Should Academic Writers Create Companion Websites?

I am preparing to write the third edition of my first research methods book, and this has got me thinking about the companion websites that many publishers like authors to create for our books. There is very little information online about companion websites, such as how to create a good one or their pros and cons. I found one article on Google Scholar, but its central thesis was ‘don’t replicate material on companion websites which is also in the book’ which I would have thought was common sense. I searched my go-to resources, starting with the Research Whisperer, and found two mentions in passing, both in posts written by, er, me. Then I searched the Thesis Whisperer and found one mention in passing, in a post written by, guess who? Yep, me again. And Pat Thomson’s blog has no hits at all for “companion website”, but then I have never written a guest post!

It seems that writers don’t write much about companion websites. Though I did find two very helpful posts from the Textbook and Academic Authors’ Association blog, one by my friend and colleague Janet Salmons on what to consider when creating a companion website, and the other by the equally excellent Katie Linder on five questions to ask your publisher about their author websites. These posts are both well worth reading. But they don’t answer a question that has started to bug me: should we be producing companion websites in the first place?

One of the reasons for companion websites is to keep the size, and therefore the cost, of books down. In my view some publishers do this to the detriment of the books they produce. I have a great deal of respect for Colin Robson’s book on Real World Researchand have bought every edition. I was astonished when the fourth edition was smaller than the third, and even more astonished when I found that, unlike previous editions, it had no list of references or author index. I emailed the publisher, Wiley, to ask what had happened, and they told me those features were now on the companion website. The link was in the prelims and I had missed it. I find it incredibly frustrating to have to move to a website when I want to chase up a reference in a book. This is odd, as my next move might well be to find it on Google Scholar or an online book retailer, but it is so, and the net result is that I use the book much less these days.

Another reason for companion websites, ostensibly, is to be able to update resources between editions. I will hold my hand up and tell you right now that I have never done this; I’m too busy writing new books. And I often find dead or broken links when I’m looking at other people’s companion websites. According to Twitter, I’m not alone. I tweeted last week to ask for people’s thoughts on companion websites: whether they liked them or ignored them, and for recommendations of good ones. This generated several interesting discussions, but it was notable that many readers ignore or dislike them. Also, around half of respondents shared my experience of dead/broken links in companion websites run by publishers. Lauren Gawne and Dana McFarland both made the very good point that all companion websites should be added to the Internet Archive as soon as they are created, which would help to solve this problem.

Some authors set up and run their own companion websites. Examples include Petra Boynton’s website for The Research Companion, Helen Sword’s website for The Writer’s Diet (thanks to Inger Mewburn for alerting me to this), and Andy Field’s website for his Discovering Statistics books (thanks to Rory Beaton for the info). But this is even more time-consuming than creating a website for a publisher to host.

I asked Policy Press for page view stats for the companion websites I had done for them. Not surprisingly as it’s my best seller, Creative Research Methods scored highest. But to my astonishment, second highest was Creative Writing for Social Research which only came out in January. And Research and Evaluation for Busy Students and Practitioners, my longest-standing research methods book, was trailing far behind the rest of the field. Which made me realise that if you’re creating a book for busy people, adding a website they have to go to for resources may be counter-productive.

However, there is the whole book size/price problem to consider. And some people love companion websites, especially teachers such as Beth Kelly and Karen Zgoda who like to find reflective or discussion questions, tasks for students, handouts, quiz questions, and even PowerPoints and videos based on the concepts in the text. Sandra Flynn is another fan and encourages her MSc research students to bookmark the companion guide to the core text (HE teachers, be like Sandra!). So evidently there is a place for them. And Mandy Shaw made an excellent point when she said that if they are hosted by a publisher, they need publicising by that publisher.

