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Road to Publication: The Blog Tour Begins

Author tours rarely proved a profitable investment for book publishers, but I have to imagine there are moments of fun for the authors. Yes, travel has its nuisances–and I suppose I speak with some authority since I’ve written a travel memoir–but I do find myself inclined to put up with some of the hassle to […]

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Road to Publication: Asking for Help

In my day job I sell people on the merits of my employer; that is what we do in public relations. One of the things I like about PR is that I’m promoting work that is not mine and people who are not me. That is much harder to do when the product is my […]

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Road to Publication: Questions to Ask Before Building an Artist Website

I’ve owned a personalized domain name (patrick-ross.com) for about fifteen years, but have done little with it during that time. For the past four years I have focused on this free WordPress site instead. But with Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road publishing this October, I knew it was time to do something with […]

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Internet Companies Don’t Serve Us; They Sell Us

Repeat after me: We are not Facebook’s customers; we are their product. This sentence has been in my head ever since first noticing the kerfuffle surrounding Facebook in the wake of the publication of an article documenting how–prepare to be shocked–the company conducted experiments on how they presented our news feeds to see if they […]

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Do Authors Need Two Facebook Pages?

It should come as no surprise that since signing a publishing contract for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road, my mind has turned to marketing. It also isn’t a secret to longtime readers of this blog that while I find Twitter somewhat intuitive, the secrets of Facebook elude me. So I’m pleased to have […]

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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I’ve learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools‘ Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful “open letter” […]

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Envy, Narcissism, Depression and Creativity

Two weeks ago Facebook celebrated 10 years of making us depressed and envious by creating for each user a personalized video not unlike what you see in an Oscars “in memoriam” telecast. It was a wise move by Facebook’s corporate brass to create a video starring ourselves, because academic studies show Facebook encourages narcissism; feeding the […]

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What To Expect from the Artist’s Road in 2014

Perhaps a 2014 resolution for me should be to gain readers in Africa and South America. I say that because among the dozens of responses to my survey requesting feedback on what to write about in 2014 were readers from the other four occupied continents. I also suppose the time of day I make posts […]

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What Do You Want to See on The Artist’s Road?

Happy holidays, readers! I’m now about two months into my fourth year with The Artist’s Road–it’s true, I launched in October of 2010–and I must say the third was pretty fun. I was blessed to have two posts featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed in 2013, and I brought to a conclusion my MFA Nugget series. Now […]

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Two Steps to Being the Top Google Search Result

A headline like that is sure to draw traffic, right? I do actually list two steps to being the top Google search result below, but will then emphasize how what a blogger really wants is not a high click-through rate for a single post but a vibrant community of readers who keep coming back. But you […]

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