quora on Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters. People argue in favor and against the possibility of writing a well-crafted, enjoyable character like that. For anyone not familiar with the Mary Sue term (Gary Stu or Lary Stu are...

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Infographic: Selling your Business with Ebooks

Did you know that a great way to promote a business is through an ebook? As regular readers of this blog know, I have been focusing on freelance writing this past couple of years. So, this is a tip that may be of particular interest to non-fiction writers and anyone...

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Five myths about Jane Austen

Jane Austen, the writer of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility (among others) is widely considered ignored in her lifetime--and a bit of a prude. As Devoney Looser explains in The Washington Post, these are just two of the persistent myths surrounding...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 8

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. After neglecting it for a while, here's the next chapter. Note: You can find a link to all published chapters at the end of this post or read more parts on...

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OIRWA 2020 Workshops

Last week, I started attending Creating Great Villians, a great workshop on villains from OIRWA - the Outreach International Romance Writers Chapter of RWA®. Taught by Rayne Hall, one of my favorite writing aids authors, it is just one of four courses OIRWA offers...

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How I Became a Freelance Writer

When I wrote in my last post about the Evolution of Blogging, I didn't expect so many people to contact me asking how I managed to become a more-or-less full-time freelance writer. A friend even said that she knows a lot of disabled writers who would be great at it...

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The Evolution of Blogging

I have been online since 1985. I was one of the first members of the BBS (Bulletin Board) scene in Greece back when we connected to a server using landline modems. I still remember my thrill when I finally got my hands on a 9600 bps modem and could download pictures...

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5 Reasons Why Audiobook Usage Is Up Among Students

I have been writing about audiobooks a lot lately, as audiobooks are a growing trend in publishing. Now, Frank Hamilton is pointing out another trend: audiobooks used by students. Interestingly enough, some of his reasons, such as accessibility, also apply to eBooks....

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 7

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. I realize now I haven't posted an installment in ages, so thank you for your patience! Here's the next chapter. Note: You can find a link to all published...

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What did Medieval People Really Wear?

Contrary to popular belief, people in the Middle Ages loved color - and could afford it. They also liked to be, well, naked. Which makes sense, considering how much Medieval people liked throwing rotten vegetables at each other. Some people take the term “Dark Ages” a...

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Artificial Intelligence Statistics

I recently explored the question of whether computer-generated writing could ever replace the human kind. I recently came across some interesting statistics on Artificial Intelligence (AI), courtesy of Kommando Tech. Current AI technology can be roughly divided into...

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Subject-Verb Agreement

The other day, I was writing an answer in Quora. “Vitamins are essential for our body,” I wanted to say. Then, I paused. Should it be, “…for our bodies”? My previous post explored the difference between historic and historical. Today's post continues on the same...

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Historic or Historical?

You may remember the explanation of the origins of the idiom, a baker's dozen by the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC). Today, they dissect a historic event… or should that be, a historical event? Here's a Q&A to help you determine which one is correct, courtesy of...

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More Americans Go to the Library than to the Movies

I recently wrote about Millennial reading habits. It turns out that they do love books. This is further supported by a new report by Literary Hub, that highlighted a surprising fact: in 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. At a time when the...

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How Much Do Authors Make?

I recently published some interesting statistics about author income. Written Word media also published in late 2019 the results of their author survey. It answers some great questions, like how much new authors make, how popular audiobooks are, genre differences and...

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How to Self-Publish on Amazon

A writer friend contacted me the other day to ask if I had any how-to posts on self-publishing. Specifically, she was asking for detailed information on how to self-publish her book on Amazon. I didn't have anything like that, as this blog assumes you will have...

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Schinias (Marathon Bay) Beach

Readers of my blog and interviews will know that my sci-fi/fantasy series, Pearseus, is basically Herodotus' history of Cyrus, King of Persia... in space. It's easy enough to understand how I came up with the idea, growing up some 20' from the scene of the famous...

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Rise of the Luddites

In my last post, I mentioned the possibility of AI replacing humans in writing. I am pleasantly surprised at the post's reactions, as they generated some great comments. So, I thought I'd clarify today what my own feelings on the matter are, something I only did...

