Month: May 2018

Reviewers Locked Out by Amazon’s Latest Glitch

By: Craig | Posted on May 29, 2018

Last week, many Amazon customers were greeted with an ominous sounding message when they tried to leave reviews. It was just the latest in a long line of glitches affecting book reviews, but because the issue was so widespread and absolute, it caused rumor and speculation to fly into overdrive. Fortunately, your Amazon book reviews are still safe. What it really demonstrated, though, is how easily information can be distorted – especially when the company at fault refuses to acknowledge the issue publicly or to their own employees.  Now that it’s all behind us, let’s look at what happened. The Timeline Beginning on May 22nd, we were alerted by some of our HG readers that they were being greeted by the following message when they tried to leave reviews on Amazon. Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product. This product currently has limitations on submitting reviews. This… Read More >

Kindle Scout In Memoriam

By: Jim Nelson | Posted on May 25, 2018

The news that Amazon was shutting down their Kindle Scout program was sudden and came as a shock to both readers and authors alike.  Jim Nelson was one of the authors that actually had his book selected by Kindle Scout and published by Kindle Press before the whole thing shut down.  Here’s his perspective on the program, what it meant to authors, and his hopes for the future. At the end of this month Amazon’s e-publishing venture Kindle Scout will be put to rest after a run of three-plus years.  Amazon announced the winding down in an email sent to all of Kindle Scout’s registered users (“Scouts” in their parlance) on April 2nd.  The email was cool and understated considering the subject matter: “[W]e wanted to let you know of some upcoming changes being made to the Kindle Scout program” followed by businesslike details of the program’s orderly shutdown.  Amazon’s… Read More >

5 Tips for Writers Fighting Procrastination

By: Andrew Mackay | Posted on May 18, 2018

Procrastination is something that affects almost everyone at some point in their lives, and there are already many articles and scientific studies written on the best ways to beat it in general. Instead of adding to that pile, we wanted to provide something that would be specifically useful to writers. Who better to provide those than Andrew Mackay? Between hosting a very popular movie podcast and writing a ton of books, it’s clear that Andrew just doesn’t have time for procrastination.  Below are his unique tips for fighting it, because you don’t have time for it either. We’ve all been there. We need to sit down and write for the day. Get a certain amount of words done. In fact, last night before we went to bed, we assured ourselves we’d wake up and jump straight onto the laptop and start writing. The next morning. Just need a coffee. Oh,… Read More >

Finding Kids Books Online

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 14, 2018

If you have a young child in your house, then you’re probably used to reading them stories. Whether at bedtime or during the day, reading together is not only a great bonding experience but opens your child’s mind to new thoughts and ideas.  But while repetition is comforting to the little ones, you need to add some variety as well.  Even if it’s just for your own sanity. Trips to the library can be fun when your own collection starts to run thin, but they aren’t always practical.  Especially when you have a cranky child waiting to begin his or her nightly adventure – a problem that the internet was almost designed to solve. What are the options for kids books online, then? Turns out, there are plenty – including us here at Hidden Gems! However, while the internet is filled with rich content for young minds, it’s important to… Read More >

Reader Expectations: To Meet Them You Must First Understand Them

By: Morgan Jones | Posted on May 11, 2018

One of the keys to selling your book is knowing your audience and what they are expecting. Not only will a failure to meet these expectations properly lead to less sales, they can also lead to poor reviews. That’s why we’ve asked USA Today Bestselling author Morgan Jones to walk us through how to make sure authors understand what the expectations of their readers are, and how to meet them. Have you ever sat down at your favorite coffee shop and opened up your laptop ready to dig into your next great novel, when you take a sip of the elixir of life only to discover that they got your order wrong? Are you the type of person to return to the counter and demand it be corrected, or are you the one that just sits in silence because you don’t want to deal with people? Personally, I don’t want… Read More >

Guest Post Guidelines for Hidden Gems

By: Craig | Posted on May 9, 2018

The two things we do best at Hidden Gems is help authors reach a wider audience and provide content to our thousands of subscribers.  A guest post serves both of those purposes by giving authors another platform to be heard from and building fresh and free content for their fellow authors and our army of voracious readers. If you’re in the publishing industry and want to reach an audience of thousands of authors and readers, not to mention further your brand through exposure and a link back to your own site or project, then we’d love to hear from you. Guest Posts will be featured on our homepage for a couple of days, and always be accessible through our blog section as well. There are two types of guest posts we’re looking for. Author Focused Guest Posts These articles should be relevant to authors. For example, they can be focused… Read More >

Yes, Your Amazon Book Reviews Are Still Safe

By: Craig | Posted on May 7, 2018

Hidden Gems is best known for helping authors get book reviews by sending their work to interested readers, so it’s no surprise that when some perceived threat to Amazon reviews appears, we hear about it quickly. That’s why it makes sense that the first article in our new Rumor Busting series takes on this pair of related statements that come to us persistently. Amazon is coming after ARC book reviews, they’re no longer allowing them! Amazon is removing reviews that say they were given a free book or from an ARC! Given the importance of book reviews to us, we have to admit that even we aren’t immune to having our hearts beat just a little bit faster each time someone sends us a panicked email repeating one of these claims. But only for as long as it takes for us to verify that Amazon’s community guidelines page still states:… Read More >

Rumor Busting for Self Publishing Authors – A New Series

By: Craig | Posted on May 5, 2018

As a service that sends out thousands of free books daily across multiple genres, it’s probably no surprise to learn that Hidden Gems hears more than our fair share of self publishing industry rumors from both authors and readers alike. Most are sparked by some sort of catalyst, like a vague or misleading news story, or an industry heavyweight changing their policies. Those type come in waves, rolling in repeatedly from different sources all devouring the same misguided conclusions.  Other rumors are more persistent, coming in less evenly but still consistently over time, never quite fading away completely. However, there’s a benefit to hearing all of this speculation from so many varied sources. It provides us with a unique opportunity to watch these overall issues as they develop, giving us fresh perspectives and differing viewpoints into each.  When we combine that with our experience in the self publishing industry, some… Read More >