Back in February, I wrote about my experience with JustAnswer, a service to hook up a researcher with an expert in order to get good information on a myriad of subjects. I found it to be a good resource for quick questions and answers. But what happens when you need more?
Recently I started a new book that’s based on the archaeology of 1,000-year-old Indian ruin sites near my home in north-central Arizona. I’ve found out that the Verde Valley of Arizona is virtually pocked with Indian ruins; the estimation is that there’s a ruin roughly every 1.8 miles. It’s no surprise that the Indians farmed this bountiful valley, and apparently they built their small community units with enough surrounding space to farm, but close enough to visit back and forth without too much travel. Seems like an idyllic existence. Unfortunately, as much physical evidence as we have of their activities, we don’t have a lot of cultural evidence for their family organization, spiritual beliefs or ritual processes. The Sinagua (named by the Spanish, Latin meaning “without water”) left no written record. The closest we can get to their cultural life is by looking at the Hopi (the Sinagua’s suspected descendents) and extrapolating backward a bit.
Luckily our modern archaeological processes are quite a bit easier to research. Sometimes. I thought getting this kind of information would be easy; just get interviews with the folks at the local archaeology organization, find out what their processes are, how they survey a site, how they report their findings. Pretty straight-forward. But in my first interview with a veteran surveyor, many of my questions brought forth the response of, “I can’t tell you that.”
The big story over the last few weeks also happened to be an almost non-story, but this is what makes the internet such a remarkable thing. On the one hand, sudden global exposure can give an important but off-beat issue the publicity it truly deserves, while on the other hand, less important news gains more notice than it can justify. This is caused by journalists having to meet a constant demand for new content, and these stories tend to follow a similar viral pattern.
Last year, Smashwords introduced a neat tool called Series Manager which allows authors to link books in the same series together for better discoverability. Well guess what? Amazon has now done the same thing. Supposedly. But not quite. Frankly – not at all.
To be perfectly honest, Smashwords outguns Amazon with this feature – by a longshot. I’ll explain why in a minute. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty first.
Unfortunately, there is a catch, the same as with Smashwords. If you have books that are in a series which are both self-published and published through a press (which uses a different KDP account), you cannot link those together yourself. You can only link the books under your control through your KDP account. To do that, go to your KDP Bookshelf (dashboard) Continue reading “Amazon’s New Series Pages”
It’s no good jeering at me and saying this post is rubbish. I am immune. I am deaf to your complaints and even better, I have learned how to deal with hecklers. You can say what you will, I’m determined to continue and explain why I’ve written it.
I understand your reluctance, after all, you probably write Science Fiction or Romance or YA and can’t see how doing stand-up comedy can help. Rest assured it can.
In a nutshell, stand-up comedy is brilliant for the brain, your self-confidence, and for boosting your presence. People love comedy even if you’re not very good at delivering it.
You do not need to go on a course to do stand-up. There are plenty of self-help books on this subject and indeed comedians who are willing to do online mentoring for merely a mention on your blog. They are artists like us and willing to assist others. If you want to sign up for a course and learn to do it with others, there are plenty available. Continue reading “Why Every Writer Should Have a Go at Stand-Up”