Don’t Sign!

A warning from Stevie, based on her own experience!

Stevie Turner

This is a scheduled post and I will answer any comments tomorrow.

Recently I read a blog from a self-published author who was thrilled to bits to gain a publishing deal. She had signed the rights to her book over to the publisher, and of course now looked forward to the royalties from many future sales.

However, I’ve been on a steep learning curve over the past 8 years regarding the integrity of small publishers. In order to satisfy my own curiosity I went on to Google and typed in ‘Writer Beware‘ and the name of the lady’s publisher. As I suspected, there were many complaints about this particular publisher regarding the amount of ‘set up fees’ needed and the lack of any royalties.

I’m sure most of us have been taken in by small publishers at one time or another at the beginning of our writing careers…

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Book Promotion Offer From Me

With so many people beavering away writing and publishing books during the long period of lockdown, I thought it was about time to offer another promotional opportunity on this blog.

If you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, and have a book to promote, you can publicise it here, completely free of charge, with no strings. I don’t even want a free copy, how about that? It will be viewed by a potentially large audience, as well as being shared on Twitter. The post will not be taken down later, so will always be on this blog.

Send me the details, including a photo of the book cover, to
Add full buying links, and a personal bio and photo if you want one to appear.
Either a synopsis or a blurb would help too of course.

You get full credit, and no editing of your promotional post. It will appear here as ‘Blogger’s Books: + your name’.

I have a great bunch of readers from all around the world, so if your book has been translated, or is in a foreign language, that doesn’t matter.

Bloggers love to read, and they like to buy books, or get free copies when available. They also review them, which is a great help to authors.

Each person sending me their book to promote will be featured separately, so no need to worry about being compared to anyone else. I don’t care what genre your book is in, but if it contains ‘Adult Content’, then please add that disclaimer. Only one book photo and one author photo per post please.

Off you go!

You Write Like

I spotted something doing the rounds on Twitter today, and thought it looked like fun for writers.

A free App analyses any section of the text you have written in a story, and tells you the closest connection to a famous writer with a similar style.

I chose this small section of my writing from Part Three of my new serial, ‘The Fear’

There had never been any celebration of birthdays or Christmas in the house. After all, my birthday was also the day of mother Paula’s death. And Christmas was just a reminder of how much she had loved that season. However, I was coming up to a significant birthday, according to a telephone conversation I overheard. Standing outside the door of father’s study one morning, waiting to accompany him to the workshop, I heard him talking to the family solicitor, Mr Dean.

Analysed very quickly, the App decided that I write like… Kurt Vonnegut.
If I write anything remotely similar to the author of ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, then that makes me very happy.

It may only be for entertainment purposes, but it does let you find out why they come to that conclusion, and tells you something about the author.

So if you are interested in discovering who you write like, try this link.

Give me a break!

I am reblogging this for Susan as reuqested, so that you can all be aware of her ongoing promotion of other authors. A list of those already featured can be found using this link.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Yesterday, I published the last promotion in the current round of postings for the Authors-Readers International series that I’ve been running on this blog since Dec. 1, 2019. During that time, I have promoted 50 Authors who have lived in, or been associated with, 26 different countries around the world!

Here’s the complete list of authors so far: Authors-Readers International

I have now amended this list to include information that I had for each Author on the countries in which they were born and/or had spent a significant time during their lives. So Readers will have a good selection indeed of a very INTERNATIONAL and diverse list of Authors! Although, I do admit that the majority of Authors in this first round of promotions come from or live in Canada, but then that’s where I come from, so it’s kind of a given that I would know more Canadian Authors…

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10 Ideas to Keep Your Author Blog Fresh

Are you blogging about your own books, or your passion for writing? If so, check out these great free tips on Nick’s blog!

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Ronita Mohan. Ronita is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She is an avid reader with an interest in mystery fiction, history, graphic novels, marketing, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage

10 Ideas to Keep Your Author Blog Fresh

Writing a list | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookImage: Unsplash

Authors are idea-machines—or at least, they want to be. If they aren’t thinking of ideas for new books, they’re brainstorming ideas for their author blog. 

A key aspect of modern life for authors is how much self-promotion they need to do. It is no longer enough to post the odd tweet when you publish a book—authors are now expected to be online all the time, actively participating in the community and giving their fans new content.

