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

Free Historical Mexican Recipes

I love Mexican food and cook it regularly (including today, actually). So, I was thrilled when I heard on Atlas Obscura that The University of Texas at San Antonio was digitizing the largest collection of historic Mexican cookbooks in the United States. While the...

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Video in Email Marketing

I have written in the past on the subject of using videos in your emails. I now came across a great infographic on the subject, courtesy of One Productions, a corporate video production company in Dublin. Apparently, the average office worker receives 121 emails every...

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Perseverance Blasts Off

A $2.7 billion NASA rover, Perseverance, blasted off into clear skies over Florida’s Cape Canaveral yesterday (Thursday, July 30th) atop an Atlas V rocket, as The Washington Post and The Curious report. The launch marks the start of a nearly seven-month journey to...

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3 Hard Science Fiction Ideas

Many of my readers enjoy science fiction as much as I do. Jacob Baumgardner recently shared an answer about which emerging technologies may have the greatest impact in the near future. He identified three: fusion power, rail/coilguns, and pre-coolers. I imagine that...

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What Is the Oldest English Word?

Someone asked this on Quora and Oscar Tay gave a fascinating answer. The oldest recorded word In English is Gægogæ mægæ medu. The Undley Bracteate In 1982, a farmer in Undley Common, Suffolk, England, was walking across his field when he came across a fantastic bit of...

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Free Online Magazines

Two free online magazines are asking for submissions and looking for new subscribers. If you're not familiar with them, they're well worth checking out! Writer's Grapevine The first one is Writer's Grapevine, created by Patty Fletcher. As I told her when she sent me a...

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Medieval Chess Troubles

Medieval monasteries had a serious problem. Instead of 100% focusing on their spiritual and earthly duties, many monks loved besting each other at chess. The Medieval version of “video games cause violence” was, “playing chess leads to blasphemy.” Things got so bad...

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Some of My Favorite Writing Blogs

I haven't written one of these posts in ages, so I wanted to give you a few links to blogs and websites that have provided me with plenty of writing tips and inspiration. I apologize in advance if you have an excellent blog that's not mentioned below. Charles...

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How to Design Your Book Cover

Dave Chesson, aka Kindlepreneur, recently published what I think is the ultimate guide to designing your book cover. While I use Alex of 187Designz for all of my book covers, Dave has compiled a list of: The best book cover design software, both paid and free; Book...

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Sci-Fi Tip: Futuristic Construction Technologies

My Ph.D. thesis, Design in the Digital Age: In Search of a Collaborative Paradigm, was all about finding novel ways to help designers interact with their clients. I had envisioned a tablet-based Virtual Reality environment with Augmented Reality elements for the...

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Getting Married in the Middle Ages

Whether you're writing Medieval history fiction or fantasy, you will appreciate this Quora answer by Helena Schrader, who borrowed from an article she wrote for The Medieval Magazine. To this, I have added information by Brent Cooper, taken from medievaltimes.com....

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Translating Puns

As anyone who's been following my blog for a while surely knows, I love puns and bad dad jokes (often the same thing). And I often use them in my work, especially in my children's books. Which becomes rather problematic when translating them into Greek. How can...

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Back from Lefkada

I apologize for disappearing on you this past week. We spent a week on the island of Lefkada, in the Ionian Sea. Since I now have over 2K emails to wade through, I hope you'll forgive me if I'm uncharacteristically brief and just share a few photos of this lovely...

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Every Swordsman Cheats

When writing fantasy, we often have to describe fight scenes. Swordfights, in particular, make for great descriptions. But we often forget one crucial aspect of fighting: when it comes to life or death, everyone cheats. Even the good guys, as Martin Lloyd points out...

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Book Sales COVID-19 Increase

Since March 2020, PublishDrive has been generating digital book sales reports, compiling hard-to-find data from various outlets, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, libraries, regional stores, and more. They have now published their stats for April...

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The Real Archery

I was reading an interesting answer on Quora about Mongol strategy when a battle description caught my eye: Seeing this, the archbishop spurred his on his horse and gave them chase. Eventually, they reached a marshland and they crossed it swiftly. The archbishop did...

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Happy Father’s Day 2020

Of all the parts I've played in the theater of life, being a dad is the most meaningful to me. Which is why I so enjoyed learning about Tom's Bad Dad Jokes. As the Washington Post reports, Tom and Ann Schruben have started posting “Bad Dad Jokes” on a sign outside...

