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The Great User Culling

In an effort to remove false/spammer accounts and trim the fat from the database, I have done a massive culling of users today and a full audit of all remaining users. To explain, I deleted every user that did not have any content. So if there were no comments or posts related to that user, they are now gone. This may have taken a few legitimate new users out, however they can sign up again, and it was worth it to clean out the database.

Site Blog

Happy 17th Denizens

Well, better late than never right? Somehow in all the hustle and bustle of looking for a new job and fighting spammers, I completely missed The Den's anniversary on the 15th.

The Den is now 17 years old, and what can we say about that that hasn't been said? Happy 17th Denizens, and thank you for all the support and participation over the years. Let's make the Den's 18th year one to remember.

Site Blog

DarkWolf Given AI and Trivia

For those that frequent the public chatrooms, I've taken a bit of time to play with the DarkWolf bot and added some goodies. In addition to delivering messages to other chatters for you, it can now have conversations. I'm not going to say that they are meaningful in anyway, however they are quite comical. The bot will also learn new phrases based on what you say to it. As I discovered yesterday though, you have to be careful what you say to it, as it will repeat anything. Much like a child. 

Site Blog

Apache SOLR Search Restored

The last few months have been very busy and The Den has suffered that unfortunately. The search has been down for sometime as I needed to fixed the Apache SOLR backend after moving the servers. I managed to finally get some time this week and after 7 days of wrestling with the server setup, I have managed to restore Apache SOLR to full functionality. You can now use the site's search again. I apologise for the inordinate amount of time it took to repair this. Thank you for your patience.

Site Blog

Spamming

Be aware there is a newer way to spam sites like ours. They put the spam in a comment.

Site Blog

The Next Den: Stage 1 Update Complete

The long awaited update to The Den has gotten to be such a large affair that I've decided to break it into 3 stages in order to help things go a little more smoothly. This first stage is the largest and brings about the most changes, and so will be the hardest for everyone to get used to. The idea is to allow me to work out issues with each stage before proceeding in case things don't work quite the same on both sites, and to identify issues I won't come across in testing.

Site Blog

Writer Beware: Stay Away from Starburst Magazine

Some important news just came across my G+ stream from the Indie Author community today, and I feel that all of you should be aware.

Site Blog

Book Access Defaults Fixed

Many of you are familiar with the process of posting a book. Create the book spine, save it and add some chapters, and voila. Right?

Oh wait... no one can see it. Better fix the book access permissions.

Site Blog

Sweet Sixteen: Happy Anniversary Denizens

It's March 15th, which means a few things. First off, the groundhog was wrong again this year and we're being dumped on with more snow. Second, we're all getting that feeling of being cooped up inside all winter and can't wait for the wonderful sights and smells of spring. It also means that The Den is another year older. It's not just any year either, it's the site's sweet sixteen. Since I turned 32 this year, that also means I've been running this website for half my life. No big deal.

Site Blog

AT&T and Bellsouth Email Block Lifted

Sometimes in the vastly complex world of the Internet there are ghosts in the machine. For some reason our mail server became blocked by AT&T (and thus all of their subsidiaries as well) and people attempting to join The Den or reset their password were unable to do so as the AT&T mail servers were bouncing the mail back to us.

Site Blog

Writers Helping Writers: A Return To Our Core Values

Nearly two years ago now, I changed the main slogan of The Den of Amateur Writing for the first time since it was rebuilt in 1999. In the spirit of SEO and change on the internet, I made the change to symbolize the way web communities have changed over the years. I also intended to mock Facebook a bit, as very few people ever bother worrying about such things as spelling and grammar there. The new slogan, "A social network for the literate.", was a comical little change.

Site Blog

Team Members Needed for Folding@Home

The Den of Amateur Writing's Folding@Home team has been making huge strides in the last year with an extremely small amount of people. With only 10 people we have gone from 217260th place all the way to 3730th (as of today that is, we're climbing about 10 places per day right now). 

Site Blog

Facebook Page Changes

Chris and I have been making modifications to the facebook page; please re-like, at 

https://www.facebook.com/AmateurWriting

Also note, if you had management permissions on the old site, message one of us and we'll re-add you. I have also removed all managers from the previous site to prevent people from undeleting it. Again. 

Site Blog

.ORG Re-Absorption & New Public Chatrooms

This week I tended to a few items on my to do list with The Den. Many of you have noticed the changes, however I'm going to take a moment to go over them officially.

Site Blog

Denizens, Welcome to Cloud Hosting

Last year on June 28th, The Den was upgraded from PHP-Fusion to Drupal 7. At the time, our PHP-Fusion site had about 20,000 pages... and Google was only indexing 2,185 of them. Our SEO ranking was horrible and we weren't getting much traffic. The site felt pretty dead. I had been looking for another solution for sometime, when Drupal was dropped in my lap. When we launched the Drupal site last year, our indexed pages jumped to 16,000 pages out of 25,000.

