A Tale of Billboards and Burritos

First, you should know that Amazon took out a big damn ad celebrating The Last Emperox and put it up in midtown New York, and that got the social media folks at Tor books pretty excited.

So naturally, I tried to press my advantage.

The folks at Tor offered an alternative.

I was, naturally, amenable to these terms.

Fast forward to later in the day… and this happened.

Turns out… they had.

To which I was appropriately appreciative.

But wait, there’s more!

The folks at Tor thought that was pretty great, actually.

But there was one more way I wanted to say thank you.

And there you have it, a holiday story with billboards, social media, Mexican food and charitable giving. Not a bad day on the Internet, I have to say.

— JS


Not Necessarily a Miracle on 34th Street

A big ad for my book on 34th street in New York City.

But still lovely to see: A big ‘ol advertisement for The Last Emperox in NYC, through the good graces of Amazon, which included the book in its annual Best Books of 2020 list, along with, of course, many other very worthy tomes. You can see the science fiction and fantasy selections here, if you have an interest in such things, and inasmuch as you’re visiting here, it’s a reasonably good bet that you might.

Not gonna lie, this little bit of egoboo feel good right now, since I’m running a smidge late on the new book. It’s a reminder that, hey, I am in fact pretty good at this whole writing thing. Uuuuuhh, sometimes.

Speaking of which, back to it.

— JS


Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2020, Day Three: Arts, Crafts, Music and More

The Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2020 continues, and today we move away from books and focus on other gifts and crafts — which you can take to mean just about any other sort of thing a creative person might make: Music, art, knitting, jewelry, artisan foodstuffs and so on. These can be great, unique gifts for special folks in your life, and things you can’t just get down at the mall. I hope you see some cool stuff here.

Please note that the comment thread today is only for creators to post about their gifts for sale; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Creators: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Creators (of things other than books) only. This is an intentionally expansive category, so if you’ve made something and have it available for the public to try or buy, you can probably post about in this thread. The exception to this is books (including comics and graphic novels), which have two previously existing threads, one for traditionally-published works and one for non-traditionally published works (Note: if you are an author and also create other stuff, you may promote that other stuff today). Don’t post if you are not the creator of the thing you want to promote, please.

2. Personally-created and completed works only. This thread is specifically for artists and creators who are making their own unique works. Mass-producible things like CDs, buttons or T-shirts are acceptable if you’ve personally created what’s on it. But please don’t use this thread for things that were created by others, which you happen to sell. Likewise, do not post about works in progress, even if you’re posting them publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. Also, don’t just promote yourself unless you have something to sell or provide, that others may give as a gift.

3. One post per creator. In that post, you can list whatever creations of yours you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent creation. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America. If you are elsewhere and your work is available there, please note it.

4. Keep your description of your work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from creators promoting their work as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting work.

Now: Tell us about your stuff!

Tomorrow: Fan Favorites!


A Small Technical Note

Last night WordPress, which hosts Whatever, switched me over to a new plan, which has additional and/or different functionality from my previous plan. Most of this functionality relates to the back end of the site, which no one except me and Athena see, but there are a couple of minor things on your end that you might notice being different, and some functionality that’s changed or at the moment is not working — for example, at the moment the sidebar search function isn’t working, and the comments have lost their preview button (apparently I was using a preview function that was deprecated, like, nine years ago).

In the short-term (i.e., the next few days), if you notice changed/different/broken functionality, don’t worry and don’t panic. I know about it and will be addressing it in reasonably short order. Because I’m running the Holiday Gift Guide at the moment, I don’t want to futz with things too dramatically until it’s done, but I may tweak a few things here and there. This is simply to let you know I’m aware a couple of things might be wonky.

The good news is, in the long run, this backend switchover is going to allow me to have more and better functionality for the site, and should make it easier to integrate new features here. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled Whatever —

— JS

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