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Month: March 2020

5 Infectious Non-Fiction Reads

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 31, 2020

With the engine of the world grinding to a halt in the face of COVID-19, we thought our regularly-scheduled list of recommended books might be a good place to explore some of the most infectiously immersive non-fiction books about plagues, pandemics, and all manner of other biological unpleasantness. While none of those will make you feel comfortable, they’re all valuable reads when it comes to understanding just how devastating infectious diseases can be – and how modern society is often ‘whistling past the graveyard’ in the face of an inevitable infectious apocalypse. And what better time to read about these than when you’re stuck in home quarantine anyway? Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future by Michael B. A. Oldstone AIDS, influenza, polio, and smallpox make up a chilling cast of characters – with the last in that list responsible for 300 million deaths in the 20th century alone. In… Read More >

Combining Entrepreneurialism and Self-Publishing – The “Billy Houston Method”

By: Ginger | Posted on March 27, 2020

Recently, we interviewed Australian entrepreneur and author Greg Holman, and one of the nuggets he shared in his debut novel, Billy Houston Rags to Riches, was the secret to a successful business. And while you may be one of those authors that embraced storytelling as a way to leave that world behind and be your own boss, you would be making a mistake by ignoring it completely. There are many parallels between running a business and self-publishing your book, which means that a lot of Billy Houston’s advice can be used to make your own career more successful. In his novel, serial entrepreneur Billy Houston imparts some of Greg’s real-life wisdom (as the author himself is a massively successful entrepreneur) and it resonated deeply with me as a self-published author. Process, leverage, and distribution – the three guiding business principles that would guide my business endeavors. You might wonder what… Read More >

Turn Your Little Reader into a Writer

By: Bradley Charbonneau | Posted on March 24, 2020

Last week I had an opportunity to speak on a podcast with Bradley Charbonneau about a variety of topics, but what interested me most was how his Spark program was helping parents and kids write an actual book together, and even publish it on Amazon – in just a month! Obviously this was something I wanted my readers to hear about, and I can’t think of a better time to do this than now when so many parents are looking for projects to do with their children, and have the time to do them!  You don’t have to be a writer, or even know how to publish on Amazon – Bradley walks you through all of that. You just have to have the time and interest in creating a great memory with your child, and while you’re at it you may just teach them that not only do they have… Read More >

Writing Challenge – Making the most out of social isolation!

By: Ginger | Posted on March 20, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’re probably under either self-isolation or outright quarantine because of the COVID-19 virus (and if you have been living under a rock, you should probably stay there for a while, it may be safer!) But for writers, there’s a grim silver lining to this crisis – as self-isolation is one of the most advantageous situations to find yourself in if you’re committed to putting pen to paper. So for those of us that can’t do much else anyway, let’s make the most out of it with a writing challenge! Hidden Gems is proposing a fun writing challenge to help you to get your next book written! Please do remember that real lives are at stake during this crisis – so we’re not trying to make light of this scary situation. However, I think the next few weeks or… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Samantha A. Cole

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 17, 2020

Today, we continue our series of author interviews by speaking to USA Today Bestselling Author Samantha A. Cole, creator of Knot a Chance, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, and Entertaining Distraction. We spoke to her about the path that led her to publication, her inspirations, and the process behind crafting her bestselling books. HG: So, WHO IS Samantha A. Cole? How do you describe yourself? Obviously, we can read your bio on Amazon – but who is Samantha A. Cole to readers who might not have heard of you before? SC: I’m an extroverted introvert lol. I’m a bit of a homebody. My favorite adventures are when I’m traveling, especially to places with history, but then I love to come home to my two pups and just chill. HG: You sound EXACTLY like me. I’ve been traveling a lot recently, but it drains you and you long to come home. So,… Read More >

The 5 Golden Rules of Advertising Your Book

By: Ginger | Posted on March 13, 2020

When it comes to advertising your book, advice is plentiful – both on our site and elsewhere.  And while it’s vitally important to understand things like where best to spend your ad dollars, what type of ads to design, or how to figure out which audience to target, there are some much more general concepts that should be applied to all of that knowledge.  Because even if you’ve mastered everything technical about creating ads, if you don’t grasp these golden rules of advertising, you may still end up wasting a lot of money or letting opportunities slip through your fingers. When I’m asked for advice about marketing and advertising books, one phrase keeps returning to my lips – don’t be afraid not to spend money. It’s originally attributed to Warren Buffett – but I’ve found that world-class investing advice also extends to selling books! In an author’s journey, there are… Read More >

5 Books for Kids – For Bedtime or Beyond

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 10, 2020

When you subscribe to Hidden Gems, you’ll have the opportunity to select from over 15 different genres of books to receive FOR FREE, sent straight to your inbox for you to read and review. This week, we’re looking at some of the top-rated books for kids that have been enjoyed by subscribers – ranked according to their popularity and reviews. When Dinosaurs Go to Bed by Josh Bluman How do dinosaurs go to bed? It’s a legitimate question – and one I bet they never taught you the answer to in school! In this beautifully illustrated children’s classic, author Josh Bluman explores the possibilities – and gives young readers a fun way to learn all the names and attributes of everybody’s favorite retro-reptiles. “Just WOW!” Praises reviewer NabooksSL in a 5-star review. “Any dino-mad kid (or adult) will absolutely LOVE this. The colors are so vivid and cute. I can foresee… Read More >

Why Fan Fiction hits you right in the feels…

By: Ginger | Posted on March 6, 2020

There’s a whole community of writers that spend their time building on the worlds and characters created by others, and an even bigger community of readers that enjoy them.  Ever wonder what drives the popularity of fan fiction? Getting to spend more time in a literary universe that you’re already familiar with is the main driver, but it goes even deeper than that.  Authors of fan fiction aren’t just tapping into simple familiarity; they’re building on the love and connection that fans already have for those characters by continuing to tell their stories.  Because like any good writing, fan fiction taps into your emotions, and that’s what keeps readers coming back for more. Taking your readers on an emotional journey is a surefire way to leave an indelible impression. When I embarked on my ambitious goal of writing romance novels, one piece of advice in particular made it possible –… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Morwenna Blackwood

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 3, 2020

This week’s author spotlight interviews is with a soon-to-be-published author who took the traditional route of seeking out a publisher, rather than going it on her own. Morwenna Blackwood kindly indulged us with her thoughts on the journey that led to seeing her debut novel, The (D)Evolution of Us, hit the bookshelves. HG: Okay, so WHO IS Morwenna Blackwood? As in, how do you define yourself? Where do you live, how many cats do you have, etc. etc.? MB: I live near the sea in Devon, Britain, with two crazy kittens and a fat ginger tom. And a husband and son, obviously! Can I define myself as a questioner of everything? I’m not sure what I believe from one day to the next, but it makes for an interesting life- and some interesting stories! HG: Okay, next question – how did you get into writing? What inspired you to put… Read More >