Month: March 2019

5 Tips for More Effective Writing

Nicholas C. Rossis

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

Writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksGood writing is not necessarily effective writing but effective writing leads to good writing. While everybody has their own idea on what constitutes good writing, defining effective writing is simple: it gets the job done.

When writing, your message should be plain, simple, and well understood by others. Writing is a form of communication. Just as a person may not communicate effectively when talking, one might fail to get their thoughts across in writing, too.

1. The objective

Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your writing. The written word is more than just a means for informing the reader. To achieve the objective of your writing you need to be clear about it yourself: do you want the reader to feel…

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Free Transparent Logos and Images

Nicholas C. Rossis

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 file format that allows transparency. This lets you download a resource such as the flames below and spruce up an existing design, as I do in the example below:

Flames | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Here is an image of flames I downloaded from PNGkey

DIY Book Covers | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Here is a 3D mockup I made with DIY Book Covers

Burning Pearseus | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books I combined the two for a more impressive design

Alternatively, you can use the images to create a new design from scratch. With thousands of images, you’re spoiled for choice:

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

Finally, you can add logos to designs such as banners or websites.

I hope you find PNGkey useful. Once again, many thanks to…

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Using Instagram to Promote Your Book [Long Post]

via Using Instagram to Promote Your Book [Long Post]

“Instagram is a relatively new social media platform that focuses on photo and video sharing. Users can browse post by tags (the good old #hashtag) and by location.

It’s fairly new in comparison with some other social media you may use (see my post on Twitter), but it is the fastest growing of all social media platforms and as such, should not be overlooked. As I did for so long [smacks forehead].”

Merlin, Tamer of Dragons

Nicholas C. Rossis

The wizard Merlin | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Merlin the wizard (c. 1400). Image: Vintage News

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 manuscripts hidden inside a younger book. The manuscript fragments contain extracts from a previously unknown version of the Vulgate Cycle, a set of Old French texts that tell the story of King Arthur.

The seven handwritten fragments of parchment tell a familiar story from the Vulgate Cycle, but with a number of key differences that may shed new light on the history of the Arthurian legend.

The Vulgate Cycle

King Arthur | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books King Arthur. Image: Vintage News

The story of King Arthur and his wizard Merlin was a popular medieval romance, most notably written down as Le Morte d’Arthur by

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Infographic: Facebook Ads Placements

Nicholas C. Rossis

Even though I’ve personally switched from Facebook Ads to Amazon and Bookbub ones, I’m well aware that Facebook advertising is far from dead. However, every Facebook update seems to change everything, including where you can advertise. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Facebook now lets you advertise on Instagram and Messenger as well as the so-called Audience Network, Instant Articles, and Facebook itself.

If all this makes your head spin, here’s a helpful Infographic, courtesy of Jomel Alos. First published on Spiralytics, it not only describes where your Ad will appear in each of these networks but also explains how to pick your desired network based on your objectives. Do you want to let everyone know your name–aka brand awareness? Facebook and Instagram are best. Do you want to increase sales? Ignore Instagram. And so forth.

Check out the Infographic below and read the full post on…

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Choosing your Audiobook Voice

Nicholas C. Rossis

Audiobooks | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: Pixabay

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 may buy your audiobook because they like your work, your genre, your cover, or your price. When they actually start listening to your audiobook however, one of the most important factors to decide whether they’ll continue listening to the end, is the quality of the reading.

So, how do you choose the right voice? Leaving out the financial aspects (if you can afford to pay the narrator the fee he is asking for or if you choose a royalty scheme), there are a few issues to take into consideration, from “demographics” to acting performance. Here are a few tips.

Demographics

So. Man or Woman? Younger…

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A Free Mockup Book Cover Maker

Nicholas C. Rossis

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 design of your book cover to taking that cover and transforming it into a great-looking 3D mockup, DIY Book Design has got you covered.

It’s this last feature that caught my eye. You get to choose between a Single and Composite look for your books. The Single look lets you display your book as a Kindle/tablet/mobile/paper standalone image:

DIY Book Covers | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

The Composite view lets you design a combination featuring various formats:

DIY Book Covers | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Generating the mockup is as simple as 1-2-3, as the interface guides you through the entire process. You get the option of creating a white or transparent background for your books. The whole process…

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Free Story: Two’s a Crowd

Nicholas C. Rossis

*** Read Infinite Waters for free on Kindle Unlimited ***From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

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 for you to enjoy. With over 30 stories so far, I hope you’ll have lots of fun in the coming months!

This week, it’s “Two’s a Crowd,” a story from Infinite Waters. Click here to read some more free stories.

Two’s a Crowd

“Can you believe that idiot?” I spat the words as soon as I slammed the car door shut.

“Honey, that idiot is your older brother.” My wife looked at the mirror and patted her lips with her index finger. She opened her purse, oblivious to my rage.

Older brother? He’s, like, ten minutes older than me!”

Susan pressed her…

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My Valiant Presentation

Nicholas C. Rossis

Ianos | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books The presentation banner

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 had some concerns. Even though my publisher had arranged everything, I hardly expected anyone to show up:

  • It was on a Saturday at 1 pm, when most people would either be home getting ready for lunch or at a children’s costume party (it’s the middle of the Greek Carnival).
  • Even the publisher’s PR guy, the one who had arranged the presentation, had told me beforehand he would not be showing up, as he had to be elsewhere (presumably at a bigger author’s event).
  • My author friends had warned me that Ianos hosts four such events every single weekend, so it was unlikely…

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How Gutenberg Will Change WordPress

Nicholas C. Rossis

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 currently have a lot of control with builder themes and plugins, but with Gutenberg, we have a high level of control without needing a third-party product. We will need fewer plugins. Some of the features that we normally use plugins for are built into Gutenberg.

Whatever your feelings about it, we seem to be stuck with it. So, I thought I’d give you a quick description of how it works, with the help of Aspen Grove Studios. Just bookmark this post and come back to it if you wish to give Gutenberg a spin (or WordPress forces it upon us).

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