So, here are four good practice points for companion websites to academic books, and their creators and hosts:

  • Only create a companion website when there is scope to include material which is supplementary to, and cannot fit in, the book you are writing. If there isn’t, don’t bother, even if the publisher pleads; refer them to this post – it’s a waste of time.
  • If you want to be sure of the quality of your companion website, create and update it yourself – but be aware that this is time-consuming unpaid work which may benefit your publisher more than yourself.
  • If you are considering creating content for a publisher-hosted companion website, ask them some searching questions first, including how they promote their companion websites, whether the website will be open access, and how they ensure the websites don’t contain dead or broken links. If you are not happy with the answers, don’t create the content for the publisher; consider making your own website instead, or setting up an alternative resource such as a YouTube channel. (You would probably be well advised to have these conversations when you are negotiating your contract, or you may find yourself signed up for a big job you don’t actually want to do.)
  • If you do create a companion website, add all the pages to the Internet Archive at an early stage.

Steve Wright raised the topic of payment. He wrote some content for the companion website of a book he was not otherwise involved in. Steve argued for payment from the publisher on the basis that if they would pay him to do a proposal or manuscript review (which they would), they should pay him to write content for a book in which he had no commercial interest. He had to really push, but he did get paid in the end. And that got me thinking. Writing companion websites is very time-consuming and a big extra responsibility for a textbook writer. There is no flat rate for payment, so no incentive to create that content. Also, there is no royalty attached to page views, so no incentive for writers to promote their own publisher-hosted companion websites. Many academic writers – me included – seem to have accepted this unpaid extra work as something we have to do, without asking a lot of important questions of our publishers and ourselves. I hope this post will help to redress that balance.

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, and my YouTube channel, are funded by my beloved patrons. It takes me more than one working day per month to post here each week, run the Twitterchat and produce content for YouTube. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $87 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more than $87 – you can help! Ongoing support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!

Academic Journal Article Comic

I am delighted to be able to tell you that I have written an academic journal article in comic form. Even better: it is open access until 31 August 2021.

This came about at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF) in 2018. LICAF runs over a weekend in mid-October and during the day on the Friday they hold the Academic Sessions, a day for academics who study, make, and use comics in their work. This is always great fun and very thought-provoking too. (I don’t know whether it will happen this year – there is nothing about it on the website at present, so I asked on Twitter, but they didn’t reply.)

Anyway, two colleagues from Perth, Australia, often come over for LICAF. They are Bruce Mutard, comics maker and doctoral student, and Stuart Medley, arts and design professor at Edith Cowan University. We had met before, then at LICAF 2018 we were all producing conference records: me by live-tweeting, and Bruce and Stuart in comic sketch form. In the bar at the end of the day, where good ideas are often hatched, we were reflecting on the process together, and decided there was scope for a journal article.

The process took a while because of all our other commitments, the pandemic, and the publishing process itself. The article was eventually published on 27 May. It is called Is History Fiction? Conundrums In Graphic Representation. I got an email late that day to tell me I had 50 e-prints to give away, so I tweeted the link that evening, and again the following morning. By lunchtime I heard that they had all gone – within 16 hours of my first tweet, which is fairly amazing in itself. I tweeted about that too, and the lovely Becky Guest from Routledge, who has awesome powers, saw the tweet and decided to make the article open access for the next three months.

One thing Bruce, Stuart and I had been a little apprehensive about was the peer review process, because minor revisions to an article in comic form can mean a major amount of work. This has been discussed quite extensively at the academic sessions. With a text article, if a reviewer points out something the authors have missed, and suggests they add a sentence or two, implementing that is straightforward. With a comic, it might mean adding a new character who would have to be drawn from scratch, or one or more new panels which would affect the layout and page count as well as requiring more time-consuming drawing. So amendments to a comic can be much more complex than amendments to text.

As luck would have it, our reviewers were unanimously positive. Let me share my favourite quote:

“I like how the comic betrays readerly expectations: that is to say that the creators lead you to believe you’re embarking upon a conference review, but then the comic shifts focus and starts reflecting upon the justifications of why comics form is great for capturing/reporting on events (like conferences). The comic has a real sense of fun.”

