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Month: December 2020

Most Reviewed Romance Books of 2020

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 29, 2020

Hidden Gems sends out thousands of novels from hundreds of authors each year, and although we cover more than 15 genres, our most popular by far is romance.  Our subscribers decide which books they want to read and review, but if you’re searching for something new to read yourself, you’ll want to start with the ones that got the most positive attention both in terms of number of reviews left, and an overall positive score. Here are the top 5 romance novels that we sent out this year that meet those criteria.   Bang by Sabrina Stark One hard billionaire. One college grad turned nanny. And a massive mansion that’s way too small for their growing attraction. With a 4.5 star average rating on Amazon, not only was this a popular selection amongst Hidden Gems readers, it was also well loved. For fans of enemies-to-lovers romance, Bang is a fun,… Read More >

U.S. Trademark FAQ: Your Questions Answered

By: Nate | Posted on December 25, 2020

In Nate’s last article, he answered some frequently asked questions about copyright.  This week he’s back to do the same thing to the idea of trademarks. So if you’re an author concerned about protecting your brand, you won’t want to miss this primer on what trademarks are, how they are protected, and whether or not you need to worry about them. And at the end, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment for Nate and he’ll do his best to get you an answer!   Howdy again, everyone! Just wanted to give you a heads up that the same caveats apply to this post as the previous FAQ about copyright: while I am pursuing a law degree that I may or may not ever use, I am not a lawyer. Nothing in this post should constitute legal advice, and everyone should always engage a law professional… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Michelle Hazen

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 22, 2020

Today we’re talking to Michelle Hazen, whose latest book, Breathe the Sky, is one of the Amazon Editors’ Top Picks for Best Romance. It’s a real treat to have this opportunity to chat with Michelle about her books, inspiration and life outside of writing. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? MH: I’d say I write romance that feels real. Lots of heart and angst and humor and friendship all wrapped up together in every book, just like it is in life. HG: That’s fantastic. So you probably draw inspiration from all around you! Have you always known that you wanted to write romance? MH: What always draws me into a story, whether it’s on a tv show or in a book or movie, or in one of my own book ideas, is the love story. The love relationships, both romantic and… Read More >

Calculating the real value of your book ads

By: Ginger | Posted on December 18, 2020

As an independent author in charge of your own marketing success, you owe it to yourself to make sure you can properly determine just how effectively your book ads are performing. But if you’ve been assuming that you can simply rely on the advertising dashboard provided by Amazon or Facebook to give you the answers you’re looking for, you need to understand that those numbers can be very misleading, if not completely wrong. To illustrate this, ad expert Ginger takes us through some actual numbers pulled from one of his own recent ad campaigns.   Before I finally published my first successful book, I had spent 25 years carving out a career in advertising and marketing; which probably gave me an advantage when it came to promoting my books. I’m old enough to have entered the advertising industry before the days of Facebook and YouTube – back when people still… Read More >

5 Well Read Women’s Literature Novels

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 15, 2020

This round-up includes some of the most-read women’s literature books that have come through the Hidden Gems ARC program. Ranging from lighthearted to heart wrenching, these relatable women’s lit novels have elements of exploration and redemption while delving into relationships within families and friendships. Perfect for “me time”, or your next book club pick.   No Home Like Nantucket by Grace Palmer Grace Palmer, a favorite women’s literature author among Hidden Gems readers, brings us love, loss, heartbreak and hope in No Home Like Nantucket. Mae Benson was happy—a beloved wife, beloved mother, beloved neighbor. But even she wasn’t ready for the tragedy looming around the corner. The accident that claims her husband’s life rocks the whole family. And it’s not the only thing stirring up trouble. “What a great book to escape the quarantine pandemic of this coronavirus time,” writes Rebecca B. in her 5-star review. “There are so… Read More >

The 30-day Social Media Challenge

By: Ginger | Posted on December 11, 2020

One of the topics I discuss most often with authors looking for advice on expanding their readership is social media, because the importance of building a following cannot be overstated when it comes to self-publishing. There’s no one else to do it for you, so even if you shun social media in your personal life, you can’t afford to ignore it when it comes to your writing.  That’s why advertising and marketing expert Ginger is here not only to challenge you into using your social, but he’s also handing out plenty of tips on how to do it effectively.   There’s probably nobody reading this who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is – the “national novel writing month” in which people commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days, each November. Well, successful self-published authors spend every month as if it’s NaNoWriMo – because of how important it is to write… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: J.W. Webb

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 8, 2020

Today’s Author Spotlight Interview is with fantasy author J.W. Webb. J.W is an epic storyteller and his next release The Giants’ Dance is due out on December 17th. We are ecstatic to have had the opportunity to chat with him about his books, inspiration and life outside of writing.   HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JW: I’m a storyteller who learned to write. That took time – I drove big rigs for years.  But as the decades rolled by the stories echoed louder in my head. I love the fantasy genre. The joyous release magical tales award the reader, helping them escape the norm – especially in a year like this one. New realms, magic, heroism – how anything can happen. As a child I was found loitering by the lamppost in CS Lewis’s Narnia, or else hanging out with… Read More >

Twelve Tips for Building a Self-Publishing Career

By: Nate | Posted on December 4, 2020

There are many paths to success and if you poll a dozen different successful self-published authors you might get a dozen unique answers on how they got their career going. But you’ll probably also find that regardless of differences in things such as genre or marketing strategies, most (if not all) of those authors also have a lot in common. This is because, at a lower level, there are some core things that are much more essential to success. So if you’re ready to move from occasional author to serious novelist, Nate has put together a list of twelve self-publishing tips that will help you kickstart your own writing career. Tip 1: Do your research. Not just about your favorite niches and not just the bestsellers, though. Watch and read the news. Watch for trends in other media, like television or movies. And definitely don’t be afraid to step outside… Read More >

5 Young Adult Book Series Starters to Fill Your Weekend

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 1, 2020

If this season of life has you wanting to curl up and binge-read a new series, you’ll love this list of young adult book series starters that were favorites among Hidden Gems ARC readers. Each is great in their own way, with all the elements that make YA addicting, so don’t blame us if you find yourself spending a whole weekend plowing through these series.   The Acceptance by Ramona Finn The Hunger Games meets Divergent in this epic first book in the GEOS trilogy. Currently in the top 50 Teen & Young Adult Dystopian ebooks on Amazon, Finn writes a story in which humanity is on the brink of extinction. After being nearly wiped out by a deadly virus, Earth’s population was saved only by the genius of Farrow Corp. Now, the scientists in Farrow’s Labs work tirelessly to search for a cure to the genetic plague that has… Read More >