The Small Town Producing 140 Million Books A Year

Nicholas C. Rossis

Berryville Graphics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Photo by Edward Leonard, Clarke Daily News

The last page of your favorite mystery novel probably offers this brief, final mystery: “Printed and bound in Berryville, Virginia.”

Just where is Berryville, you may ask. A question that can only grow when you learn that a town of some 4,000 people is responsible for producing some 140 million books a year.

A Trappist Monastery And A Printer

As Andrew Madigan of The Washington Post reports, Berryville is the seat of Clarke County, five miles from West Virginia. Buildings of note include a Trappist monastery, a soldier’s home and a very old pie company. With a population of 4,185, Berryville has a healthy, ironic sense of its own obscurity.

And yet, the town’s only major printer, Berryville Graphics (BVG), became in 1998 the nation’s No. 3 book manufacturer with a brand-new patent for its Duratech binding technology. This was a…

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A Starter’s Guide For Fiction Writers Trying To “Establish A Social Media Presence” Part 6

A Starter’s Guide For Fiction Writers Trying To “Establish A Social Media Presence” Part 6

Morgan S Hazelwood

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Bonus  | Part 6

Part 6: Videos – YouTube+

Note: I know I’m talking about YouTube, just days after the San Bruno attacks. My heart goes out to those affected by the attacks.

I’ve talked about a LOT of social media forms. You might have wondered what could POSSIBLY be next?

Google+ or LinkedIn (Nah, although, I do cross-post my blog over there, for people who prefer those social media forms, they don’t seem active enough)
Goodreads? No, although, I’m there and in a few book clubs.I mostly use it to keep a presence, and stay accountable for my book-reading goals.
I’m pretty sure you’re all thinking “Um, Morgan, I think you’ve gone seriously overboard on this social media thing…” and you’re COMPLETELY right.
Today, though? Today, I’m going to be…

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Authors, Please Don’t Act Like Scammers

Nicholas C. Rossis

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

I thought of this post when I heard of a problem plaguing one of the groups I belong to. People are using its Twitter hashtag without actually being members of said group. This both confuses readers and dilutes the group’s rather successful brand. Even worse, these authors are taking advantage of the hard work others have put in without ever contributing anything themselves.

This reminded me of a series of posts author David Gaughran has written since June 2017. In them, David complains about scammers breaking the Kindle Store and about Amazon’s frequently heavy-handed approach to dealing with the problem. The main culprit is so-called click-farmed titles and other dodgy marketing practices. Based on David’s observation, I, too, mentioned the issue in my post, Fake Books: Amazon’s Latest Headache.

Big Rewards, Big Hype

If anything, the problem seems to have grown worse since then. This is because of the…

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How Can We Teach Little Ones to Value Books and Stories? Nine Tips from the Trenches

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Margaret Wellwood, a children’s book writer, editor, and grandmother. Margaret offers here her take, with links to some of her favorite stories for sharing.

How Can We Teach Little Ones to Value Books and Stories? Nine Tips from the Trenches

Margaret Wellwood's guest post | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookTender-hearted toddler that she is, Eliana loves babies. Here, she’s immersed in the babies and buzzing bees in Laurie Salisbury’s Nothing to Fear.

 Black and White for Tinies

Margaret Wellwood's guest post | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThe endearing drawings in Baby Animals Black and White held great appeal for two-year-old May. Indeed, her profound comments on that wordless little volume ushered in an illustrious career as Book Review Assistant, Toddler Division.

Perhaps May had done her research and was hearkening back to her earliest days. According to Gary Heiting, OD, she could only see in shades of gray for the first week.

Make It Work

Margaret Wellwood's guest post | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookEliana and I have a deal of…

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What Do I Really Think Of Amazon Marketing Service (AMS)?

Nicholas C. Rossis

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

I was recently invited to participate in a survey by Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). I was writing up the part where it said, “do you have any suggestions to make?” when it occurred to me that my suggestions would also be useful as a summary of my experience using the service.

So, how has AMS worked out for me so far?

Let me be clear about something: I love AMS and the best part of my advertising buck goes there nowadays, as AMS offers me the best return on my investment (ROI) of any advertising medium I’ve tried out so far (and, trust me, I’ve tried them all). For every $100 I spend, I make almost $200. So yes, AMS is at the top of my marketing efforts.