Regular readers will know I frequently argue for a bigger role for fun in scholarship. It’s lovely to be able to put my money where my mouth is. Not that any actual money was involved in this endeavour – so, as always, thanks to my patrons who support me in producing this kind of work.

Please download, read, and share our article widely.

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, and my YouTube channel, are funded by my beloved patrons.  It takes me more than one working day per month to post here each week, run the Twitterchat and produce content for YouTube. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $86 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more that $86 – you can help!  Ongoing  support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!

Ethics And The Internet

I have always been quite careful about acting, and interacting, online. Where I have to log into a site, I only ever do that using my email address and a password, I never select options such as ‘log in with Google’ or ‘log in with Facebook’. Twenty years ago I used the same password for everything; now I have a different password for each online account or website. I have never given my phone number to any social media platform. I have very few apps on my phone and have never paid for anything using my phone. I never enable the ‘location’ function on my phone, and I have never installed a QR reader or scanned a QR code. For many years I have used Mozilla products Thunderbird for email and Firefox for web browsing (although I do have Chrome installed for when a site doesn’t work in Firefox) and for a few years now I have used duckduckgo for web browsing, because they don’t track you, rather than Google.

This is because I don’t trust the internet. Or technology more broadly. My friends laugh at my old-fashioned paper maps and printed travel tickets, but I prefer them because they never malfunction and the batteries don’t run out.

Although I don’t trust technology or the internet, I do value them highly. I am writing this on my beloved laptop and will publish it on the internet for you to read. I enjoy social networking online and all the convenience and pleasure the internet offers in modern life. I am also aware that it comes at a higher cost than most of us realise.

This has been studied in depth by Carissa Véliz, whose book Privacy Is Power demystifies the data economy by explaining how much data is collected on each of us through our interactions with and on the internet. It is a lot more than you think. Data being shared about you includes highly personal information about how well you sleep, who you sleep with, how much you weigh, what you like to eat, whether you smoke or drink, what you buy – and more. Much MUCH more. That data is used to inform corporate decisions about whether to give you a job, or a loan, or a tenancy, or insurance. We have no idea which pieces of data about us inform those decisions, and no way to check if the data being used is even accurate.

Véliz says we didn’t realise what was happening, that it crept up on us because it is a new kind of power. We are used to some types of power – economic power, military power – but this was an indirect kind of power. Internet giants such as Google and Facebook sell access to their users and the ability to influence us through advertising. The services they offer are mostly free at the point of use, and they are also enormously exploitative and potentially very harmful. We didn’t have much choice about being drawn in, and even less so during the pandemic. But knowledge is also power, and finding out what is going on means we can make choices about how we use the options available to us.

Some people feel as if they have no choice. And indeed our choices may be constrained by all sorts of factors. But we all have some level of choice about which technological tools we use and how we use them. I haven’t used Facebook, in the conventional way, at all this year. I have logged on now and again, briefly, to find specific pieces of information I can’t find elsewhere. No checking on my ‘friends’, or participating in groups. And mostly I haven’t missed it. I logged on recently to find out about the dates for my local monthly market, and saw that it was the birthday of someone I had forgotten existed. Some of my real friends and colleagues are on Facebook, but a lot of interaction was along the lines of rather dutiful ‘likes’ of things I didn’t like, or wishing a happy birthday to people I don’t know.

I needed a new smartphone recently. I know my smartphone is a spy in my pocket, but at least I can leave it at home or in my hotel room if I choose – and sometimes I make that choice. I do not want any other personal or domestic electronic spies such as a fitness tracker, or an Alexa or equivalent, or a smart car, or home appliances operated by the internet. I can see the point but it feels, to me, like giving up too much control for what I get in return. The smartphone, though, is a different matter. So on my new phone I installed the few apps I like, one of which is Instagram. And I found, to my horror, that Instagram now only allows me to disable push notifications for a maximum of 8 hours. So to keep my phone free of push notifications, I had to interact with Instagram three times a day, or I would get irritating little pop-ups saying ‘Mizzlepoop, who you may know, is now on Instagram’.

