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Writing Craft

How To ‘Support Yourself Through Writing’

By: Ginger | Posted on October 16, 2020

While there are certainly some authors that write and publish occasionally as a hobby, I think it’s safe to say that it’s the dream of most authors to one day quit their evil day job and get down to the business of writing for a living.  In this first in an on-going series of related posts, Ginger will take you through the steps you need to turn that dream into a reality.  He’ll start with goal setting, but future posts will cover topics like budgeting, coming up with your concepts and plotting your novels, right through to publishing, launching and promotion. And with the goal of turning your part-time dream into a full-time reality.   I have a dream. If you’re reading this, I imagine you do, too: To support yourself as a self-published author – so you don’t need to bother with the day job, the hustle, or anything… Read More >

How To Finish Writing Your Book: Just Show Up

By: Ginger | Posted on October 2, 2020

I don’t need any hard data on the topic to know that the number of people that start writing a book far eclipses those that actually finish one.  Most of us probably know at least one person that falls into that category, their unfinished masterpiece collecting dust on their shelf or laying forgotten in a drawer somewhere. In fact, many of us (myself included) were likely IN that category for a long period of time before finally taking writing seriously. But the key to finally getting it done wasn’t anything more complex than simply chipping away at it, and as Ginger points out, the more consistently we can do that, the easier it will eventually become and the more successful and prolific we’ll be.   Here at Hidden Gems, we’ve spoken a lot about how important it is to write every day – and I mean a LOT. We’ve written… Read More >

One Method to Beat Writer’s Block

By: Edita A. Petrick | Posted on August 7, 2020

Last week, Ginger wrote about some of the things that prevent an author from writing, and how to fix them.  But sometimes, even the most disciplined of us find that we just can’t put words to paper, even with those tips. Often it can be due to some sort of stress or change in your life, but no matter how hard you stare at that blank sheet and want to write, you just can’t force it to happen.  In severe cases of writer’s block like that, when you seem to have temporarily lost your voice – your ability to come up with your own words and lay them out coherently – you may need to start right back at square one.  It’s almost as if you’ve forgotten how, and need to be re-trained.  Well, today’s guest blogger, Edita Anne Petrick, may have just the way to do that.  To be… Read More >

The Secret to Daily Word Counts – The Path of Least Resistance

By: Ginger | Posted on July 31, 2020

If the old saying that “a writer writes” is true, why do so many authors find it difficult to keep the words flowing? Ginger has some thoughts on that, and shares some tips for authors who are serious about turning self-publishing into a career – or who already are, but just want to become more productive.  The points below all ring true to me, particularly the second one as that was what led me to a corporate job and away from writing for many years (although in my case, it was more my own logical mind that talked me out of writing rather than anyone else – but the solution was the same.)  So if you’re looking for a few tips on increasing your daily word count and finishing your books, read on! During all my blog posts about marketing, advertising, and promoting your books, I hope one thing has… Read More >

Does genre matter? Writing something different may teach you something new.

By: J.E. Rowney | Posted on July 24, 2020

If you’re like most authors, you’ve likely picked a genre that you know or like the best and embraced it, rarely (if ever) writing outside of it for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps it’s because nothing else interests you, or because you’re afraid that your fans are only interested in reading that type of story from you.  But as guest post author J.E. Rowney points out, there is a lot to be learned from stepping outside your comfort zone. Even if it’s just as a small writing experiment instead of a full blown novel, spending time in an unfamiliar genre can make you a stronger writer even when you return back to the familiar. As my readers will know, I write in the chick-lit or women’s fiction genre. My books focus on friendships and relationships. These are the things that interest me. They are what I want to read about,… Read More >

Top 10 Tips to Going Wide

By: Erin Wright | Posted on June 26, 2020

We’ve been hearing from more and more authors lately that are cutting the cord, so to speak – stepping away from KU exclusivity for one reason or another in order to test the waters by “going wide”, which simply means selling their book across all (or most) of the digital storefronts instead of just Amazon. Erin Wright went wide back in 2016 and has never looked back, which is why she’s perfectly suited to provide you with the tips for how to change your way of Amazon-centric thinking and prepare to bring your work to a much wider audience. Howdy, y’all! *waving* I’m Erin Wright, a USA Today bestselling author. I write contemporary western romance, and am a dedicated wide author. Although I didn’t start out as a wide author, I quickly became one as Amazon went through one upheaval after another, stripping page reads from authors, shutting down accounts… Read More >

Pandemic Book Sales – Author Survey

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 1, 2020

No matter where you live, the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting everyone hard – with many out of work or forced to work from home.  While many full-time authors were already doing that and thus may not have noticed much of a change in their working situation (other than having a potentially busier/noisier household and no Starbucks to escape to with their laptop), how have their actual book sales fared?  Let’s find out by analyzing the feedback from over 90 authors! With so many people stuck at home in forced or voluntary quarantine, logic would dictate that they have more time than ever to read.  But there are also other factors at play, making the situation less straight-forward.  Aside from other distractions – children (home schooling or just taking care of them), movies and television, etc, there may be less money to spend on books in general.    So does that… Read More >

Keep Your Sagas Consistent the Dungeons and Dragons Way

By: Ginger | Posted on April 24, 2020

Writing a book series is a great way to establish a sustainable writing career – but the bigger your literary universe, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of it. Strong and recurring characters are the backbone of any great saga, but as your cast continues to grow, it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of everyone’s appearance, background and traits. So why not steal an idea from Dungeons and Dragons and use character sheets to keep it all straight? This year, I published the tenth book in my most popular romance series and began adapting all the previous ones into paperback – and that’s when I ran across a problem. In Book One of my series – the one I was turning into a paperback – I was reminded that my big, bad, baseball-bat swinging protagonist had an older brother. In Book Nine, I’d specifically spoken… Read More >

What are your Publishing Priorities?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 3, 2020

As many of us know, when it comes to self-publishing, actually writing your book is really only the first step in a much bigger process and to really have any chance of achieving success in this business, you can’t afford to miss or skip any of the other steps. You want to make the most out of each book launch, which means being prepared and well organized – in other words, “get all your ducks in a row.” Unfortunately, that advice only works when you’re already sure which order your ducks are meant to go in!  That’s why in this short guide, we’ll break down the publishing priority list for any independent author. One of the things that holds back a lot of self-published authors is the sheer scale of launching a writing career. Writing a book is hard enough – but then you’ve got to teach yourself how to… Read More >

Combining Entrepreneurialism and Self-Publishing – The “Billy Houston Method”

By: Ginger | Posted on March 27, 2020

Recently, we interviewed Australian entrepreneur and author Greg Holman, and one of the nuggets he shared in his debut novel, Billy Houston Rags to Riches, was the secret to a successful business. And while you may be one of those authors that embraced storytelling as a way to leave that world behind and be your own boss, you would be making a mistake by ignoring it completely. There are many parallels between running a business and self-publishing your book, which means that a lot of Billy Houston’s advice can be used to make your own career more successful. In his novel, serial entrepreneur Billy Houston imparts some of Greg’s real-life wisdom (as the author himself is a massively successful entrepreneur) and it resonated deeply with me as a self-published author. Process, leverage, and distribution – the three guiding business principles that would guide my business endeavors. You might wonder what… Read More >