Month: August 2020

Cover Design Uncovered Part 1: Software

By: Nate | Posted on August 28, 2020

The first impression a new potential fan gets to your work is the cover of your book—and we all know how important first impressions can be. You may have the best blurb, fabulous reviews, and an amazing story, but none of that matters if you don’t have a cover that will stop the reader from scrolling and entice them to click through to the details. While a professionally designed cover usually does the trick, maybe you want to try and design something yourself? While it’s not for everyone, if you have the time and interest to devote to it, you may be able to design something great for a fraction of the cost—you just have to know how. That’s why our resident expert Nate has put together this four part series on cover design, covering everything you need to know. So grab your stock images and let’s get started! We’ve… Read More >

Why do authors give away free books?

By: Craig | Posted on August 25, 2020

Have you ever wondered why authors give books away for free? Maybe you’ve wondered how you could be one of the fortunate ones on the receiving side of that. Or maybe you’ve questioned how legit the offer is. What’s the catch? Is it too good to be true? The fact is, authors and publishers have been giving books away for free for a long time, and it’s a strategy that’s beneficial to both the author and the reader. Yes, that’s correct, you can actually help writers by scooping up the books they offer for free. You read that right. They WANT to give you free books. If you’re book obsessed, you’re probably familiar with the term “ARC”. Perhaps you’ve even been lucky enough to score a book with the ARC designation on the cover. An ARC is an Advance Reader Copy that is intended to be distributed to reviewers for… Read More >

Taking Stock of Stock Photos

By: Nate | Posted on August 21, 2020

As a prelude to an upcoming cover design series that Nate will be posting soon, he first wanted to touch on the basics of using stock photos. Unless you’re doing original artwork you’ll be using stock photos, which means you need to understand the rules around them.  Issues like photo licenses, model releases and usage agreements can all be a bit confusing, so the goal today is to shed a bit of light on how it all works.  Taking Stock Stock photos are our main source of cover art, and the vast majority of us are buying stock from a reputable source. The best site to use is totally subjective and beyond the scope of this post, but any reputable site will work. Using a reputable stock site is important for a couple of reasons. First, they’re doing their diligence when it comes to photo ownership and model releases. For… Read More >

5 Great Fiction Books

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 18, 2020

There are over 15 different genres of books you can select from when you sign up to Hidden Gems, from romance and erotica to self-help and spirituality. One segment we’re especially excited about being able to offer is what booksellers call “general fiction” – which is a very non-descriptive way to describe any and all books that defy easy classification. It’s what they used to call ‘literature’ until the invention of self-publishing helped us realize that all genres of books can produce great works of literature. Today, we’re sharing five great fiction books – works of literature – that were offered for FREE to our ARC readers. These books were picked based on the feedback our readers gave them, making them stand out as the true Hidden Gems that they are – and we’re excited to share them with you.   Race to Marathon by Jay Greenwood In 490BC, the Persian… Read More >

Increase Book Sales with In-house Promotions

By: Erin Wright | Posted on August 14, 2020

One of the things that sets wide storefronts apart from Amazon is the hand-curated element to their sales. Unlike Amazon, where your placement in the store depends on how much you’re willing to spend on AMS ads, the promotion of books on all the other online storefronts is handled in a completely different way. Author and going-wide expert Erin Wright explains how to increase your book sales by getting featured in these in-house promotions. Here’s a run down of what you need to know for each of the major wide storefronts. GooglePlay GooglePlay is the easiest storefront to cover: They don’t do in-house promos, period. The books that are shown to a customer are 100% driven by algorithms. If I pull up, I’ll see a very different storefront than when you pull up the same URL. This means that more than any other wide storefront, it’s very important that… Read More >

The 5 Fiercest Fantasy Reads This Summer

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 11, 2020

The fantasy genre has evolved massively since the days of J.R.R. Tolkien – but one thing about it hasn’t: Popularity. Fantasy is still one of the fiercely performing genres in publishing, and the scale and scope of what ‘fantasy’ defines is now somewhat fantastical itself! In addition to keeping books flying off the digital bookshelves at Amazon, fantasy is also one of the strongest genres within the Hidden Gems program – and each month hundreds of subscribers eagerly await the opportunity to read and review the latest fantasy novels for FREE; sometimes before they’re even published! Over the course of the summer, we scoured the statistics and identified the five hottest recent fantasy reads – based on a combination of downloads, reviews, and ratings by our readers. Check them out below! The Story of Evil – Volume I: Heroes of the Siege by Tony Johnson  When I was a kid, the… Read More >

One Method to Beat Writer’s Block

By: Edita A. Petrick | Posted on August 7, 2020

Last week, Ginger wrote about some of the things that prevent an author from writing, and how to fix them.  But sometimes, even the most disciplined of us find that we just can’t put words to paper, even with those tips. Often it can be due to some sort of stress or change in your life, but no matter how hard you stare at that blank sheet and want to write, you just can’t force it to happen.  In severe cases of writer’s block like that, when you seem to have temporarily lost your voice – your ability to come up with your own words and lay them out coherently – you may need to start right back at square one.  It’s almost as if you’ve forgotten how, and need to be re-trained.  Well, today’s guest blogger, Edita Anne Petrick, may have just the way to do that.  To be… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Camilla Stevens

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 4, 2020

This week, we’re speaking to Camilla Stevens, the wildly popular author of steamy romances like The Italian Heir, and Her Icelandic Protector – which have earned her legions of fans and reviews that highlight her “awesome storytelling” and praise her writing as “suspenseful” and “fascinating.” She kindly agreed to sit for an interview to talk to us about her background, inspirations, and the path that led her to publication success. With nearly 20 full-length romances to her name, Camilla Stevens continues to win fans with each new release. She’s particularly well-known for writing BWWM romances – between black women and white men – and this has led to some delicious pairings in her globe-spanning catalog of stories; from sexy Spanish pirates to towering Icelandic mercenaries. We caught up with Camilla (being in the midst of a lockdown made that easier) and here’s what she told us: HG: So, first off,… Read More >