Fantasy is more than dragons

Read all 5 books for $4.99 (free on KU)!

" 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

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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Spring Deals and Giveaways

I haven't done one of these in what feels like ages, so here are some great deals for you! One Heart/One Heart for Two First of all, and just in time for Mother's Day, Marina Gioti is giving away her sweet book about the relationship between mothers and daughters, One...

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Happy May Day 2019

Once again, spring is finally upon us, after a long and drich winter. Like every year, we will celebrate May Day the Greek way--with a nice wreath of flowers. This year, we'll have the wee one to help with that (for once, we won't scold her when she cuts flowers but...

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A Greek Easter

Easter was celebrated yesterday in Greece and I came across this video describing some of the Greek traditions, courtesy of the Greek Reporter: Interestingly enough, I only did four of them yesterday and hadn't even heard of two ones (the burning of Judas and the hot...

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Flexclip: Making a Video in Seconds

I was recently asked to review Flexclip for this blog. And no, this is not a sponsored post, as I'm getting no compensation in any form. What I am getting is the pleasure of introducing to you another free tool that can help with your book marketing efforts....

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Free Story: What’s in a Name?

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited *** In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series...

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Punk Subgenres

One of my favorite writing resources, Mythic Scribes, recently published a great post exploring the world of -Punk subgenres: think Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk. The post, by Cathy, the Overprepared GM, PsychoJuliet, Jaren J. Petty, and Cryssalia Noire, was...

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In Honor of Notre Dame

As I'm sure you all know, Notre Dame was burned down on Monday evening. I had another post scheduled for today but had to share a couple of thoughts about the devastating fire which destroyed one of Europe's -- and Christianity's -- icons. Notre Dame As reported by...

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Anymore vs. Any more

I recently came across Writing Explained, a grammar website that can be an invaluable resource for authors. This little gem is from one of their posts. If you enjoy learning about the English language's intricacies, this is the perfect website for you! So, what is the...

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Infographic: the Elderly and the Internet

A few weeks back, I posted about the ongoing fight against fake news. As always, I read with great interest the comments. I was surprised by how many people questioned the claim that Facebook users over the age of 65 are far more likely to share fake news than younger...

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Infographic: March of the AI

My latest book, A Heaven for Toasters, takes place in the 22nd century. Naturally, I refer to a number of novel technologies, including the use of Artificial Intelligence assistants and androids. However, AI is already here--to a much greater degree than most of us...

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Writing with Children

My author friend, Charles E. Yallowitz, is continuing his new War of Nytefall series with a hot new release. War of Nytefall is a spinoff series taking place in his celebrated Legends of Windemere universe. The new release is War Of Nytefall: Rivalry. This is a guest...

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What Did Knights Have Against Snails?

Regular readers will be familiar with my fascination with Medieval manuscripts. I recently came across on Vintage News a detail I wasn't aware of: that Medieval knights were often pictured fighting giant snails. Scrolls and manuscripts dating back to the 13th and 14th...

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A Master’s Self Doubt

Once again, it was my friend, Krystallia, who alerted me to the awesome creativity of Melissa Ng (pronounced "Eng"), creator of Lumecluster--"where dreamers find courage." When I saw Melissa's amazing designs, I knew I had to share. But when I read her post, 2018 Year...

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Free Story: A Twist of the Tail

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited *** In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series...

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This April 1st, Let’s Prank our Kids

Last year, I wrote about the best literary hoaxes. This year, I was thinking of pranking the sweetest (and most gullible) family member: the 3-year-old wee one. So, naturally, I used Google for some ideas. And boy was I happy with the results, courtesy of BuzzFeed....

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5 Tips for More Effective Writing

This is a guest post by Liana Simmons of Ewritingservice.com. Ewritingservice provides effective communication of your message across to the reader.  5 Tips for More Effective Writing Good writing is not necessarily effective writing but effective writing leads to...

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Free Transparent Logos and Images

I recently posted about free fonts and free 3D mockups. This latest resource rounds up nicely these two design-related posts by throwing some great images into the mix. PNGkey has a stunning number of free PNG resources. For those unfamiliar with PNG, it is a graphics...

