Month: July 2021

Eliminating blank page guilt – part 2

By: Ginger | Posted on July 30, 2021

As Ginger noted last week in the first part of this article, writing isn’t just the act of physically transferring words to paper. After all, before we can even start on that we first have to craft those scenes and characters in our heads. That’s why it’s just as important to sometimes relax the pressure we have with regards to hitting arbitrary word counts and instead allow ourselves to live and experience the world, as that is what we all use as inspiration for our stories.    Last week, we broke rank and the golden rule of ‘write every day’ and suggested that it was okay to give yourself permission to embrace the blank page until a book was ‘ready.’ Now, that’s all well and good – but what happens when the book is ‘done’ in your head. What are some healthy ways to get back into the swing of… Read More >

5 Hot Romances for Summer Vacay

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 27, 2021

Romance is the most popular genre in the Hidden Gems ARC program and our readers love the chance to dive into new reads, often before they’re even for sale. Today we’ve rounded up five newer hot romances that have been highly rated by readers. Which one will be next on your to-read list?   The Match by Winter Renshaw With over 650 Amazon reviews and a notable 4.5 star average rating, The Match from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a hit! This contemporary sports romance is about a woman having a baby by sperm donor then unexpectedly meeting him and what unfolds is a game changer. “If you’re looking for a romance that is light on the angst and heat, but heavy on the love and family theme, then this is definitely one to read,” writes I Heart Reading in their 5-star review. “This story is about… Read More >

Eliminating blank page guilt – part 1

By: Ginger | Posted on July 23, 2021

The writing process is more than simply typing words onto a paper and coming up with a masterpiece. Well, unless you happen to have infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters… but for those of us that don’t, it’s important to remember that in order to put those words onto the paper in the first place, you first have to think them up. You have to mentally plan your story, breathe life into your characters, design your world – most of which initially takes place inside your head. Many non-authors don’t understand that there is more to writing than physically adding new words to your story, but as Ginger explains below, those other things are just as important.   There have been so many blog posts about the importance of writing every day that we made a conscious decision to chill on those for a while (although I still maintain that writing… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: O.R. Simmonds

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 20, 2021

Today’s interview is with debut author O.R. Simmonds. His time travel thriller, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray releases later this month and we were honored to chat with Simmonds about his self-publishing journey, writing style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? ORS: I’m the author of the upcoming time travel thriller, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray. I currently work in the games industry but have previously worked as a writer and director for nearly a decade, dreaming up deep, detailed worlds with weaving narratives only for them to be ‘value engineered’ by clients. It was during this time that I decided I no longer wanted to be a frustrated writer and to try to be an actual writer instead. Now I try to write fast-paced, adventurous stories which throw ordinary people… Read More >

Is self-publishing success easier or more difficult on Amazon these days?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 16, 2021

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of occasionally reminiscing about the “good old days” of writing, back when you could spend more time in your author hat than all of the other hats you have to wear to achieve self-publishing success these days. But I also recognize that we can’t live in the past, and we have to deal with the here and now – which is why so many of our blogs are focused on the skills and tools you need to succeed as an author TODAY. Much has changed over the years, but different doesn’t necessarily mean better or worse. That’s why we thought it would be interesting to look at the question about whether or not all of the changes Amazon has made to self-publishing have made things easier or harder for authors.   Writers are nostalgic. It’s in our DNA. While regular people remember birthdays and anniversaries,… Read More >

Page turning mysteries for summer reading

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 13, 2021

No matter your interests it’s highly likely there is a mystery novel out there for you. So if you’re looking to sink into a page-turner, check out our round up which includes a variety of mysteries, from sci-fi based to cozies, that have been popular and well reviewed by Hidden Gems readers over the past few months.   Vanishing Day by Valerie Davisson Fans of J.A. Jance, Elly Griffiths, Louise Penny, C.J. Box, James Patterson, Nevada Barr, Sue Grafton, and Alexander McCall Smith will love Davisson’s fiercely independent and loyal Logan McKenna, a mystery solving school teacher. Heidi S. writes in her 5-star review, “This is the fourth book in the Logan McKenna series – and a serious page turner at that! Logan gets a new neighbor, Lori, with her 3-year-old daughter. But soon, things become increasingly dangerous. Lori is hiding out from her abusive husband, but when he shows… Read More >

From the Mailbox: Amazon Advertising Questions

By: Ginger | Posted on July 9, 2021

Our Friday blogs aim at helping self-published authors by covering broad topics to do with writing, marketing, and advertising their books. Sometimes authors send us questions via email as well, and one of the most asked about topics is Amazon ads. So this week we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly asked Amazon advertising questions that we’ve recently received, and Ginger has put together some answers that will be useful to many of you.   Question #1 I’ve followed all your advice about generating keywords and setting your bid – but my ads aren’t getting any impressions! What am I doing wrong? Advertising is elegant in its simplicity. Normally, there are only three variables you need to worry about, and impressions is one of them. Impressions refers to the number of people who see your ad – and when it comes to Advertising on Amazon, if you’re not getting… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jennifer Ann Shore

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 6, 2021

Today’s interview is with bestselling indie author Jennifer Ann Shore. Jennifer writes romance novels ranging from dystopian to vampire to adult and young adult, and it was an absolute pleasure to get to know more about her writing style, life outside of writing and upcoming projects! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JAS: I’m Jennifer Ann Shore! I write witty and plot-driven romance books that go a bit deeper than the standard tropes. HG: Before you published your first book, you had a career in journalism and marketing. What inspired you to give fiction writing a go? JAS: For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In college, while studying journalism, I toyed with the idea of writing magazine features or possibly even working at a publishing house, but ultimately, after a few freelance jobs at… Read More >

Can authors use song lyrics in their books?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 2, 2021

Unlike traditionally published authors, self-publishers don’t have the benefit of a design department to create their covers, a marketing department to handle their advertising, or a legal team to tell them what they can and cannot do. Some of these things are easier to manage than others, but usually the legal questions are the thorniest. We’ve actually covered a few of these in the past, at least in broad strokes, but this time we’re drilling in a bit to discuss a more specific question. That is, whether or not an author can use someone else’s song lyrics in their own book. If it’s something you’ve ever considered yourself, it’s vital to understand how to do it properly because if you don’t, even just a dozen of somebody else’s words interspersed within 70,000 of your own could end up really costing you.   Working in self-publishing, it’s often crazy how much… Read More >