Month: April 2022

Key questions to help you structure your Story

By: Ginger | Posted on April 29, 2022

Whenever I’m faced with a new idea or concept, especially one that involves multiple steps or any sort of complexity, I find that I can grasp it far more readily if a real world example is used to explain or break it down. Dan Harmon’s story circle is a great plotting tool, and can absolutely help structure your story, but only if you really understand how to use it.  Ginger first talked about that tool on this blog a couple of years ago, and since then he’s come up with a list of his own questions that drill into the concept even further. Today, he’s not only sharing those questions with us, but also applying them to a very familiar and popular example as a way to make the entire thing much easier to understand.    A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the Story Circle – a… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Dana Claire

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 26, 2022

Today’s interview is with young adult author of action packed, romantic fantasy fiction that will keep you up at night, Dana Claire. 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? DC: I am a hopeless romantic and an action junkie. Toss a couple supernatural, magical, or sci-fi ingredients mix it in a bowl with high school angst and love, add a dash of imminent threats and viola, my Young Adult book babies are born. If you love exciting, spine-tingling moments, with chaptering ending hooks, you’ll be smitten with my writing. I like to tell my readers: Come for the romance, stay for the non-stop action. HG: Fantastic. You have mentioned that you’ve been writing since you were a young girl and… Read More >

Security Alert! Writers, secure your accounts!

By: Ginger | Posted on April 22, 2022

Cyber attacks can hit anyone or anything, whether you’re just a regular person that uses the web, or a massive company with billions in the bank. You hear about them almost daily. Website hacks, phishing attempts, DDoS attacks, ransomware, malware, the list goes on and on. The consequences of falling victim to these can vary from being just an annoyance to completely catastrophic to your life or company, and unfortunately, self-published authors fall on the latter side of that spectrum. For most, your entire livelihood may exist in the virtual world – your books, publishing accounts, reputation (via your social media accounts) and even your money are only safe if you employ digital best practices when it comes to passwords and the online protections you choose to use to secure your accounts. We all think it won’t happen to us, but take it from Ginger, it can!   Hi, writer… Read More >

5 Love Stories to Spend Your Weekend Devouring

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 19, 2022

If you’re a regular on the Hidden Gems blog, you’ll know that romance is the most popular genre in the Hidden Gems ARC program. Our readers know that no two love stories are the same, so they scoop up new books every chance they get. We’ve got one for everybody on this round-up of top rated love stories.   Coaching the Nanny by Alexa Padgett Coaching the Nanny is a steamy, angsty single dad sports romance from USA Today Bestseller Alexa Padgett, whose love stories are universally enjoyed by our ARC readers. In their five star review, M18 raves, “Emotional, angsty, intriguing, steamy, heartfelt, heartbreaking…just perfection. Coaching The Nanny by Alexa Padgett is all that and so much more.” She continues, “From the moment I sat down and started reading I found myself so quickly falling in love with Paloma and Silas, two characters that are so likable, so relatable… Read More >

Is Amazon’s eBook Returns Process Too Easy to Abuse?

By: Craig | Posted on April 15, 2022

Amazon loves to cater to the customer experience, which is a business model that has made them one of the biggest companies in the world. However, in the case of their unrestricted policy on eBook returns, they have left authors open to abuse by unscrupulous customers looking to read for free. While this policy is not new, a recent increase in social media posts and videos, urging customers to read and return books even after they’ve read the entire thing, has highlighted how easy this policy is to exploit. Is it finally time for the eBook giant to take a cue from the rest of the industry and tighten up their rules?   As of writing this, 43,545 people have signed a petition posted by author Reah Foxx on called Change Amazon Return Policies for Completed E-books: Protect Authors from Theft! Just a few more thousand and this will… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Roy M. Griffis

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 12, 2022

Today’s interview is with multi-genre author, Roy M. Griffis. Griffis writes historical fiction, comic fantasy, alternative history and action-adventure screenplays. We were honored to hear from Griffis about his writing style, what inspires him and his exciting upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? RMG: Savage Satirist, Chronicler of Historical Events that did not take place (but should have), Bon Vivant, Actor, Writer, Hero:  truly, a Renaissance Man. <and, I hope, pretty clearly someone who doesn’t take themselves that seriously.  But I am very serious about my ethical responsibility to my readers.  That is, to take them on an emotional journey, to remind them that the quality of their lives is in their own hands, to remind them of what is possible, to entertain them, and to write work that is ultimately inspiring, ennobling, and uplifting without being didactic agit-prop. … Read More >

The Book Marketing Trio You Need to Succeed

By: Amy L. Bernstein | Posted on April 8, 2022

When it comes to sending out queries or even publishing, there are three challenging forms of book marketing copy that authors need to master. All three are essential, though they each serve a different purpose, but what they have in common is that they need to be compelling and to the point, without any wasted words, in order to capture the interest of their intended audiences as quickly as possible. Author Amy Bernstein has plenty of experience writing all three forms, and is here today to help explain when and where to use each one, as well as tips and best practices on writing them in the first place.  A Logline, Synopsis, and Flap Copy meet up at a writers’ conference (or a bar, if you’re in that mood). The Logline utters two sentences, then shuts up. The Synopsis blabs on and on indiscreetly, and the Flap Copy gets everyone’s… Read More >

Highly Rated Thrillers That Will Captivate Readers

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 5, 2022

Heart-pounding, adrenaline pumping…those are just some of the feelings an excellent thriller can invoke. Thrillers make us wonder “what if?” Hidden Gems readers have been able to choose from a variety of highly rated thrillers over the past few months, and this is a round-up of some of the most popular and well reviewed page turners.   Desert Rose by K. Moore If you like captivating and emotionally-driven domestic thrillers, then you’ll love K. Moore’s novel. Desert Rose was named ‘Most Promising Manuscript’ at the 2018 Alaskan Writers Guild Conference. “I first have to say, this is phenomenally written,” raves Dustin in their 5-star review. “I felt such a connection to Jen, her fear, her heartache were shared so beautifully, I felt as if they were my own. As a parent, Jen’s situation is one of my biggest fears in life. Walking through this experience with her, helped me face… Read More >

Amazon delivers another blow to traditional publishing

By: Ginger | Posted on April 1, 2022

In recent weeks, Amazon has done something previously considered unthinkable – offering up the option for authors to advertise their books using Advertising on Amazon even if they’re traditionally published, or the rights to those books are held by somebody else. In doing so, they’ve delivered yet another gut punch to traditional publishing by providing authors that aren’t yet self-published with an opportunity to test whether they can do a better job of promoting their own books, while at the same time getting a view into just how much money they’re leaving on the table.   If you’ve visited your Author Central account on Amazon recently – the one where you can post your biographical details, and curate all the books you’ve written or contributed to – you’ll notice a new tab called Reports & Marketing. On that page, you’ll see the option to go directly to the Advertising on… Read More >