Browsing Tag

administrivia

Site Updates

Home from Orycon, and I have updated my FAQ

Tomorrow I will write a short con report for Orycon. Tonight, I will simply note that I have updated my FAQ, since I continue to get email spam from random people who say that they are with such-and-such a company and think it would be super-awesome if I posted about some random topic that has absolutely nothing to do with either my books, or the things I have a history of being personally interested in (such as Tolkien, Doctor Who, feminism, and politics).

The updated items are at bottom of my FAQ page, and I will note them here as well:

  • Can I get you to run a sponsored post about topic <fill in the blank> on your site?

    No. This site has two purposes: a) to promote my books, and b) to be the master location for my blogging on topics that are of personal interest to me. The only exceptions I will make for this are for fellow authors who need a signalboost for their works, and even then, I will only do that within the context of Boosting the Signal.

  • Can I talk with you about running advertising about product <fill in the blank> on your site?

    No. I have no intention of running any kinds of ads on angelahighland.com for the foreseeable future. If I were to consider doing that, the only sources for ads I would be considering would be for other authors’ books. And even then, only under strictly controlled circumstances, in which I could guarantee that any such ads would not be intrusive on a user’s browsing experience.

  • I’m from commercial site <fill in the blank> and I think it’d be neat if you posted about <random topic that has absolutely nothing to do with my books or my personal interests>! Will you do that post?

    No. If you want to drum up interest in random corners of the Internet on topics pertaining to whatever you’re selling, might I suggest you put up a post on your own blog or social media, and get your readers to interact with you about that topic on your own site? Because reaching out to random authors elsewhere on the net to get them to blog on your topic of choice is useless, especially given that I would have no intention of linking back to you or indicating that this is a sponsored post in any way. See above item re: sponsored posts.

Note that anybody who actually regularly reads me and knows me, none of you are the problem. I’m mostly putting this up for reference because I HAVE started getting spam from people about this kind of thing, and it’s annoying, and I want something I can officially point at when I ask people to stop.

Also, pro tip: I’ll be much more inclined to take your email telling me what a great post I did seriously if you actually bother to point out a specific post.

Site Updates

Update to my FAQ: the official angelahighland.com ads/sponsored post policy

Every so often I get emails out of the blue about this, so I have taken the time to add the following items to my FAQ:

Can I get you to run a sponsored post about topic <fill in the blank> on your site?

No. This site has two purposes: a) to promote my books, and b) to be the master location for my blogging on topics that are of personal interest to me. The only exceptions I will make for this are for fellow authors who need a signalboost for their works, and even then, I will only do that within the context of Boosting the Signal.

Can I talk with you about running advertising about product <fill in the blank> on your site?

No. I have no intention of running any kinds of ads on angelahighland.com for the foreseeable future. If I were to consider doing that, the only sources for ads I would be considering would be for other authors’ books. And even then, only under strictly controlled circumstances, in which I could guarantee that any such ads would not be intrusive on a user’s browsing experience.

There are various reasons for this.

First, if I’m going to post about something, it’s going to be something about which I am personally enthusiastic. I have frequently, and will continue to do so, post fangirly raptures over Quebecois music. I’ll post about my own musical explorations (in particular, recently, I’ll be posting about learning the fiddle.) I’ll geek out about the latest mobile devices or the latest release of iOS. I’ll sometimes talk about mobile games as well (though with the caveat that I do work for a games company, so if you see me posting about a game, it WILL most likely be something my day job employer has released).

I post about these things because I care about them, and because I like to share with my readers what I’m like when I’m not writing books. I am not going to screw with that by running sponsored posts, particularly on things I know absolutely nothing about.

Secondly, I hate ads on sites with the fiery hatred of a thousand burning sites. I unrepentantly run Ad Block Plus. Why do I do this? Because so many sites I’ve visited have run animated ads that are visually distracting, often offensive, frequently have absolutely nothing to do with anything I’m remotely interested in, and worst of all, prone to delivering malware to unsuspecting site visitors. I put sites on my whitelist in Ad Block Plus if and ONLY if they can guarantee tight control over their ad content. (For example, Smart Bitches Trashy Books gets on the whitelist because SB Sarah has shared with her readership that she personally curates ads on her site.)

So I certainly have no plans to run ads on angelahighland.com. I have no incentive to do so, and every incentive not to.

A link to this post as well as to the FAQ will be added to my Contact page.

Questions? As always, talk to me.

Site Updates

Testing Jetpack crossposting, test, test, test

Since I was just over on the WordPress.com testing its crossposting functionality via Publicize, I thought that was pretty nifty and have learned that that’s available to self-hosted sites like this one, via the Jetpack plugin.

