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Getting Your Dot Com: 1&1 Domain Registrant

1&1Most writers (that is to say, 99% of writers) are expected to have a website with a good domain name, such as http://www.mypenname.com (or .net if .com is unavailable).

There are tons of companies that offer domain registration, and out of those, I found 1&1 to be the most economical and easy to use. Their fees are pretty low — about $10/year per domain name for the most sought-after domains such as .com and .net. But the best thing about using 1&1 is that they offer free private registration.

What is free private registration?

When you register a domain, your contact information becomes public. Anybody who looks up your domain name can see your name, physical address, email address, etc. It’s actually scary how easy it is. (You just need to google “whois”!) On the other hand, private registration ensures that your information is protected. So instead of your personal information, the following is displayed instead:

Oneandone
Private Registration
1&1 Internet, Inc. - http://1and1.com/contact
701 Lee Rd. Suite 300
Chesterbrook, PA 19087
(877) 461-2631

A lot of companies (GoDaddy, for one) charge for the service. The last time I checked, it was $10/year in addition to the domain registration and renewal fees, which effectively doubles your cost if you want an extra layer of protection between you and all the kooks out there.

So my recommendation is to try 1&1. I’ve been using them for more than seven years now without any problems. And you can’t beat $10.99/year for the domain plus private registration for peace of mind and privacy.

Note: The 1&1 tech support isn’t bad for things like domain registration and transfers because you rarely, if ever, need to talk to somebody on the phone about it. However, if you need some hand-holding because you’re using them for web hosting, you may find them a bit lacking. I’ve heard people grumbling about it on Twitter, and Hero Material found them somewhat frustrating to deal with.


The Year of the Water Dragon Is Here!

Oh my gosh, I still can’t believe it’s already January. I keep thinking that it’s still December 2011! I’m still getting used to writing 2012 in my date books and so on. How about you?

The Last Slayer by Nadia LeeI’m grateful that 2011 ended well with the release of The Last Slayer. It hit the Carina Press Most Popular list and continues to receive a very, very gratifying number of extremely positive reviews.

“A smashing debut to a thrilling new series!” — Ex-Libris

“…one of the best I’ve ever read…” — Booked Up

“A gripping plot, likeable characters, well written and imaginative…I give it five stars and urge all lovers of urban fantasy to read it, especially if you’re into dragons.” — Tahlia Newland

“Sometimes I read a book and I’m left wanting more. The Last Slayer was one of those books. Nadia Lee’s world of demons, demon hunters, and dragonlords was convincing, and I’m so glad that it’s part of a trilogy because I can’t wait to read more about Ashera’s quest. This is one of those books that will appeal not only to fans of urban fantasy, but also to those who enjoy more traditional fantasy reads, so if you’re in either one of those categories, you are in for a treat.” — All About Romance

“If you’re looking for a genre-blender of fantasy, paranormal and urban fantasy, then I totally recommend this for you.” — Basia’s Bookshelf

“…a little bit Urban Fantasy, a little bit Paranormal Romance, a little bit Fantasy and a lot of beautiful world building…looking forward to the next book…” — Buckeye Girl Reads

“With an engaging wise-cracking heroine and a smouldering hero, and epic fantastical tone, I highly recommend The Last Slayer if you fancy something new.” — The Book Pushers

“I adored this book. It was reminiscent of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter meets Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series. We have a kick ass heroine in a fascinating supernatural world featuring a hierarchy of dragons and demons. Can’t wait to read more!” — The Raunch Dilettante

“I absolutely recommend it to people who like dragons, demons and sexiness!” — The Yearning Mermaid

“…an Arthurian good versus evil theme…light eroticism…vivid descriptions…a phenomenal amount of world-building… I enjoyed The Last Slayer very much.” — Book Lovers Inc

“I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I started it but WOW this is a seriously good fantasy…is definitely going to leave you wanting more.” — Melanie, Goodreads

Whew! To say that I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement. I’ve been completely blown away by all the great things people are saying about this book. Thank you, thank you, everyone!

I’m going to do a few more guest blog posts and interviews, so please check my interview / guest blog post schedule for more information if you’re interested. I’ll be discussing a few behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes, etc. Every single one of the guest blog posts features new material and information about how I wrote The Last Slayer and related topics.

Also, in case you missed the announcement earlier you can sample The Last Slayer from my website here.

Currently, I’m working on the sequel to The Last Slayer. It’s going much more slowly than I’d like, but such is life. *sigh* At least I don’t have to figure out everyone’s eye color. (You can find out more about my eccentricity with eyes on Tori Book Fairy’s blog on January 12th.)

I hope you all have a roaring good Year of the Dragon!


My Impression of WriteWayPro

A couple of people asked me if I’ve ever used WriteWayPro and if so, what I think of it.

It’s my fourth day using the program. I think it’s a fine program, and it does what you want it to do.

Strengths:

  • Everything you need for your writing project is right there on the screen, so it’s very easy to keep things organized.
  • It’s very easy to move scenes around or reference certain scenes, etc.
  • It starts fast.
  • You can set it to open to your last active chapter or scene, so you can start working right away.
  • It’s not that difficult to learn.
  • Customer support is great. I’ve seen some really crappy customer support, but this is excellent. I’m happy with the response time and so on.
  • Word count report and analysis are fabulous. I love looking at them and see how many words I need to write to hit my target completion date, etc. (I no longer need to mess with Excel, although I adore Excel…)

Things WriteWayPro can improve on:

  • It’s currently lacking auto-save, so you have to remember to save every so often.
  • The composition screen shouldn’t be in print layout (to use Wordspeak). It’s a personal preference, but I find it very distracting to see empty headers and footers as I go from one page to the next. Since the composition font and the final manuscript font are different anyway (and lovely WriteWayPro formats everything for you automatically!), I don’t see any point to having a ton of blank space on the screen. Besides, it really breaks the flow as I draft and/or edit. I wish I could hide the blank space like in Word.
  • I’m not sure if it’s just me or Word 2007 or what, but when I export the entire manuscript into rtf and open it in Word, the text looks justified, and the right side is smooth instead of jagged. But if I copy paste the entire manuscript to another blank Word doc, the format comes out fine. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s something to be aware of if this kind of stuff really really matters to you.
  • Unlike Word, which can check for typos as you type, WriteWayPro checks typos only if you click on the spell-check button. I find this to be somewhat annoying because I like to fix typos as I draft / edit.
  • This didn’t bug me, but it may bug you: the user interface is very basic and not as polished and fancy as the latest Microsoft Office. But it does the job, and I don’t think it’s something WriteWayPro should put any priority on addressing. If you simply must have the slickest GUI, however, this may bother you.

So there it is. Any questions? Have you used WriteWayPro or any similar software? If so, what do you think about it? If you’ve never used any, why not?

So the FTC doesn’t come after me, here it is again: I’m not in any way shape or form related to or employed by WriteWayPro. I never received any monetary compensation for this post. I’ve downloaded WriteWayPro, and I am currently drafting my novel with it.


Jane’s Were-Gerbil Romance Debut

The Multi-Billionaire's Virgin Rodent Wrangling BrideNot sure if you’ve heard, but someone *coughJamaicaLaynecough* started a rumor that Jane from Dear Author is really an aspiring author who lost her contract with Quartet Press when it folded.

Well…not to be outdone, Jane has requested reviews on her alleged were-gerbil romance The Multi-Billionaire’s Virgin Rodent Wrangling Bride. And people have responded. They’re all in good fun, especially now that Jane’s secret best friend showed up to defend her as well.

Hero Material decided to participate as well. You can see his review here.