AMS Reporting Blues

Book Report | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Reporting done right

However, AMS is still in dire need of better reporting. As I…

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Army Logistics: Food Rations

Nicholas C. Rossis

Sara | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookI recently discovered Sara’s blog, Rough Diplomacy. Sara is a veteran of Active Duty Air Force and Navy Reserves, plus a Bioinformatics graduate, and her blog reflects her diverse interests. More than anything, however, it highlights how passionate she is about history—and military history in particular. With her permission, I am sharing here some of the wonderful material I have come across as part of my Fun Historical Facts series.

One of Sara’s posts, which is of special interest to authors, deals with the subject of US food rations from the War of Independence todate. As Napoleon famously observed, amateurs discuss tactics; professionals discuss logistics. A lesson all writers should heed in their tales!

“C’est la soupe qui fait le soldat” (The soup makes the soldier)

~ Napoleon

The American Revolutionary War

Armies can’t march on empty stomachs. This simple truth has defined warfare from Ancient Greece (when fighting had…

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Fearless Smile Sneak Preview

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember how Patakis, Greece’s largest publisher, has acquired the rights to my next three children’s’ books. These are to be called Fearless Smile, Cat Island, and Whatever Lola Wants.

Fearless Smile is now scheduled to be published in Greek in early April. As it was originally written in English, the English text is already complete. So, hopefully, it won’t take too long for the English edition to follow.

My illustrator and painter friend (and godfather to the wee one), Dimitris Fousekis, has once again worked his magic to create his trademark magical, highly original illustrations. Here is a sneak peak of the Greek edition draft (as you can see, typesetting is still in progress). I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

You can check out our previous books, Runaway Smile and Musiville, on Amazon (FREE on KU).

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“I Was Tagged” & Other Updates

J. I. Rogers

#SciFi #IndieAuthor #WIP #Update #Book2

vendomatmug

I was tagged by both Steve Turnbull and Stephanie Barr to post the first seven lines from my latest WIP. Thank you, both. Because Facebook strips formatting when you copy and paste, I thought I’d kill two birds with one post and add my content to this author update.

“The Interview” – Book Two in “The 942 Series”

Forty-Seven known survivors from Astel. Nash’s heart sank as he looked at each photo. He scanned the last of the files Royce had forwarded in a numb trance and committed every detail to memory before he destroyed the documents.
Odds are Roz and your family are dead, the Sarcastic voice interjected.
“Shut up.”
It’s time to quit chasing ghosts and move on.
“No, and I told you to be quiet!”
The Darkness rose to join the conversation. It’s been eight years. Even if she’s…

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A Writer’s Guide to Firearms: Assault Rifles

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by my author friend, William R. Bartlett. It continues his discussion of all things firearms. Assault rifles have featured prominently in the horrific events in Florida, Las Vegas and elsewhere, so I wish to repeat that this series is only meant to help writers improve their writing and not to glorify weapons in any way. You can check out the rest of the series on firearms here. Today, Bill explains how rifles work and describes some common writing blunders. Enjoy and bookmark! 

A Writer’s Guide to Firearms by William R. Bartlett

Part 4 (cont’d): Assault Rifles

Operation of Semi-Automatic (“Assault”) Rifles

AK-47 components | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book AK-47 components. Source: PyramidAir

First, I want to discuss the elephant in the room, assault rifles, or assault weapons. The Germans developed the first assault rifle during WWII, the MP-43. It featured an intermediate cartridge, that is, one that is stronger than…

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Christine Plouvier’s Examples Of Using Smell In Your Writing

Nicholas C. Rossis

I recently posted on the challenges of using smell in one’s writing. Christine Plouvier, author of the Irish Firebrands, left a comment citing a number of posts on her blog with examples of her doing so in her own work. Intrigued as I was, I did check out those posts and was impressed by them. So much so, that I decided to share them with you here, albeit edited by me for brevity. Consider this post a companion one to my Emotional Beats posts, then.

The Irish Firebrands by Christine Plouvier | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Check out on Amazon

  • On the hearth, there burnt a small fire that smelt of apple wood.
  • He ground out words as stale as the indoor air.
  • The very smell of his unfinished pint was so bitter it made him faint with nausea before he could put it to his lips.
  • He lost himself in the scent of her hair, the warmth…

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