Month: February 2021

Increase your book sales by increasing your categories!

By: Ginger | Posted on February 26, 2021

By default, KDP only allows an author to select two categories for their self-published book, from a list that only exposes a limited number of very generic choices. Yet readers have much more varied and specific category options to browse through, with many using those lists as their main source for discovering new authors and titles. The good news is that Ginger is here to tell you how you can get your book into up to 10 of those more specific categories, and why it’s in your best interest to do so!   If successful self-published authors have discovered anything by putting their books for sale on Amazon, it’s that readers really do judge a book by its cover. But not just the cover – also other seemingly imperceptible things that make a big difference. In my own experience, I’ve seen that a nice, shiny bit of flair over an… Read More >

Mysteries for Everyone

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 23, 2021

Mysteries have a way of taking us on a journey of twists, turns and oftentimes straight up shenanigans. Today we’ve rounded up a collection which includes a variety of mystery novels that have been popular and well liked by Hidden Gems readers over the past few months.   Pawsitively Cursed by Melissa Erin Jackson The only thing more twisted than a cursed witch is her family tree. For the past fourteen years, Edgehill’s resident secret witch, Amber Blackwood, has been haunted by her parents’ deaths. The whole town knows about the tragedy, but the details remain a mystery even to Amber. With an impressive 4.6 star average Amazon rating, and nearly 80 reviews, you’ll want to cozy up with this popular mystery! “Melissa Erin Jackson writes a spellbinding paranormal cozy filled with fascinating characters and intriguing twists,” writes Book Dragon in their 5-star review. “Her ability to weave a sense… Read More >

Fiction Apps Can Increase Your Income

By: Krista Lakes | Posted on February 19, 2021

Most self-published authors sell their book on one or more of the traditional online eBook stores like Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. Lately, however, a new option has emerged that is worth looking into, at least for those not tied to a long term exclusivity agreement. You may not have heard of Fiction Apps, or if you have, you may have brushed them off believing that they only exist to give books away for free and can’t be used to earn real money from your novels.  Times have changed, though, with new apps emerging and gaining popularity among both readers and silicon valley. NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Krista Lakes uses them, and she’s here to let us know why it’s time for authors to start taking these apps seriously, and what some of the options are. I think I’ll be experimenting with one of them in… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Joanna Evans

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 16, 2021

Today’s author interview is with Joanna Evans. Joanna’s debut novel is a thriller rooted in science and has been named one of the “Best New Thriller Books to Read in 2021” by Book Authority. We were honored to have the opportunity to interview Joanna and to learn more about her writing process and what inspires her. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?    JE: I’d describe myself as someone who never thought they’d be doing anything other than psychotherapy for the rest of their life. I had achieved my dream job then, suddenly, I couldn’t see myself as “only” a therapist. I knew I had something else in store. I’d describe my writing, or at least how I hope my writing conveys, as an attention-grabbing style that holds your interest and keeps you wanting to turn the page.  HG: That’s great. When… Read More >

Five Characters and Counting: How narrowing your focus can expand your story

By: Ginger | Posted on February 12, 2021

With most fiction, it’s the characters that make a story a success or not. Characters are what people remember, and when you’ve done a good job fleshing them out, you’ll find that your readers can’t get enough of them. They’ll read sequel after sequel, even when the plots are very different, just so that they can revisit the lives of the characters they love and continue to follow them on their journeys. And while it’s fine if your book has a large cast in general, Ginger is here to explain why you need to keep the focus on a much smaller set, and leave the rest as walk-ons, in order to strengthen your overall story.   A couple of months ago, I wrote about having to go back to the drawing board on a novel I’d been working on for nearly six months. I’d written 160,000 words of it –… Read More >

Learn Something New With These Non-Fiction Reads

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 9, 2021

In 2020 we found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. Not only did it change the way we were living, it challenged our thoughts and goals. Many of us took an interest in learning new skills and taking the time to educate ourselves on topics that interested or intrigued us. There truly is a non-fiction book out there for everyone on every topic imaginable. Take a look at the list we’ve curated below based on popular non-fiction reads that Hidden Gems ARC readers got to enjoy for free recently, you just may learn something new!   The IRA and Retirement Plan Owner’s Guide to Beating the New Death Tax by James Lange If getting your finances in order is on your to-do list this year, don’t skip this one. Retirement plan owners can use the practical, proven, and strategic defenses found in this book to protect their financial legacies…. Read More >

Amazon ‘outing’ author pen names!

By: Craig | Posted on February 5, 2021

Many authors write under pen names to hide their true identities, and until now have done so under the perfectly reasonable assumption that Amazon would keep that identity secret. There are plenty of good reasons why an author would want to maintain their privacy, and no good reasons for Amazon (or any other publishing company) to put that privacy at risk. Despite this, late last week a number of authors started reporting that Amazon Ads had sent physical letters to their homes, addressed to their secret pen names for anyone in the household picking up the mail to see. Whether this breach of confidentiality was willful or simply a mistake is irrelevant, and Amazon needs to take ownership of it. So far, however, it is looking more and more like they’re simply hoping everyone will just forget it ever happened. Back before starting Hidden Gems I was a romance author,… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Lane Stone

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 2, 2021

Today’s spotlight author interview is with Lane Stone. Lane writes cozy mysteries and is currently working on a new trilogy of art thrillers. Her books are wildly popular with book clubs, and she considers her books to be “Fun Reads for Boomer Women.” It was so lovely to hear from her about her interests outside of writing, the fun places she’s gotten inspiration from and the projects she’s been part of. HG: Lane, how would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?  LS: My motto is work hard/ play hard.  Covid has made the play part of the equation scarce but I still keep close to my friends with phone calls, texts and zooms.  I’m grateful to have my dream job, and I hope my readers can tell I’m having a good time with these characters and want them to also. HG: Thank goodness for… Read More >