Editorials

What Makes a Good Book Review?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 15, 2017

At Hidden Gems, book reviews are what we’re all about – and although we aren’t writing them ourselves, we’ve seen enough from our readers, and heard from enough authors, to have a pretty good idea about what makes a good book review. If you’re one of our ARC reviewers, or even if you’re reviewing on your own or for someone else, here are a few ideas on what authors are looking for, how to be fair, etiquette, and just overall tips for writing a helpful review. No One-Line Book Reviews As much as an author loves to hear that you “Loved this book!”, that’s not really a review.  While your opinion is important to helping support the author, it’s a lot more helpful when it is more detailed in regards to the particular book being reviewed. A one-line review might also look fake to other readers, or even Amazon. Especially… Read More >

Does Page Flip Hurt Authors and Readers?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 20, 2016

Some of your favorite authors might be forced to pull out of Kindle Unlimited because they aren’t being paid for the pages you’re reading… and here’s why. Amazon considers their much ballyhooed new Page Flip feature a navigational tool, intended simply to casually browse or flip through a book. However, mounting evidence is starting to show that many readers use Page Flip to actually read parts or even entire books. They do this for a variety of reasons, including: Preference – they prefer the reading experience in Page Flip mode Ignorance – some books open into Page Flip and customers may not realize it Software issues – some are reporting bugs that force them to use Page Flip to read But whatever the reason, when Page Flip is used to read a borrowed Kindle Unlimited book, authors are not getting paid. And according to Amazon, that’s by design, because Page… Read More >

Are Amazon’s Indie Authors Earning What They Deserve?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 30, 2016

Ever lowering payouts, a lack of transparency, and a history of making mistakes are leading many authors to wonder just how much longer they can continue to write for the book giant. Is it time for Amazon to allow external auditors to look into its records? Let’s look at how things got to where they are now, what some of the problems are, and then what, if anything, should be done about it. Kindle Unlimited and Exclusivity The idea of an all you can read subscription service wasn’t invented by Amazon (Oyster and Scribd did it first), but one could argue it perfected the model – at least from a retailer’s perspective. Launched in 2014, Amazon’s $10 a month Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription service introduced the idea of exclusivity to its authors. Independent authors that wanted to participate had to pay the heavy price of pulling their novels from all… Read More >