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Month: June 2023

How can you refresh a Facebook ad campaign?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 30, 2023

As we’ve said many times in this space, advertising your book is an essential step in self-publishing success, but it is not something you can just set and forget. No matter how well your Facebook ad campaign performs initially, the sad and inevitable reality is that eventually, its performance will begin to decline. Since stubbornly letting a faltering ad continue to run is just a waste of money, you really need to monitor your campaigns for signs that your advertisements are getting stale and then take immediate action. The first step is determining the possible reasons for the decline of your ad’s performance, and then once you have an idea on that, you can figure out the best way to fix it. In today’s blog, Ginger has a number of suggestions on doing both of those things. The good news is that you don’t always have to pull a previously winning… Read More >

Children’s Books To Read For a Summer Reading Program

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 27, 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 summer reading programs coming up, we have a handful of children’s books to read or add to your TBR! Our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved the following titles, and we bet your young bookworm will, as well. How Lucky Am I? by Brittney Spencer With 25 ratings and a 4.7 average star rating, How Lucky Am I? is recommended for children 5 years and younger. How Lucky Am I? is the story of an expecting parent dreaming of the future with her child. “A sweet, sweet heartfelt story to share with your children,” Whitney writes in her five star Amazon review. “You can feel the love flowing from page to page from the author’s words to her daughter. The illustrations are precious and warm… Read More >

What can writers learn from Brandon Sanderson?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 23, 2023

Brandon Sanderson was a big deal before he blew everyone away with the largest Kickstarter fundraiser ever. He’s been successfully writing fantasy and science fiction novels for the last 20 years, building up a loyal fanbase that, in hindsight, largely explains the successful of his Kickstarter project. But what is it that makes him so popular amongst readers and, more importantly, is there something we can learn from him that can be applied to our own writing or careers? Those are exactly the questions that Ginger is attempting to answer in today’s blog, as he examines who Sanderson is and what elements of his writing lead to his incredible popularity.  Recently we published an episode of the Fully Booked podcast in which we spoke to Oriana Leckert, Head of Publishing for Kickstarter. As she outlined what opportunities Kickstarter offers self-published and independent authors, we repeatedly referenced the most famous Kickstarter success… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Brian Sachetta

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 20, 2023

Today’s interview is with author, blogger and software developer, Brian Sachetta. Brian is passionate about using his skills to positively influence the lives of others, and much of his writing is focused on health, wellness, and personal development. It was a pleasure to get to know more about Brian’s publishing journey, mission and life outside of writing. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? BS: By trade, I’m an engineer, so that definitely comes through in my content: I enjoy figuring out how things work (or at least trying to), testing out different solutions, and presenting my findings to my audience. I used that same engineering-oriented approach with my own anxiety and depression, so, in some ways, my books are really just an extension of that philosophy. My writing style and tone are mostly formal / serious (to reflect the weight of… Read More >

What can self-published authors learn from Barnes & Noble?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 16, 2023

Normally our learning series of articles is centered around other authors and what can be learned from them. Today, however, we’re looking at the recent moves made by brick and mortar bookstore Barnes & Noble. After unsuccessfully trying to compete head to head with Amazon, Barnes & Noble has taken a step back to focus on it’s core strengths and the factors that differentiate them from their largest competitor, as opposed to trying to compete on a playing field that is far from level. As Ginger explains below, authors can, and should, do the same thing. By focusing on your strengths, the customer experience and what makes you unique as a writer, you can stand out from the crowd and build up an audience that appreciates you for what it is you do best. This May, the third annual U.S. Book Show was hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies… Read More >

Fantasy Novels to bring on your Summer Vacation

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 13, 2023

If you are looking for some enthralling fantasy novels to accompany your summer vacation, 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. The Dragon King’s Egg by Ava Richardson With 130+ ratings and a 4.6 star average, The Dragon King’s Egg is the fourth in the six book Charassi’s Fae Queen series. In this installment, the arrival of a new dragon egg, combined with the prophesy of impending doom will force Ophelia, Queen of Fae, to balance conflicting interests regarding the future of the egg, and the kingdom. Miriam K. writes in her five star Amazon review, “I was so excited to continue in Charissi’s world! This book was great; introducing new characters that fit in perfectly! Exciting and adventurous with the sweet romance thrown in now and then!! Wonderful read!!”… Read More >

Amazon Makes Huge Change to KDP Book Categories

By: Ginger | Posted on June 9, 2023

If you’re a self-published author relying on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform, you need to be aware of a recent change that can significantly impact your book’s visibility. The publishing giant has revised its category selection process, limiting authors to just three KDP book categories instead of the previous ten. While this simplifies the process and addresses abuse, it also raises concerns about your book getting lost among the vast sea of titles. As Ginger describes in his analysis below, there are a variety of implications to these changes and potential ways you may be impacted. Authors that don’t take action soon may find their existing books recategorized automatically, and leaving something that crucial to an algorithm or poorly trained rep is unlikely to do your career any favors. By proactively fixing them yourself, you’ll ensure you are placed in the best categories possible for your book, leading to maximum… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Deryn Pittar

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 6, 2023

Today’s interview is with award winning romance author Deryn Pittar. Deryn writes across multiple genres, and today she shares her journey to publication and the challenges she has overcome. It was a pleasure getting to know more about Deryn’s writing style, and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? DP: I write over a range of genre;, contemporary fiction, romance, a cozy mystery and a dash of horror.  I also dabble in poetry and particularly like the challenge of haiku which requires few words to convey a moment in time.   HG: Wow! How fantastic. Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. When did you know you were ready to take on the “author” role? DP: About twenty years ago I decided to get serious about my desire to write. Research told me that romance was… Read More >

Should Amazon impose a ban on AI-authors?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 2, 2023

Like it or not, Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, but how does it impact authors? Can it really be used as a replacement to write books, and if so, should companies like Amazon be moving to ban AI-authors from their KDP platform?  With such a new and rapidly changing technology, there are often more questions than answers, especially when that technology seems to threaten jobs. To help make sense of it all, Ginger is looking at the current state of Artificial Intelligence and how it applies to writing. Is it time for publishing companies to try and put a stop to it, or is it already too late? And more importantly, do authors really have anything to worry about? It may still be in its infancy, but Artificial Intelligence is already changing the very nature of the world around us. It seems like we hear new examples of this… Read More >