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This year has been an interesting year for publishing and entertainment. For me, it’s been a chance to start a blog, join a group blog, and begin seriously reading other blogs while figuring out just what to do with this Beyond the Charts thing I’m embarking on.

I’ve decided to make a list of the Top 10 Blogs I know I will be following on a regular basis in the coming year. The one you’re reading is a given. ūüėČ

1. The New Authors Fellowship – This is the group blog I am a part of and I’ve made some good friends there as well as have read some very interesting entries over the last year I’ve been a part of it. These are some great writers with some stories to tell, and they don’t do a bad job of blogging about things either.

2. Kevin J. Anderson – Kevin and I became friends online a couple of years ago when I contacted him as a fan and that friendship has grown beyond the fan/author to where we’ve talked about deeply personal issues. He’s a really good person and an awesome author, and his blog is chock full of tid bits on writing and productivity, not to mention that he recently reposted his 11 Tips for Writers which he often cites at conventions and workshops.

3. Mike Duran – This is a blog I’ve been following with much interest this year as he writes in two areas that I am very much interested in, but rarely see blended together and done right: Horror/Thriller fiction and¬†Christian fiction. With the way he’s talked on his blog this past year about this ghost story he’s written, I have some high hopes for his book coming out in February. I hope I’m not disappointed. The Resurrection hits bookstores’ shelves in February.

4. Dean Wesley Smith – A long time hand in the field of writing, he is keeping up on all the goings on in the publishing industry and keeping new and current writers abreast of all the scams and false hopes and then telling them what they need to know and keep track of. A true expert if there ever was one.

5. Brandon Sanderson – I’m really just discovering him. I first heard of him because he took over Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series after the unfortunate passing of the original author, but since I was still working my way through Jordan’s books, I just took that as a good sign that I could actually finish reading the series when I get to that point.¬†Since then, I’ve discovered that he had a good reason for being picked for that task as I’ve started reading him with his free download Warbreaker. Once I’m finished, next up from him: The Way of Kings. I’m following his blog to see about news on his projects and to see what else he might say about the industry.

6. Wil Wheaton – Yes, most of you probably remember him as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but there’s a lot more to this fellow besides that role from so long ago. Read his blog to find out.

7. Michael Stackpole – I first read him with the Star Wars novels he’s done. This year I’ve looked over some of his other books online to decide what to read beyond that¬†and have followed his blog some too. I’ll be following him even more this next year. Also, I’ve chatted with him some on Facebook and he’s a very gracious conversationalist.

8. Splashdown Books – This small independent publisher is definitely making a “splash” on the small press scene. As a¬†publisher of Speculative Fiction with Christian perspectives, founder Grace Bridges from New Zealand talks about the themes of the novels she publishes as well as other thoughts and topics associated with the emerging genre of Christian Speculative Fiction.

9. Greg Mitchell – Much like Mike Duran, this fellow seems to have a decent story put together that combines the two areas I want to see more of. I hope he does well. I’ll be following his progress. The Strange Man hits bookstores’ shelves¬†in February.

And what about 10?

Well, 10 will be that one that surprises me as I get into the first couple of months of the next year. It will be the one that I either had never heard of before, or will have considered for this list but didn’t think¬†would be as “must read” as the rest I’ve mentioned¬†and then it suddenly pops out as a winner. Number 10 is a mystery now, but before too long, I’m sure that it will reveal itself.

I hope you have found some new blogs to follow because of this list. Feel free to comment and link below to any blogs you like to follow.

Hi, here’s my first video blog. Sorry for the way the natural lighting dims near the end, and when the artificial lighting just goes out on me for a second there.

So let’s see here:

I’ve got an online store at Beyond the Charts, a message board at The Wasteland, this blog, the blog I’m doing with New Authors Fellowship, the social networks of MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as staying social on three other message boards I frequent, marketing for my other venture, trying to find time to write for my novel, keeping up with media by reading, watching movies and TV, and listening to various music just to keep up with things, and keep my son entertained throughout the day while making sure my baby girl is taken care of and my wife is happy and taking time to spend with God. Somehow I get most of this done, but there’s really so much else I need to do and I need to get tighter on doing these.

I need to add products to my online store. I haven’t added products in quite some time and I don’t have anybody but myself to do it, so I’m going to have to take the time to do that while still somehow keeping up with everything else. I also need to figure out why the checkout process for my online store keeps messing up. I’ve been told by another person now that they weren’t able to get through it and this seems to be a reoccurring problem. I also need to figure out a way to broaden the marketing of Beyond the Charts outside of what I’m already doing. If anybody out there either has ideas or is just willing to help tell others about Beyond the Charts send me an e-mail at suggestions@beyondthecharts.com and I’ll get back to you on this.

Each day I follow the same general outline of a schedule. I’ve kept things fairly basic, but I think I’m going to need to get more specific and keep a tighter schedule as I find myself using up a lot of time in areas that I probably should be briefer with.

And now I have to deal with the time change. Is anyone out there have a tired head like I do today after the time change? Did you go to bed at your “normal” time only to realize you then had one hour less of sleep available to you? And when you woke up, didn’t you feel like you should stay in bed? Why is it that America has to keep changing the time like that? Let’s get over it already! No one else in this world does it, why do we still keep such an archaic practice that is still relatively new in the scheme of history anyway? (yes, I used both the word “archaic” and the word “new” to describe the same thing)

So, keep your eyes peeled on Beyond the Charts for new products, and if you need to order something and are having a hard time making it through the checkout process, send me an e-mail at beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com with the info on the items you want to order and I’ll work with you on it to make sure you get your order. I’m considering getting a different shopping cart system if this one persists in being problematic. I’ll keep you informed of that too.

Okay, I hope everyone had a great week last week. I’ll be posting more info soon. In the meantime, you can keep up with Beyond the Charts on any of the above links in the first paragraph or my signature.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
706-839-6571
Beyond the Charts
The Wasteland
The Blog of The Lost Journeyman
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