Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy Winter Solstice

An Author's View

Winter Solstice in Britain is onSaturday 21st December 2013, 17:11 GMT

Today, at eleven minutes past five British time (eleven minutes past twelve EST, eleven minutes past nine in the morning on America’s west coast, and eleven minutes past one on Sunday morning where my niece lives in Perth, Western Australia) the sun will have completed its journey south and will start to make its way back to the Northern Hemisphere. Yippee! I’m the opposite of pessimists who insist on saying ‘Nights are drawing in now’ the day after Summer Solstice. After 5.11 p.m. today the days will start to lengthen, the warm weather will gradually return – yes, niece basking in the midsummer heat of Western Australia, listen up! The sun will soon be on its way north again.

Any scientists reading will no doubt be shaking their heads in despair by now. Relax, boffins – I know…

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Author Spotlight – Phil A Davis

Interview with author Phil A Davis.

Jo Robinson

A big welcome to my guest today, Phil A Davis, award winning architect and hugely talented author, all the way from the island of Maui. He studied music and was a songwriter and performer from 1969 to 1971. He has been a practicing architect since 1984 and has worked on projects across the U.S. and in other countries around the globe. Phil and his lovely wife Barbara have three grown daughters, three granddaughters, and a grandson. Apart from being a really great guy, I love his writing, and find his points of view on many subjects really inspiring. Thanks for joining me Phil. Love the lei!

IMG_4188 - Copy

When did you start writing? Did you write as a child, and how do you think that your life has influenced your writing? Share a little with us about who Phil A Davis, the man behind the pen is.

My oldest friend, Graham, is…

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Free Short Stories

Don’t Give Up! It Just Takes Time!

Savvy Writers & e-Books online


Bestseller authors often need years and years to build up their audience, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the ground work to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
Author-Publishing is Like a New Profession
And professions need to be learned! It takes years to become an excellent writer and it also takes years to become an excellent publisher. It involves lots of skills and knowledge business-wise, marketing skills, not to mention, learning constantly new internet techniques and get to know the latest changes in publishing. Many authors have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the time required for effective…

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Guest in the Hut – Chris Graham – The Story Reading Ape

Jo Robinson

I have a very special guest in my hut today. None other than friend to readers around the globe, and tireless supporter and mentor to indie authors. Chris Graham is The Story Reading Ape we know and love. For those of you who know Discworld, you might be surprised to hear that his first cousin is the Librarian at the Unseen University – no need run though – our Ape got all the friendly genes.


Mostly for me Chris is a wonderful friend, and not because he has the klout to make my books visible to real readers, but because for the duration of the time that I’ve known him, he’s often blown me away with his acts of generosity to so many of our tribe of often much maligned indie writers. He promotes our work, shares really useful tips on the nuts and bolts of our profession, and often…

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These are the N Days – John Murray McKay

From Author John Murray McKay, check out the N Days:   When the world we all knew went wrong and the monsters of our deepest nightmares began to stalk the earth, there was a woman who chose to search out and find Sanctuary amidst the increasingly nightmarish landscape of America.

These are the N Days


Welcome to the story of one Samantha Worthington Day. She is on the run from a demon horde that has torn through the fabled Dreamscape and destroyed everything she ever loved. She is looking for the fabled Sanctuary of America, a place where humanity can find hope, defend that which they believe in, and start rebuilding their shattered world.

As an added attraction, you too can join Samantha on her perilous journey throughout her experiences by tracking her epic journey with the aid of the GPS coordinates provided within the text of her chronicles.

She has a long way to go, and her amazing destiny is yet to be revealed.

Called of Lightning, Called of Darkness, Called of Light!

Journey and experience the Days of N with Samantha Worthington Day.


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How Do People Buy Books?



If you want people to buy your book, it makes sense to first try to understand how people shop for books. Such knowledge is power that you can use in your book design and marketing decisions.

How People Don’t Buy Books

Let’s begin with a very important double negative:

People don’t buy books that they can’t find easily.

Who Cares How People Buy Books?

So you wrote a book. (That’s awesome by the way. Jump up and give yourself a huge high-five.) You edited and formatted until you turned blue in the face. Then you added a cover. You finally hit that publish button. Ta-da! Now all you have to do is wait for those royalties to come pouring in.

And wait. And wait. And wait… and wait. a.n.d. w.a.i.t. a..n..d.. w…a.…i…..t.

You put so much energy into the writing process. That gets the book completed. Then you put so…

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How to Enjoy a Book—No, Really



You think this is obvious, huh?

  • Enjoying a vacation should be automatic, but you encounter tourists who complain frequently.
  • You can mess up a good kiss by using your brain instead of just letting your heart take over.
  • Simply being alive should make us happy, but we humans are kind of funny about that.

We also don’t always enjoy a book the way we should.

How to Enjoy a Book

Reading should be a pleasurable experience. It’s not just the writing that makes a book good or bad. The reader plays a role in this, too.

Here are some tips to truly enjoying a good read:

  • Make the words sound and flow in a way that appeals to you. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The author strung the words together, but it’s up to you to say them (in your mind) in a way that…

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Guest Author DeeDee Andrews on the Development of a Comic Strip Family

A fascinating look at the work of an illustrator, thanks to our Story Reading Ape, Chris Graham.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


If you live in the U.S., you are aware of the rich history we have of newspaper comic strips. It is always my first stop whenever I open the newspaper. In fact, I could never understand why they didn’t just – “cut to the chase” and print the comics on the front page. I was well into my thirties when I learned, to my great surprise, that not everyone reads the comics first. Time spent in Europe has taught me that newspaper comic pages are not common in other countries. They don’t know what they’re missing!

DeeDee Andrews

I believe that the 1980s was the best time for American funny pages. I feel that there was the largest number of very talented people creating fabulous comics during that period. That’s when I started wanting to be an American cartoonist! Alas, I was lacking the talent, life experiences and ability to be funny…

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It’s Read Tuesday!

It’s Read Tuesday!

Jo Robinson


Today is Read Tuesday guys. A day for me to release my inner book glutton and load up my Kindle with piles of discounted and free books. There are some awesome authors on this list, so click here – Read Tuesday – and get shopping. And don’t forget the bookworms in your life this Christmas – check out this post on how to gift an ebook from Misha Burnett.

My African Me & Satellite TV is discounted on all major Amazon sites. It’s 99 cents on, and equal currencies on, and the rest. Also on Smashwords. Shadow People is also 99 cents on, Amazon UK, and Smashwords. My short story, The Visitation is free today on and Amazon UK.

I’d be most grateful to any of my friends who would share this news anywhere at all. Now –…

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