How to Set Up an Author Blog (part 2): Integrating with Twitter and Facebook

June 27, 2014 Rob 0

In part one, I explained the basics of setting up a WordPress website. Now I’m going to show you how to integrate your blog with Twitter and Facebook. Adding prominent “follow” buttons to your site At the top of my site, I’ve got several buttons that allow visitors to connect with me on various social media sites: To do this, I used a widget called, appropriately, Social Media Widget, from Blink Web Effects. In WordPress, go to Plugins => Add […]

How to Set Up an Author Blog (Part 1)

June 25, 2014 Rob 2

I recently set up a new WordPress-based website, (the site you’re on now), in order to increase my visibility as an author. To assist other authors out there, I thought I’d do a post on the process I went through to set up this site. The first thing I had to do was determine exactly what I wanted the site to do. I came up with the following list of requirements: Home page with basic information about me, including links […]

Be Pepper Melange in “Deep Space Huntress”!

June 23, 2014 Rob 0

A recent review of Starship Grifters complained that the book needed more Pepper. I agree. For those who haven’t read Starship Grifters, Pepper Melange is the feisty female bounty hunter who pursues Rex Nihilo and Sasha. I like the character so much I’m working on a novella featuring Pepper right now called “The Ursa Minor Gambit,” which I hope to release in a few weeks. But you don’t have to wait that long for another Pepper adventure. In fact, you can […]

Why Bowe Bergdahl makes us uncomfortable

June 20, 2014 Rob 2

When it was first announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was being released by the Taliban, the American media embraced the news as a feel-good homecoming story, and the President himself made hay of the occasion, claiming that “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.” Bergdahl’s home town organized a parade in his honor. But then the official narrative of Bergdahl’s release began to unravel amid […]

Amazon is amazing, and nobody is happy

June 16, 2014 Rob 0

There’s a video clip of Louis CK on Conan that went viral a while back in which he observes our cultural tendency to go from a state of amazement about new technology to a state of disappointment almost instantaneously. Musing about a man next to him on a plane who is irritated about the in-flight Wifi malfunctioning, Louis CK says, “How quickly the world owes him something he knew existed only ten seconds ago!” The clip is well worth watching, if you haven’t […]

The time I was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol

June 13, 2014 Rob 3

Note: I originally posted this on Facebook in January 2014. I’m re-posting it now because I think the existence of these Border Patrol checkpoints deserves more attention than it is getting. For those who don’t know, the U.S. now has border patrol checkpoints at various places in the Southwest, many miles away from the Mexican border, where travelers are stopped and asked questions regarding their citizenship before being allowed to continue (the ACLU has referred to these as “Constitution-Free Zones” ). I […]

How to customize your author page on Facebook

June 12, 2014 Rob 3

Last week I blogged about a Facebook marketing seminar given by Cindy Ratzlaff that I attended at BEA. One of the topics Cindy covered was customizing your author page to make it a more effective tool for reaching readers and selling books. Recently I’ve been trying to implement some of the things I learned on my own author page. Keep in mind that I’m not putting my author page forth as the new paradigm of author pages. I’m just trying to […]

When “always” doesn’t mean “always”: The ABA tries to have it both ways

June 11, 2014 Rob 0

A rather galling post recently appeared on the Publisher’s Weekly website with the title “ABA Thanks Amazon.” It features a logo created by the American Booksellers Association that reads “Independent bookstores sell books from all publishers. Always.” The problem with this fun little jab at Amazon? It isn’t true. For example, many independent bookstores specifically refuse to stock books put out by my publisher, 47North, despite the fact that 47North has published books by sci-fi luminaries like Neal Stephenson and Greg […]

Is Amazon good for books? and other dumb questions

June 10, 2014 Rob 0

I finally got around to reading George Packer’s article in the New Yorker entitled “Cheap Words: Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?” yesterday. Spoiler alert, in case you haven’t read the article: Packer doesn’t answer the question. In fact, he doesn’t even really address the question. Most of the article is taken up with head-shaking reminiscences of Amazon’s ruthless business practices, its treatment of books as “widgets” rather than the lovingly birthed children of the tortured […]

In defense of Slate’s anti-YA tirade (kind of)

June 9, 2014 Rob 3

Slate recently ran an article with the title “Against YA,” which is subtitled “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.” I’m linking to the article reluctantly, because I’m among those who immediately dismissed it as shameless click-bait–and taking the time to actually read the article only confirmed this suspicion. The author’s argument “against YA” is every bit as muddled, factually baseless, self-contradictory and elitist as you would expect. You know […]

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