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Month: March 2019

Write a Blurb That Sells Your Book

By: Ginger | Posted on March 29, 2019

Crafting a killer blurb is one of the key ingredients to a successful book – yet too many authors treat it as an afterthought or leave it until the last minute. Anybody who has been writing and self-publishing for a while understands that the key to success is ‘conversions.’ What does that mean? Well, it’s the likelihood that somebody who visits your book page on Amazon (or any other book seller) will actually click ‘buy’ and purchase your book. It really is what makes all the difference – you can sink thousands of dollars into advertising, and send hundreds of potential customers to your book page, but unless they are inspired to buy your book, all of that time and money is wasted. It’s generally accepted that three or four things make the difference when it comes to converting visitors to your book page into paying customers. Blowing the old… Read More >

Not All Great Books Make Great Movies

By: Leopold Borstinski | Posted on March 26, 2019

When it comes to turning dark and gritty crime fiction into marketable movies, it’s not as easy as just picking a great novel and watching the box offices money pour in. The genre is littered with just as many misses as hits, but if they’re both starting from great source material, what’s the difference?  With his The Lagotti Family  series, author Leopold Borstinski has experience writing these types of books and was willing to share his thoughts as to what turns one film adaptation into a classic and leaves another completely forgotten. A man stands in the office of a warehouse, rifling through a desk drawer. Night time. He holds a torch between his teeth as he searches for some vital piece of paper. The sound of footsteps along a corridor as the security guard makes his rounds. Our hero looks up, then back onto the job at hand. And up again…. Read More >

Using Amazon Ads to Sell Your Novel

By: Liam Clay | Posted on March 22, 2019

These days, advertising is an integral part of any book launch and not something any self-published author can ignore. We’ve covered the topic of advertising in the past, but one of the things we didn’t go into in details was Amazon’s advertising platform (formerly called AMS).  Luckily, Liam Clay recently spent time learning their system and testing it out, and in today’s guest post he shares what he’s learned. Are you an indie author with a recently completed debut novel? Then chances are good that you either have, or are about to, place your book on Amazon. The question then becomes, what next? Because if you think that strangers are going to start buying your book en masse without any further action from you, I urge you to think again.  I say this because two months ago, I was in exactly the same position. Watching tumbleweeds roll through the ghost… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Krista Sandor

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 19, 2019

We’re continuing our thread of author interviews with a truly remarkable writer – Krista Sandor. Krista is the author of the popular Langley Park series, which has been described as “heart-tugging” and full of “palpable love and pain.” This is something true to Krista herself – who took up writing when she was diagnosed with MS in 2015. We’re thrilled to be able to chat to her, and hope you enjoy what you learn!  HG: Before we begin, it’s perhaps best to introduce Krista with her own words – which she shared in an email when we first reached out to her for an interview: KS: Romance novels saved my life. Let me explain.  In 2015, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and my world turned upside down. During those difficult first days, a friend gave me the book Manwhore by Katy Evans. She told me, “This is what you need right now.” She was… Read More >

Write Your Routine

By: Ginger | Posted on March 15, 2019

Ginger has been hitting us hardcore with posts about overcoming the tangible obstacles that keep us from writing. The most important thing he’s discussed is the idea of creating a routine and then sticking to it. But what does such a routine look like, and how do you create one?  Today, Ginger gives us those details by walking us through the real-life example of his own daily routine, how he came up with it, and the steps you can use to write your own. Craving a daily routine? Just create one! I’ve received a couple of messages since posting my series about Overcoming the Obstacles to Writing asking why I decided to hone in on that topic – since it rung true for a lot of authors. The truth is because it’s a challenge that I continue to struggle with, and it was useful to share some of the tactics… Read More >

Thrilling Thrillers! 5 ‘Hidden Gems’ from January 2019

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 12, 2019

Hidden Gems subscribers had a plethora of thrillers to enjoy in January. We’ve picked five of our reader favorites to share with you today! And, remember – you’ll receive FREE reading copies of the latest thrillers – plus your choice of books from 15 other genres – when you sign up for our program. Judgment Call by JC Ryan If you’re a fan of military courtroom drama, you’re in for a treat with this book, by former soldier and lawyer JC Ryan. It tells the tale of brilliant Jamie Gibbons, who relentlessly tries to clear the name of her wrongly-convicted husband, and stumbles into a web of conspiracy as she follows all the clues to get to the bottom of this quagmire of lies and deceit. “I enjoyed this book about the perfect family with the perfect life until … The husband is charged with murder!” Writes Amazoncustomer in his 5-star… Read More >

Three Things My Developmental Editor Fixed

By: C.J. Persson | Posted on March 8, 2019

One of the many jobs (aside from actually writing your book) that a self-publishing author has to worry about is hiring their own editor.  Even the most seasoned pros hire editors, as there will always be things you miss after staring at your own book for weeks on end – but what type of editing do you need?  Today, author C.J. Persson takes us through the three main ways a developmental editor helped improved his debut novel, and how to watch out for those same issues in your own work. In January 2018 I had burned out and I quit my job. I had a manuscript rattling around in my proverbial desk drawer and figured this was the perfect time to self-publish it. There was one problem though, my novel didn’t sing. I needed a developmental editor. This is not to be confused with a line- or copy-editor. They help polish… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jolie Vines

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 5, 2019

Today, we share a quick chat we had with British author Jolie Vines, the talent behind the Marry the Scot series, with its well-received kickoff Storm the Castle. She was kind enough to share her motivations and inspirations – and advice for other authors.     HG: So, who IS Jolie Vines? Tell me about yourself! JV: I’m English and I live in Somerset! We have a toddler so spend a lot of time traveling to nearby coasts for mini holidays. HG: So, Storm the Castle! Everybody loves a Scotsman, right? JV: Yes! My debut. I could not be more excited.  HG: How did you get into writing? And what inspired you to write Storm the Castle? JV: So, I’ve been writing for several years, and had planned to take the traditional publishing approach. After writing several books and getting excellent feedback from agents, publishers, and via competitions, I created the Marry the Scot series with the… Read More >

Book Review: Daily Rituals by Mason Currey

By: Ginger | Posted on March 1, 2019

In recent weeks, we posted Ginger’s 4-part series about tackling the real-life obstacles that prevent authors from putting pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keyboard.) Part 3 of this series focused on the power of routine. As a follow-up, Ginger now describes a powerful book he recently read which outlines the daily routines of dozens of the world’s most famous creative people; and how their daily rituals can help you find your own ‘groove’ to creative flow. “Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” With those words, from the great English-American poet W.H. Auden, the book Daily Rituals begins – a study of the daily routines of more than 160 of the greatest writers, artists, composers and creative minds in history. It’s the work of American author Mason Currey, first published in 2013, and as a writer it’s one of the most uplifting, motivational and inspiring books… Read More >