Month: September 2020

Author Spotlight Interview: Stephanie Fazio

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 29, 2020

This week we’re speaking with popular fantasy author, Stephanie Fazio. Stephanie’s lastest novel, The Nat Makes 7 released last week and is the first in her new Mags & Nats series. Stephanie kindly agreed to sit for an interview to chat with us about her background, inspirations, and the path that led her to publication success.   HG: To start, how would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? Stephanie: Sure. So in terms of my writing, I love all things magic, with a twist of romance and mystery. For me, the best part of fantasy books is that they can bring you to another world and all the excitement that comes with that. HG: Yes! Love that. Where do you find inspiration or what inspires you to write your stories? Stephanie: Haha well crazy dreams would be one place. I also love to hike… Read More >

Choose an Email Marketing Service That Works for You

By: Annabeth Saryu | Posted on September 25, 2020

Most independent authors are well aware of the importance of a newsletter and the benefits of using a mailing list to handle it, but a quick google search will result in plenty of different email marketing services to choose from. Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all sort of problem, since every author has different needs. Luckily, author Annabeth Saryu has already done a lot of research into what factors need to be considered, and she’s put it all together here to make it easier to determine how to pick the service that will work best for you.   Regardless of where an author is in their career, they eventually encounter a piece of universally accepted advice: build your mailing list. Your mailing list not only consists of your most avid readers, but if cultivated properly, also includes your most dedicated customers. While many experts on author marketing stress the value of… Read More >

5 Cookbooks to Help Level Up Your Cooking Game

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 22, 2020

Each and every week, subscribers to Hidden Gems are offered FREE books to download, read, and review – from any or all of over 15 different genres. Today we’re going to highlight five cookbooks that our readers enjoyed adding to their collection this year. Something about the changing of the seasons makes us want to evaluate our meal choices or maybe even has us craving comfort food, so check out these great cookbooks and don’t stress about what’s for dinner tonight. Keto Meal Prep Cookbook For Beginners: 600 Easy, Simple & Basic Ketogenic Diet Recipes by Kira Peterson If you’re wondering whether a keto diet is for you, this is definitely a book you want to add to your collection. With over 1200 Amazon reviews, Kira’s cookbook is packed with 600+ recipes, a 21-day meal plan and countless tips and tricks to guide you on your keto journey. Currently available… Read More >

Cover Design Uncovered Part 4: The Finale

By: Nate | Posted on September 18, 2020

Up until this point, our four part cover design series has taken you through the steps needed to put together a basic cover. Hidden Gems cover designer Nate has gone over topics like selecting the software you’re going to use, how to develop your initial concept, and then how to start putting together your initial composition.  In this final part, Nate adds the finishing touches by introducing layers, choosing colors and adding special effects.  And then he wraps it all up with a bunch of useful links for those that want to continue upping their cover design game!     The Composition, Revisited In the last installment, we created this composition for our PNR cover: One of the best things about creating your own covers is that you’re able to immediately change things when you decide you don’t like something. Me? I don’t much care for that plain black background… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jodi Burnett

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 15, 2020

Today we’re chatting with Romantic Suspense Thriller writer Jodi Burnett, an Amazon Bestselling Author and a member of Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. It was a real thrill to discuss Jodi’s motivations, and to learn about all of the research she puts into her novels.   HG: Your tagline is “Suspense with a spark of romance”. How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? Fans of which author/type of book would like your stories? Jodi: My stories are focused on a suspense/thriller plot that includes a romantic element. Fans of Mary Burton and Sandra Brown would like my stories. HG: Fantastic! Concealed Cargo: Children for Sale is available for pre-order and releases on September 17th, so I want to take some time to talk with you about that. In fact, I checked Amazon today and it’s listed… Read More >

Cover Design Uncovered Part 3: The Composition

By: Nate | Posted on September 11, 2020

Putting together a cover is more than simply finding some relevant stock images and dropping them all together on a digital canvas. And while there is an overabundance of websites that list all the rules a designer should or shouldn’t follow, not all of them are created equal. In part three of our four part cover design series, Nate goes over some basic design tips on what really needs to be focused on when composing a cover. And then in next week’s conclusion, he’ll demonstrate how to apply even more advanced effects to blend it all together into a professional looking final design.   The Rules for Composition Now that we have an idea of the cover we want to make and we’ve gathered the necessary stock photos and fonts we want to use, it’s time to start our composition. Composing has lots of rules to keep in mind, and… Read More >

5 Children’s Books to Kick Off the School Year

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 8, 2020

Each and every week, subscribers to Hidden Gems are offered FREE books to download, read, and review – from any or all of over 15 different genres. Today we’re going to highlight five children’s books that were a hit with our readers late this summer. Dive into these silly, action-packed reads as you kick off the new school year―whatever that may look like for your family. Each would make a great addition to your child’s classroom or home library. The Kung Pao Cow by C.T. Walsh Farmer Walsh has a big problem. His animals are sick of grass and hay and want some variety. Parents will love the highly relatable theme of picky eaters and “what’s for dinner” while children will laugh out loud at the silly reactions from their favorite farm animals. “A cute, funny read!” writes Becky in her 5-star review. “What do you feed farm animals when… Read More >

Cover Design Uncovered Part 2: The Concept

By: Nate | Posted on September 4, 2020

One of the biggest mistakes I see new authors make is thinking that their book cover should be completely different than anything else out there in order to “stand out”.  It’s easy to see why, especially when their genre’s bestseller list is filled with covers that have many striking similarities between them. In a sea of gray, most authors long to be red—standing out from the crowd and getting all the attention. But an author is better served by saving their uniqueness for their writing rather than their cover concept, and in part two of our four part series on cover design, Nate is here to explain why.   Covering the Basics So you’ve decided to design your own covers and you’ve hopefully picked out a piece of software. Now we’ll talk about the basics of a cover design, starting with needing one in the first place. As part of… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Sheri Lynn Fishbach

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 1, 2020

Today, we continue our series of Author Spotlight Interviews by chatting with two time author Sheri Lynn Fishbach [Langer]. Sheri is a multi-genre author who writes from the heart and pens screenplays in addition to novels. We were extremely grateful for the opportunity to discuss her inspirations, motivations, and how she balances all of her projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? Sheri: I think I lean toward Nora Ephron, with a dash of Woody Allen, and a generous splash of Jennifer Weiner. My work is funny, but it’s layered. HG: Oooh, what a fabulous combination! So where does your inspiration come from? Sheri: I’m inspired by so many things—like the kitchen—DEX, my first book is about a kid chef. As a heavy kid, the kitchen was never a fun place for me. And then my 4 kids came—and 3 of… Read More >