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Month: February 2023

Children’s Books to Read During Spring Break

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 28, 2023

Do you have a young reader in your life? Or maybe you’re looking for a great bedtime story to enjoy with your youngest book lovers. With spring break on the horizon, we have a list of books to add to your reading list! Our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved the following titles, and we bet your young bookworm will, as well.   Bellies to the Sky by Colleen Canning With 100 ratings and an impressive 4.6 average star rating, Bellies to the Sky is recommended for children ages 3-9 years old. According to the book description, this bedtime book will help lead your little one -and you – to a peaceful night/s sleep. “The best part of life is sitting with a little one and reading to them and watching their wonderment,” writes Debi H. in her 5-star review. “Bellies To The Sky manages to keep their attention while learning… Read More >

Maximize Your Book’s ROI with Attribution Tags

By: Ginger | Posted on February 24, 2023

Advertising can be expensive, so it’s important to be careful with your ads and always test the different elements to make sure that you’re maximizing your book’s ROI. Changing up the ad images and copy are the obvious first steps, but you can even experiment with other things, like what potential readers see when they click through the ad to your product page.  And keep in mind that positive changes to your book’s product page won’t just help sell books to customers finding it from your ad, but from anyone that stumbles upon it organically as well. The ability to properly measure the results of your changes has only become realistic recently, though, with the introduction of Attribution Tags. Without them, you’re really just guessing. That’s why today, Ginger is going through how to use these tags to figure out the net result (whether positive or negative) that your changes… Read More >

Horror Stories to Read Under the Covers

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 21, 2023

The weather got you down? Looking for a bit of excitement during the February blahs? Here are tales that will thrill you and keep you turning the pages. We’re focusing on horrifying hidden gems that our readers loved, and hope you will, too. Read them now or add them to your Goodreads to-read list for the future. The Brother’s Curse by Christine M. Germain With 110+ ratings and a 4.6 star average, The Brother’s Curse is the first of the three book The Brother’s Curse Saga series and is a heart-pounding tale indeed. Crystal, who moves back home after the death of her parents is quickly launched into a race to flee from paranormal brothers who are on a quest to procure one of her mother’s heirlooms. “…A tension-building story with fantastic horror elements and engaging dialogue,” Ashon R. writes in their five star Amazon review. “In my opinion, the… Read More >

Should Authors Embrace the AI Revolution?

By: Ginger | Posted on February 17, 2023

ChatGPT exploded onto the scene a few months ago, and I honestly don’t feel like I’m overstating things when I say that it literally changed almost everything overnight. There’s a reason why it set a record for the fastest user growth ever, hitting 100 million active users within 2 months of launch. People are finding new uses for it almost daily, and one of the most interesting (to us) is in how it can help authors.  Sure, there are negative stories about how students are using it to write essays or pass their tests, or the sky is falling type articles warning how everyone is about to lose their jobs to AI, but we can either fear change, or embrace it. The reality is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The cat is out of the bag on this, and it’s NOT going back in.  AI is here… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jeanne Felfe

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 14, 2023

Today’s interview is with author Jeanne Felfe. According to her official bio, Felfe writes character-driven stories from the heart, often defying genre-classification. She shared with us her journey to publication and the challenges she has overcome. It was a pleasure getting to know more about Jeanne’s writing style, and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JF: I’m a “life happens” kind of writer. Most everything I write has a real-world feel to it with strong female characters (never damsels in distress) in dramatic situations. While Bridge to Us is technically a romance, it leans toward women’s fiction. HG: Wonderful. Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. How did you know you were ready to take on the “author” title? JF: I’ve been an on-and-off-again writer for many years. It wasn’t until my mother passed in 2012… Read More >

Discover a Fresh Perspective with the POV Challenge

By: Ginger | Posted on February 10, 2023

This week’s podcast with Courtney Brandt explores the intricacies of writing in first and third person perspectives, which is an excellent reference to listen to before (or after) reading this blog. In many cases, whether due to genre norms or story requirements, one perspective is more suited than another for a particular story, but there are also plenty of occasions where either POV could work (although the results would likely be two very different versions of the same tale.) Yet despite this, many authors favor one POV over another, even when the alternative may be a better fit.  Both perspectives have their unique strengths, which is why experimenting with them can be an incredibly valuable exercise. By switching things up, authors can gain a fresh perspective on their plot and characters, which in turn may result in a their ability to write a much stronger and engaging story.  But don’t… Read More >

Fantasy Novels to escape the Winter Chill

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 7, 2023

If you are looking for an escape from the cold of winter, this list is for you. We’ve got one for everybody on this round-up of recently top rated fantasy novels that our Hidden Gems ARC readers raved about. Cyrus Longbones and the Yeti Kingdom by Jeremy Mathiesen With 40+ ratings and a 4.7 star average, Cyrus LongBones and the Yeti Kingdom is the second in the three book Cyrus LongBones series. Cyrus must free his village from the grips of an evil Queen. Mike writes in his five star Amazon review, “My 13 year old grandson and I have read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them. If you like action/adventure/fantasy, I would definitely recommend this series…This book is listed under children’s/young adults, but as a grandparent six times over I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time…” “This book was a rollicking good time and just… Read More >

Navigating the Challenges of Publishing Alternative Editions

By: Ginger | Posted on February 3, 2023

One of things that authors love most about self-publishing is the freedom to make your own choices with regards to your work. You can do whatever it is you think is right for your book, without a publisher looking over your shoulder and second guessing your decisions and ideas, if not overruling or blocking them completely. Unfortunately, it’s that same lack of oversight that, over the years, led to many authors finding ways to game the system in their favor, turning Amazon’s early eBook storefront into a big mess and eventually leading them to the creation of broad rules designed to reign people in.  The side effect of all this was that those rules often also block authors from making completely legitimate and creative choices with their own work, such as creating alternative editions of their books, or publishing copies with covers that appeal to a different audience. You can… Read More >