So this is me testing that! This should be going out to my Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr accounts.

(I’m a little irritated that Jetpack apparently does not let you set up to crosspost to Facebook for both your personal timeline AND a page that you manage, which, y’know, is kinda what I need to do. So even if I decide to keep Jetpack around, I will still need Social. Not to mention the older functionality I’m using to throw posts over to Livejournal and Dreamwidth.)

Y’all please let me know if you notice anything weird about site functionality while Jetpack is active. When I turned it on, I suddenly got a huge wave of backlogged comment emails that Social should have sent me and didn’t. So there may be other unexpected side effects. Apologies in advance if anything breaks!

Site Updates

Launching a new backup site

So after yet ANOTHER power outage this past weekend–which makes nine since August 2015, and so far once a month since June of this year–I have reached the point where I’m really sick and tired of my website not being available whenever the power goes out.

This has bitten me twice now when I’ve tried to run ads during 99 cent sales, only, SURPRISE! POWER OUTAGE! So your ads are pointing off to a page readers can’t get to!

Our neighborhood association, of which Dara is a member, is actually going to have a meeting with Puget Sound Energy on the 28th of this month to express our collective frustration with this ongoing state of affairs. I am not expecting fast action on this. So in the meantime, I am taking the precaution of setting up a minimal backup website that will contain the most critical data about me and my books.

That site is going up at angelahighland.wordpress.com. Angelahighland.com should still be considered my canonical website and the official source of data about all of my works. However, y’all should keep angelahighland.wordpress.com bookmarked, just in case you need to look up something about any of my titles, or maybe even point someone at buying them, and find you can’t get to my main site because our power went out again. I will be updating information on this site accordingly.

Because it will. It’s mid-September now, which means the 2016 fall storm season is imminent. We’ll have at least one more power outage before the end of the year, and I won’t be surprised if we have more.

Any questions, let me know!

Site Updates

Update to my FAQ

Friend and reader userinfotechnoshaman wanted to know from me today if he could give Faerie Blood and Bone Walker as gifts, and if so, where the best place to buy them would be for that. First, thanks userinfotechnoshaman for the purchase! \0/ For the interested, he wound up buying the books directly from my Square store. (And if you’re not reading this post directly on angelahighland.com, that’s the link that says “Store” on the site’s main menu.)

And second, since I’ve been asked before about where the best place to buy my books from is, I just wanted to remind everybody that I do have an FAQ page. I have now updated that page with a revised version of the “Where should you buy my work from?” question. AND I have added a new question about how to give my books as gifts. Here’s the text of what I added, and you can find this as well as a bunch of other questions on my FAQ.

Is there a specific best place I should buy your work?

I get slightly higher royalties if people buy the Rebels of Adalonia books directly from Carina Press‘s own site. And certainly if you buy a book of mine from Amazon, that’ll bump my rankings up there, but that’s also true of any ebook vendor.

However, I encourage any potential readers to go ahead and buy the Rebels books via whatever channel you feel is appropriate. If you’re a Kindle user, go right ahead and buy them from Amazon. If you’re a Nook owner, from Barnes and Noble. Kobo, iBooks, Google Play–the same.

For my indie-published work, the very best way to make sure I get the most money is to just buy books from me directly–either via my Paypal.Me link, or via my Square store. In the case of Square, Square will still get a cut of the transaction, but it comes out slightly better than the cuts the ebook vendors take of transactions on those sites. But again, I encourage you to buy from wherever is most convenient for you. I make a point of deploying my indie titles out to a variety of platforms specifically so readers have a choice about where to buy them.

Trust me, I’ll be delighted that you buy them at all! As long as you buy them and enjoy the reads, that’s the important thing to me.

Is it possible to give your books as gifts?

Yes! For the print books, if you order them from me via my Square store, you can add an additional note to me if you want to purchase them as gifts, in case you want me to sign them for the recipient, or for me to send them somewhere besides your own address.

For the Rebels of Adalonia ebooks, Carina Press’s website does not have the ability to gift ebooks. But if you buy those books from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks, those vendors have the ability to give ebooks as gifts.

For the Free Court books, if you buy them directly from me, you are more than welcome to use the files you’ll receive from me as gifts. One recipient per purchased copy, please! But if you do buy a book for a friend or loved one, you are welcome to ask for multiple formats of the same book for a single recipient. For example, the EPUB, PDF, and MOBI of Faerie Blood would all count as a single purchase.

