Book Review: J. L. Bryan’s “Jenny Pox”

I’m still in the noman’s land of those without internet. Looks like it’ll be anywhere from 3-6 more weeks. Trust me, I’m hating it more than anyone but it’s been a marvelous opportunity to get a lot of work done. I’ve read more books, edited more pages and actually buzzed around the house like a busy little cleaning bee more than ever before.

Thankfully there’s still a mountain of things for me to do around here and a pile of books in my ‘to read’ list or I’d have to face the horrors of being cut off from the rest of the world in a more concrete way. The good news is that when all of this is over I should hopefully have “Toxic Ash” finished it’s first run of edits, though it remains to be seen if I can get it into final polish phase in time for me to hit publish as soon as I get back – but I’m sure as hells going to try. So bear with me readers!

Since I’ve been reading so much – I have a ton of book reviews to hopefully tide anyone coming to the blog for updates over with. Sadly my facebook, twitter, pinterest etc are all going to have to wait for me to get back into full force (Ah, how I miss the random blather and pretty pictures!) bear with me everyone!

First up is J. L. Bryan’s “Jenny Pox,” a paranormal fantasy novel with a very different tone than the usual vampires and werebeast angle. I was super excited to read this one since I’m also an author of very unusual paranormal tales and it was really exciting to see what new ground someone else was exploring in the genre.

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When To Pay, When Not to Pay: Domain Names

Since I’m on this great self-pub journey with absolutely no savings or income to utilize, there’s a constant struggle to gauge what is a worthwhile expense and what isn’t. How much can I really afford to pay on this book cover? Since I can only muster up so much cash, should I do it myself and pour all of that into source files or hire someone else with more skills but higher rates for everything? Can I afford a line editor? Ads?

All of those questions and more swirl around in my head every day. If I’m struggling with these questions, probably someone else out there is struggling just as hard, confused and frustrated by the wealth of information urging indie authors to SPEND HERE. Welcome then, to the “When To Pay, When Not To Pay” series on Blargle Splect outlining some of the places I’ve decided to invest my limited financial resources and why. Continue reading

Tags, Categories & Why You Should Use Them!

Today I’m going to be helpful and explain what tags and categories are and why you should be using them on your blogs. Any blogs, all blogs, for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD IN THE WORLD USE THEM!

*pant pant*

You see, tags and categories do you and your readers a valuable service. Ever been to a blog that had all kinds of useful information that you wanted to read up on, as well as tons of other content that you really just didn’t have the time for? Adding categories to your blog posts (and then adding a category widget to the sidebar) makes it a lot easier for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for On Your Blog.

For example over at Sarah a.k.a. Legion I use categories to highlight each character, so that fans of a particular character can just click on the relevant category and get all of their posts together. Here, I don’t use many categories – which makes the blog a Lot harder to search through in order to find posts on a particular topic. You’d have to scroll through all of the pages scanning titles and content and most people just aren’t that dedicated.

Tags on the other hand, aren’t as much for your readers as they are for You. Tags are metadata that help search engine spiders find and correctly archive your site for query – but they’re also useful in your dashboard in order to help you find specific topics within categories. You should use the most relevant tags for each post, but try not to use too many or a spider might consider the tags worthless and your post spam.

How to decide what is a category or tag worthy is up to you. It helps if you have a concrete grasp on what your blog is about as I did when constructing Sarah a.k.a. Legion, I knew from day 1 that it would feature serial fiction from various different characters over time – so having categories for each character was an obvious choice. Blargle Splect on the other hand was my sandbox where I threw a bunch of blather and saw what stuck – so it only had a handful or general, nonspecific, less useful categories at first. I’ve since changed that.

It’s better to start using categories early on, then have to go back and add them later. It’s still possible to go back in and add categories later, it’s just a little bit more of a pain in the ass that way, same with tags. So use them early, use them as well as you are able, and your readers and search engine ratings will thank you!

Y. K. Greene