Month: January 2021

A Market You May Be Missing

By: Deryn Pittar | Posted on January 29, 2021

I noticed that many authors that use our beta reader service leave out the over 50 age group as part of their demographics and it got me to wondering whether that was a mistake or not. I’m sure there are cases where a book really is targeted at a younger age group, but I think that the majority of fiction books probably do not fall into that category.  As someone closing in on 50 myself, I have a hard time believing that in a couple of years my opinions of a book will be any less valid than they are now. Deryn Pittar agrees, and as a 50+ avid reader AND author, her opinion on the subject isn’t one any author can afford to ignore.  I’m not going to labor the challenges of marketing in today’s publishing world. As an author I’m only too aware of them. However, there is… Read More >

5 Children’s Stories with Uplifting Messages

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 26, 2021

Whether you have children of your own, or you are just a kid at heart, I think we can all agree there is something so special about children’s literature. Hidden Gems ARC readers have been lucky enough lately to have had several fantastic kid’s books to choose from, and like all the other books we send to our subscribers, they were absolutely free. Today we have a round up of 5 popular children’s stories with important themes and uplifting messages that were enjoyed by our readers this winter.   Good News for Me by Brooke Kashou With an incredible 4.9 average star rating on Amazon, Good News for Me! introduces children to foundational Christian truths in a simple and straightforward way, without leaving important details out. “Good New for Me is such a great story to tell the kids the Gospel in a kid-friendly way,” writes Mackenzie H. in her… Read More >

Fair Use FAQ – Your Questions Answered

By: Nate | Posted on January 22, 2021

Without the benefit of a publishing company’s legal team behind them, it’s important for self-published authors to have at least a basic understanding of what they can or cannot include in their works. Previously, Nate has discussed issues of copyright and trademark, and with this final installment he’s going over the idea of fair use. Wondering whether you can include that song lyric in your book, or whether you’re able to make reference to your favorite fast food joint?  If so, this is the blog for you. And as always, if you have any further questions or need any clarifications, just leave a comment for Nate and he’ll do his best to find you an answer.   Hello, everyone! Before we get the ball rolling with the last entry to this series, I wanted to mention that the same caveats apply as the previous two installments (copyright FAQ and trademark… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Bradley Charbonneau

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 19, 2021

Today’s author interview is with Bradley Charbonneau. While Bradley writes both fiction and non-fiction, we’re going to dive deep into his non-fiction Repossible series. Bradley’s motivational books regularly rank in the top 10 on Amazon’s Self-Help, Creativity and Health and Spirituality charts. He has a knack for inspiring people to take action and we are absolutely honored to have had the opportunity to chat with him about his passion, life outside of writing, and future projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? BC: A light-hearted, “been there, done that” perspective on some of the big issues we face in life and how to face them—and win—with a laugh. HG: I love that! We could all use a light-hearted perspective. Tell us a little bit about your Repossible series and what inspired you to launch it? BC: It’s a “Roadmap to Repossible.”… Read More >

The war over audiobooks is about to heat up!

By: Ginger | Posted on January 15, 2021

Whether you listen to audiobooks yourself or not, the growing demand from readers/listeners is proof that there are plenty of others that do. And new companies are jumping into the market with increasing regularity, often bringing unique options, different payout structures or expanded markets that create further opportunities to the authors willing to provide the content. So whether you’re already in the audio game or just getting ready to dip your toe in and get started, it’s vital that you understand the market and what’s going on in it. So read on for a rundown of audiobooks, the options, recent developments, and some tips on how to get started!   Legendary entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has built a hundred million dollar business off the back of social media – and he has advice for those still looking to cash in: “The same way I felt about social media in 2006/7/8, I… Read More >

Science Fiction Books That Inspire a Sense of Wonder

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 12, 2021

Imaginative and creative, readers love science fiction books for their ability to inspire a sense of wonder. Whether it’s space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrial life or the unknown these five sci-fi novels were highly rated and loved by Hidden Gems readers who got to read them for free.   Termination Shock by Gillian Andrews Termination Shock is the first book in the Interstellar Enforcement Agency series written by Gillian Andrews, and in addition to epic battles and super heroes you’ll find humor. Evelyn writes in her 5-star review, “This fiction series is addressed to a general audience but it is really interesting for lovers of superheroes. Part fantasy thriller and part drama, Termination Shock is about Ryler Mallivan, an upstanding freighter captain who has to save the world from a weapon that has the power to destroy the entire universe. This book has every element a good one should have:… Read More >

The Importance of a Strong Book Cover: A Case Study

By: D.F. Hart | Posted on January 8, 2021

We’ve published numerous blogs touting the importance of your cover when it comes to selling your book, but it’s often hard to give a concrete apples-to-apples example because the cover is rarely the only difference between two books. That is, if we looked at the great sales of Book A (with a strong cover) compared to the lower sales of Book B (with a weak cover), it would be impossible to argue that the cover was the sole defining factor. Maybe Book A also had a better blurb, or was written by an author with a stronger following, or was in a more popular genre or sub-genre. Any number of factors could be the cause.  So when D.F. Hart told me of her recent surge in sales after simply changing the covers on an existing series, I knew it was something that our author community would want to hear about…. Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: J.H. Croix

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 5, 2021

Today’s author spotlight, and the first one of 2021, is USA Today Bestselling Author JH Croix. JH is known and loved for her swoon-worthy contemporary romances. She releases several books each year and often works on collaborative projects, so her readers are always satisfied. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about her writing process, life outside of writing and future projects that are in the works. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JH: I love people and places that inspire happily-ever-afters. I write swoon-worthy romance with smart, sassy heroines who challenges alpha heroes. Small town romance is totally my jam, and most of my stories take place in several fictional towns. HG: Love that! Where does the inspiration come from? JH: I’m intensely curious about what motivates people, and my stories are character driven. I’m inspired by… Read More >

2020 Book Sales Survey Results

By: Craig | Posted on January 1, 2021

When the Covid-19 pandemic first started and everyone entered their first (of many) lockdowns, many authors reported seeing an initial uptick in sales.  As time wore on, however, and 2020 continued its downward spiral, I began to hear more and more about how book sales were starting to fall.  While anecdotal reports are great for being alerted to an issue, it’s usually more useful to try and gather info from a wider variety of sources in order to look for trends, and with access to so many self-published authors, I’m in a unique position to do just that.  So with that in mind, I sent out a recent survey to gather more hard data, and I’ve crunched the numbers on the results to try and give you an idea of just how bad things have gotten, who has been affected and to what extent. Way back near the start of… Read More >