As with the Rebels books, you can also give the Free Court books as gifts on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks. And, since the Free Court books are available on Smashwords, you can buy them as gifts there as well.

Site Updates

Some site housekeeping notes

I’ve been in a mood to do some digital spring cleaning lately, particularly inspired by an episode of the DBSA podcast where SB Sarah interviewed Fay Wolf about her new book on how to declutter your life. Since they specifically talked about digital decluttering, I felt moved to take care of some overdue decluttering of mine.

Namely:

I’ve been juggling two Gmail addresses for a while and have grown to find this burdensome. So I am in the process of decommissioning my angela.korrati address on Gmail in favor of the annathepiper one. My Contact page has been updated appropriately.

The short stories “The Blood of the Land” and “The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen” have not been properly deploying out to iTunes from Smashwords. A fix for this is now in progress.

I have decommissioned the Kobo account I was using for Kobo Writing Life. I’d wound up with two different Kobo accounts when I’d had to open a second one to tie it to Third Place Books, and having two accounts was kind of stupid. Particularly given that I’d stopped deploying books directly via Writing Life, and have been trying to deploy to Kobo via Smashwords instead. So my original Kobo account, the one I’ve been using with Writing Life, has been deactivated. Right now this also means that Faerie Blood is not currently available on the Kobo site. I’m in the process of trying to fix that.

I have removed links to Oyster and to the Nook UK site from any of my titles that had them, since Oyster is pretty much dead, and since B&N has also shut down the Nook in the UK.

Meanwhile, I have done a bunch of updates to my Square store.

First, I realized that the store did not have the Cerridwen short on it. I have now corrected this problem.

The limited edition ebook bundle CD I have of both editions of Faerie Blood is now under the “Ebooks” category with the rest of the books. Also, I have set it so that each of the individual ebooks now includes in its description that I will ship copies electronically by email, AND you will be able to pick which format you want. Your options will be EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and a zip file of all three.

Also: since Square recently did an upgrade to its store system, there’s functionality now for donations. I have decided to use this to test out a Tip Jar on my Square store. The intent here is that for anyone who might have acquired a story of mine for free (such as when I ran “Cerridwen” for free on KDP or when I’ve had things set as Reader Sets Price on Smashwords), and who might want to pay for me something after the fact, this is a mechanism by which you can do that.

Last but not least: I have also now added a “Store” menu to the menu bar on the site. The “Store” link goes off to the Square store, but under that, I’ve also placed links to the Buying From Me page (which is the page for information on how to buy stuff from me directly vs. through any of the major ebook vendors), and to the Faerie Blood and Bone Walker pages on Bandcamp (which are the more useful places for non-US folks to go to order print copies of those books).

Any questions, please let me know!

Site Updates

Testing, testing, testing, is this thing on?

Well, that was certainly unpleasant!

To recap for those of you who don’t follow me directory on the social networks, or who might not have seen me reporting: this past weekend, Dara and I had to completely overhaul our web server. This was basically the same operation we had to do LAST month on the mail server: i.e., completely flatten the box and reinstall a fresh install of the operating system, and then rebuild all our data on it.

What brought this on? My trying to do a WordPress security update, and discovering that the server’s root password no longer worked. Pro tip: that’s bad.

So yeah. Cue emergency server maintenance and tearing my hair out trying to figure out the safest way to reconstruct both my WordPress sites: annathepiper.org and angelahighland.com. I THINK my sites are now both back up again, after I did a completely fresh install of WordPress AND a fresh install of necessary themes and plugins, and then restored the old tables out of the database and the old media to populate both sites.

So if y’all are reading this, do me a favor: please browse around on both annathepiper.org and angelahighland.com, and let me know if anything looks broken.

Known issues on annathepiper.org:

* Clicking on the flickr galleries on the GBS pictures I have there is borked, but that was borked before all this happened;
* The RP logs archive pages there aren’t working yet either

I am not currently aware of anything actively broken on angelahighland.com, but if you see something that looks wacky, please let me know immediately! Especially if it’s on any of the higher level pages for my various books.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, go talk to Dara and let her know too if anything looks wacky on crimeandtheforcesofevil.com.

Still to do: I need to reconstruct and restore the other WordPress blogs we host, most of which will be rolled together into a single WordPress install to minimize the number of access points onto our system. This impacts baconforbirds.com (which we WILL be bringing back online by Paul’s request even if he’s not actively working on the site right now), upcc.org, uplakekenmore.org, and emeraldforestfilk.org. I will also be looking into converting lexfa.org into a WordPress blog to add to the aforementioned single install.

Any questions, talk to me!