Month: November 2019

Are You Getting Your Categories Right?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 29, 2019

Which category your book is listed under can have a massive influence on how well your book sells, so it’s worth making sure you get it right. Understanding how Amazon organizes their virtual bookstore – and more importantly what factors they use to determine what goes where – can help increase your sales by making sure more of the right customers are seeing your book. Before I write any author blogs, I’m always struck with a dilemma: Is what I’m going to write about too obvious? Does everybody know about it? Normally, if I take the plunge and write the blog anyway, it all becomes worthwhile when I receive an email from a reader saying: “Thank you! I never knew that before.” I face a similar dilemma with this blog post – which addresses the topic of categories. Categories are the silo your self-published book falls into in Amazon’s systems… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Daniel Gibbs

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 26, 2019

This week we chat with Daniel Gibbs – author of the Echoes of War series, which seamlessly blends hard science fiction with deep and emotional questions about faith, morality, and religion. With dozens of rave reviews across the series, Gibbs is fast becoming one of the most respected authors in his genre – and it’s fascinating to learn a little more about the inspirations and process that led him to embark on this epic, galaxy-spanning saga. HG: Okay, so who is Daniel Gibbs? Who is the man behind this star-spanning science fiction saga? DG: An interesting question indeed! I’d say I’m a big time nerd and something of a goof. I love college football (Go Noles!), and have probably a thousand plus sci-fi novels on my various bookshelves, both paperback and hardback. I’m a defense contractor when I’m not writing military science fiction and space opera stories. Getting dangerously close… Read More >

The Paperback Problem – Print or Not?

By: Ginger | Posted on November 22, 2019

For some authors, they’re first and foremost. For others, it’s an afterthought. Today, we ask where physical, paperback or hardback copies of your books fit into your self-publishing strategy. Ginger uses images of one of his own books as an example, but if you’d like to share pictures of your own physical books – plus any tips or tricks you have for printing them – we’d love you to hear from you in the comments section below. “There’s nothing like a real book,” one of my old college buddies recently told me. “The feel of it in your hands. The smell of the paper. You’ll never catch me reading anything on a Kindle.” We’d studied English literature together – so far from sounding erudite and cultured, I argued that his position was kind of arrogant. In refusing to read eBooks, my oh-so-cultured friend cut himself off from 37% of fiction… Read More >

Ten Tumultuous Romance Novels Loved By Our Subscribers

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 19, 2019

The romance genre delivers a constant stream of steamy fiction throughout the year, but this fall Hidden Gems subscribers were treated to a particularly bountiful batch of novels for FREE, to read and review at their leisure. We’ve put together a roundup of 10 of the most loved by our readers, so if you’re looking for a new romance to dig into, this list is a great place to start! Beautifully Broken Spirit by Catherine Cowles One of the best tropes in romance fiction is that of two broken people finding completeness in each other – since it’s an idea that’s so resonant with all of us. In this book, a single mom who looks after stray mustangs has to explore whether or not to pursue a relationship with her best friend – the handsome man who’s been with her through thick and thin, but seems to prefer any other woman… Read More >

10 Software Essentials for Authors

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 15, 2019

With the rise of self-publishing, there’s a growing differentiation between people who just publish – and the truly successful authors who produce books that are indistinguishable in quality from those of the top 5 publishers. One of the ways in which they achieve this is by using the same tools as publishers do; or often, even better versions of them. Here are some software essentials as recommended by our community of Hidden Gems authors – which could empower you to add additional speed, precision and polish to your published works. Vellum It’s a cliche that writers tend to favor Apple products, but in the case of this highly-touted formatting software, the fact that it’s only available on MacOS suggests there’s some validity to that.  Vellum is designed to streamline the entire process of formatting books – including inserting links and pretty flourishes, assembling box sets and store links, and even… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Kevin Honeycutt

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 12, 2019

This week, we continue our series of author interviews by talking to an author who approached writing in a very different way than most. Kevin Honeycutt is a former teacher turned keynote speaker, who travels the world educating teachers about how to integrate more inclusive styles of teaching to the classroom, and make technology and the digital environment part of kids’ learning experience.  in 2015, Kevin published his first book – a biography and memoir talking about his traumatic youth and how it shaped his mission today. We sat with Kevin to discuss this writing process, where his book fits into the larger picture, and what’s next for his publishing career.   HG: Who Is Kevin Honeycutt? How do you describe yourself and what do you do? KH: Well, I used to be a classroom teacher. I was an art teacher for Pre-K through 12th Grade in a small district… Read More >

Stretching Your Ad Budget (Part 3) – Increasing Visibility

By: Ginger | Posted on November 8, 2019

In the first two parts of this series, we discussed a couple of different strategies you might want to use your marketing dollars for, but at the end of the day the goal of any author comes down to one of two things (and often both).  Selling more books, and getting more readers. In either case, increasing the visibility of your book is key – you run ads on your books so that more people see them, you increase your readership so more people know about you and talk about you, which also leads to more sales and more readers. Running ads to sell books or grow your subscriber base are great ways to do this, but there is another way you can make readers more aware of your book – by weaving its presence directly into the digital algorithms of Amazon itself. Each of the parts of this series… Read More >

5 Top Young Adult Books Recommended by our Subscribers

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 5, 2019

Young Adult books remain one of the most popular genres on Amazon, with Hidden Gems readers, and in general.  So if you’re looking for a new book to dig into, here are some of the top young adult books that have been shared, for free, with our subscribers this fall! All That’s Left by Emma Doherty Culture shock comes to the forefront in this novel – which recounts British teenager Izzy’s reluctant move to the United States, and her struggle to fit into a seemingly ‘perfect’ all-American environment of her father and brother. Facing the grief of losing her British mother, and the abrupt and forced way she’s expected to get to know the father who’d abandoned her, the book explores some very real issues facing modern teenagers; and how they often mask those struggles with drink, drugs and promiscuity. Irma J. left a 5-star review, writing: “This story! I read it… Read More >

Make Amazon’s Sales Rank Work for You

By: Ginger | Posted on November 1, 2019

If you’re an author that ignores the Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR or Sales Rank) because you think it just exists to stroke the ego of successful authors or because you don’t think you have enough sales to ever get to the top, then it may be time to reconsider and start paying attention to it. Because even though only the #1 spot bestows a bestseller label to your book, just getting in the top 100 can be massively beneficial to your sales. Think of it as free promotion targeting all the readers that search for new books by browsing the top lists (which a great many do).  The best part is that there isn’t just one bestseller, or one top list, but many of them – one for each genre and many sub-categories within those genres – which means that you don’t need thousands (or even hundreds) of sales… Read More >