2017: A Year Without Writing

Nicholas C. Rossis informs us about his year without writing. Thanks for this interesting post.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Snoopy | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book From snoopy.com. Copyright: United Media/United Feature Syndicate

In late 2016, I made an extraordinary decision: I would hit the writing pause button. Obviously, this was not an easy decision to reach. I made it for a number of reasons:

  • By working simultaneously on both writing and marketing, I felt I wasn’t doing justice to either. My sales were stagnating at a time when I needed them to take off.
  • I wanted to spend more time with the wee one and enjoy her nutty antics before I missed out on all her toddler silliness.
  • And after 4 consecutive years of non-stop writing, during which I published 16 titles, I was feeling burnt out. Even turning my ideas for short stories into fully fleshed-out stories felt like a chore. This was a new feeling–I had turned to writing as an escape from my day job–and one that scared me. A…

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Amazon Steps Up Its Antifraud Efforts

Nicholas Rossis has been busy and informs us about Amazon stepping up its antifraud efforts. Thank you very much Nicholas. This is quite interesting!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Fake review - Pinnochio | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: frostmediasolutions.com

Since 2015, Amazon has been actively trying to stomp out scammers exploiting authors. As I first reported in 2015, foremost among these were fake reviews, but a couple of months ago it upped the ante by filing arbitration complaints against five individuals who it says offered services to KDP author and publishers aimed at helping them manipulate the reading platform for financial gain. Amazon is demanding a combination of injunctive relief, account termination and, in some cases, triple damages.

As Publishers Weekly reports, Amazon alleges that five people used a number of prohibited strategies to manipulate customers reviews and worked to inflate sales and royalties. Amazon essentially charges that a handful of individuals worked to create fake reviews for their books and others’ in addition to attempts to manipulate Amazon systems that count book sales and the royalties paid to authors via its subscription reading service.

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The Origins Of English

Nicholas C. Rossis published a phenomenal article about the origins of English. Thanks so much, Nicholas. This is exciting!

Nicholas C. Rossis

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Educator Claire Bowern and Director Patrick Smith have produced a great little film that explains the origins of English. As they explain, when we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? The Origins Of English traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

Going Further Back

However, illustrator Minna Sundberg went even further back. She has captured in an elegant infographic a linguistic tree which reveals some fascinating links between different tongues, illustrating how most of the different languages we speak today can actually be placed in only a couple of groups by their…

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Changing My Books’ Titles And Some News

Congratulations, Nicholas C. Rossis! Brilliant news are brilliant news! One day I’d like to be where you are now.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Some News First

Azure Fire Publishing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThere have been some interesting developments in my writing career, among which the fact I’m now Editor-in-chief for Azure Fire Publishing (AFP), a US-based non-profit promoting youth-friendly Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Even though the position only offers a nominal fee at the moment, it comes with a perk: AFP has offered to publish my Fantasy/Science Fiction books.

The organization has a large monthly advertising budget to promote its authors’ books, so, after much deliberation, I have decided to accept.

My Books’ Titles

Pearseus cover | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksPerhaps, then, this is the perfect opportunity to deal with something that’s been bugging me for a while now: my first books’ titles. I find myself no longer satisfied by “Rise of the Prince” and “The Power of Six,” as I think of them as weak titles compared to my later ones. And since AFP will soon handle these…

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A Brief Guide To A Fantasy Arsenal

Nicholas Rossis, ‘in cooperation’ with Charles E. Yallowitz provides us with this amazing list of weapons for fantasy writers. (Being a writer of paranormal romance I might profit too!). Thanks so much, Nicholas and Charles!

Nicholas C. Rossis

I hosted the other day a guest post by my author friend, Charles E. Yallowitz, but today I’m sharing his excellent series of posts he has written on fantasy (Medieval) arsenal. Charles has recently shared posts on the types of swords, shields, and projectile weapons used in fantasy (and inspired by real-life Medieval and ancient weapons). I hope he continues this series, as it’s a great resource for all of us fantasy writers (by the way, if you haven’t checked out his blog yet, you should do so for his great tips on writing rounded characters, his fun fantasy short stories and a lot more).

So, let’s start with that staple of fantasy…

Swords

Sword types | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksHere is what I’ve been able to find out about swords:

Two-handed swords

  • the European longsword, popular in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • the Scottish late medieval claymore (not to be…

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5 Tips To Get You Tweeting Like A Pro

Nicholas Rossis teaches us how to tweet like a pro. Thanks a lot, Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Author Steve Boseley, who has posted on my blog a guest post on the best time to tweet, recently published a post filled with tips on how to compose the perfect Tweet. I’m copying here his main tips, but I urge you to check out his complete post if you’re using Twitter to promote your books, as he also has some great tips on Twitter etiquete.

Tip #1: People Are Looking For Bargains

Here is what people are looking for on Twitter:

Tweeting Tips | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image via Steve Boseley

Notice a pattern? Yes, the two most popular items are discounts and promos, and free stuff!

Tip #2: Ask A Question

Phrasing your tweet is obviously paramount to its success. One remarkably successful way to increase interaction with a tweet is to phrase it as a question:

  • Why it is important to always…
  • Why you should never…
  • What is…

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So… Cock-up? The Phrase Finder

Nicholas Rossis informs us about a tool called “Phrase Finder”. Thank you, Nicholas. This comes in handy!

Nicholas C. Rossis

One of my favorite pastimes is to find out the origins of common sayings or phrases. So, I was thrilled when my author friend Sebastian White (of Quirky Claus fame)  alerted me to The Phrase Finder, a wonderful resource for anyone with a passion for English.

In true English fashion, The Phrase Finder explains the meanings and origins of thousands of English idioms, phrases, and sayings such as:

  • Proverbs – a list of hundreds of the proverbs that give meaning to our language like no other form of expression.
  • American Idioms – Divided by a common language? Not when you understand the phrases that were born in the USA.
  • Phrases coined by Shakespeare – He gave us more words and expressions than anyone else.
  • Nautical phrases – the phrases came from our nautical friends.
  • Phrases from the Bible – the single book that has given more sayings, idioms, and…

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