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Month: June 2018

A Writing Plan Can Help Your Novel Get Started… and Finished!

By: Tracy Brenton | Posted on June 29, 2018

Making time for writing is one of the biggest challenges of beginner writers, often because to do so means juggling an already full schedule.  Jobs, family obligations, or the myriad of other routines in our lives all compete with writing time – but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the dream of writing a book. You just have to figure out a plan to make it happen, and then stick with it. Everyone’s lives are unique, which means the details of your writing plan will be different than those of someone else – but that’s okay. The point of the plan isn’t so much the details, but how it helps you focus and keeps you from being overwhelmed. To that end, author Tracy Brenton shares her story of how she started writing and the details of the plan that led to her success. Maybe it can help inspire… Read More >

Most Readers Really DO Judge a Book by it’s Cover

By: Ginger | Posted on June 26, 2018

Hi! I’m Ginger! I recently joined Hidden Gems as a resident cover designer – the first of many that authors will be able to choose to work with by visiting the new Cover Design service page.  As somebody with a vested interest in book covers, I was invited to share a few thoughts about how important a book cover can be – and how one of the first rules you learn as a child ends up being one of the first rules readers ignore!   When you’re a kid, one of the first things your parents teach you is not to judge by appearances.  “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, many of us do just that. While it’s definitely not fair, most of us make snap judgments about things based on their appearance – like you’d normally walk right past a restaurant if the front windows weren’t clean, because… Read More >

The Case for Reading More Often, and Buying More Books

By: Tracy Stanley | Posted on June 22, 2018

Anyone in the book industry knows how tough it is these days to get people to buy more books and spend more time reading. Books have a lot of competition, and it’s not just from traditional things like movies or television. The internet has brought a whole host of new distractions, like streaming video and music or interactive online communities. But author Tracy Stanley is here to remind us that it’s up to us to make the case that there is still a lot of value in books and, compared to many other indulgences, they can be downright bargains. It’s tough. We all know how challenging it is to find readers and to entice them to pay a few dollars for hours of learning and enjoyment. Reading is one of the best investments people can make of their time and money. We know this, but how can we pass the… Read More >

For the Record, eBooks ARE ‘real books’

By: Craig | Posted on June 19, 2018

It’s time to put to rest the misnomer that eBooks aren’t ‘real books.’ It’s an outdated and offensive view and whenever someone uses it as an argument, it tells us far more about that person then it does about whatever book they’re referring to. As you may be aware, every day Hidden Gems Books sends out hundreds of free digital copies of books, on behalf of the authors themselves, to our subscribers. The hope is that most of them will read the book and then leave an honest review, which in turn helps the author get the word out about their book. It’s the whole premise of our ARC program, and we have so many authors and books to send out that we’re always looking for new readers to join our ranks. The program isn’t for everyone, of course, and that’s completely understandable. However, there is one objection to joining… Read More >

The Magic of Music and Storytelling

By: Rebecca E. Neely | Posted on June 15, 2018

There is a lot of overlap between music and books, both being rich and powerful forms of storytelling. It’s not often that we really stop and think about how closely they’re intertwined, and how one can be used to enhance or improve the other. Rebecca Neely is an author that has been affected by music her whole life, and is here to tell us about how she now uses it to help inspire her work as a novelist.  Since the beginning of time, people the world over have embraced and celebrated the phenomenon of music in all its diverse forms. In turn, it embodies the essence of people by encompassing, reflecting, recording and communicating their diverse heritage, traditions, cultures, customs, races, ethnicities, languages and religions. Even geography, climate, economics and the use of technology contributes to the creation, artistry and performance of music. Indeed, as a whole it’s not only… Read More >

5 More Books Like ‘The President is Missing’

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 12, 2018

Want 4 more years because you can’t get enough of ‘The President is Missing’, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson? Here are five more presidential thrillers that’ll take you on a similarly wild ride. The President is Missing is poised to become one of the biggest runaway best-sellers of the year. Penned by superstar author James Patterson, with narrative direction by 42nd President Bill Clinton, it’s a taut thriller about the Commander-in-Chief’s desperate battle to save America from cyber-terrorism. Louise Penny, the bestselling author of Glass Houses, perhaps described the book best when she said it was “heart-pounding, gripping, terrifying. As I read, ferociously turning the pages, I kept asking myself, ‘Could this really happen’?” As is the problem with all good reads, even at a whopping 528 pages, The President is Missing is over all-too-quickly. The book itself is set over the course of just five days, after all…. Read More >

Characterization and Setting – It’s All in the Details

By: Naomi Bellina | Posted on June 8, 2018

When done properly, writing with rich detail and characterization is something a reader doesn’t even notice. It just pulls them into the author’s world and allows them to image the people and places that they visit.  But how do writers create such vivid pictures? There are many techniques, and we asked Naomi Bellini to break some of them down for us. What she delivered is a great behind-the-scenes look at how it’s done that is interesting to both readers and authors. Don’t you love to fall so deep into a book you lose track of real life, and stay up way past your bedtime, because you have to read just one more chapter? Or look up from the page and totally expect to see the scenery and characters you were reading about? As authors, that’s what we hope happens when you read our stories. One way we accomplish this is… Read More >

Book Piracy – Rumors, Facts and Opinion

By: Craig | Posted on June 5, 2018

In order to send eBooks out to the most number of readers, Hidden Gems asks authors to provide different file formats. With such a wide variety of devices and applications, the more formats we can provide, the more potential readers we can satisfy.  However, one objection we hear at least once a month is about book piracy – specifically having to do with PDFs. “Do I have to supply a PDF version?  I’ve heard PDF versions are much easier to pirate.” I wanted to bust the rumors that give rise to this objection, and while I’m at it weigh in on the overall issue of piracy. First of all, the short answer to the first question is “Yes”, we do need a PDF version.  Many of our readers are not tech savvy, and often have issues with the other formats. The nice thing about the PDF version is that almost… Read More >

Amazon Slams the Doors to Kindle Worlds

By: Jen Talty | Posted on June 1, 2018

First Amazon shut down the Kindle Scout program.  Now, about a month later, they’re doing the same to Kindle Worlds. The issue affects both readers and writers alike, and Hidden Gems has been lucky to have worked with two prominent KW authors in the past. Jen Talty and Casey Hagen are speaking up to share their view and perspective on what exactly went down and what it means to the future of everyone affected. As the behemoth of the book world, what Amazon creates, it can decimate… Hundreds of authors with novels and novellas published within Kindle Worlds were notified by Amazon that Kindle Worlds would be no more. Finished. Kaput. This has a huge impact on both the seed authors, the author whose world was licensed with Amazon, and the authors who gave up time, energy, and their copyrights so they could play in the seed author’s sandbox. We… Read More >