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Will Computer-generated Writing Replace the Human Kind?

You may recall my sci-fi romance, A Heaven For Toasters, taking place some 100 years in the future. Leo, the android protagonist, exhibits some distinctly human characteristics—including the ability to feel human emotions. But could Leo become a writer or poet? The...

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The Pros and Cons of Social Media

People often ask me, which social medium should I use for my promos? While everyone suggests you use social media to promote your book, there are also some cons attached to their use. InSync Media, the awesome people I write for, recently published a post listing the...

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How Hard is it to Say Yes?

I recently came across a great thread in Quora about the usage of the word "yes" in various languages. The thread is concerned with explaining why romance languages use almost the same word for "yes" (si [Spanish, Italian] and sim [Portuguese]) when there is no word...

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Does Goodreads Have a Troll Problem?

I've heard from several authors who have stopped using Goodreads over the years. As Camestros Felapton reports, they may have a point, as Goodreads seems to suffer from a chronic troll problem. Matters reached crisis proportions way back in 2012. But recently, it...

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The Top Publishing Trends For 2020

Written Word Media (WMD) recently published a must-read article with the top publishing industry trends for the new year, written by Clayton Noblit. I am sharing here a summary that includes their main points. 1. Audiobooks will continue to gain popularity, and more...

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Shaming Bad Musicians In The Middle Ages

Marillion, a singer in Game of Thrones, had his tongue cut out on the orders of King Joffrey for writing and performing a crude limerick about Joffrey's parents. Thankfully, the real punishment meted out to musicians in the Middle Ages who had offended their audience...

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Greetings From Panagia Skripou

I apologize for disappearing for a few days. I took a few days off and went to stay with friends in a small village at the foot of Mount Parnassus. As part of their wonderful hospitality, they took us to visit a Byzantine church; Panagia Skripou. Readers often comment...

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Social Media Marketing Tips For Writers

Ronita Mohan recently wrote about some of the social media marketing trends for 2020. I kick off the new year posts with another take on the same subject: how to use social media to promote your books. Being a successful writer means not only having the inspiration to...

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Happy New Year 2020

It's tradition to take stock of the past year these days. While we need to avoid our species' innate gloom, for most people I know it has been a seesaw of a year. Politics has rarely seemed more odious. Climate change is becoming a fact we simply have to learn to live...

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Merry Christmas 2019

This year, the wee one is old enough to understand Santa Claus. I explained that people believe that Santa flies through the world on Christmas Eve, comes through the chimneys, and delivers toys to all the children. Being her mom's daughter (Electra's an economist by...

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Pearseus: Tyranny Prologue

I mentioned the other day how the first book in my fantasy science fiction series, Pearseus, is now titled Pearseus: Tyranny. I am sharing today the opening chapter. While some authors advise against using a prologue, my advice is different: if you feel the book needs...

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Number of Active Social Media Users (2019)

I came across the following numbers on Ashley Barnes' marketing blog and thought I'd share here as they may help you choose where to focus your book promotion efforts. Having said that, don't forget my golden social media rule: Don't overextend. Focus on a couple of...

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RIP Perro

You may remember how we recently lost Basta, our cat of 17 years. I'm afraid that Perro, our second cat, has now followed him after a year-long fight with cancer. He's survived by Easy (aka Izzy), our greatly misnamed dog. Perro was never our cat, technically...

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US vs. UK English (Part 2)

In my last post, I shared a video about British English vs. American English by comedian Laura Clery. Here's part 2! https://www.facebook.com/laura.clery/videos/572603983272853/?v=572603983272853 ...

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US vs. UK English (Part 1)

As someone who lived in the UK but is writing for an American audience, I found this hilarious... I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! https://www.facebook.com/laura.clery/videos/2284608438466759/  

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12 Ways to Develop your Child’s Writing Skills

Getting people — and kids, in particular — to read and write has long been a passion of mine. You may remember my post, Reading Tricks for Kids of Any Age, originally written for Mom's Favorite Reads. Well, I recently came across an article by Abigail Elijah of...

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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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