Rumor Busting

Amazon has not COMPLETELY dropped the MOBI format (UPDATED May 2022)

By: Craig | Posted on October 1, 2021

(UPDATE – May 5, 2022 – Yesterday, Amazon sent out an email that as of August 2022, MOBIs would no longer be supported via the send to kindle process and that effective immediately, EPUB files ARE supported for that process. Thus the article below is now out of date, but I’ll leave it for historical purposes as it was originally written in October 2021, which means it was more than half a year where Amazon’s support for the MOBI format was inconsistent) 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…. Read More >

Writing Tips Worth Carrying Around

By: Stuart Thaman | Posted on February 28, 2020

If there’s one thing that the internet excels at, it’s spreading misleading or even false information. There is so much misinformation floating around that independent authors are often led down the wrong path even after they’ve done their best searching for the right one. Best-selling author Stuart Thaman spends a lot of his time advising authors via his own blog or the writing forums he helps moderate, and he was kind enough to put together a list of tips that correct many of the most popular misconceptions he’s heard.  While our blog has covered some of these in the past, it’s very useful to have them summed up so succinctly in a single post—and the addition of many points we haven’t yet covered makes this list worth reading not only for new authors, but more established ones as well.   I see a lot of the same mistakes being made everywhere…. Read More >

The Complex Relationship Between Authors and Free Books

By: Craig | Posted on August 17, 2018

There’s a lot of mistaken belief when it comes to free books, from both authors and readers alike.  After all, whether they’re doing it for the love of the art, or just as a job, most authors still want to earn money from their work, so how can free books ever be a good thing?  The truth is, the relationship between authors and free books go back a long time – and like any relationship… it’s complicated. Every so often I see a reader don their white hat to make the argument that they don’t use an ARC program because they think that authors should get paid for their work. An admirable sentiment, for sure.  Still, I can’t help but wonder if those same readers have ever used a library, or borrowed a novel from a friend?  After all, readers have been using those as traditionally acceptable sources of free… Read More >

Book Piracy – Rumors, Facts and Opinion

By: Craig | Posted on June 5, 2018

In order to send eBooks out to the most number of readers, Hidden Gems asks authors to provide different file formats. With such a wide variety of devices and applications, the more formats we can provide, the more potential readers we can satisfy.  However, one objection we hear at least once a month is about book piracy – specifically having to do with PDFs. “Do I have to supply a PDF version?  I’ve heard PDF versions are much easier to pirate.” I wanted to bust the rumors that give rise to this objection, and while I’m at it weigh in on the overall issue of piracy. First of all, the short answer to the first question is “Yes”, we do need a PDF version.  Many of our readers are not tech savvy, and often have issues with the other formats. The nice thing about the PDF version is that almost… Read More >

Reviewers Locked Out by Amazon’s Latest Glitch

By: Craig | Posted on May 29, 2018

Last week, many Amazon customers were greeted with an ominous sounding message when they tried to leave reviews. It was just the latest in a long line of glitches affecting book reviews, but because the issue was so widespread and absolute, it caused rumor and speculation to fly into overdrive. Fortunately, your Amazon book reviews are still safe. What it really demonstrated, though, is how easily information can be distorted – especially when the company at fault refuses to acknowledge the issue publicly or to their own employees.  Now that it’s all behind us, let’s look at what happened. The Timeline Beginning on May 22nd, we were alerted by some of our HG readers that they were being greeted by the following message when they tried to leave reviews on Amazon. Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product. This product currently has limitations on submitting reviews. This… Read More >

Yes, Your Amazon Book Reviews Are Still Safe

By: Craig | Posted on May 7, 2018

Hidden Gems is best known for helping authors get book reviews by sending their work to interested readers, so it’s no surprise that when some perceived threat to Amazon reviews appears, we hear about it quickly. That’s why it makes sense that the first article in our new Rumor Busting series takes on this pair of related statements that come to us persistently. Amazon is coming after ARC book reviews, they’re no longer allowing them! Amazon is removing reviews that say they were given a free book or from an ARC! Given the importance of book reviews to us, we have to admit that even we aren’t immune to having our hearts beat just a little bit faster each time someone sends us a panicked email repeating one of these claims. But only for as long as it takes for us to verify that Amazon’s community guidelines page still states:… Read More >

Rumor Busting for Self Publishing Authors – A New Series

By: Craig | Posted on May 5, 2018

As a service that sends out thousands of free books daily across multiple genres, it’s probably no surprise to learn that Hidden Gems hears more than our fair share of self publishing industry rumors from both authors and readers alike. Most are sparked by some sort of catalyst, like a vague or misleading news story, or an industry heavyweight changing their policies. Those type come in waves, rolling in repeatedly from different sources all devouring the same misguided conclusions.  Other rumors are more persistent, coming in less evenly but still consistently over time, never quite fading away completely. However, there’s a benefit to hearing all of this speculation from so many varied sources. It provides us with a unique opportunity to watch these overall issues as they develop, giving us fresh perspectives and differing viewpoints into each.  When we combine that with our experience in the self publishing industry, some… Read More >