Month: October 2021

A History of Kindle Unlimited

By: Ginger | Posted on October 29, 2021

I was editing an article a few weeks ago, and there were some references to Kindle Unlimited and its various iterations. For the purposes of fact checking, I went looking for an article that summed everything up for me but failed to find anything. I did find some blogs and references that discussed specific changes from one version of KU to another, but nothing that really laid the entire history out all in one place. So I discussed it with Ginger and we decided it would be worth putting something together. Of course, knowing how KU worked in the past doesn’t change how it works now, but there are probably some newer authors out there that are interested in reading about how the program evolved, and why. And for those of you that lived through it, you may still want to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane…   In… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Katherine Eddinger Smits

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 26, 2021

Today’s interview is with author Katherine Eddinger Smits. With a fascination for the occult, a master’s degree in social work, and over 20 years clinical experience, Katherine writes paranormal romance that addresses real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, fears, and phobias, through stories filled with fantasy and romance. Her books often include mages, mermaids, and magical creatures. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her novels. We were honored to chat with Katherine about her writing journey, style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? KES: First, thank you so much for interviewing me today! I’m so pleased to have this opportunity. I love stories and read all kinds of fiction. So, elements from many genres sneak into my books. Romance is my favorite, but I like to read and write books which include… Read More >

The startling importance of your “Look Inside”

By: Ginger | Posted on October 22, 2021

I never feel my age as much as when I catch myself referring to the “good old days”, and yet with self-publishing I can’t help but think back about how much easier things were (or at least seemed) back when the online eBook landscape wasn’t so crowded. With less books to choose from, it didn’t matter as much if you clearly did your own covers or hadn’t tweaked your blurb to perfection. Writing in less popular sub-genres was no big deal, either, because while there were fewer readers, they were hungry for content and there weren’t many authors feeding each niche.  And don’t even get me started on advertising! It not only cost less but gave a much better return.  True, those days are gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money as a self-published author anymore – you just have to pay a lot more attention to the… Read More >

Highly Rated Must Read Mystery Novels

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 19, 2021

Each and every week, subscribers to Hidden Gems are offered FREE books to download, read, and review – from any or all of over 15 different genres. Today we’re going to highlight five mystery novels that have left our readers raving and begging for more. If you’re looking for the perfect escape from reality you’ll love getting to the bottom of these page-turning mysteries.   Headlines, Deadlines and Lies by Stephanie LaVigne If you like quirky amateur sleuth heroines, intriguing puzzles, and slow-burn romance, then you’ll love Stephanie LaVigne’s new series, The Sunshine State. A story about friendship, family, and finding your passion, Headlines, Deadlines & Lies is a genealogical mystery novel set in a charming beach town along Florida’s Gulf Coast. “This was a truly marvelous mystery!” writes Anthony A. in his 5-star review. “The author perfectly captures the warmth and wit that the cozy mystery genre often has…. Read More >

Are KDP Select 5 day free promotions still worth running?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 15, 2021

The self-publishing landscape shifts and transforms itself so regularly that it’s always a good idea to test the waters and try new things. What was once best practice often becomes less effective, and if you are afraid of change then you’re in danger of being left behind. For many reasons, I see more and more authors dipping their toe into the wide waters, eschewing Amazon exclusivity for a chance to reach a different audience. Many of those authors flocked to KU when it was new, to the point where it actually seemed like a bunch of those other big eBook retailers were on the brink of collapse. But what once may have seemed like a no-brainer to some now feels more like a pair of handcuffs they’re anxious to cast off. Many of the things that made KU worth trying at first were negatively altered with each new iteration, and… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: JP McLean

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 12, 2021

Today’s interview is with award winning author JP McLean who writes urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers. Reviewers call her books addictive, smart, and fun. We were thrilled to chat with McLean about her writing journey, style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JPM: People who know me and then read my books are often surprised by the supernatural nature of the stories. I’m described as grounded and dependable—the opposite of someone who writes supernatural thrillers. Admittedly, I’m an introvert, an observer. I keep to myself, but I’ve always had a healthy imagination. It’s fueled by my fascination with the supernatural and paranormal. I’m intrigued by unsolved mysteries, like the Mo‘ai Heads on Easter Island and the lost city of Atlantis. It’s that curiosity and my willingness to consider the impossible that fuels my story lines and the… Read More >

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

By: Nate | Posted on October 8, 2021

There are a lot of famous sayings and quotes about success and failure, but my favorite is one that I find myself repeating to my own kids fairly often. I don’t know the exact wording or who said it first, but I usually phrase it as “you only truly fail by not trying at all.” I don’t know if it’s a product of how competitive a society we all live in these days, but a lot of us (not just kids) have a fear of failure that is often more damaging than failure itself. I doubt there is much success that isn’t built upon a sea of past failures, because there is very little in life that we are born knowing how to do. Humans learn through trial and error, and so it should be expected that we aren’t going to get something exactly right the first (or even second,… Read More >

Children’s Picture Books to Gift This Fall

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 5, 2021

If you’re looking to get an early start on your holiday shopping, or are looking for the perfect birthday gift for one of the little ones in your life, look no further. We’ve rounded up five children’s picture books that Hidden Gems ARC readers have recently read and adored. With delightful illustrations and touching messages they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Consider adding these titles to your shopping list the next time you’re buying for a child you love!   Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! by Marlene M. Bell With an astounding 4.8 average star rating and over 80 reviews on Amazon, Mia and Nattie is an adorable read-aloud picture book for children who love animals from award-winning writer and sheep breeder Marlene M. Bell. “This was a beautiful children’s book that provides a lovely story of friendship, family, and responsibility,” writes She Just Loves Books… Read More >

Amazon has not COMPLETELY dropped the MOBI format (UPDATED May 2022)

By: Craig | Posted on October 1, 2021

(UPDATE – May 5, 2022 – Yesterday, Amazon sent out an email that as of August 2022, MOBIs would no longer be supported via the send to kindle process and that effective immediately, EPUB files ARE supported for that process. Thus the article below is now out of date, but I’ll leave it for historical purposes as it was originally written in October 2021, which means it was more than half a year where Amazon’s support for the MOBI format was inconsistent) Fairly recently, I’ve started getting the occasional email from authors asking why they still need to provide their ARC in the MOBI format, given that “Amazon no longer supports it”.  Often the question is backed up by the claim that even popular software like Vellum recognize the recent obsolescence of the format and thus no longer create MOBI files, making it harder for the author to provide them…. Read More >