I have uninstalled Instagram from my phone. I can still access it on my laptop, though of course I can’t post there. I may put it back on my phone, briefly, to make a final post. Or I may not.

I enjoyed Instagram. I liked it for keeping up with some of my real friends and family, and for learning more about what some marginalised people face. I learned a lot from following Indigenous people, people of colour, and trans people on Instagram, as well as from following people in different countries and continents. But I am not about to let a social network dictate what I can and can’t see on my own phone.

I have also started using Signal, and intend to move over there from WhatsApp at some point – I still want to use WhatsApp for a couple of things, but most of my messaging is now on Signal, and (thank goodness) I have always managed to avoid using WhatsApp for anything professional.

I want to do more. I now log out of Facebook and Instagram when I do check in on my laptop. I want to stop using Google Calendar and Google Docs – there are good alternatives, though I may have to persuade colleagues about the Docs one. I don’t think there is a sensible alternative to Google Scholar (if I’m wrong please tell me in the comments), but I want to reach the point where I can log off from Google and only log on when I need to use Google Scholar.

I may never be in control of all my own data, but I can certainly give less of it away. This helps to protect me against identity theft which can cause enormous problems. I can also use technological tools more safely, such as by using unique passwords and updating them regularly. This again helps to protect me against becoming a victim of crime. An article in the news only last weekend told of how a couple were accused of online child abuse because they hadn’t changed the password on their wi-fi router and someone had committed the crime by using their network. This caused multiple and lasting harms to the couple and probably to others too.

It is hard to educate ourselves about these things because they are both opaque and seductive. I am very grateful to Professor Véliz for her work.

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, and my YouTube channel, are funded by my beloved patrons.  It takes me more than one working day per month to post here each week, run the Twitterchat and produce content for YouTube. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $86 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more that $86 – you can help!  Ongoing  support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!

Creative Debate

Last week I received an email alert which led me to a blog post reviewing my book on creative research methods. It turned out to be a rather lovely review by an artist-researcher, ending, “Whereas my art had previously researched and voices what already is (even if somewhat invisible), now my research uses art to call for a change, even just a little one.”

This kind of feedback is, as you can probably imagine, an absolute joy to receive. I was even more chuffed when I checked out the writer, Janette Parris, online and found out that she is an experienced artist, with her very own Wikipedia page, who has exhibited all around the UK and overseas. She specialises in collaborative work and public engagement, and she makes comics! In fact I must have seen some of her work before, because her online comic was in Comics Unmasked at the British Library, and I went to that excellent exhibition. I may even have met her, if she has attended one of my courses…

Then the very next day I got another email alert saying Janette Parris had published another blog post focusing on my book. I went to read it, and do you know what? She disagreed with a point I had made, and I was SO PLEASED.

Yes, honestly. I was DELIGHTED.

I often encourage students on my courses to argue with me. They rarely do.

There are two reasons I need people to disagree with me. One is, and I hope you are sitting down as you read this, because it will no doubt astonish you to discover: I am not always right. When I am wrong about something, I want someone to tell me. The other is that thinking moves on and I try to keep up. So even when I am right one day, I may no longer be right the next day, or month, or year, and when that time comes, I need to know.

Of course argument needs to be constructive. I don’t relish the kind that goes Did! Didn’t! Did! Didn’t! (unless I’m attending a pantomime, in which case I’m well up for it). The argument put forward by Janette Parris is: my point that the research method should fit the research question is insufficiently nuanced. She privileges the twin roles of passion and practicalities in choosing a research question and then research methods, arguing that there are often several methods which could be used and researchers have to choose between them. I think she makes a solid case here, and I have made a note to revisit her post for more consideration and perhaps citation when I prepare the third edition of my creative methods book.

