Month: December 2019

5 Holiday Classics – As You’ve Never Seen Them Before!

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 31, 2019

In Iceland, there’s a Christmas Eve tradition called “Jolabokaflod” – in which you’re allowed to unwrap one specific present early; a book which you can then curl with and read on the long, winter’s night. It sounds delightful – and inspired us to look up some unexpected holiday classics that you might like to read to your family in front of a crackling, log fire. For me, the holidays isn’t just about eggnog, presents, and listening to my uncles discuss politics for three hours. It’s also an opportunity to indulge in some classic holiday capers on the small screen – like the best Christmas movie ever made; Die Hard. But unfortunately, Die Hard isn’t exactly the most family-friendly movie to curl up with the kids to watch – and, in fact, many other favorites are a little suspect today. I watched Home Alone with my kids the other day and… Read More >

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

By: Ginger | Posted on December 27, 2019

Sticking to a plan is essential when you’re an author, especially if it’s not your full time job and you’re finding you need to juggle writing with all sorts of other things in your life.  So start 2020 off right by prioritizing what it is that makes you a successful writer, and resolving to actually do those things regularly and consistently! The end of the year is, to most of us, a time of reflection. We see what aspects of our year went well, and which went badly, and a lot of us write a list of ‘new year’s resolutions’ to follow to give the upcoming year a better outcome. For me, 2019 saw a dip in my overall book sales, but a more consistent outcome to the books I published. I had a good period of book sales which was directly attributed to a process I stuck to –… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Matthew E. Nesheim

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 24, 2019

Today’s author interview is with Matthew E. Nesheim, author of The City Above and Below. The first in the Song of the Weaver series, Matthew’s writing has won the immediate attention of sci-fi fans, including David Bowen, of MAYDAY magazine, who compared Matthew’s work to that of Patrick Rothfuss, or Ronald D. Moore, the writer of Battlestar Galactica. We were excited to ask Matthew about his inspirations and motivations – and find out what he’s working on next.   HG: My first question is the most obvious. WHO ARE YOU? How you describe yourself to the world? MN: I’ve wanted to be a professional writer since I was around 13 or 14 years old. I think just how some people (both men and women) believe they can be professional athletes at a young age, I think that’s what I believed with writing, so most of the things I’ve done in… Read More >

Give Your Audience What They Want

By: Ginger | Posted on December 20, 2019

Santa may only bring gifts once a year, but as an author, your job is delivering what your readers want all year round.  That’s why it’s important to understand your market and your genre, and meet the expectations of your audience.  That doesn’t mean selling out or having to change your actual story, just making sure you’re telling it in the most effective way. And to help make our point, we have a few popular examples of where this has gone wrong, and when it’s been done right. Readers expect something from you – so, successful writers don’t disappoint. The other day, I half-watched The Mandalorian, on Disney+, since my wife was watching it while tidying up. To her annoyance, I kept predicting what would happen next – even down to the specific lines of dialogue – and eventually she switched it off and snapped: “Well, you might make fun… Read More >

5 Out-Of-This-World Science Fiction Stories

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 17, 2019

Science fiction has always remained a popular genre, although many readers were once reticent to share their passion for out-of-this-world adventures or speculative science fantasy. Today, though, there’s been a resurgence in the genre – driven by comic book adaptations dominating the box office, and sci-fi shows ruling the roost on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In fact, there’s never been a better time to let your nerd flag fly; and that’s why we’ve selected some of the best science fiction books to share with you, as recently reviewed by Hidden Gems subscribers. Fight the Good Fight by Daniel Gibbs We chatted to author Daniel Gibbs just a few weeks ago, so it should probably come as no surprise that his Hidden Gems reader reviews would be good enough to earn him a place on our list of best science fiction books. Subscribers have had the opportunity to read and review… Read More >

5 Tips for Social Media that Sells Books

By: Ginger | Posted on December 13, 2019

The most successful authors I know have one thing in common, they not only spend time on social media, but they do it right.  For some, social media comes easy but for others, it’s a grind. There are ways to make it easier, though, and even if you just do a little it’ll be better than doing nothing at all.  But you can’t just spam them with links to buy your latest book, there’s more to it than that… There’s a lot of money in social media… apparently. But a lot of authors I speak to don’t seem to be seeing any of it, or don’t know how to leverage their social media platforms to generate engagement and sales. One common refrain is: “I don’t really know what to post” and for that reason, they don’t post anything.  Other authors spend time and effort posting links to their books and… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Ian Dickerson

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 10, 2019

Today, we’re continuing our series of author interviews by chatting to Ian Dickerson – who has written amazing guides to some of the most iconic characters in literature and television including The Saint, Sherlock Holmes and The Falcon. Based in beautiful Hampshire, England, Ian kindly spent a bit of time telling us about the unique path that got to see his name in print, attached to some of the fictional characters who inspired and entertained him and thousands of others growing up.   HG: So, tell me who YOU are, how you describe yourself! ID: How would I describe myself? Oh, husband, father, writer, juggler… HG: …director, producer, writer… Any other feathers in your cap? Man of mystery? With a furled umbrella and secret, buccaneering dreams? ID: Haha! HG: So, you write books about really cool things – Sherlock Holmes, the Saint, the Falcon. How did you end up doing… Read More >

How to Use Time in Your Stories

By: Ginger | Posted on December 6, 2019

You’ve likely heard someone discussing whether a book had a good or bad flow often enough that you understand how important the concept is to get right – but there are many factors that contribute to it.  Stilted writing, repetitive ideas, even word choice can all break the flow of your story, as can grander things like pacing.  You want your reader to be able to move easily through your story, be drawn in, follow along, and ultimately arrive satisfied at the end. So while it may seem risky, even counter-intuitive, to write a story that doesn’t flow through time in that same straightforward, linear fashion, when done right it can be a fabulous technique to add to your author toolbox.  Books and movies are full of examples of non-linear timelines used to enhance their story, and today we’re going to explain the whys and hows so that you can… Read More >

Women’s Literature Books to Curl Up With This December

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 3, 2019

Tis the season for a warm couch and a good book – and we’ve got you covered. In September and October, subscribers to Hidden Gems got the opportunity to read free copies of many books in the Women’s Literature genre, and these were their favorites based on the reviews and engagement the books received. Coming Home by Holly Kerr The first book in the Sisters in a Small Town series, readers of this title were introduced to the larger than life Skatt sisters – five boisterous redheads who fight about everything, but are fiercely loyal to each other. The subject of this book is Brenna – who thought she’d escaped her small-town, Ontario roots for the bright lights of Vancouver; but was brought reluctantly home when her life spectacularly implodes.  In classic Skatt fashion, Brenna wastes no time bringing scandal to her hometown as well – but she’s got competition… Read More >