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How Libraries Are Coping with the Pandemic

I recently published a post on how the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be affecting publishing. While that article focused on publishers, we now have some interesting data on how it has affected libraries, thanks to NPR (many thanks to my author friend, Elle Boca, for...

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Medieval Castle Assaults

I came across some great answers by Jon Bourgetti, Patrick Ashby, Alexander Taylor, and Steve Blanchard on Quora on the subject of assaults on Medieval castles. Whether you write fantasy, historical fiction, or just love history as much as I do, I think you will enjoy...

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Robocall Scams

I've been reading recently Grinders by C.S. Boyack (and making slow progress thanks to the wee one being always around - sorry, Craig!) Craig, who's obviously a time traveler visiting from the future, has holographic walking ads following you wherever you go in 2173....

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Free Author Resources

In my last post, I wrote about some of Dave Chessson's, aka Kindlepreneur's, free author resources, including his Free Amazon Book Description Generator. Today, I have more free author resources that can prove invaluable to your author promos, courtesy of my author...

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Free Amazon Book Description Generator

A few years ago, I had posted about Dave Chesson, aka Kindlepreneur, and KDP Rocket — a tool that generates the best keywords for your Amazon books. To understand the importance of keywords, check out Dave's post on Kindle Keywords, or this one on Fiction Keyword...

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How to Properly Capitalize Your Titles

One of the trickiest things about freelance copywriting work is confirming to each blog's or publication's standards. For example, how to capitalize your titles. I'm sharing here what I've learned so far in the hopes that some of you may find it useful. The...

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Internet Archive Faces Lawsuit Over Free E-Books

As Elizabeth A. Harris of the New York Times reported on Monday, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Wiley accused the nonprofit Internet Archive of piracy for making over 1 million books free online. A group of publishers sued Internet Archive on...

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Free Content Creation Online Tools

Since I started working as a freelance SEO copywriter, I have been using various online collaborative tools. I am constantly amazed by how many such tools exist and how few of them I'd heard of prior to starting my new career. This guest post by Thomas Glare includes...

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The Real Wild West

We all know of the Wild West. Or do we? There are so many misconceptions and myths surrounding it, and so many of these are repeated in cowboy fiction and Western movies alike. So, here are some common misconceptions about the cowboys, Native Americans, and the Wild...

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Who Loves Tom Swift?

No, Tom Swift is not a person. A Tom Swifty is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. The standard syntax is for the quoted sentence to be first, followed by the (humorous) description of the act of speaking....

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Marketing your Book with Story Origin

This is a guest post by my author friend, Effrosyni Moschoudi. She is well versed in all things Indie and an expert in book promos. She kindly agreed to share with us her experience with Story Origin, a newsletter-swapping service that has helped her promote her work....

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Common Fiction Writing Mistakes

I came across a nice thread on Quora (here and here) about common mistakes in fiction. I am sharing here the ones that I agreed with. I found particularly interesting to see which mistakes different people mentioned, as many of them contradicted each other. This makes...

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How Robots will Change Construction

Back in January, I shared the history of Luddism and predicted that we're bound to see similar social turmoil as robots displace workers and factory lines get increasingly automated. But the future is already here, it seems: BigRentz recently shared a fascinating...

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The Oldest Buildings in the US

I know that most of you share my passion for history, so I thought you'd enjoy this infographic with the oldest buildings in the US I found on BigRentz. They say that the difference between the US and Europe is that 100 miles is a long distance in Europe but 100 years...

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Improving your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep seems to be a recurring theme in my blog, probably because the wee one doesn't let me get enough myself. I have already written about How Better Sleep Can Boost Your Writing, shared an Infographic on Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Famous People, and offered some...

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Rich as a King

Despite what you may have heard from Robin Hood, King Richard I of England may have had the heart of a lion but brains? Hmm... A sloth* comes to mind rather than a rocket scientist. Richard the Lionheart was a brave soldier, a great crusader, and won many battles...

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New Launch: Demon Tracker

Aurora J. Alexander is launching Demon Tracker, the third book in her Council of Twelve series. Demon Tracker Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The...

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A New Normal for Publishing?

