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Month: May 2023

Women’s Lit Books to Read This Summer

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 30, 2023

According to Wikipedia, Women’s fiction is an umbrella term for women centered books that focus on women’s life experience that are typically marketed to female readers, and includes many mainstream novels. If you’re looking for women’s lit books to add to your queue this summer, take a peek at these titles our ARC readers loved. Love, Lizzie by John Zaiss With 70+ ratings and a 4.9 star average, Love, Lizzie is the story of a woman in a seemingly perfect marriage in 1952, and the tale of her story as it is unraveled fifty years later. Patricia K writes in her five star Amazon review, “Really an excellent read. This story was captivating from the beginning, and held my attention throughout. It reminds us of a time with different challenges, when family secrets could shift a life or lives once they are revealed. I appreciated the multi generational characters and… Read More >

Traditional Publishing Declares War on Florida Book Bans

By: Ginger | Posted on May 26, 2023

Despite the rise of self-published authors, traditional publishers still hold significant influence, particularly in reaching school-aged readers and supplying books to libraries and bookstores. In some cases, that’s actually a good thing, as we’re currently seeing unfold in Florida. There is a legal battle getting underway in the southern state, between Penguin Random House (one of the “big five” traditional publishers), and a local school district that implemented a “book ban” that resulted in the removal of numerous titles from the library system. As Ginger explains, the outcome of this case can have far reaching ramifications regarding not only free speech and the power of books, but towards safeguarding our intellectual freedom as a whole. Many of the posts you’ll find on this blog talk about how traditional publishing is on the ropes, and how independent and self-published authors are becoming more and more of a dominant part of the… Read More >

5 KU Romance Novels to Borrow Next

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 23, 2023

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 get to choose from love stories of all kinds, from newly published and veteran authors. This week we are highlighting some recent faves that happen to be in Kindle Unlimited. If you’re looking for a new read to enjoy soon, there’s something for every romance reader on this list! To Redeem an Earl by Nina Jarrett With over 400 ratings on Amazon and a 4.4 star average, this is one for historical romance lovers. According to the book description, in this steamy historical romance, a cynical debutante and a scandalous earl find themselves entangled in an undeniable attraction. Will they open their hearts to love or will his past destroy their future together? Kelly R., Vine Voice raves about the character development in her… Read More >

What 3 things can we learn from the Kindle Unlimited price hike?

By: Ginger | Posted on May 19, 2023

This May, Amazon announced the first Kindle Unlimited price increase since it’s inception, taking subscriptions from $9.99 a month to $11.99. What does this change mean, and will self-published authors benefit or be harmed? To answer these questions, Ginger delves into three key factors he believes led to this move. From the plateauing of KU subscriptions to Amazon’s strategic maneuvering against app transaction blockades, he explores what this means for your earnings and the competition within the program.  Having already disrupted the entire publishing industry in 2007 with the invention of the Kindle and the self-service Kindle Direct Publishing platform, Amazon took another swing at traditional publishing in 2014 with the launch of Kindle Unlimited. A monthly subscription service, Kindle Unlimited (KU) was essentially “Netflix for ebooks.” Subscribers are able to download unlimited books from the Kindle Unlimited library for one monthly fee, while authors who opt into the program… Read More >

Sci-Fi Books to Read This Summer

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 16, 2023

Summer vacations are just around the corner! Need to add a futuristic book (or two) to your TBR list? Our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved the following sci-fi books, and we bet you will, too. Hamartia by Raquel Rich With 35+ ratings and a 4.5 star average, Hamartia is the first in a thrilling time traveler series by Raquel Rich. In this installment, Grace is in a race through time to save her son – or humanity. Scott P. explains in his five star Amazon review, “When Grace gets the nod to participate in a secret clinical trial that holds a shadow of a hope to save her son’s life, she’s taken on a desperate roller coaster ride that involves time travel, soul cloning, intrigue, ethical dilemmas, and sacrifice…Time travel stories are always fraught with paradox, but Rich is able to pull off hers without it becoming too complicated or… Read More >

Will 2023 be the Year of the Self-Published Author?

By: Ginger | Posted on May 12, 2023

Self-publishing has come a long way since its inception in 2007, or even when Ginger and I started with it a few years after that. The stigma of being self-published was thick back then, and while it hasn’t disappeared completely, there are signs that self-published authors and their books are finally starting to earn the same visibility and recognition as traditionally published titles. With more and more self-published authors earning a substantial income, it’s clear that the grip of traditional publishers on the industry is slipping. This disruption has opened up a world of opportunities for independent authors, and has led Ginger to question whether 2023 will finally be the year of the self-published author. Whether it is or not, one thing is clear: We’re not slowing down and there is still plenty of room for us to grow. There’s no question that the invention of self-publishing has changed the… Read More >

Mystery Novels to Read on the Beach

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 9, 2023

One of the most amazing things about the mystery genre is that there truly is something for everyone. No matter which side of the spectrum you prefer, we can all agree that there’s nothing better than a mystery novel that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go until the end. So if you’re looking for a page-turning mystery to read on your next vacation, this list is for you. Only One Lie by Audrey J. Cole With 850+ ratings and a 4.4 star average, Only One Lie by Audrey J. Cole is a thrilling kidnapping saga set in 1940s Seattle. Karen M. describes in her five star Amazon review why you should add this to your TBR list, “Well developed characters that intertwine in an astonishing storyline that reveals not only the grip of a powerful and ruthless banking family, it showcases the amazingly heroic actions of the women… Read More >

Self-Publishing Reaches Milestone with inclusion in Richard and Judy Book Club

By: Ginger | Posted on May 5, 2023

The Richard and Judy Book Club is more familiar to UK authors, but for those of us in the US or Canada, you can just think of it as the British equivalent to Oprah’s Book Club. Getting your book on their list can do wonders for your sales and career, but until now has always been reserved for works from the traditionally published world. That’s why it’s a big deal that their list recently included a book by Mark Dawson. While Dawson is a very well-known name in the self-publishing space, he’s still not backed by a big publisher, so it’s a big shift to see a book by someone like him be included.  Slowly but surely, self-published authors and their books are becoming more mainstream, breaking through barriers that once only let trad pub books pass through. Hopefully the recent inclusion of Dawson’s book isn’t just a one-off aberration,… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Rebecca Hunter

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 2, 2023

Today’s interview is with award winning romance author Rebecca Hunter. According to her official bio, Rebecca writes witty, sexy stories about complex characters and intriguing destinations. Her books have won the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award (NERFA) and the HOLT Medallion contest, and her debut with the Harlequin Dare line earned a starred review from Library Journal. In 2021, she won Romance Writers of America’s VIVIAN Award. She shared with us her journey to publication and the challenges she has overcome. It was a pleasure getting to know more about Rebecca’s writing style, and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? RH: I write what I call destination romance, where my characters explore a new place as they fall in love. Because I love to travel, many of my books take place in international settings, often Sweden,… Read More >