Month: October 2020

Be a Plotter when it comes to your writing career!

By: Ginger | Posted on October 30, 2020

Just like some authors start a new story not knowing where it’ll lead, many self-published authors approach their writing career ‘by the seat of their pants.’ But is that the best path to success?  In this installment in our series of posts related to turning your writing dream into a reality, Ginger lays out the argument that the truly successful authors approach their future in publishing with the same discipline as they plot out their stories. That is, they plan things out carefully by deciding on a genre, researching it thoroughly, and then commit to delivering books that meet reader expectations.   It’s a well-known concept – the writer as “plotter” or “pantster.” In fact, we’ve written about it a number of times on this blog! A ‘plotter‘ plans out the path of their story, often using something like a ‘beat sheet’ or a story circle. Successful authors who literally… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Stoni Alexander

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 27, 2020

Hidden Gems romance ARC readers love romantic suspense author Stoni Alexander, and we recently had the pleasure of chatting with her. It was an absolute delight. Read along and get to know more about Stoni’s books, inspiration and life outside of writing!   HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? SA: I write sexy romantic suspense and sexy contemporary romance. That’s the short answer…but I’m an author and I should be able to do better than that. I write about tortured alpha males and strong-willed independent females. My heroines are working professionals who don’t need a man to complete them, but they aren’t opposed to love either. There is a lot of passion in my stories and a LOT of emotion. There’s conflict to overcome (both internal and external) and I create a story when my H/h end up working together (in… Read More >

Amazon Exclusive vs Wide: A Case Study

By: Isabel Jolie | Posted on October 23, 2020

The case for going wide or remaining in KDP Select as an Amazon exclusive is fiercely debated, but at the end of the day there is likely no right answer that fits everyone. Like most things, it comes down to experimentation and doing your research. That’s the approach romance author Isabel Jolie took, and luckily for us she was willing to put together this blog breaking down her numbers and what she learned from her experimentation.   To KU or not to KU? It’s a question every author has at least considered and weighed. “Any romance author should do KU.” “KU is a no-brainer for a new author.” These are things I was told – repeatedly. I ultimately chose to go wide, but I did briefly test KU, and the following is what I experienced. Background I released my first book in January 2020. In September, I released my fourth… Read More >

5 Bone-Chilling Horror Novels to Read Before Halloween

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 20, 2020

‘Tis the season of spooky, creepy, bone-chilling shows or movies available every night leading up to Halloween. But if you want your fill of terror, without being glued to the television, we’ve rounded up five crowd favorites in the horror novel arena that our Hidden Gems readers got to read for free. As a fair reminder, just like the trigger warnings you’ll see on television sometimes, horror novels can be just as graphic and may contain subject matter that is upsetting to some. Whickering Place (Legacy of Darkness Book 2) by London Clarke Terror, paranormal activity, suspense, murder and even a touch of romance. Whickering Place has it all. Fans of vampires and ghosts will also be satisfied. A woman trapped by her own fears inherits a house haunted by a legacy of darkness and a history of ritual sacrifices. This chilling page-turner from London Clarke explores the risks of… Read More >

How To ‘Support Yourself Through Writing’

By: Ginger | Posted on October 16, 2020

While there are certainly some authors that write and publish occasionally as a hobby, I think it’s safe to say that it’s the dream of most authors to one day quit their evil day job and get down to the business of writing for a living.  In this first in an on-going series of related posts, Ginger will take you through the steps you need to turn that dream into a reality.  He’ll start with goal setting, but future posts will cover topics like budgeting, coming up with your concepts and plotting your novels, right through to publishing, launching and promotion. And with the goal of turning your part-time dream into a full-time reality.   I have a dream. If you’re reading this, I imagine you do, too: To support yourself as a self-published author – so you don’t need to bother with the day job, the hustle, or anything… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: CC Solomon

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 13, 2020

Today’s Author Spotlight Interview is with new adult paranormal fantasy author CC Solomon. In her other life, CC works in Equal Employment and Civil Rights for the Federal Government. Before becoming a public servant, CC briefly practiced law after graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law. We were honored to chat with CC about her novels and how she is bringing more of a multicultural voice to the world of fantasy. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? CC: I’m a writer who loves action and romance so whatever I do it’ll have both those elements of that. I’m a huge fan of horror, anime and super hero movies so you’ll see elements of that in my writing. HG: That’s awesome. How exciting! I understand you’ve been actively writing fiction since you were 11, what did your road to becoming… Read More >

Author Websites: The Whens, Whys and Hows

By: Virginie Carmichael | Posted on October 9, 2020

If you don’t already have an author website, you’ve probably heard or read someone, somewhere, saying you need one. What may not be as clear is why you need one. Or when you need one. Or where to go next if you do decide you actually should have one. That’s why we’ve turned to Virginie Carmichael for help. As someone who has made a business out of helping authors with their websites, Virginie has the answers to all these questions, and more.   Being a successful author is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication, planning and making some mistakes along the way. You might have already set up a website, and just given up on it because it’s too much of a time suck to manage. Or maybe you haven’t slayed that beast yet, because it just seems too daunting. Or you might not even be sure if… Read More >

5 Cozy Mysteries for a Stormy Fall Evening

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 6, 2020

Fans of cozy mysteries love following an amateur sleuth as they seek justice through twists and turns with generous doses of humor throughout. If you’re looking for the perfect escape from reality you’ll love getting to the bottom of these books. Today, we’re going to highlight five cozy mysteries that have left Hidden Gems readers raving and begging for more. Murder at the Manor: A 1920s cozy mystery (A Tommy & Evelyn Christie Mystery Book 1) by Catherine Coles Downton Abbey crossed with Murder, She Wrote…set in a Yorkshire village! A boring weekend away turns out to be anything but dull when Tommy’s unsuspecting uncle is shockingly murdered. Evelyn must use her sleuthing knowledge to find out what really happened. If you enjoy the glamour of bygone eras like 1920s Downton Abbey and gentle, cozy mysteries set in the English countryside then you will love this series starter from Catherine… Read More >

How To Finish Writing Your Book: Just Show Up

By: Ginger | Posted on October 2, 2020

I don’t need any hard data on the topic to know that the number of people that start writing a book far eclipses those that actually finish one.  Most of us probably know at least one person that falls into that category, their unfinished masterpiece collecting dust on their shelf or laying forgotten in a drawer somewhere. In fact, many of us (myself included) were likely IN that category for a long period of time before finally taking writing seriously. But the key to finally getting it done wasn’t anything more complex than simply chipping away at it, and as Ginger points out, the more consistently we can do that, the easier it will eventually become and the more successful and prolific we’ll be.   Here at Hidden Gems, we’ve spoken a lot about how important it is to write every day – and I mean a LOT. We’ve written… Read More >