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March 25: the Feast of Annunciation

Americans may be familiar with the Greek Independence Day parade, celebrated throughout the States this time of the year. Even though the parade may take place any day between now and April, in Greece, it always falls on March 25th. To understand why this is such a...

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Merlin, Tamer of Dragons

Everyone knows the story of Merlin, the wizard genius behind Arthur's reign. As the Vintage News reports, a chance discovery by historians at the University of Bristol added a new angle to the old tale: dragons. The historians found a set of important 13th-century...

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Free Story: The Lucky Bastard

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited *** In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series...

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Choosing your Audiobook Voice

As audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, I have been researching that market. One thing I realized is that choosing a narrator is probably the most important decision you make when you turn your book into an Audiobook. People who love audiobooks...

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Apologies for the Trouble!

This hasn't been a good week for web companies. Facebook, WhatsUp, Instagram, Google Drive, and Gmail came under unspecified attacks and had trouble or even went offline for hours. In the case of Facebook, the troubles lasted some 48 hours, making this the worst such...

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Free Fonts

In my previous post, I wrote about DIY Book Design; a website that lets you create 3D mockups of your book for free. But that implies you've already designed your book cover. And sometimes you need just the right font to do so. Alternatively, you may be preparing an...

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A Free Mockup Book Cover Maker

I recently discovered DIY Book Design (thank you, Krystallia!) and just had to share the news. DIY Book Design has a number of useful tools and tutorials, all aimed at helping you produce the perfect image for your book. From a number of tutorials helping with the...

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Free Story: Two’s a Crowd

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited *** In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series...

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My Valiant Presentation

As you may know, my children's book, Valiant Smile, was published in Greece in December (the English version is still under development, I'm afraid). Yesterday, I had the official presentation at Ianos, one of Athens' best bookstores. Yes, it was exciting. But I also...

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How Gutenberg Will Change WordPress

From your comments, it's obvious that you most of you hate Gutenberg. Some, however, were on the fence. And a few have actually used it and seemed to enjoy it. There are some advantages to Gutenberg. We will have more control over the layout in native WordPress. We...

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Publishers Turn to AI to Predict Success

No one knows anything. William Goldman's aphorism concerns Hollywood, but it's also true of book publishing. Who would have guessed that 50 Shades would become a publishing phenomenon? Or Dan Brown's The Da Vince Code? As an article on Wired explains, it was the...

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Free Story: James’ Life

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited *** In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series...

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Musiville: A Teacher’s Tale

It was my birthday a couple of days ago and I had a lovely surprise: a surprise gift from a Greek reader friend, who teaches children English as a second language. She wrote to me to let me know how she uses my children's book, Musiville, in the classroom. With her...

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Chinese Information Warfare

I will continue this special feature on online privacy and cybersecurity I started with my post, The Fight Against Fake News, with a post on Chinese efforts to tame the Internet. This will, hopefully, demonstrate the extent governments will go to in order to control...

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Love Is In The Air

Love is in the air. Or the flu. As we've all been sick this month, it could be either. Still, tradition dictates that I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day, whether you are in a new relationship and are planning to spend a small fortune on a night out; in an old one and...

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Saving your Privacy

In my last post, I described the moves companies take in their fight against fake news. That post raised some privacy issues; issues I will further explore in today's post. Namely, I list here 15 default settings you could change to safeguard your privacy, courtesy of...

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The Fight Against Fake News

If you haven't heard the term "fake news" yet, please come out from under that rock and join the rest of us. As for the rest, you will no doubt be aware that fake news has been linked to extremist politics, social division, mob violence, and crime. As writers, we know...

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It Takes 100,000 Viewers to Buy a Book

Chris McMullen recently shared some statistics which gave me pause. He was making the point that every little bit helps, even the copyright page. But his main argument was that, even though the book title and cover can attract readers to check the book out, it's the...

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7 Tips for Writing Fantasy

Reedsy recently published some great tips for fantasy authors--tips which can be easily applied to any fiction writing. Here is my summary of a selection of these tips. 1. Identify your Market If you think it's enough to say, "oh, I write fantasy," think again. With...

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A-Choo!

Apologies for missing yesterday's post. It’s because of the various bugs that the wee one’s been bringing home since her school reopened after the Christmas holidays. Last week we had to keep her home every day but Monday, so that threw a spanner in the works: I...

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