Indie Authors

Indie Authors

On May 16, 2014, I will be releasing my third novel, Inquisitor. Unlike my other two novels, Inquisitor is a paranormal urban fantasy. Because of the popularity of the genre, I made a very important decision for myself and my career:

I decided to pursue a launch party extravaganza. What does that mean? Instead of focusing my efforts on one service, I am approaching the launch of this novel using several outlets at the same time. I’m combining book tours and single-day blast promotions to spread as much word and hype about the novel as possible. I am also looking into...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

The State of the Union — Blog Tour Monday

I was invited to come play on a blog tour Monday thingie — I’m not even sure what it is, except people getting together and blogging about writing on a Monday. But hey, I like writing, and I like blogging, so I figured why not? Nothing to lose, and a chance to procrastinate a chance to let you all know what I’ve been up to lately.

David Ellis invited me to come play. He’s one of my clients this year. Go say hi to him!

The biggest thing...

Indie Authors

Angry Robot has released an announcement regarding a missing chapter in its newly-released title, Blades of the Old Empire.

Read more directly from Angry Robot here.

Indie Authors

On Writing:

kboards promotions: A Review

kboards is a popular forum for kindle fans, both readers and writers. They offer advertisement on their forums, their blog, their facebook page, and their twitter account.

I purchased their one-day package, which cost me $20.00.

Setup for the promotion was extremely simple. I was given a very short list of things needed in order for the book to be promoted. The folks at kboards handle the creation of...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

Writing Product Review: Swarovski Crystal Pens

Swarovski Crystalline Lady Ballpoint Pen Rose Pearl, Vintage Rose (1097050)

It seems only appropriate that the very first pen I review is the one I write most of my books with. I have tried out many different...

Indie Authors

Semikolon Sticky Tab Markers, Assorted Colors (5100002)

As a writer and editor, I use many different writing products on a daily basis. When I started transcribing Inquisitor, I decided I would use these...

Indie Authors

Cover art by Chris Howard

When Allison is accused of murder, she has to find the killer and quick, or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. The only problem? The victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.

There’s only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

Reading Addiction Book Tours: A Review

Reading Addiction Book Tours is the second book touring group I have experimented with, and I think it’s my favorite by far. It is run by a delightful lady named Cami Hensley. She’s a gem to work with, professional, and quick to respond to questions. When she says she is going to do something, you can expect it to be done quickly and efficiently.

I definitely appreciate that out of a book tour...

Indie Authors

(c) Orangeberry Book Tours

This is part two of my progress with Orangeberry Book Tours, an online promotion venue for authors.

Orangeberry is a high ranking book tour group in Alexa, Google, and other search engines. This gives the group a certain advantage when it comes to natural search promotion in addition to the benefits of working with a book tour group.

This post will go into my impressions about my three month book tour with them. At the...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

An Interview with Anna Kashina

Greetings, Anna! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. I really enjoyed reading Blades of the Old Empire. Where did you come up with the idea for this...

Indie Authors

(c) RJ Blain – Cover Art by Chris Howard

When the Great Clock doesn’t ring in the new year, Aerrik’s life is turned upside down. He’s separated from Mya, a fellow escapee from the Duke’s usurpation of the Arasoran throne. His clock is broken, and without it, he faces the purge. Someone wants him dead or alive.

Worse still, his past comes back to haunt him.

Without Aerrik, however, Arasanor is doomed to fall. However, with the very land...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

Outlining a Completed Novel

(c) Jon Gosier – Creative Commons (Flickr)

Outlining a novel is tricky. Everyone works in a different way. Some people like mind maps, such as the one displayed here. Others, like me, prefer working with regular paper. Others like working on their computers, but with a different program or layout than the mind map.

As many of you are likely aware, I have a strong love of writing things out by hand. I remember what I write down better. I...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

Self-Publishing via Smashwords: A Review

Logo (c) Smashwords

In July of 2013, I dived into the world of self-publishing head first. I left the paddle and canoe at home. In the effort to spread my novel as far as I could in my opening days as a debut author, I decided to focus my efforts in three different places: Smashwords,Amazon (Kindle), and...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

Review: Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina

Blades of the Old Empire tells the story of a Majat, Kara, a special type of skilled mercenary. These men and women are bodyguards, errand runners, and hired killers. The...

Indie Authors

On Writing:

My novels are on sale in the US this week!

For this week only, my books will be $0.99 for those in the US. UK residents will be able to get Storm Without End for .99p starting on the 19th of Feb.

In a few weeks, I will be marking down both books (...

Site activity

S. K. Stackhouse replied on The Little Bird That Could:10 min ago
Abs Kosy and Rob Kosy replied on Happy 17th Denizens.34 min ago
Colonel Mustard replied on End so it Begins...:6 hours ago
pirate60 and Aditya Dan replied on Chapter Two (The Eagle's Nest And The Jaguar's Den).13 hours ago
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Don Roble replied on Chapter One (The Eagle's Nest And The Jaguar's Den):22 hours ago
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pirate60 replied on Chapter Two (The Eagle's Nest And The Jaguar's Den):1 day ago

Poll

How many books have read since December?
One-Two; I don't read much right now
14%
Three-Four; I'm pacing myself
0%
Five-Six; I love reading!
14%
Seven-Eight; I really love reading!
43%
Nine-Ten; I do nothing but read!
0%
More than Ten, I'm a big reader; I'm so lonely.
29%
Total votes: 7