How do people and firms respond to the pandemic lockdowns? One particularly interesting example comes from Books-A-Million. As The New Publishing Standard reports (shared by Passive Guy), America’s second-largest bookstore chain, Books-A-Million, is readying for...

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Lost in Translation

Atlas Obscura recently had published an interesting article on mistranslation—specifically, menu ones. Emily Monaco, a culinary translator, was explaining how challenging menus can be to translate, from the odd but understandable “ink fish” in place of squid to...

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Is Ingram-Lightning the Future of Publishing?

The other day, I came across an eye-opening article through The Passive Guy. Veteran publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin was describing the ways that the Coronavirus is changing the publishing industry. Among his main takeaways is that supply chains have been so...

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EDIT Premium Lifetime Offer

Back in November, I wrote a series of reviews for online graphics tools. EDIT was one of the best ones I could find. It offers a bunch of templates to choose from and helps you create design material for your social media and web pages. You can also use it to produce...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 11

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. 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 Wattpad. A Heaven for Toasters...

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Around the World in 10 Bookmobiles

Today, the internet gives everyone access to whatever they want, so searching for a good book is extremely easy to do. In times where we did not have internet access, however, people had to look for other options to be able to access books and read. Book shops and...

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Free Writing Course by Rayne Hall

You may recall how I recently followed a great workshop by Rayne Hall organized by OIRWA. Now, Rayne is offering a special free seminar aimed at self-isolating writers who wish to take advantage of the pandemic downtime to hone their writing skills. Course...

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Fall of the Roman Republic

As a child learning history at school, I often wondered why the Roman Republic gave way to the Roman Empire. Had the people had enough of voting? Was this forced upon them? If so, why didn't they revolt, especially given how awful emperors like Caracalla were? I mean,...

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Blogging Statistics

My article on The Evolution of Blogging has turned out to be one of my most popular posts. So, I have some more information on the subject of blogs and blogging for you, courtesy of Logomaker. As I make most of my living writing blog posts as a freelance writer, this...

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10 Types of Readers you Meet During a Lockdown

Angela Haupt of the Washington Post recently shared a fun list with the types of readers you meet during a lockdown. I belong to the very first group. With a restless 4-year-old always around and with both Electra and me working from home, getting a free moment to...

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How to Use Colors in your Book Covers

A couple of years ago, I posted an infographic on How Color Can Boost Your Book Sales. Today, I am sharing some tips on color connotations courtesy of Dan Matthews of Avasam. They will help you create the perfect book cover. Yes, I know we're not supposed to judge a...

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Happy Easter

Orthodox Easter is next Sunday but I thought it made more sense for me to post this today. Last year, I wrote about Greek Orthodox Easter and how Greeks celebrate it. With a country on lockdown, it's funny how few of these customs can be observed this year. We'll be...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 10

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. 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 Wattpad. A Heaven for Toasters...

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Email Video Marketing

I have written in the past extensively about email marketing, video marketing, and even live video marketing. But email video marketing? Is that even a thing? Turns out that yes, it is. Basically, instead of writing up an email, you record a video and send it to your...

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Writing Interactive Fiction

A couple of years ago I wrote about the Choose Your Own Adventure books. In the books—for those not familiar with them—you read until you come to a decision point, which prompts you to flip to another page, backward or forward. They invite you into an exciting,...

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Whisker Smile Wins Prestigious IBBY Award

I had some great news a few days ago: my illustrator, Dimitris Fousekis, called me late at night, sounding really excited: our children's book, Whisker Smile (available only in Greek for now) had won the prestigious IBBY award! Whisker Smile is our second children's...

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5 Dramatic Techniques to Transform Your Writing

ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors, recently published a post on dramatic techniques by Jules Horne, author of Dramatic Techniques for Creative Writers. With a background in scriptwriting, Jules is perfect for explaining how the dramatic techniques used in...

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Happy April Fools’ Day 2020

It's April 1st today, also known as April Fools' Day. While past years I wrote about highbrow pranks like the 7 best literary hoaxes, this year is a strange affair. Lockdowns and quarantines feel like an endless prank the universe is playing on us. So, I thought I'd...

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A Heaven for Toasters: Chapter 9

After relaunching A Heaven for Toasters, complete with new cover, I promised to publish it here in installments. 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 Wattpad. A Heaven for Toasters...

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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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