Please subscribe to our notifications

As our email reminders often get missed or filtered, we would like to send you notifications about new sign ups, books you've been selected to read and missing reader forms. After clicking CONTINUE, click ALLOW on the next popup to enable these. You can always change your mind later, or modify which notifications you receive.


Month: January 2019

5 Books Every Aspiring Author Should Read

By: Craig | Posted on January 29, 2019

We’ve compiled a list of five carefully-selected books perfect for any aspiring writer. With the advent of self-publishing there are now hundreds of titles about how to become a successful writer – but sadly if you look at a lot of the reviews and the rankings for many of these books, you’ll suspect that the authors aren’t quite as smart about the subject as they promote themselves to be. Having said that, there are some gems out there about the art and craft of writing, and we’ve taken a little time to separate the wheat from the chaff and come up with five books about writing that you can’t help but learn from. The Elements of Style: Simplified and Illustrated for Busy People by William Strunk Jr. and Virginia Campbell First written in 1918, The Elements of Style is often considered to be America’s seminal work on writing in the American English… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part One

By: Ginger | Posted on January 25, 2019

Anything that gets in the way of putting words down on paper is destructive to a writer’s career, but if you find yourself in this boat you can at least take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Most authors go through it at some point, but the successful ones find a way to overcome these mental and practical hurdles.  In the first of a four part series, Ginger lays out a plan to get you focused on writing and clear your path to success! “He was always trying to work. Each day he would try and fail. He laid the failure to Paris, the town best organized for a writer to write in that there is.” In my last post, I mentioned that I’d been on a bit of a Hemingway bent recently – and that quote from A Moveable Feast – in which Hemingway describes F. Scott… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Kyle Prue

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 22, 2019

Every few weeks we try and pin down a talented author for a heart-to-heart about their career and books. This week we’re thrilled to be chatting to Kyle Prue, the teenage sensation behind The Sparks – part one of an epic fantasy trilogy that has been celebrated by critics and readers alike. Often, aspiring writers are warned that they might have to wait years to hit their stride. Talented teenager Kyle Prue deftly sidestepped that process when his first novel, The Sparks, received instant (and well-deserved) acclaim – winning the FAPA Presidential Awards for Best Fiction and Best Fantasy for Young Adults in 2015, earning a place as runner-up for Best Young Adult Fiction at the Florida Book Festival and Honorable Mentions at the New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival, and the International London Book Festival. Far from letting this go to his head, Kyle… Read More >

Ginger’s 2019 Reading List (With Tips for Creating Your Own)

By: Ginger | Posted on January 18, 2019

Despite knowing how important it is, or how much we love it, many of us find it hard to make regular time for reading. That’s why one of the best strategies is to start your year off with a reading list of books you want to get to, and commit to reading at least those. How many you add to your list isn’t nearly as critical as figuring out which books are important or interesting enough to include, so here are some tips from Ginger on creating your own reading list, along with plenty of his personal picks for 2019 in case you need some inspiration!   “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”    With those words, in his brilliant On… Read More >

5 Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller Books Like Bird Box

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 15, 2019

Here are five recent recommendations similar to the hit post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box. Netflix recently released a fantastic post-apocalyptic movie called Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. The movie was based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, lead singer of The High Strung (they wrote the theme tune to Shameless) and the New York Times described it as: “A book that demands to be read in a single sitting, and through the cracks between one’s fingers. There has never been a horror story quite like this.” We highly recommend Bird Box – but if you’ve already read it, here are some more recent post-apocalyptic and near-future thrillers that will also leave you on the edge of your seat. Written By Blood: Conviction by Dwayne Gill The Written by Blood series is the work of author Dwayne Gill, who envisioned the concept when he was just twelve years old, and… Read More >

Field Trip – a Visit to the American Writer’s Museum

By: Ginger | Posted on January 11, 2019

Sometimes it helps to look at the past to find inspiration, which is why self-published author Ginger recently took a visit to the American Writer’s Museum in Chicago. The trip helped him refocus on his own writing goals for 2019, and if you ever decide to visit it yourself, it may do the same for you. Read on for his quick run-down of the exhibits so you’ll know what to expect if you’re ever nearby and considering a visit. This New Year, I teamed up with a buddy of mine to visit Chicago. He’s an architect, and was there to make a pilgrimage to the home of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright. I wanted to visit the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway, and check out the famous American Writer’s Museum, on North Michigan Avenue. The museum is, as you can imagine, dedicated to American authors – intended to “celebrate the enduring… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Anna Brees

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 8, 2019

With the rise of digital technology, smart phones and social media, you don’t have to turn on the television to catch the news any more. But has this led to an era of ‘fake news’? Or is it finally highlighting the bias of the ‘mainstream media’? That’s one of the questions raised by veteran television journalist Anna Brees, who recently published a book about how to harness the power of mobile journalism and get your voice heard. We spoke to Anna about her book, and the mission behind it.     HG: Anna – you’re originally a television journalist, and now you run a business training people in ‘mobile journalism.’ What inspired this shift in your career? AB:It all started off with looking at documentaries on YouTube, about situations that were reported one way, but which the evidence suggested happened differently.  I became angry with the mainstream media and my… Read More >

Silence Your Inner Perfectionist – Before They Kill Your Book!

By: Ginger | Posted on January 4, 2019

Author Ginger is back today with some more advice about the craft of writing – namely, that if you constantly revise and rewrite your book, striving for perfection, you’ll never get it published. Sometimes you have to just make like Elsa and “let it go…”  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Let us know in the comments below after you read what he has to say about it! One of the best pieces of life advice I ever received was attributed to the Chief Operating Office of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. In her 2013 book Lean In, she argued that women trying to balance personal and professional lives should live by the mantra of ‘done is better than perfect‘ and like many pieces of wisdom, this is one that’s not just relevant to women. I’ve found it especially powerful in writing – and it’s one of the first pieces of… Read More >

The Best Books of 2018 – Our List of True “Hidden Gems”

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 1, 2019

Each and every day, subscribers to Hidden Gems get offered the chance to review the latest and most exciting books from all their favorite genres. 2018 has been an incredible year for the program; with dozens of top-ranked books and authors featured. As we wrap up the year, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the best books of 2018 as judged by our subscribers. It was definitely not easy to select just ten from the more than 1000 different titles we’ve sent out this past year, but in addition to this list-of-the-year, you’ll also see we regularly post our recommendations from different specific genres.    Arklight: Operation Nightfall by J.M. Myrick  Author J.M. Myrick was both a former Marine and a current SWAT commander – and his breadth of military and law-enforcement experience served him well in crafting this incredible tale of a modern-day special forces unit thrust back… Read More >