Month: January 2022

Boxed Sets – are they worth it?

By: Ginger | Posted on January 28, 2022

Once you’ve written and self-published three or more books, you have the opportunity to package them together into a ‘boxed set’ for sale as an altogether new product – but is it worth the effort? As with anything, there are pros and cons to consider, so Ginger is here to walk you through everything you need to think about to make the right decision for you and your career.   Everybody loves value – that’s why we shop at places like Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club. If there’s an item you use regularly, it’s a no-brainer to buy ‘in bulk’ and save a ton of money over buying the product individually. The same can be said of books! On Amazon’s Top 100 lists, you’ll frequently see boxed sets of books for sale, even if they’re ebooks and the ‘boxed’ part of it is purely esoteric. But is gathering a bunch… Read More >

Science Fiction Novels To Ignite Your Mind

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 25, 2022

Great science fiction novels ignite a sense of wonder with imaginative and almost unimaginable tales. They take our mind to a place of what-if.  From space exploration to post-apocalyptic survival journeys, these five science fiction novels were loved by Hidden Gems readers who got to read them for free.   Star Binder by Robert Appleton Currently ranked in the Top 100 Amazon Teen & YA Space Opera eBooks, in Star Binder, a discovery made deep under the polar ice of Mars has profound implications for young Jim Trillion and his best friend, Sergei: two orphaned grifters scraping a living in the planet’s oases resorts. “Star Binder by Robert Appleton is an outstanding work of young adult science fiction,” writes Cheryl E. Rodriquez of Readers’ Favorite. “The writing style is smooth as silk and perfectly seamless. Caught in an unbelievable adventure, sailing into the dark sea of the unknown, Jim and… Read More >

Creating a Lookalike audience that actually buys!

By: Ginger | Posted on January 21, 2022

Creating a Lookalike audience for your Facebook ads is far more useful than simply trying to advertise to FB users as a whole, even when you try to narrow that group down by the specific demographics you’re targeting or the interests you think your potential readers might all share. But creating that Lookalike from your entire mailing list isn’t nearly as effective as creating it from a more refined subset of that list, and when it comes to sending out ads looking to sell copies of your book, the subscribers you want to focus on are the ones most likely to buy a copy. Figuring out which ones those are, however, can be tricky. Luckily, Ginger has some advice on the best way to do that.   Last month, I wrote a blog post about how the Apple IOS 14.5 update had disrupted the performance of a lot of authors’… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: A.M. Kusi

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 18, 2022

Today’s interview is with wife-and-husband author team A.M. Kusi. Their romance novels tackle hard issues but always deliver a happily ever after. We were honored to chat with Ash and Marcus about their latest books, writing style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: You’re a wife-and-husband author team who writes emotional romance novels. Take us back to the beginning…how did you get started? Were you both writers before you teamed up? AMK: I (Ash) have always been a writer. I used it as a form of escapism as a child/teen. I didn’t really write much during college and when I met Marcus until a few years ago. I had a dream with a story line and got inspired. I wrote it out and showed Marcus and he was like, “We need to publish this.” He immediately dove in learning about story structure and the backend side of publishing books, found me… Read More >

An Amazon Appeals Process is Long Overdue – Part 2

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 14, 2022

In part one of this blog, I went over an issue that recently affected a number of authors in which their Amazon accounts were wrongly terminated, and the hassle and pain they had to go through to exonerate themselves. I spent a lot of time discussing what happened, how and why I think the current system works the way it does, and the realities of what I believe is unlikely to ever change (and why). But that doesn’t mean the system can’t be vastly improved upon, we just need to make sure to ask for the right things. Today I’ll go over the changes I think Amazon would have a hard time arguing against, while still providing authors with a defense against the devastating consequences of having their entire careers unfairly ripped away. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things… Read More >

Top Rated Picture Books to Enjoy With Your Kids

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 11, 2022

If you’re looking to spend some extra quality time reading with your kids this year, you won’t want to miss this list. 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!   Do You Want To Be A Ninja? by Mark Bacera This illustrated children’s picture book is for all the little girls and boys who love dressing up and playing make-believe. In this book you and your kids can explore the secret traits and techniques of ninjas. If you’re lucky, you may even find all of their hidden ninja tools. “So, so cute!” raves Ashley in her 5-star review. “In this story, author Mark Bacera asks, ‘Do you… Read More >

An Amazon Appeals Process is Long Overdue – Part 1

By: Craig | Posted on January 7, 2022

A couple of weeks ago, some authors were surprised by a disturbing email from Amazon informing them that due to some vague and unspecific rule violations, their author accounts had been terminated and any outstanding payments would be withheld. These authors did nothing wrong, after a lot of time and effort on their part most were eventually exonerated and had things restored, but the fact that this can happen to anyone at anytime and for no good reason should not only serve as a harsh reminder of the dangers of having all your eggs in one basket, but as further evidence that Amazon needs a proper appeals process for when they inevitably get things wrong again. There are various arguments for “going wide” and publishing books on multiple online storefronts, but one of the big ones is the diversification you get by not having to rely on just one site… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Heather Silvio

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 4, 2022

Today’s author interview is with multi-talented author Heather Silvio. Heather writes in a variety of genres but is known for her “fun, flirty, fantasy stories that make you smile.” It was an honor to chat with her about her writing style, interests outside of writing and upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? HS: I *mostly* write fun, flirty, fantasy romance & mystery, with a guaranteed happily ever after. Having said that, in the beginning, I was a bit of a genre-hopper, so I also have some nonfiction, a much darker psychological thriller/murder mystery, and a sweet romance with salty language romantic comedy, among others. My joke when I do book signings is that no matter what someone reads, I have a book in that genre. Not really true, of course, but I do have quite a few! HG: Okay,… Read More >