Janette Parris’ research question is about “whether the requirement to write an academic essay in an art degree is useful and necessary”. Anyone who has read the previous post I published on this very blog will know that there are a few examples of people using alternative formats and techniques at doctoral level, and one or two at masters’ level, in various disciplines. (I haven’t yet come across alternative options at undergraduate level; if you know of any, please tell me in the comments.) Although there are now enough precedents I can advise students to use to build an academic argument if they want to do something similar, this is also still definitely rare enough to be a good reason for Janette Parris to do the research she proposes.

She intends to use an alternative format herself to present her research findings. I hope I get to find out what it is. She isn’t on Twitter, and she doesn’t engage in dialogue on her blog, but maybe she will write about her plans and choices online. Her post says that, with enough time, she could have answered her research question by co-creating a musical. I wonder if she might manage to do that in future. I am not a great fan of musicals, but a co-created research musical is something I would love to see. Maybe one day…

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, and my YouTube channel, are funded by my beloved patrons.  It takes me more than one working day per month to post here each week, run the Twitterchat and produce content for YouTube. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $86 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more that $86 – you can help!  Ongoing  support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!

The Ethics of Writing

An earlier version of this article was originally published in ‘Research Matters’, the quarterly newsletter for members of the UK and Ireland Social Research Association (SRA). The SRA has its own blog with topical peer-reviewed articles by and for researchers. They are also interested in contributions from readers so, if you fancy writing a guest post, you could give them a try.

Most professional writers believe that the way we think and feel influences the words we choose to write, and understand that the words we choose to use can influence the thoughts and feelings of others. We need to become, and remain, aware of this, or we risk misusing our authorly power.

A generation or so ago, English terminology in common use reflected the dominance of men in Western society. A woman could be fired from her job in the US for being pregnant as late as 1978, and UK pubs could refuse to serve women as late as 1982. But at the same time, women had begun to take roles traditionally assigned to men, which led to some linguistic oddities. I remember feeling rather uncomfortable with being designated the ‘chairman’ of a committee, in the late 1990s, when ‘chairperson’ or simply ‘chair’ would have served.

There were fierce arguments between those who did not accept that language influences thought (still a contentious hypothesis), and those who believed that traditional language use supported the discriminatory status quo and therefore should be challenged. Some people went further than I thought was sensible, such as by replacing ‘history’ with ‘herstory’ (I can see the point of that kind of change in some circumstances, but the etymology of ‘history’ suggests it’s much more about the ‘story’ than the ‘his’) or ‘woman’ with ‘womyn’ (I didn’t get that one at all). This kind of terminological tinkering led to the phrase ‘political correctness’ being used to discredit all attempts to replace sexist terms with existing, sensible, neutral terms. I still wince when I see reports of women ‘manning a stall’ – what’s wrong with ‘staffing’? But it’s now quite usual to speak of a ‘police officer’ rather than ‘policeman’ or ‘policewoman’, and a ‘flight attendant’ rather than an ‘air hostess’ or ‘steward’. These changes in terminology have moved in parallel with increasing opportunities and equality for women in the Western world.

However, there is some newer terminology that I think is unhelpful for some sections of society. For example, in the Guardian a couple of years ago the non-fiction writer Steven Poole gave a thoughtful analysis of the unintentional difficulties caused by the phrase ‘first world problems’. He showed how the reductive use of ‘first world’, with its implicit opposition to the ‘third world’ (itself an unfashionable term these days), enables some people to condescend, patronise, humblebrag, sidestep compassion, and generally dehumanise pretty much everyone else. Another one is the new-ish way of designating something as somehow poor by saying ‘it gets old really fast’. I am getting old, rather faster than I would like, and I am becoming increasingly aware of the discrimination and difficulties experienced by older members of our society. I would prefer colloquial usage of the word ‘old’ to have positive connotations. And several chaps of my acquaintance have objected to ‘mansplaining’, not being proponents of the phenomenon that clumsy construction purports to name.

