Morning Cuppa – 04/04/13 – Marketing! Amazon v. Cornish! Space travel!

I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by the amount of traffic my little blog got yesterday. As my day job, I work on the operations end of a newspaper, so it was kind of weird being thrust into reporting… and doing it just for myself! Anyways, if anyone who found me thanks to the Night Shade Books coverage that I did has returned, then welcome! I’m Nathan, a writer, blogger, podcaster and all around geek (qualified or not is up for discussion 😉. Yes, that is my flappy head over there on the right. I’ve written a novel that I’m struggling through editing and I’ve begun writing a second, which I blog about. My goal is to be finished with the edits on the first one before the end of this year. I also do a daily post, which you’re reading now called Morning Cuppa. It’s generally a few links to things I find interesting in the scifi/fantasy/horror genres, posts about writing inspiration and the writing biz as well as whatever nerdy things I feel like sharing. Thanks for your interest and feel free to follow me on Twitter as well, I’m @nmhall.

  • What sort of marketing practices or gimmicks have actually succeeded for people? As a small fry with a limited budget, what could I do to draw more attention to my book? Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian asked that very question to his ready-made audience on the site about his own book. Some of the responses went from practical: write a good book, to the outlandish: set up a temporary bookstore in Brooklyn that only sells your book (how wealthy would you have to be to execute that in the first place?).
  • Amazon proves what ridiculous things can happen when you’re on top of a defacto monopoly by refusing to allow a Cornish language book into the Kindle store because they don’t currently support the language. As you’ll note, the Cornish alphabet shouldn’t present too many problems for rendering in Kindle devices.
  • The 2013 Clarke Awards short list has been announced.
  • Space travel and the distance between planets is always such a hard thing to wrap your mind around. Sure you’ve got astronomical units (AU) which is the rough distance between the sun and Earth, but what does that even mean? And what about the distance to our closest planetary neighbor, Mars? Designer Dave Paliwoda decided to tackle the visualization to help people understand the distance to it from Earth, using something most of you are familiar with, whether you realize it or not… pixels. The results are eye opening, and show us just how much further we have to go in our advances in space travel if we want to make it a reality.

Morning Cuppa – 02/21/13 – Mark Hamill DDoS’s the INTARWEBS! Nebulas! Mars!


  • Star Wars news and rumors have been blowing up the intarwebs this past week and Mark Hamill finally threw down the gauntlet. Hamill was quoted* as saying, “Fuck it, me and Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels. We started a posse.  Boom. Enjoy your DDoS of EVERYTHING, internet!” He then dropped the mic and left. mark_hamill
  • Yesterday the nominees for the Nebula Awards were announced and it’s a pretty exciting crew. GalleyCat has free samples of each so you can check them out.
  • Will the first manned mission to Mars be from a private entrepreneur? If space tourist Dennis Tito is to be believed, the answer is yes and soon.
  • Joe Hill has some great advice for people who are writing a novel and hoping to “not waste their time” on a book that doesn’t sell.
    • Whether you sell the book or not, it won’t be wasted time. You will be developing crucial skills for the next book. You will develop ideas you can recycle later. Success comes from the things you learn when you fail. If you can’t bear to fail, it’s hard to grow as an artist. **
  • And as always, for what remains of the month of February if you’re an author who would like me to buy and read your book, please leave a comment below.

*Mark Hamill probably didn’t say these things, but he should have.

**Joe Hill did say these things.

Morning Cuppa – 02/12/13 – Doctor Who! Mars! Philip K Dick!

Good morning my friendly Cuppalians, this week may be a bit on the brief side for my daily posts as the missus and I have some friends visiting from out of town. I’ll do my best to make sure you all have something to read… or listen to! I’ll post a separate blog post later today announcing my new podcast!

Morning Cuppa – 02/08/13 – Clarion! Not-Clarion! Mars!

Happy Friday all, I hope that you’ve all got some great plans this weekend. And if you’re in the northeast, HOLY CRAP, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING A BLOG POST! GO LOOT FOR CANS OF BEANS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND BREAK APART YOUR FURNITURE TO STAY WARM!

Seriously though, stay safe folks.

  • Don’t forget my February offer, if you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.
  • Didn’t get into Clarion? Can’t afford to take 6 weeks off of your day job? Take a look at the Taos ToolBox, still a little rich for my blood but it could work for you.
  • Something oddly metal-looking has been found on the surface of Mars. Could just be a trick of light or a hunk of iron from a meteorite that hasn’t oxidized thanks to a low-oxygen environment. Until NASA takes a closer look, mysteries abound.
  • Time to update your Goodreads to-read shelf! io9 shares their list of can’t miss scifi and fantasy for the month of February.
  • The genre anthology all based in the party culture in the late 20th century, Glitter and Madness is getting closer to opening to submissions. Think rollerskates, neon, They’re still a little less than halfway to the funding goal though, take a chance to contribute if you haven’t yet.
  • Seems a little bit like a case of having your cake and eating it too but Amazon has a patent for reselling “used” ebooks. Before, consumers were told that we don’t own the content, we’ve merely purchased a license. Now it turns out we can sell that license to other people but only through the Amazon store? No word on how the diminished cost of the used ebooks will affect author’s profits.