For Authors

Are KDP Select 5 day free promotions still worth running?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 15, 2021

The self-publishing landscape shifts and transforms itself so regularly that it’s always a good idea to test the waters and try new things. What was once best practice often becomes less effective, and if you are afraid of change then you’re in danger of being left behind. For many reasons, I see more and more authors dipping their toe into the wide waters, eschewing Amazon exclusivity for a chance to reach a different audience. Many of those authors flocked to KU when it was new, to the point where it actually seemed like a bunch of those other big eBook retailers were on the brink of collapse. But what once may have seemed like a no-brainer to some now feels more like a pair of handcuffs they’re anxious to cast off. Many of the things that made KU worth trying at first were negatively altered with each new iteration, and… Read More >

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

By: Nate | Posted on October 8, 2021

There are a lot of famous sayings and quotes about success and failure, but my favorite is one that I find myself repeating to my own kids fairly often. I don’t know the exact wording or who said it first, but I usually phrase it as “you only truly fail by not trying at all.” I don’t know if it’s a product of how competitive a society we all live in these days, but a lot of us (not just kids) have a fear of failure that is often more damaging than failure itself. I doubt there is much success that isn’t built upon a sea of past failures, because there is very little in life that we are born knowing how to do. Humans learn through trial and error, and so it should be expected that we aren’t going to get something exactly right the first (or even second,… Read More >

Amazon has not COMPLETELY dropped the MOBI format

By: Craig | Posted on October 1, 2021

Fairly recently, I’ve started getting the occasional email from authors asking why they still need to provide their ARC in the MOBI format, given that “Amazon no longer supports it”.  Often the question is backed up by the claim that even popular software like Vellum recognize the recent obsolescence of the format and thus no longer create MOBI files, making it harder for the author to provide them. Both of these claims are technically untrue, but I can see why the facts are being interpreted this way. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the reality of the situation is complicated and perhaps a bit half-baked, leading to misinformation and confusion among authors. And when that happens, I figure it’s time to add a new entry to our old rumor busting blog series. So let’s dig into the facts and figure out what’s really going on here, because while it… Read More >

Amazon’s hardcover option – what you need to know

By: Ginger | Posted on September 24, 2021

If you’re the type of author that likes having print versions of your books available and you haven’t logged into your KDP dashboard in a while, you may want to go and take a quick look. Amazon has started to roll out a hardcover format as a choice available to authors, right alongside the eBook and paperback versions.  The feature is still in beta testing and not all authors have access to it, but if you don’t see it yet, you probably will soon. Here’s Ginger with what you might need to know about this new print option.   Have you been given the option of producing hardcover editions of your books yet? If not, here’s what you might need to know. An increasing number of self-published authors are seeing a new box on their Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard – the option to publish hardcover copies of their books, just… Read More >

Kindle Unlimited can still be worthwhile…

By: Ginger | Posted on September 17, 2021

Kindle Unlimited is one of those programs you either love or hate: If you’re a reader you probably love it, and if you’re an author, you probably hate it. That’s because while readers pay one low monthly fee for an unlimited buffet of reading, participating authors are forced to sell their words for fractions of what they’d normally go for under the assumption that sheer volume will make up the difference. Unfortunately, the veracity of that assumption varies from author to author, which means the program definitely isn’t going to work for everyone. For those of you trying to figure it all out, Ginger is here to go through some of the reasons he decided to stick with KU, as well as some tips on squeezing as much value as possible out of it.   In October of last year, Isabel Jolie shared a case study about experiences of “going… Read More >

How to rejoice over rejections

By: Deryn Pittar | Posted on September 10, 2021

This week, guest author Deryn Pittar is offering some advice on dealing with rejection and turning a potential negative into a positive. She’s referring specifically to when authors are rejected by traditional publishers after they have submitted their book, and what do when that happens. But at the core, much of this advice is centered around dealing with feedback and criticism of your work. After all, just because you self-publish doesn’t make you a stranger to these things. Whether it comes from beta readers, negative reviews, writing partners or uninterested publishers, writers need to have a thick skin when it comes to their work and be able to act on negative feedback when doing so may lead to an overall improvement of their story or characters.     Hands up if you have NOT BEEN bitterly disappointed when a rejection letter arrived in your inbox. Ah, I see there are… Read More >

Showing appreciation to your reviewers can go a long way

By: Ginger | Posted on September 3, 2021

One of the biggest challenges you’ve likely faced as an author is getting reviews for your books, especially early in your self-publishing careers, and helping with that is one of the reasons I started Hidden Gems in the first place. But just as you appreciate getting reviews, your reviewers will appreciate being acknowledged. So whenever possible, take the time to publicly appreciate your reviews and the readers that take the time to leave them. Ginger has some examples of how you can go about doing this, as well as some advice on what to be careful not to do.   We all like to feel valuable. It’s the human condition. From reading your kids their bedtime story, to sharing your own stories with readers, there’s a validation to be had in contributing something meaningful to the life of others. Many of these things we do without expecting or demanding acknowledgement… Read More >

Is it worth having an author website?

By: Ginger | Posted on August 27, 2021

A little while back, Virginie Carmichael went into the ins and outs of having your own author website, but one of the questions that still remains for many authors is whether they really need one in the first place. With Facebook Pages and Amazon Author Central accounts both offering a place to reach and communicate with readers, some authors think investing in a domain name and website is a waste of time and money. For some further perspective on the question, Ginger is here to weigh in with his own views on the pros and cons of investing in your own website.   Is it worth investing in an author website? We’re nearly two decades past the “dot com” boom, and these days people are far more likely to ask for your ‘handle’ than your ‘dot com’ when they want to keep in contact with you – which raises the… Read More >

From the Mailbox: Advertising on Facebook Questions

By: Ginger | Posted on August 20, 2021

Our weekly author blogs cover topics to do with writing, marketing, and advertising books, but sometimes authors send us specific questions that we like to address. As we’ve done for Amazon related ad questions in the past, this week we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly asked questions about using Facebook for advertising, and Ginger has put together some answers which might will be useful to many of you.    Question #1 I was running a Facebook ad at $5 a day and getting a cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.19. I decided to double my spend, but my CPC immediately rose to $0.39. That means I’m paying twice as much for the same number of clicks! What did I do wrong? One of the most frequent problems I hear about authors is that they just can’t scale their advertising. Every time they increase their ad budget on Facebook, the CPC… Read More >

My Radish Experiment – Part 2

By: Craig | Posted on August 13, 2021

Now that the final book of my Radish series is fully published, I wanted to go over my latest numbers one last time so that others can use it as an example of how this platform works and performs.  Of course, every author’s experience will differ, but the more information you have about something you haven’t tried before, the better the decision you’ll be able to make as to whether you think it’ll be the right fit for you.  To help with that, I’ll also give some of my own thoughts on this whole experiment and which sort of authors or books I think it will benefit the most. Not long ago I began an experiment with Radish Fiction by publishing an old 3-book romance series on their platform to see how it would do.  In part 1 of this article, I published the sales numbers and my analysis of… Read More >