Terms like these swiftly become stock phrases, akin to clichés. And clichés are evidence of lazy thinking. All this has implications for us as writers. Writing is a creative process, and that includes writing for research. Stories must be told, words and structures chosen, and these processes involve a lot of decision-making. Researchers of all kinds earn our livings with our brains. I would argue that we have an ethical responsibility to avoid the lazy clichés and express our new thinking in fresh language. Also, we should try to remain aware of the potential effects of our creative choices on our readers. My examples have focused on gender, socio-economic status, and age; other terminology can be demeaning to different groups such as people of colour or people with mental health problems. It is our responsibility to ensure, as far as possible, that we don’t use language in a way that supports any discriminatory actions or practices.

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, and my YouTube channel, are funded by my beloved patrons. It takes me more than one working day per month to post here each week, run the Twitterchat and produce content for YouTube. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $74 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more than $74 – you can help! Ongoing support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!

Open Access Research Methods Resources

Last week Anna Fazackerley wrote an article in The Guardian about the current price-gouging practices of some academic publishers who have hiked the price of e-books used by university students, in some cases by around 500%. I was aware of this from discussions on Twitter, though I am glad to say none of my own books are affected; they are all reasonably priced.

I realise, though, that my idea of a reasonable price for a book will be completely unaffordable for many people. So I thought I would gather some of the excellent open access resources from my field of research methods.

The National Centre for Research Methods, here in the UK, has a large and growing body of searchable open access resources on their newly revamped website. This covers quantitative and qualitative methods, conventional and creative methods – not quite every method under the sun, but close; an excellent collection that is well worth exploring.

The Global Social Change Research Project curates a lot of open access resources, more on quantitative methods with some qualitative methods. It is searchable and the links down the left-hand side of the page are also useful for navigation.

The British Library’s Social Welfare Portal is very useful for anyone interested in UK social policy: its development, implementation, and evaluation. You can search for ‘downloadable content only’, which should be OA, or ‘all social welfare content’, which is likely to include some paywalled items.

Then there are a whole bunch of open access research methods journals, covering quantitative, qualitative, and creative methods.

Quantitative journals include the Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, the Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, Survey Research Methods, Survey Methods: Insights From The Field and Survey Practice. The first four are peer reviewed while Survey Practice is editor reviewed.

Social Research Practice is the peer-reviewed journal of the Social Research Association, and it includes all kinds of methods.

Then there are three good qualitative journals, which also include reports of creative research methods. They are Forum: Qualitative Social Research (FQS), The Qualitative Report, and Qualitative Sociology Review. The first two are multi-disciplinary, and all are peer reviewed.

Art/Research International is a multi-disciplinary peer reviewed journal focusing on arts-based research.

The publishers I work with are Routledge, SAGE, and Policy Press. They represent a cross-section of academic publishing. Routledge is part of Taylor & Francis which is part of Informa, a global multinational. SAGE is an independent publishing house. Policy Press is an imprint of Bristol University Press (BUP). Routledge’s profits mostly go to Informa’s shareholders, and BUP is not for profit. Nevertheless, BUP creates open access resources such as a blog, podcasts and webinars – but these understandably focus on all the topics it publishes, not only research methods. SAGE majors on research methods and reinvests some of its profits into resources for the communities it serves. It offers loads of free resources on research methods, an online research community called Methodspace, a research methods resource centre, and lots more which you can access through those links.

So although some publishers are shamelessly taking advantage of the pandemic, others are working hard to help those affected. No doubt there are more resources than those I have listed here. If you know of others, please share them in the comments.

This blog, and the monthly #CRMethodsChat on Twitter, is funded by my beloved patrons. It takes me at least one working day per month to post here each week and run the Twitterchat. At the time of writing I’m receiving funding from Patrons of $74 per month. If you think a day of my time is worth more than $74 – you can help! Ongoing support would be fantastic but you can also make a one-time donation through the PayPal button on this blog if that works better for you. Support from Patrons and donors also enables me to keep this blog ad-free. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider reviewing any of my books you have read – even a single-line review on Amazon or Goodreads is a huge help – or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!