But while fans on social media thrive on personal updates on your book-writing journey, authors need to capitalize on content marketing methods by…

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Self-Publishing Basics

More essential advice for anyone thinking of publishing their own book. This is clearly explained, and offers free tips in the correct sequence.

Read carefully! 🙂

Nicholas C. Rossis

Linda Cartwright | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis 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 can follow Linda on Twitter.

In preparation for her own book launch, Linda has been studying self-publishing basics. She’s sharing here what she’s discovered so far, from choosing the right publishing platform to creating a killer book cover.

Self-Publishing Basics

Writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

We shall come from a presumption that your book is great. You thought of a good story, you were tenacious enough to write it, this baby is ready to see the world. We are not talking about writing a book worth reading, we are talking about how to self-publish it in a way that people will want to read it.

Also, since…

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How to Develop Your Brand as a Book Author

Nicholas and Stewart bring you valuable advice about how to get your book noticed! Aspiring authors, and those already published, may find this extremely useful.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Stewart Dunlop | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis 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

Build an author brand | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookImage by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

From a literary point of view, we live in blessed times! Thanks to the development of modern communication devices and platforms, almost anyone can put their thoughts on paper (or the word editor of their choice) and release them to the world.

We now have access to printed books, e-books, audiobooks, and more. This allows the information to flow unhindered and creates a wonderful environment for those who love to read and learn.

But this level of progress has also led to a change in your role as the author. Back in the day, your job would’ve been over once you applied the last of the…

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A Literary A-Z: X, Y, and Z

This is going to be the last post in this literary alphabet challenge, and has to take in the last three letters. There are good reasons for having to do this. Despite finding out that there are over 80 titles beginning with ‘X’, I haven’t read any of them, so have nothing to contribute. There are three authors listed too, but I have never read anything they have written.

‘Y’ offers me something, but not much. W. B. Yeats, the famous Irish poet, Nobel Prize winner, and literary giant in the field of Poetry. But I can only really remember one of his poems that I studied at school. It is this one, and is one of my all-time favourites.

‘When You Are Old’
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

The only other book I can offer in ‘Y’ is the well-known and previously mentioned ‘A Year In Provence’, by Peter Mayle. This 1989 best seller chronicles the life of an ex-pat in the south of France, and became a successful TV series too.

When it comes to ‘Z’, the situation is similar. Some titles, but none I have read. Despite the presence of the estimable Emile Zola as an author, I confess I have read none of his books, though I have seen a couple of film adaptations.

So, my A-Z comes to a conclusion, “Not with a bang, but with a whimper”.( T.S. Eliot) I always knew that these last three letters would be hard, so I hope that some of you have read a lot more titles than I have.

Thanks are due to everyone who contributed, whether they stayed the course, or popped in now and again. It wouldn’t be the same without you, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best wishes to you all. Pete.

A Literary A-Z: W

Oh no! ‘X’ is next…
Please continue to add your own choices and suggestions. Any book title, or the surname of an author, as long as it begins with ‘W’.

I am starting with a look at the work of the English writer H.G. Wells. Another author who displayed a great talent for prescience, his writing predicted the advent of bombing from the air, genetic manipulation, and even space travel. Most English speakers will have read at least one of his books in their lifetime, or seen one of the numerous film adaptations. Even if they have not, they will surely have heard of this famous writer, and his influence on the genre of Science Fiction. He also wrote tales of everyday life, and the adventures of ordinary people, as in ‘The History of Mr Polly’. But he will be best known for his vision of an alien invasion, in ‘War of The Worlds’, space travel in ‘The First Men on The Moon’, or the bleak dystopian future of ‘The Shape of Things To Come’. If you have never read any of his books, I urge you to do so. And if you do, keep reminding yourself how long ago they were published.

As I have covered a novel by Oscar Wilde previously, I will only mention him here in passing. I couldn’t let ‘W’ pass, without saying once again what a wonderful writer he was.

‘The Wind In The Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame was published in 1908. This delightful children’s book is still as popular today as it was at the time, and will no doubt endure for centuries to come. Later editions benefited from the wonderful illustrations by Arthur Rackham, and it was such a volume I owned as a child. (I wish I still had that.) The unforgettable characters in this book include Mr Toad, a wealthy amphibian who lives in the grand Toad Hall and drives his own car, as well as Rat, Mole, and Badger. They get up to all sorts of adventures in the somewhat idyllic countryside of Edwardian England, and they even have baddies to deal with, in the shape of The Weasels. These stories never age, and remain a joy to read.

