Month: July 2023

Designing books from the outside in

By: Ginger | Posted on July 28, 2023

One of the greatest pieces of writing advice authors rarely follow is: “Write the blurb before the book.” Why should we do that? Because blurbs condense the concept of a novel into a few short paragraphs – and focusing on the killer hook is what can deliver a book that leaves a lasting impression. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds which is why the advice is rarely followed, but this week Ginger is diving into the subject to help explain the concept and why it’s important that even if you don’t follow it to the letter, you can still benefit from the idea. Blurbs sell books. That little three-or-four paragraph “details” section on your Amazon Product Page is ultimately one of the most influential factors in whether or not a potential reader clicks Buy Now when they land on your book page. Your blurb can make all the… Read More >

Young Adult Books for Summer Break

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 25, 2023

Do you know any young adults looking for books to devour over summer break? Our Hidden Gems ARC readers recently loved the following titles, and we bet the YA reader in your life will, as well. Who knows – you may find yourself a fan of the following young adult books, too. Freezing Reign by L.A. Goff With 125+ reviews and a 4.6 average star rating, Freezing Reign is a dystopian thriller which follows Mirari as she navigates a future where she’s the only woman who survived a deadly virus. “This book has an incredibly creative plot,” Tim M. writes in his five star Amazon review. “The choice that Mirari has to face is one that will leave all readers on the edge of their seats. And the character development was executed perfectly by the author. Would definitely recommend this for lovers of science fiction.” Lori A. continues in her… Read More >

Are AI-generated Books Already Ruining Kindle Unlimited?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 21, 2023

With the rising number of low quality AI-generated books flooding the digital bookshelves, there is already cause for concern about how this affects authors and customers alike. This is especially true for those books that are part of the Kindle Unlimited program.  Many authors are suspicious of the sheer number of these titles, often with poor covers and questionable content, that have somehow made it onto the bestseller lists. It is believed that many of these books are being artificially pumped up via click farms that are downloading and “reading” the books, not only pushing out more legitimate books from the top charts, but also taking an unfair share of the KU money pool. So what, if anything, is Amazon doing about it? According to some sources, AI-generated books are flooding Amazon’s best-seller lists and causing concerns for both authors and readers enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. When it comes to… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Ellis L. Knox

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 18, 2023

Today’s interview is with author and medieval historian, Ellis L. Knox. According to his official bio, he is the creator of the fantasy world called Altearth, a place where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell. We were honored to learn more about Knox’s journey to publication, writing style and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? ELK: I’m obsessed with stories. Whether it’s television, games, or text, it’s the story that I like best. When it comes to telling stories myself, I try hard to make them as interesting as I expect to hear from others. I’m a medieval historian by training. I’ve always enjoyed SF and fantasy. After many years of fooling about with SF ideas and some fantasy, I decided there was potential in taking what I knew about… Read More >

What can writers learn from Cormac McCarthy?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 14, 2023

When Cormac McCarthy died last month, the world lost a literary icon. Although only leaving behind a dozen novels, McCarthy made his mark on the world of literature, and authors everywhere can learn a lot from his work.  Today, Ginger takes a dive into who McCarthy was and why his books have such a strong impact on those that read them. By dissecting what it was that McCarthy did so well, writers can learn lessons that could potentially be applied to their own writing. Both as a way to make them stronger, and as a way to increase the chance that their books are remembered long after they’re gone by creating a legacy of their own. This June, the world lost American author Cormac McCarthy. An American literary icon, McCarthy was 89 years old and left behind a legacy of 12 books that altered the shape of American literature forever…. Read More >

Sizzling Romance Novels to Read in the Summer Heat

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 11, 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 know that no two love stories are the same, so they scoop up new books every chance they get. If you’re looking for a new sizzling romance read to enjoy the summer weather with, there’s something for everyone on this list! A Lethal Betrayal by Lori Matthews With 340+ ratings and a 4.6 star average, A Lethal Betrayal follows coast guard agents Landry and McKenna as they investigate a murder with a dangerously attractive prime suspect. Pamela M. raves in her five star Amazon review, “An incredible start to the Coast Guard Hawaii series that immediately pulled me into the middle of all that was happening and kept me glued to the book until I read the last word of this fast-paced thriller. I… Read More >

What are the 5 most-funded Kickstarter books?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 7, 2023

Kickstarting books and publishing projects has been gaining popularity recently, as a means to offset the costs associated with self-publishing, especially for ambitious ventures and special editions. In fact, the popularity has grown so much that the publishing space has quickly become one of the top categories on Kickstarter.   Today, Ginger is looking at the five biggest Kickstarter publishing campaigns of all time, and trying to glean some insights and inspiration from what they’ve done.  However, it is important to keep in mind that these projects represent exceptional outliers, and their success seem more like lottery wins than the typical experience most authors will have.  Even so, Kickstarter offers a platform that many authors can use to reach their far more modest fundraising goals, allowing them to embark on innovative projects with minimal risk. The result can be financial rewards for the author, and unique experiences and non-traditional book formats for… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jane Harvey-Berrick

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 4, 2023

Today’s interview is with award winning, multi-genre author Jane Harvey-Berrick. Jane has been publishing for years and it was an honor getting to know more about her writing process and life outside of writing. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JHB: The short answer is contemporary romance and women’s fiction – but I don’t really like to categorise like that (even when I have to!). I write stories about people with all their flaws and failings, but people who haven’t given up, people who perhaps just need to meet the right person to find the next steps on their journey through life, their place in the world. HG: Beautiful. Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. When did you know you were ready to take on the “author” role? JHB: Oh, I’m still working on that! I never want to… Read More >