I have only read one novel in ‘The Wimbledon Trilogy’ by Nigel Williams. As I once lived in that district, I was attracted by the title, ‘The Wimbledon Poisoner’ (1990). I discovered an entertaining and amusing book, telling the story of the unfortunate Henry Farr, a man unhappy with his life, and especially with his wife, who he decides to poison. His effort misfires, and sets in motion a chain of events he was totally unprepared for. In case anyone wants to read it, I will not add any more details of the plot, but can recommend this as a worthwhile read.

Around the same time, I was aware of an award-winning book, about the story of a Chinese woman, her mother, and her grandmother. As I had rarely read so many positive reviews of a book, I decided to get a copy, and see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed. ‘Wild Swans’ by Jung Chang looks at the life of one family over the span of one hundred years from a female perspective, and is both biographical, and autobiographical. It is also unforgettable. From the life in China at the time of the Warlords and concubines, through the war and civil war that led to the rise of Mao and the communists, this story weaves the fate of one family alongside the events that formed a modern nation. It comes up to date with the writer’s own experiences; The Cultural Revolution, The Red Guards, banishment to the countryside, and her eventual move to England. Moving, fascinating, and a personal view of turbulent times in modern history.

My top pick today is an uncomfortable but unforgettable novel by Iain Banks, ‘The Wasp factory’, published in 1984. This was his first published book, and what a way to start. It is the disturbing tale of the psychopathic teenager, Frank, who lives on a remote Scottish island. He tells his own story as events unfold, and this perspective makes it all the more chilling to read. As a young child, Frank spends his time making weapons. Catapults, flame-throwers, even rudimentary bombs. He also begins to live by a set of compulsive rituals and habits, and uses his weapons to kill a variety of small animals. But Frank also tells the reader that he has killed small children when still very young himself, and exposes the even darker side of the story to come.
Make no mistake, this is a difficult book to read. There are depictions of violence to animals, unpleasant experiments, and some gruesome details on the pages. But it is never less than fascinating, and alongside Frank, there are other memorable characters to explore as the story progresses.

A Literary A-Z: V

For me, ‘V’ is going to once again prove difficult. I hope that those of you who play along have read enough books starting with that letter, or the work of authors whose surnames begin with it. Because I haven’t.

Knowing about books or writers isn’t enough, when it comes to challenges like these. Of course I have heard of Kurt Vonnegut, but never got around to reading any of his books. I could readily add the name of Voltaire, the famous French writer, but I know that I have never read anything he wrote. So this will be another short post, with no top choice for ‘V’.

On the recommendation of my cousin, I read the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’, sometime after 2001. This is a well-illustrated dystopian novel, predicting a bleak future for a Britain dominated by an oppressive government, and telling the story of the Anarchist revolutionary determined to bring down the state. It began life as a comic strip in the 1980s, and was later published in full as a book. There was a 2006 film adaptation that was hugely successful too, starring Natalie Portman.

I loved the novel set in the Cro-Magnon era, ‘Clan of The Cave Bear’. Reading this in 1980, I was transported back to the time of the Neanderthals, a different landscape, and mankind’s earliest attempts at society and civilisation. So when the sequel was published, I bought it immediately. ‘The Valley of The Horses’ by Jean M. Auel continues where the first book left off, and is the second in the ‘Earth’s Children’ series. Characters from the first novel are developed, and it is left with room for the next title to follow. Unless you have read ‘Clan of The Cave Bear’ first, I don’t suggest reading this one until you have.

For my last offering, I turn to the French writer, Jules Verne. Although he wrote a great many books, I have only ever read two of them. ‘Around The World in Eighty Days’ tells the story of the attempt to travel the globe in a given time period, using any form of transport available. The hero, Phileas Fogg, makes a bet of £20,000 that he and his servant can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. As a child, I loved this exciting tale of world travel, and all the adventures and misfortunes that befall the pair as they arrive in exotic countries that I had never been to. This book was published in 1872, and despite the fact that we can now travel across continents in a matter of hours, it has never lost its appeal. Like the other Verne novel I have read, ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’, it has been made into popular films too.